Sydney’s rambling laneways can be a little tricky to spot if you’re not in the know, so we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Sydney restaurants that are hidden away so you don’t miss out. It’s time to get adventurous, so get among those alleys and try your hand at one of these tasty spots.
Temperance Lane, Sydney
Sandwiched in the laneway next to Apple store on Sydney’s George Street lies Grasshopper, the first of Sydney’s crop of small bars. Although many make their pitstop after work for a “Yes! It’s Friday” cocktail that often sprawls out into the laneway itself, the restaurant upstairs is not to be overlooked. Offering a tasty Asian fusion menu with crowd favourites being the cumin and Sichuan pepper spiced lamb pancakes and the stir fried prawns with lotus roots and green tea, means that your after work drinks is about to get a whole lot more delicious!
LP’s Quality Meats
Chippen Street, Chippendale
Chippendale is getting its fair share of delicious dining options and LP’s Quality Meats is not for the faint hearted (vegetarians may not be the happiest of campers here). Boasting Australia’s only Southern Pride Smoker straight out of Tennessee means that quality, smoked meats and other various meaty goodies are on the agenda. The menu ranges from a whole smoked chicken with a paprika and dill rub, six hour smoked lamb belly stuffed with Merguez sausage or the obvious dealbreaker, the 15 hour smoked beef short rib. The backstreets of Chippendale just got wayyy tastier.
Brisbane Street, Surry Hills
Did someone say unlimited pizza and pasta? Drop whatever you are doing and get to Surry Hills’ Pizza Autentico, stat – it’s time to get carbalicious. If you’re feeling nostalgic and remembering all those Pizza Hut parties (so much self-serve ice cream), this is the adult, more refined version of that. For a $15 lunch and a $20 dinner, take a seat and tuck into the traditional Italian style thin pizza bases topped with simple and fresh ingredients (oh so cheesy) supplied by Alexandria’s Salts Meats Cheese. The pastas are along the same lines as the pizzas: a classic penne arrabiata and the orecchiette norma (eggplant and ricotta) tick all the boxes for a yum night out.
Crown Lane, Darlinghurst
Darlinghurst’s resident laneway destination, Red Lantern’s baby sister Red Lily serves up some of the best Vietnamese food in Sydney by master chefs Luke Nguyen and Mark Jensen. Recreating old Saigon, this tiny cocktail bar has an impressive bar menu that will have you drooling for their crisp rice flour crepes filled with kaffir lime prawns and coconut and some of their famous chicken rice paper rolls. Get in quick, this place gets packed out fast.
Angel Place, Sydney
In undoubtedly one of the CBD’s better-known laneways, Angel Place’s China Lane is offering up a brilliant Asian fusion menu that ticks all the boxes. There’s Chinese siu mai, Japanese sashimi and Vietnamese rice dishes that means that dinner here will always be fresh and zesty. You can’t go past the slow-roasted pork belly, prawn pomelo and jellyfish with nuoc mam for only $18.
Belmore Lane, Surry Hills
Japanese food and laneways make for a good match, and this Sydney small bar celebrates yummy yakitori (chicken and other morsels) paired with some classic cocktail and Japanese whisky straight from the heart of Tokyo. You can’t go past some delicious edamame and lotus root chips that make for a nice beginning before you tuck into some traditional yakitori.
Ash St. Cellar
Ash Street, Sydney
Hidden away behind ivy, you’ll find Ash St. Cellar. Prepare your stomach to be amazed by their impressive menu. The European style menu will not disappoint, with empanadas and boquerones and a classic kingfish ceviche with avocado, cucumber and lime. Sure enough, you will be wandering down this laneway time and time again.
Palmer & Co.
Abercrombie Lane, Sydney
Palmer & Co. is a bit of a time warp. As you wander down Abercrombie Lane and into the basement you are instantly transported back to the 1920s Prohibition era. While it’s easy to get distracted by the impressive assortment of liquors behind the bar, don’t miss out on the food. There’s a chicken matzo ball soup and a mighty cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese that make for a delicious night underground.
Holt Street, Surry Hills
Nestled among Surry Hills’ backstreets is 121BC, a wine bar that dedicates itself to fine Italian wine and food is a keeper in our books. If you’re feeling fancy, staff make an effort encourage you to wander around the temperature controlled wine room and take your pick to drink with dinner (a little bit more fun than browsing the list). Food wise there’s lots of options, including balsamic-glazed pork ribs and gnoccho fritto that make a visit to this little venue very, very tasty.
Image: Lisa Brooke at Tokyo Bird