The name says it all and this popular café joint has courageously taken Bondi’s clean eating scene outside the postcode. Bondi Wholefoods has an extensive smoothie range that makes it a perfect stop off between meals, which are gluten-free, dairy-free and always organic.
Redfern is brimming with cafes, and Urban Piccolo is one of its standouts. The wide windows allow light to flood in while customers tuck into classic breakfast and lunch plates, which are refreshingly priced on the low side. The staff are friendly, and there’s outdoor seating available.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or the biggest carnivore in Sydney, you’re bound to find something that tickles your tastebuds at Oriental Healthy – and it’ll be healthy to boot. The Thai eatery has a meat-free version of almost every dish on the menu, making it the perfect spot for groups with different dietary requirements.
Via Napoli Pizzeria
This local institution has an unwavering high regard in the eyes of Sydneysiders. Via Napoli refuses to sacrifice on authenticity, their pizzas are (naturally) prepared and cooked in true Neapolitan style with a soft, pliable base that literally melts in the mouth. With a group, opt for their 1 or 2-metre creations.
Maya Da Dhaba
When it comes to authentic Indian, there’s no skipping Cleveland Street. And Maya Da Dhaba is the first important pitstop. It’s nothing fancy, but the food is exceptional as the venue serves up innovative dishes without missing those much-loved traditional flavours.
Mohr Fish does one thing, and one thing well: seafood. For over 23 years, the casual eatery has been serving up fish in every possible way, from grilled, barbecued and fried fillets to bouillabaisse, fish pie and fish cakes. Its blue and white décor sets the scene, and the wine bar keeps the good vibes rolling.
Mama's Buoi Surry Hills
A self-confessed mama’s boy, Bao Hoang’s eateries are inspired by his childhood – from the communal tables to the traditional Vietnamese food that his mum and aunties cooked. He now brings the flavours of their home-cooking to his eateries and cocktail bar, Mama’s Buoi.
Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe
This light-filled Surry Hills mainstay is loved by locals craving a delicious feed without the need to crunch out an extra gym session to work it off. The organic wholefood café brings healthy, hearty fare to patrons in their laidback venue, with communal tables and mouth-watering (but healthy) burgers perfect for making small-talk.
It’s easy to miss this hole-in-the-wall as you’re strolling down the street, but those in the know are treated to delicious Vietnamese food at a cheep and cheerful price. Peek at the tables and you’ll see people tucking into steaming bowls of pho, Vietnamese sandwiches, rice paper rolls and doughnuts for dessert.
Chapter Five Espresso
Before hopping on the train, Redfern locals caffeinate at Chapter Five Espresso. A welcome escape from the station scene, the café is cosy and tucked inside a terrace. The Mediterranean-influenced menu is scrawled on butcher’s paper, and the baristas whip up coffee using the café’s special house blend.
Cali Press Surry Hills
Sleek and buzzy, Brooklyn Hide draws from its NYC inspired moniker through its moody decor and homage to the brunch staple... bagels. All their creative sandwich fillings can be served up on a gluten-free bagel. With nine fillings to choose from, your decision is not always going to be an easy one.
Brewtown Surry Hills
Don’t let Brewtown’s size deceive you. The tiny café nestled on a corner of Crown Street is a favourite among locals for good reason. They boast a hearty menu that will see you through to the evening, and as the afternoon sun fades, coffee is replaced with good vino.
Bourke Street Bakery
A Sydney institution, Bourke Street Bakery serves up the bready decadence and sweet treats we didn’t know we needed. With bakeries scattered all over Sydney, the Surry Hills based one is the original and still the perfect corner cafe to indulge your sweet tooth or satisfy those carb cravings.
Koi Dessert Bar
Ever since he wowed the crowds with his delectable desserts on MasterChef, Reynold Poernomo has been busy building a sugary empire. His Indonesian-inspired dessert bars are seriously the stuff dreams are made of. Instaworthy Koi Dessert Bar is just as delicious as it looks.
Cuckoo Callay on Crown
Quirky and downright delicious, Cuckoo Callay is a local haunt that’s oh-so-Surry Hills. The café has a weird and wonderful Alice in Wonderland theme – timber and concrete with pink and teal accents – sounds odd? It’s not because it all comes down to the detail here, including the arty to-go coffee cups complete with pink lids. As for the food, the menu is seasonal and creative.
Alex Lee Kitchen
Taking up position amongst the hawker-style dining options along Chippendale’s Spice Alley, Alex Lee’s Kitchen slings out mouth-watering laksa by the bucket load. Head chef Alex Lee (of Temasek and Ginger & Spice fame) brings Singaporean cuisine to spice loving locals.