Chargrill Charlie's Annandale
Sydney-wide chain Chargrill Charlies is known for their delicious BBQ chickens. In Annandale, the store takes pride of place on Johnston Street and draws a crowd most nights of the week. Perfect for a quick takeaway meal or catering for your next event, make sure you check their blackboard specials that rotate daily.
Bellingen Gelato use all-natural ingredients and tend to win awards for it. The small gelato bar began in the regional town on the Mid North Coast and has grown so popular they opened a second store in Rozelle. With a limited range displayed each week, flavours are on rotation.
Victoire Pty Limited
The sourdough at Victoire is excellent. Just ask QANTAS, or Neil Perry – the old-school, Parisian-style bakery has been supplying Rockpool with bread for over 15 years. Made with Australian flour, their sourdough starter is 14 years old and each loaf is beautifully dense and elastic. To impress your guests at your next dinner party, slice up one of their delicious rustic loaves.
Penny Four's Leichhardt
A suitable stop off for the sweet tooth, Penny Fours is an eclectic cafe that could be easily missed if it weren’t for its bright aqua tiles. Run by pastry chef Penelope Ransley - who once baked at Iggy’s - the bakery is filled with masterful and traditional treats all designed to share among friends. From spicy lemon meringues and almond croissants to quiche, there’s something to put a smile on everyone’s face. Petite portions with big flavours, Penny Fours’ ...
Leichhardt’s Norton Street strip is lined with family-run businesses, and Mezzapica is one that’s been there for what seems like forever. On any given day, there’s a line of customers waiting to tuck into the tiramisu, buttery biscotti, rum balls and apple crumble tarts. The shop also has a cake studio, where professional pastry chefs run cake-making and decorating classes.
Peanut Butter Bar
Australia’s first peanut butter dessert bar has opened in Leichhardt, and it’s a treat. The team only uses Buff Bake to whip up their array of sweets, like vegan peanut butter shakes and caramelised banana and peanut butter pudding. The shining star, though, is the gelato: made with a nut butter base, it’s churned out in-house.
Frangos Charcoal Chicken
If you thought Nando’s was Portuguese for chicken, sorry to tell you but you’ve been grossly misinformed. Frango’s is Portuguese for chicken both literally and figuratively. From their famous butterflied charcoal chooks to their sticky marinades to their Portuguese chicken burgers, these guys don’t mess around when it comes to chicken. Other game changers on the menu include hand-cut potato chips, garlicky piri piri sauce, pork belly, and pan-seared octopus. If you’re dining in, order a Sagras beer to kick ...
Another contender for best Portuguese chicken in Sydney, Silvas takes authentic charcoal chicken to another level, as well as grilled sardines, buttery pipis, garlic prawns and other seafood dishes they’re famous for. So famous in fact, you can expect to see a line out the door for takeaway orders and a waitlist to dine in. The locals aren’t complaining though and always come prepared for the heartiest of feasts, with monster servings and often a side of chips and rice ...
Sweet Belem Cake Boutique
The Lisbon suburb after which this darling patisserie is named is famous for one thing, custard tarts. They’re known as pasteis de nata in their native tongue, but to Sydneysiders, they’re the lip-smacking flaky-pastry-gooey-custard tarts we can’t get enough of. Served piping hot from the oven and with a dusting of cinnamon, one bite of Sweet Belem’s Portuguese tarts and you’ll be begging for more. Traditional cornbread, Portuguese lamingtons, creme caramel, and poached meringue are also on the menu.
Gelato Messina Newtown
An award-winning institution that has become a real sensation. From their humble roots in Darlinghurst, Gelato Messina has since set up shop interstate and in the US. Weekly specials are the highlights here with creative concoctions surprising ice cream lovers every seven days, but for those who are creatures of habit, they have over 40 staple flavours.
Thai Pothong Restaurant
A staple on Newtown’s King Street strip since the 90s, Thai Pothong has space for 350 people, and there’s rarely a night where it doesn’t fill up. The food is fantastic and afterwards, pop to the gift shop to spend your ‘Thai Potong dollars’ (the more you eat, the more you get). There’s a gluten-free and kids menu, too. Along with monthly specials, there are also dedicated vegan, gluten-free and kids menus.
When you’re craving a perfectly woodfired pizza, head to Gigi’s Pizzeria, where the dough comes with the pizza industry’s highest honour: an accreditation from the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). The rustic-chic restaurant has been a Newtown neighbourhood haunt forever, but after going vegan in 2015, it’s become a foodie favourite.
Floor to ceiling window-frontage and high ceilings make this Newtown cafe a design buffs haven. From the white walls to the wooden counter tops, 212 Blu is equal parts chic and delicious. Expect suited locals before 9 am and after 10 am the freelancers come out to soak up the sun over a coffee and brunch.
The beautiful Queen Victoria Building on George Street is the most fitting location for Adriano Zumbo’s city store. Their mouth-watering sweet creations and the macrons that put these guys on the map in the first place, are so tempting you can’t help but pop by when the afternoon sugar cravings hit.
Bliss & Chips
Walking into Bliss & Chips is like strolling into any fish and chip joint. The whiteboard menu lists battered fish, prawn cocktails, crabsticks, potato scallops, calamari and burgers – but here’s the impressive part. It’s Australia’s first 100% vegan (and gluten-free) fish and chip shop! The team uses gluten-free flour, quinoa, cashew cheese, soy-based proteins and konjac to recreate the flavour and texture of the classics.
With good food, drinks and vibes, all you need to do is bring the company. Bangkok Bites is inspired by the street food of Thailand’s busiest city, and they do it well. Every dish is bursting with flavour, but if you’re stuck, create your own plate by choosing items from the mix ‘n match menu.
Little Momo in Newtown serves the Nepalese delicacies sweet, savoury, vegan, meaty, steamed, fried, big and small. Whichever style you choose, traditional flavours take centre stage in each delicate dumpling Little Momo serves. Small momo portions start at five dumplings, and there’s dessert momos on the menu.
Known as the pioneers of authentic Nepalese cuisine in Sydney, everything on the menu at Sherpa Kitchen reflects the diversity of flavours the nation is known for. Warmly-lit with polished floors and large murals, you feel like you have been invited over for a family meal. Complete your culinary experience with a Nepalese dessert.
The biggest vegan buffet in Sydney, Green Gourmet is a staple on the plant-based dining scene. And for good reason – there’s a whopping 130 items on the menu, including tofu ice-cream and a huge gluten-free selection, and you pay by weight. Interestingly, the chefs avoid cooking with onions and garlic (in accordance with ancient Indian and Chinese practices), but you won’t even notice. For the ultimate experience, go to the vegan yum cha on weekends.