Gardels Bar in Surry Hills. Credit: James Horan; Destination NSW
Jacarandas in Spring bloom. Credit: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW
Food and wine in Inner Sydney
The Surry Hills Food Scene
Eating and drinking in the inner Sydney neighbourhood of Surry Hills is truly a feast for the senses, with local favourites to the lesser-known establishments serving up fabulous breakfasts, brunches, lunch and dinner. It’s also a prime spot to imbibe, with excellent pubs, a thriving small bar scene, and some of Sydney’s best coffee.
Discover Food and Wine in Inner Sydney
The city fringe is home to some of the most exciting spots for wining and dining. From the up-to-the-minute brunches of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, to the laneway lunches of Potts Point and Woolloomooloo, to the up-and-coming suburbs of Chippendale, Redfern and Waterloo and the historic pubs of Glebe and Balmain. You could spend all day eating and drinking and still have plenty left on your Sydney dining bucket list.
On the eastern fringe of the city sit the neighbourhoods of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, prime eating and drinking territory just minutes from the city’s centre. Both suburbs offer some great coffee and breakfast spots to start your day; grab coffee at Single Origin Roasters and stroll up the road to Devon Cafe for an Asian/fine dining fusion breakfast or, for a classic start to the day, you can try one of Bill Granger’s two fashionable eateries. There are branches in both Surry Hills and Darlinghurst - go for the corn fritters or his famous ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter.
After winding your way through the tree-lined streets of Darlinghurst, venture to Potts Point and Woolloomooloo for lunch - go for a delicious sandwich at Woolloomooloo John Montagu on Cathedral Street, or try local Potts Point favourite Cafe DOV, still going strong after more than 20 years. Nearby Room 10 in Llankelly Place serves excellent coffee and has a succinct menu of top-shelf, local produce. Spend the afternoon wandering the art deco streets of the area, shopping, window or otherwise, at the charming boutiques that line Macleay Street.
Hop a train from Kings Cross Station and you’ll be in Redfern in minutes. As day fades to night, the small bar scene here gets going, so head to Redfern and Regent Streets, edged with a series of hip, laid back bars. Try The Dock on Redfern Street; friendly and unpretentious, with killer cocktails and dumplings to tide you over until dinnertime. Arcadia Liquors and the Bearded Tit are also great - grab a beer or a good glass of vino.
At this point, it’s time to have a think about dinner. If you’ve made a booking at Chippendale’s Ester (walking distance from Redfern) you’re in for a treat; they serve up inspired share plates licked by the flames of their wood fired oven. Or make a booking at Newtown’s Hartsyard, which boasts an organic wine list, fine-dining-meets-Americana cuisine, and mind-blowing desserts. Nearby Bloodwood is another great option - laid-back bar food done well (and they take walk-ins). And you can’t go wrong with a late night beer and a burger at Mary’s, one of the best burgers you’ll find in Sydney.