Restaurants

Buffalo Dining Club

Restaurant

Here, it's all about the mozzarella.

Bar Vincent

Restaurant

The menu is ever-changing, but you can always expect to find fresh oysters and pasta at this European eatery. Plus there’s complimentary house-made bread.

Sagra

Restaurant

Sagra is one of Darlo's quiet achievers. It's laidback, it's wallet-friendly, and there's something on the menu for just about everyone. The pastas, most of which come in at under $25 a bowl, are particularly worth your time.

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Beppi’s

Restaurant

This is the godfather of Italian dining in Sydney. Beppi’s has been ticking-over with the same consistency, fit-out and leather-bound menus – hand-carved by the late Beppi Polese himself – since 1956. Immortal dishes include clams and mussels with garlic, olive oil, white vino and tomato; and zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta, basil and mushrooms.

Paski Vineria Popolare

Restaurant

Giorgio De Maria's latest venue is three acts over two levels, created in partnership with wine importer Mattia Dicati and chef Enrico Tomelleri of 10 William Street, Ragazzi and more. Downstairs is a bar and bottle shop styled after the enotecas of Italy. And upstairs, a colourful restaurant for pasta and specialty wines.

Lankan Filling Station

Restaurant

Hoppers, curry, sambol, wine and a slick design.

Cafes

A.P Bakery

Cafe

An all-star bakery from the teams behind Ester, Shwarmama and Paramount Coffee Project. Here you'll find Reuben Hills coffee, bread made with old-world wheat, buttery croissants and crispy bacon sangas with curry leaf butter.

Mayflower

Cafe

Enter this extravagant cafe in a corner art deco building – featuring a striking Keeley Baird (from Something More Design) fit-out and a mural by artist Andrew Dennis – for truffles, caviar and a toastie that has to be seen to be believed.

Don't Doughnuts

Cafe

A shop that sells inventive sourdough-brioche doughnuts by a classically trained pastry chef. Traditional flavours are playfully twisted here – there’s a Vegemite-spiked salted butterscotch and another filled with Basque cheesecake.

South Dowling Sandwiches

Cafe

This takeaway-focused old-school sandwich shop makes some of Sydney’s best (and biggest) sangas. But you don’t need to take our word for it – the lengthy queues that form outside it every single weekday at lunchtime should tell you how good these sandwiches are.

Bills Darlinghurst

Cafe

This is where Bill Granger first became Australia’s unofficial brunch ambassador. At one time, this breakfasts at this sun-drenched cafe were the yardstick by which all the city’s cafes were measured: avocado on Iggy’s bread, poached eggs with elevated sides and ricotta hotcakes. A blond-wooded, white-walled institution.

Sandoitchi

Cafe

A tiny Darlinghurst cafe with a unique riff on Japan’s most convenient sandwich: the pork-katsu sando. Here, it’s staked with salted cucumbers, pickled carrots, nori and American cheese. Best of all, it’s cheap. Expect “sort of poke” bowls and Single O coffee too.

Bars

The Taphouse

Bar

A charming exposed-brick boozer complete with rooftop beer garden.

Shady Pines Saloon

Bar

A taxidermy-filled den that's equally about well-made cocktails and straight spirits, bourbon particularly.

Big Poppa’s

Bar

Italian food, drinks and hip-hop served until 3am. Big Poppa's is low-key one of Sydney's best places to eat cheese – whether you like it on a platter or inventively deployed across a range of handmade pastas.

Cafe Freda's

Bar

The successor to Chippendale's Freda's channels the spirit of the original late-night haunt into a buzzing sit-down bar and diner in the heart of Sydney's nightlife district.

Love, Tilly Devine

Bar

An intimate vibe and 300-strong wine list make this one a date-night home run.

Club 77

Bar

Drink, dance, shoot pool and snack on Eastern Europe’s finest.

Shops

Gelato Messina

Shop

This is Sydney's most popular gelato shop, and it's not even close. But it's well deserved adulation: even though it's since become one of Australia's best-known gelato brands; the flavours, the quality of ingredients and the exacting attention to detail have, if anything, improved over the years.

Noraville Green

Shop

It stocks 150 plant varieties – the majority of which are indoor and shade-friendly. And if you’re lacking a green thumb, it’ll help you keep your new purchases thriving.

Rivareno Gelato

Shop

When Rivareno's Darlinghurst location opened, it was the first non-European outpost for this renowned Italian gelati chain. And though it's since spread across Sydney, we think that this one's still the best.

Beautiful Pages

Shop

Wall-to-wall books on design make this one of Sydney’s true specialists of the genre. You can find back issues of high-end mags such as Monocle and Creative Review, but that’s not all – there’s also a raft of merchandise for sale by witty design crew, Good Fucking Design Advice.

The Bookshop Darlinghurst

Shop

An essential part of Sydney’s LGBTQI history. Visit for a comprehensive range of literature, magazines, DVDs, erotica and some very sexy calendars.

Ariel Booksellers

Shop

This colourful store sits on the CBD end of Oxford street, with enough variety to give designers, artists and literary types plenty of inspiration (or procrastination).