Tacos to tapas: Sydney's best late-night eateries

Monica Tan
Friday, August 24, 2012
Tacos, pies and pancakes: Sydney's best late-night eateries
Less yeeros, more tapas. Image: The Victoria Room tasting plate.
"Think giant chunks of chocolate fudge brownie and fresh strawberries dancing atop scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice-cream or Mars Bar thick shakes."
Monica Tan

While Sydney's bar and club scene is still alive and kicking at two in the morning, it can be a little harder for those trying to find something to satisfy pre-dawn hunger pangs.

But rest assured there are pockets of the city with kitchens still frying up a feast well past the midnight hour. Some of these eateries are hip, others not so much, but one thing's for sure, they're going to hit the spot after a night on the town.

Micky's Café

Open 8am to midnight, seven days. 268 Oxford St, Paddington. Ph: 02 9361 5157.

In Sydney's fickle restaurant scene, Micky's has been an Oxford Street mainstay, with its distinctive red doors open to the public for over 20 years now. Good, hearty food and decent prices has customers coming back time and time again and ordering Micky's beef burgers, fajitas and nachos. But we say you can't go wrong with their super-sized desserts. Think giant chunks of chocolate fudge brownie and fresh strawberries dancing atop scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice-cream or Mars Bar thick shakes so thick you almost need a spoon to eat it.

The Victoria Room

Supper served 11pm to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Level 1, 235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst. Ph: 02 9357 4488.

Polished leather couches, bamboo curtains and ornate wallpaper— there's a whiff of the dark and mysterious in The Victoria Room's British-Raj stylings. It's hard to pass up the tasting plate: vegetable and goats' cheese roulade, kingfish carpaccio, Persian fetta, grilled chorizo, succulent chicken skewers and salty strips of prosciutto with Turkish flat bread.

The dark lighting also makes it the perfect place to end a perfect date, in which case we recommend the chocolate fondue and martinis for two. Dip pieces of Turkish delight, banana bread and fruit in a pool of melted, dark Belgian chocolate. And if you're still looking to impress, order the Zombie cocktail that comes in a lighted, ceramic voodoo totem.

El Loco

12pm to 3am Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays (times differ the rest of the week). 64 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills. Ph: 02 9211 4945

The Justin Hemmes empire continues to expand with El Loco, "an authentic Mexican cantina and barra." The old Excelsior post-Merivale makeover means you can expect the group's signature hedonistic playground for grown-ups but with a kitsch Mexican twist. Which means wooden, cactus table numbers, splashes of bright paint, margaritas and an open taco kitchen.

At $5 a pop the tacos make for a quick fix should you come up for air between drinks with each beef, pork, chicken and even a soy taco including cabbage, coriander, spring onions, salsa verde and pico de gallo. The more daring can tuck into the "secret taco" which changes daily and features a part of an animal that might make you a little queasy had you bothered to ask.

Harry's Café de Wheels

Open till 4am on Fridays and Saturdays (times differ the rest of the week). Corner Cowper Wharf Roadway and Brougham Road, Woolloomooloo and other locations. Ph: 02 9357 3074

A food establishment that should need no introduction, Harry's famed pies and peas have been satisfying growling tummies since 1945. Apparently even back then Harry "the Tiger" Edwards noticed the dearth of late-night eateries in Sydney and voila!, an iconic food caravan was born. Harry's namesake pie is a towering monster of deliciousness: soft chunks of lean beef baked in a pie that wears a hat of potato mash and mushy peas, with a well of hot gravy. But if that doesn't appeal there are other pies and hot dogs also available.

Golden Century Seafood Restaurant

Open midday to 4am, seven days. 393-399 Sussex Street, Sydney. Ph: 02 9212 3901.

If there's one thing you never have to worry about when you find yourself in Chinatown's Golden Century Seafood Restaurant well past the witching hour its freshness: pick your own fish, abalone, lobster and other finned delicacies right out of the tank. But you might have to suppress the guilt pangs as you watch the spidery legs of large white crabs claw their way over the edge of the glass, in a doomed getaway attempt.

Fellow satisfied diner Peter Will says he and his wife have been coming to the restaurant for more than 20 years. "It's doesn't matter if you're here in the afternoon or at quarter to four in the morning, you're never going to get a bad meal."

Don't miss the pippies in homemade XO sauce and the sticky barbeque pork.

Pancakes On The Rocks

Open 24 hours, seven days. 4 Hickson Rd, The Rocks and other locations. Ph: 02 9247 6371

Pancakes On The Rocks is THE late night food icon of Sydney, the only joint guaranteed to have their lights on, no matter what time of day, seven days a week. The pancakes here are fluffy and generous in size served with different flavoured ice cream, sauces and toppings. Popular on the menu is the Strawberry Patch, Devil's Delight, Bananarama and The Ultimate. But for those looking for something a little heavier than buttermilk pancakes, the full menu of pizzas, crepes, steaks and nachos continue to march out of the roaring kitchen at the ungodliest of hours.

Tell us: Where do you get your late-night nosh from in Sydney?

Next story: Sydney's most delicious cupcakes

Click here for hotel reviews and booking info on Sydney hotels

User comments