The tastiest eat streets in Sydney

Sometimes, all you need to do to find an incredible meal is turn up at the right place. These cultural hubs and trend-setting eat streets are lined with incredible restaurants, delis, cafes and experiences.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

May 2024 -
4
min read
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Dixon Street and surrounds, Haymarket

Dixon Street is the vibrant centre of Sydney’s century-old Chinatown. Once a hub of the Cantonese community, the street and its side alleys now introduce travellers to a diverse mix of Chinese cuisines. Try salted duck and xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at Nanjing Dumpling, battle the queues for a spicy Sichuan feast at Spicy Joint or try a simple congee at old-school Cantonese diner Superbowl. In between feasts, duck into Market City and explore the labyrinth of produce stalls underneath the mall. On Friday evenings the pedestrian street transforms into a night market with stalls offering knick knacks, barbecued snacks, a roster of trendy desserts and dumplings.  

Must try: breakfast congee and youtiao (fried dough stick) for breakfast at Mother Chu’s Taiwanese Gourmet

> See map 

Chinatown gates on Dixon Street, Sydney

Chinatown gates on Dixon Street, Sydney

Campbell Street, Haymarket  

The Haymarket end of Campbell Street is known as Thaitown, and your first stop here should be the grocer that started it all: Pontip Thai Market. Check the fridges for takeaway meals made by Thai home cooks, inspect the range of tropical fruits and nab an imported Thai snack. Then, head up the street for a papaya salad and barbecued chicken at Yod or duck into the arcade across the road for a full Thai feast at @Bangkok. If you’re a solo diner, Chon Siam and Yok Yor have both fiery and simple noodle options perfect for one. To finish, get a khanom buang (mini, crispy pancake) just a few doors down at Thai Dessert Corner.  

If you’d prefer someone guide you, food tour favourite Local Sauce Tours offers a Secrets of Thaitown Food Tour. 

Must try: any of the desserts at Chat Thai

> See map 

Chat Thai Haymarket - Credit: Chat Thai

Chat Thai Haymarket - Credit: Chat Thai

Illawarra Road and Marrickville Road, Marrickville 

Few areas show off the diversity of Sydney dining like the intersection of Illawarra and Marrickville Roads. The Northern Vietnamese community makes a base here. Try the saltier, less sweet Northern cuisine at rice noodle roll specialists Banh Cuon Ba Oanh or with a takeaway banh mi at Alex 'N' Rolls (join the Facebook group to keep up-to-date with opening hours).  

The area also has strong Greek roots, which you’ll find at Athena Cake Shop (try the spanakopita), bakery-cafe Koul and Corinthian Rotisserie, a relaxed family restaurant that’s been an institution in the local Greek community for decades.  

There’s also a new side of Marrickville that’s brought to the streets trendy bagels via Lox in a Box, artisan gelato at Gelato Franco, a natural wine bar at Where’s Nick and several live music venues, such as Camelot Lounge and Lazybones Lounge

Must try: a Northern Vietnamese family meal in a bento box at VN Street Foods

> See map

Couple enjoying food and drink at VN Street Foods, Marrickville

VN Street Foods, Marrickville - Credit: Jem Cresswell

Wigram Street, Harris Park 

One of the best street food experiences in Sydney is the Little India district in Harris Park, part of Parramatta. Outside of and in between the restaurants operating out of heritage-listed homes, the street hosts a dynamic and seemingly ever-changing culture of pop-up stalls and restaurant side hustles selling anything from pani puri (crispy cups filled with spiced potato) and fresh-fried jalebi (syrupy fried dough) to a simple plate of takeaway dhal and roti. For a sit-down experience, order one of 20 different kinds of biryani at IndoChainese, get a classic North Indian curry at Not Just Curries or share a South Indian feast with a gargantuan dosa at Dosa Hut

Alternatively, get an insider’s perspective on a guided tour with Gourmet Safaris or Taste Cultural Food Tours.  

Must try: the pav bhaji (vegetable curry served with a toasted, buttery bread roll) at Chatkazz

> See map 

Selection of indian dishes at Chatkazz, Harris Park

Chatkazz, Harris Park - Credit: Leigh Griffiths

Crown Street and Bourke Street, Surry Hills 

There aren't enough meals in the day to explore every award-winning venue on these two trendy eat streets in Surry Hills. Nour serves up reimagined Middle Eastern classics in an Instagram-friendly dining room, Via Napoli serves one-metre Neapolitan pizzas and Arthur is a miniature fine diner focusing on a delicate expression of Australian produce. 

It’s not just the restaurants that are worth your time and money, the dual-street district is home to many of Sydney’s best cafes and bars too. Bills is famous for being the origin cafe serving avocado toast, Dead Ringer serves an exceptional cocktail next to punchy bar snacks and Lode Pies serves coffee, and croissants and pies designed by a fine dining chef.  

Must try: any coffee at Artificer.   

> See map 

Arthur Restaurant - scallop with meyer lemon and melon - Credit: Arthur Restaurant

Scallop, meyer lemon and melon at Arthur Restaurant - Credit: Arthur Restaurant

King Street and Enmore Road, Newtown  

The Newtown community takes pride in inclusion, diversity and accessibility, and you can see that through the street artwork, local fashion and menus of its eateries. Enmore Road brings in West African spice at Little Lagos, margaritas and Mexican at Maiz, plus several Vietnamese and Thai options. Almost every restaurant on the strip has good vegan options but there’s also best-in-Sydney, vegan-only options like Japanese cafe Comeco and the Neapolitan-style pizzeria Gigi. For top-of-the-game, award-winning meals, look for a table at stylish sake bar Ante or innovative Australian-Finnish restaurant, Cafe Paci.  

Must try: the cheap and cheerful Egyptian falafel at Cairo Takeaway

> See map 

Cairo Takeaway - Newtown

Cairo Takeaway, Enmore

Burwood Road, Burwood  

While Dixon Street and its paifang gates (traditional Chinese gateway or arches) show the old, historic Chinatown of Sydney, Burwood and its miniature, neon-lit Burwood Chinatown arcade shows the new. Inside the vibrant arcade find popular franchises from China selling a wild array of snacks and cuisines. Outside, head up or down the Burwood Road main strip and you’ll find door-to-door quality examples of regional Chinese cuisines. Try fat, wide Shaanxi-style noodles at Xi’an Eatery; hearty Cantonese diner food at Hong Kong Bing Sutt; and barbecued lamb skewers at Xin Jiang Hui Min Hand Made Restaurant.  

Must try: the crispy flatbread stuffed with lamb from Guo Kui Master. 

> See map 

John Street, Cabramatta  

A main street door-to-door with Vietnamese restaurants, side alleys with grocers and lively coffee shops, and its bustling marketplace-feel make Cabramatta the epicentre of Sydney’s Vietnamese community. Start with a robust-but-sweet Vietnamese coffee from Cafe Nho, drop into Tuong Lai for a Vietnamese breakfast then rip into a crispy skin chicken at Tan Viet Noodle House. If you have more belly room, explore the alleys to find Lao- and Thai-style sweets at Kaysone Sweets and homemade tofu at Hoa Hung Tofu, or get a banh mi to go from Viet Hoa Bread.  

Gourmet Safaris and Taste Cultural Food Tours also offer tours of Cabramatta.  

Must try: the nom banh chok (Cambodian fish curry noodle soup) at Battambang. 

> See map 

Outdoor dining options in Cabramatta

Outdoor dining options in Cabramatta - Credit: Jason Nichol Photography

The Boulevard, Strathfield  

Strathfield, Sydney’s Korean hub, is designed for big-group eating. Take the family to Biwon and share a huge plate of jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles), follow the smoky aroma to Korean barbecue Jang Ta Bal, or load up on fried chicken at Red Pepper, a lively bistro in the local sports club.  

No clan? No problem. You can order a solo bowl of cold noodles or dumplings at The Mandoo, or ask for a laksa at one of the only non-Korean restaurants in the area, Ho Jiak Strathfield.  

Must try: the ox bone soup at Strathfield’s most popular restaurant, Hansang

> See map 

Haldon Street, Lakemba  

Every year, for the month of Ramadan, Haldon Street becomes one of the busiest streets in the country. The road closes and the footpaths are covered in stalls selling everything from martabak (roti packages stuffed with meat) to knafeh and tea. But outside the festival, the vibrancy and diversity remain, with Cantonese, Lebanese, Malay, Yemeni, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and more cultures on the street. Near the station is the Bangladeshi hub. Try Khushboo Sweets and Restaurant for a mustardy fish curry or Dhaka Delight for a tea and a Bangladeshi sweet. For Middle Eastern flavours go to the several-decades-old Lebanese haunt El Manara or the newer Akawi Lebanese Cuisine and Seafood.  

Must try: satay skewers at Sydney’s only Cocos (Keeling) Island restaurant, Island Dreams Cafe

> See map

Meat skewers at Ramadan Night Markets, Lakemba

Meat skewers at Ramadan Night Markets, Lakemba

Rowe Street, Eastwood 

Eastwood has two identities, one on either side of the station. To the east is where you’ll meet the Korean identity, with huge supermarket KMALL09, traditional family diners like Pu Ji Mi and Korean barbecues like 888 Gogi. To the west you’ll find Rowe Street and the Chinese side of Eastwood, with its Cantonese barbecue shops like BBQ One, 257 Home Kitchen and other lively dumplings restaurants, and Chinese bakeries like Tai Baan. Visit on a Saturday night and the east side also becomes a mix of multicultural snacks and sweets with the Eastwood Night Markets.  

Must try: the Taiwanese sticky rice at Hungry Paulie

> See map 

Taiwanese fare at Hungry Paulie, Eastwood - Credit: Hungry Paulie

Taiwanese fare at Hungry Paulie, Eastwood - Credit: Hungry Paulie

Macleay Street, Potts Point 

If you were to put pins on a map for every restaurant that’s won an award, Potts Point would look like a pub dart board at the end of a night, and Macleay Street is its centre. If you can get a seat, Kisuke will do one of the best sushi courses you can get in the city; Yellow is the only all-vegetarian fine dining option in Sydney, and The Apollo is traditional Greek in a Sydney context.  

But it’s not all high end, for a casual meal get a table and top it with Vietnamese noodles at Eat Fuh, or if you’re in early, Room Ten is the coffee spot of choice for local chefs and restaurateurs.  

Must try: fresh pasta at Italian institution Fratelli Paradiso

> See map 

Selection of dishes at The Apollo, Potts Point

The Apollo, Potts Point - Credit: Nikki To

Anzac Parade, Kingsford  

Just across from Moore Park’s sport district is one of the best-value eat streets in the inner city: Anzac Parade. Casual Sumatran-style Indonesian eateries like Pondok Buyung and Sedap Rasa mean you can get a plate of rice with saucy, spicy options for under $15. Chinese restaurants catering to the local student population, like Tasty Eating House, offer big plates of crispy-bottom dumplings and sweet and sour pork, while Mr. Xiaomian Noodle Bar delivers quick, good-value noodles. Wander just off the main strip for an Italian coffee and a ricotta-filled pastry at Bar Lucio

Must try: the Indonesian grilled chicken at Ayam Goreng 99

> See map 

Credit: Ayam Goreng 99

Ayam Goreng 99, Kingsford - Credit: Ayam Goreng 99

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