Flour and Stone
Nadine Ingram has created a bastion for the pastry devoted, and the overflowing shelves of tarts, cakes — sliced and whole — lamingtons, sandwiches and pies are proof of that. Pair a ham-and-gruyere sandwich or eggs on toast with a pot of Grey Rabbit from local company Rabbit Hole tea and whittle away the morning.
BTW: Your eyes are not bigger than your belly. The extra chocolate-hazelnut cake will fit. Or, at least, it’ll fit in your bag. The lamington, too. And the madeleine.
Flour and Stone, 53 Riley St. Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia
Sweet stall at Thanon Khaosan
It’s all about the curb appeal at this Thaitown favorite — join the queue in front of the fairy-lit cart perched on the busy pavement that’s stacked high with a massive variety of Thai sweets. Sticky rice and mango comes with a pouch of salty coconut cream to pour on top. Order a hot (or cold) Thai tea to go, and head to Hyde Park to lie down after the sugar rush.
BTW: Depending on the day, certain treats come out later than others. It opens around 10:30 a.m.
Sweet stall at Thanon Khaosan, 413 Pitt St. Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
Devon, and head chef Zacharay Tan, were giving Sydney Asian-inspired brunch concoctions before it was standard, deploying a nimble touch to matcha-and-azuki muffins, grilled salmon paired with eel croquettes, or 63-degree eggs on (locally made sourdough) toast since 2013. The team now has five venues, including in Queensland and in Jakarta, Malaysia, but this one — with Scandinavian-cool pale woods, bud vases and squat chairs out in front, and graffiti and military mesh in the back — is the original and the best.
BTW: Try to pinch the seats in the window for peak people-watching opportunities, or snag a seat in the garage at the back.
Devon Cafe, 76 Devonshire St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
This spot is a stalwart for sailors (the navy base is next door), theater patrons and locals alike. It’s the site of the original Harry’s pie caravan, which Harry Edwards opened in 1938 before heading to war. He reopened it in 1945, and it has been continuously running since. These days, the pies are a little pricier, but the peas are still mushy, and the gravy is still hot.
BTW: Ask for a chicken Tiger (a chicken pie, stacked high with mashed potatoes, smashed peas and gravy). Look out for the seagulls.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, Cowper Wharf Road and Dowling Street Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia
Kindred — homey, warm, with soft lighting and three sets of stairs — is packed with locals regardless of the night. They return for the daily housemade pastas (loopy, thick bucatini; folds of pappardelle) and velvety chicken liver parfait. It’s hard to go wrong: even side salads and the house sourdough are knockouts. The waitstaff is extremely nimble and kind, and they often wear combat boots.
BTW: You’ll need to book in advance for dinner here; ask for a table overlooking the first floor, so you can watch all the action.
Kindred, 137 Cleveland St. Darlington NSW 2008, Australia
(Courtesy of Boathouse Sydney/Jocelyn Truong)
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay
This glass-walled restaurant, built on the site of the rowing shed used by Sydney University, has arguably the best oyster service in the city. A selection of direct-harvested, zero-filtration Sydney Rocks, Pacifics and Angasis (try anything from the New South Wales South Coast, but especially the Clair de Lunes and the Moonlight Kisses) come shucked with their liquor — as they should — and are best enjoyed alongside anything else on the menu, which is modified twice a day based on seafood availability.
BTW: You’ll need to book in advance for dinner; ask for a table overlooking the first floor so you can watch all the action.
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, 123 Ferry Rd., Glebe, Sydney, Australia 2037
The Barber Shop
In 2014, Sydney’s nightlife shifted in part because of “lock-out” legislation, tightening restrictions on bars and flexibility for night owls. The Barber Shop has weathered the storm. During the day, the barber delivers beard trims, haircuts and shaves. At night, behind the back door, it’s all velvet cushions and candlelit gin and tonics, with mustachioed bartenders divining cocktails with 750 gins from around Australia and the world.
BTW: If it’s too busy, pop across the alley to the Baxter Inn, down to the Rocks for the tiny Bulletin Place, or across to Darlinghurst for Shady Pines Saloon.
The Barber Shop, 89 York St. Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The dinner service here is divine, but you’ll come back for the desserts. Yellow is notably vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, having transitioned to a meat-free menu in 2016. Quenelles of eccentric sorbets, curds and granitas are topped with seasonal fruits, shards of meringue and any combination of earthly delights. The restaurant closes at 11 p.m., so pop by to sweeten the evening.
BTW: Come back on the weekend for brunch, which offers experimental breakfast foods — paired with wines or juices.
Yellow, 57 MacLeay St. Potts Point NSW 2011, Australia