This funky all-day eatery in Redfern has the locals lining up. Taking style cues from the vibrant streets of Miami, Southside Charmers is exactly that: charming. From the beautifully designed bar and touches of pink, to the footpath dining and friendly service, this casual café-restaurant-bar also has the menu to back it up. Hispanic-fusion cuisine reigns supreme with the breakfast tacos, complete with scrambled eggs, smokey black beans and charred corn, a popular brunch choice.
A shrine to all things bread, Breadfern is run by the team behind Tapeo, Redfern’s beloved gluten-free bakery. Breadfern’s products though are quite the opposite. Pies, pastries, and five types of bread are on the menu at this carb-loaded cafe. Everything is made fresh daily.
Tapeo Cafe and Tapas Bar
An enduring local haunt that knows how to draw a crowd, Tapeo Café and Tapas Bar serves up Modern Australian food with a Spanish twist. The best part is, they know how to mix up a good cocktail. Their streestide seating is the place to be if you want to people watch over breakfast.
Perched on the city fringe, Three Williams is one of Redfern’s much-loved cafes – and for good reason. The team whips up an all-day menu, and is famous among foodies for its inventive twists on breakfast classics. When the clock strikes 12, feel free to order a bevvy: the café is licensed.
Affectionately dubbed ‘The Woolie’ by locals, this pub is famous for its Thursday night trivia, which fills up early every week. If trivia’s not your thing, order some classic pub food to the streetside dining area, or head to the bookshelf-lined back area to crack open a craft beer – the pub has a huge range on tap.
With large windows looking out onto Pitt Street, Hunter’s Corner is a chic, airy café that does cafe food right. A warm and welcoming café that comes complete with interiors that have been decorated with curiosities from the owners’ travels. You need only look to their regular brunch crowd to know that this is the place to be.
Gritty-meets-pretty at Bart Jr, a small, brightly lit bar tucked inside a heritage-listed building. Locals flock to the spot for its elevated bar bites as much as they do for its beverages, which put Aussie winemakers and breweries in the spotlight. The food menu is tight and changes every three weeks, but always features inventive dishes.
Tudor Hotel Redfern
A local watering-hole with a real rustic charm to it, Tudor Hall is low-key and relaxed, and they dish up some incredible pub food. Located amid all the action in Redfern, they are a welcome retreat from the bustle of the inner-city suburb. Our advice? Go early to score a spot on the terrace.
Pitt St Diner
Halfway between Redfern Park and the train station, Pitt Street Diner is the kind of laidback local you’ll keep returning to. The French bistro serves hearty classics – think croque madames, steak frites and fish – and brings the European tradition of an aperitif to Redfern. In true French style, there’s a dedicated cheese menu and a 150-strong wine list.
For an impeccable fusion of Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, Isaac in Redfern brings punchy flavours and euro decadence together for a meal you won’t be forgetting any time soon. The fit out is luxurious with the floor being made of smashed pieces of marble and the bar of concrete.
When we say this Viking-themed whiskey bar and restaurant has gone all out, we mean it. It’s a true treat for the senses, from the waiters wearing fur, jewels and Viking helmets to the tables set with Viking horns and swords. Interiors aside, there are over 400 whiskies from around the world, plus Nordic-inspired cocktails. The carvery is where the chefs work their magic on meat, fish and veg.
A lively local, The Norfolk enjoys a prime corner position on Cleveland and Walker Streets. The pub has a few main attractions: its buzzy, dog-friendly beer garden, Taco Tuesdays, and a sports bar. It’s also home to the House of Crabs, a seafood restaurant that puts on an unbeatable Southern-style crab boil.
At Nourishing Quarters, every plate is packed with superfoods, veggies and other nourishing ingredients, and free from gluten, meat, dairy and refined sugar. The menu is tapas-style, so you can try a bit of everything. Be sure to book, as the restaurant operates with two-hour sittings every night.
Fatima's Lebanese Restaurant
All hail the kebab kings! Fatima’s is a no-frills spot that’s been giving locals a taste of Lebanon for over 40 years. Our advice? Make it your last stop of the night, so you can truly enjoy your dish with toum, Fatima’s famous garlic sauce. On the weekends, belly dancers descend to kick the ambience up a notch.
Named after the world-famous restaurant in Spain, El Bulli serves some of the most authentic tapas this side of the equator. The menu is homely and divided into sections: ‘cosas de picar’ (things to nibble), ‘cosas de pinchar’ (skewered eats); and ‘cazuelas’ (smaller plates), all of which is best enjoyed with a side of live Latin music.
When former Bills head chef Kenny Takayama ventured out on his own, we knew it was going to be good – and Café Oratnek has lived up to expectations. This Redfern eatery is cosy and creative, and they’re known for their Asian-inspired brunch. Our pick: Their white chocolate matcha fondue! We can't think of anything better than dipping fruit and marshmellows into this deliciousnes..
An Argentinian restaurant that has made Surry Hills its home, Porteno uses traditional Parilla (barbeque) and Asado (pit of fire) to prep their meat – so you know it’s going to be juicy and succulent. Pair it with their selection of South American, Italian and American wines.
Refn Courtyard Cafe
The best seat at this café is outside, in the big, beautiful courtyard. From 6.30am-3pm, Refn whips up hearty breakfast and lunch plates. Come the afternoon, it switches gears and turns into Teppan, a bustling and BYO Japanese restaurant that’s a solid choice for group dinners as well as fun date nights.
This Sicilian pizzeria is as colourful as the southern Italian island itself, with decorative tiles, a buzzy vibe, and plenty of character. With the help of its woodfired oven imported from Italy, La Coppola doles out Sicilian-style pizza, which has a crisp base and a puffy, doughy crust topped with the freshest of ingredients.