• First look: find standout (and affordable) snacky plates from a renowned Japanese chef at CBD spot Izakaya Tempura Kuon. Head to the flash-fried venture for à la carte tempura – with classics like prawn, and out-there options like foie gras daikon – all cooked in $400-a-can sesame oil. There’s rice-vinegar-pickled tress tomato with shiso leaf to cleanse the palate.
• “New space, old Joe”: Darlinghurst Thai restaurant (and one Broadsheet editor’s favourite Sydney restaurant) Joe’s Table has moved 500 metres up the road, doubling its dining capacity with a 40-seat corner spot on Bourke and William streets. There’ll be two dinner sittings each night, and a menu spruiking Hanoi-style chicken spring rolls, pillowy chive dumplings and crispy slow-braised pork hock.
• Now open: Famelia is the Enmore Road bottle-o and wine bar putting female producers and affordable corkage in the limelight. Each week, sommelier Amelia Birch curates the 12-bottle wine list, which you can sip by the glass, in a flight or by the bottle (there or at home). Plus, there are snackable plates, an heirloom-recipe egg dip and a weekly-rotating dessert.
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• Like Subway but better: Always is the retro, menu-less sandwich shop in Crows Nest, with a choose-your-own filling situation and a six-strong line-up of self-pour beverage taps. First pick your bread – Fiore’s focaccia or sourdough – then fill with LP’s mortadella, smoked salmon, roasted veggies and more for $14 flat. Plus, there’s an arcade machine and a soft-serve one on the way.
• First look: the fluorescent-lit Taste of Canton’s serving ready-to-slurp rice noodle rolls in Zetland. The spot shares its corner site with a car wash, serving the silky cheung fun of owner Lingqi Yang’s childhood mornings in Guangdong, China.
• Now open: try experimental craft beers in the breezy new Marrickville taproom from Kicks Brewing. From Friday to Sunday, find a husband-and-wife team pouring 10 limited releases on tap – like coffee-infused sours and tropical IPAs – and order in bagels from Lox in a Box up the road. There’s word a secret beer garden is coming soon, too.
• Now open: Odd Culture has transformed its Newtown bottle-o into Spon, a wine bar hybrid where guests can choose any bottle from the boozer’s shelves to add to the by-the-glass offering. Throughout September there are $6 glasses of Alpha Box & Dice drops and half-price corkage.
• The latest opening on Glebe Point Road is earthy newcomer Nu’u, a Mexican spot from the Nativo team dedicated to the moles and mezcals of Oaxaca. A chef with experience in Michelin-starred restaurants is on the pans, dishing up Moreton Bay bug tamales and a 40-ingredient mole.
• Bright Elizabeth Bay neighbourhood store Juno & Sons is stocked up on hard-to-find ingredients, with a counter laden with an array of always-changing house-made cakes. Owned and operated by Terry Higgins, who spent 17 years with Rockpool, the store was born out of frustration. “I’m an avid cook, and I got tired of being unable to find the items I needed.”
• Now open: Sydney’s first plant-based supermarket Greens hits Newtown, selling everything from vegan Kit Kats to dairy-free parmesan. It’s solar-powered, and there’s an on-site eatery – plus a sushi counter and a teppanyaki bar in the works.
• Now open: Ommi Don, a cheery Taiwanese eatery in a Broadway arcade where an ex-Aria chef is on the pans. There’s golden house-made kimchi and a side dish inspired by Matt Moran’s famous mashed potatoes.
• Visit new Circular Quay spot Bar Besuto to try 150 rare Japanese whiskies and one-bite wonders like caviar-topped steak tartare on a rectangle of fried potato. The dim 30-seat basement is an offshoot of the elegant omakase restaurant of the same name – but open to walk-ins only.
• Gelato Messina’s degustation restaurant Messina Creative has reopened in Marrickville. Every single dish on the six-course set menu contains gelato or sorbet – for example, pineapple sorbet with gin jelly, basil oil and hibiscus granita paired with a pumpkin-and-ginger shrub – and is paired with natural wine and cocktails.
• Now open: Lazy Thinking, a quirky record shop and diner in The Sausage Factory’s old Dulwich Hill digs. There’s Aussie indie vinyl, fancy sausage sangas and Sydney-made beer in a space decked with music memorabilia. And word of Sunday night gigs coming soon.
• First look: powerhouse ramen shop Hakata Gensuke is open in Sydney for the first time. Head to the George Street outpost to have your pick from 10 iterations of the beloved Japanese noodle soup. Stick to the signature – impossibly creamy tonkotsu broth topped with rich chashu pork – or choose your heat level with the God Fire ramen.
• Now open: Bottega Coco is Barangaroo’s newest all-day Italian joint with a Michelin-credentialled chef. There’s decadent champagne-infused risotto and a Pyrenees-raised lamb with a jus that takes days to make. Plus, a patisserie counter helmed by an ex-Bistro Moncur pastry chef.
• Crown Sydney’s Italian fine diner A’Mare has rebooted its bar area as A’Mare Cucinetta, an easygoing osteria primed for snacks and spritzes with water views. Walk in for plates of slow-cooked Wagyu bolognaise, deep-fried gnocco fritto and Campari spritzes.
• Now open: the Intercontinental Sydney welcomes Pont Brasserie, a French-inspired dining room in a grand 19th-century space. The decadent menu brings pops of Australiana, like the Pont Potato, a play on the Sydney and Melbourne potato-scallop-versus-cake discussion that brings layers of scallop and potato together in tempura batter.
Additional reporting by Callum McDermott, Daniel Phu, Pilar Mitchell, Lucy Bell Bird, Che-Marie Trigg, Jasmine Crittenden, Aimee Chanthadavong.