Woolloomooloo is pretty much the prime Angus beef when it comes to plating up delish eats and churning out top cocktails in Sydney. In other words, it’s one mighty fine locale that’s known around town as a tasty foodie haven. When venturing to Woolloomooloo the only logical coping method is to just outright eat your way across the whole damn suburb. And we mean eat everything, leave no survivors.
Yep, Woolloomooloo is definitely a delicious concoction of fine dining along the wharf, and gritty waterholes filling up the backstreets, so to celebrate we compiled the best of the best into this handy little guide. We know, you’re welcome.
Riley Street Garage
At Riley Street Garage, sharing is caring which is lucky because otherwise, we’d totally be eating double our bodyweight in crispy pork knuckle (wish we were joking but it’s bloody phenomenal). This gem serves up 1930s glam and an atmosphere for anyone keen to dine out in a bar.
For a taste of fine dining Indian eats (this place has scored One Hat), Aki’s is where it’s at. You’ll score waterfront seats to soak up all the classic Goan and South Indian dishes. That means watermelon salads, naan, eight-hour cooked lamb shoulder and pan-tossed okra with black chickpeas will all be on the table.
Manta Restaurant & Bar
Everybody knows if you’re a seafood enthusiast, Manta Restaurant is the place to be. These guys use locally sourced produce and heads up, they dish out some of the best shucked oysters around.
Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse
Meat Kingsleys (pun totally intended because lol). For anyone who loves a good steak, you’ll want to hit up pretty much every carnivorous dish here. But since we’re nice, we’ll flag the Angus flat iron slab with chimichurri and onion rings for you to save you some time.
China Doll is pretty much a Sydney staple so if you haven’t already dug into their pretty cocktails and sweet, juicy (but like seriouslyyyyyyyy juicy) crispy pork belly with chilli caramel, then sorry, but you haven’t lived. The crew here continue to roll out fancy Japanese and South East Asian eats with an ever evolving menu (but the pork belly is a year round treat).
Basically, if Alice in Wonderland had a bar, this lil’ nook would definitely take the cake (and tea). It’s all canapes, creative cocktails, cheese and jaffles plus the vibe is a solid eleven out of ten.
The legendary folk at Frisco Hotel whip up the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s cocktail (a bright blue mix of gin and English breakfast marmalade). On top of this, you’ll find an extensive wine list (orange wines included) and a strong urge to host every Sunday sesh of your life here. Forever.
The Tilbury is basically your classic overachiever. Epic feeds (here’s to you crispy crackling pork), alfresco space to eat all the epic feeds, and one helluva cocktail repertoire to really top it all off.
The Old Fitzroy
Otherwise known as the ‘ol’ Fitz’, this backstreet classic is everything you need in a neighbourhood pub and more. For starters, the eats here look something like beef and ale pie with mash. Secondly, you’ll soon come to discover that this place also has a cosy theatre which means your weekly entertainment (be it a play or comedy) is well looked after here.
Stir On Bourke
For your Lebanese and Greek fix, Stir on Bourke is your go-to down in these parts. Heads up, the grilled lemon chicken boxes are an absolute must with a side of salad and additional sides (think eggplant and avo). Also, Nutella milkshakes with pretzels, cream and sprinkles are a wonderful thing you really should have consumed yesterday.
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels
You haven’t really visited Woolloomooloo if you haven’t ordered up a comfort feed from Harry’s Cafe. It’s 70 years young and has served the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and Olivia Newton-John. You’ll want to get around their pie and hot dog feeds and save some room for the delish custard tart.
Smoking Guns Bagels
Smoking Guns Bagels has long been tearing the bready goodness scene with woodfired Montreal inspired bagels. And let’s just say you’ll be having a grand day if you start your morning with one of these bad boys because the beetroot cured salmon paired with a freshly squeezed OJ is #lyf.
Flour And Stone
PSA the perfect pastry treats from Flour And Stone are something else. Starting back in 2011, the team here churn out a good old fashion vanilla cake and most importantly, gingerbread cookies. Nowadays are bellies are all the fuller, because they’ve expanded into classic baked goods all prepped in that delicious rustic way. That means lemon drizzle bar cakes, blackberry forests and you dietary-challenged folk (you know who you are) will be stoked to know they also have a bunch of vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free goods too.
We don’t need to tell you that the sambos on offer at John Montagu are friggin’ amazing and a serious handful in all the right ways. Subtle shout out to the 12-hour beef cheeks stack with cheddar, horseradish, Spanish onion and house glaze (you’re our sneaky fave). Beverages are also a massive go here with speciality soda drinks including elderflower mint soda, vitamin b soda and berry and basil soda.
Hungry for more? Here's Sydney's best all you can eat restaurants.
Image credit: The Tilbury, Manta | Cole Bennetts, Smoking Gun Bagels | Caitlin Hicks, The Frisco Hotel