It’s the first day of spring and the typically bustling Alfred Street in Circular Quay is particularly packed. A handful of tourists with gelato-filled croissants from Messina appear, followed by a group of office workers holding “Roll’d soldiers” (aka rice paper rolls).

In the shadow of an approaching ferry, the crowd flocks towards the lingering aroma to see what all the fuss is about. The $80 million Gateway Sydney food court just opened and it’s the first taste of high-quality takeaway this area has seen in a while.

“It’s the beginning of a revival in arguably one of the country’s best pieces of real estate,” says Stewart Hutcheon from Gateway’s developer, DEXUS Property Group.

According to Hutcheon, the precinct was designed to open up the streetscape. Intimate seating areas and the reimagined Jessie Street Gardens provide a space for diners to eat whatever cuisine they fancy. And there’s plenty to choose from.

Visitors can choose to eat smashed avocado at Urban Orchard, or crepe suzette at Four Frogs Creperie. Or try koshari - a popular Egyptian street food – at casual Egyptian-fusion restaurant, Bekya.

Founded by long-time friends, Wally Mostafa and David Conceicao, Bekya adds theatre to the food court with flatbread (baked to order) and tossed high in the air in an open kitchen. “What you see is what you get and it’s as fresh as it gets,” Mostafa says.

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Sydney’s king of macarons, Adriano Zumbo has also set up shop. There’s a rainbow of macarons in flavours such as caramel-banana balsamic and salted caramel on toast, along with Zumbo’s signature “zonuts”, inspired by the cronuts of New York. “You can’t get better than this location. The only challenge might be keeping up with demand,” says Zumbo’s general manager, Brendan Sigvart.

Gateway Sydney marks the first full-concept outposts for Four Frogs Creperie, Messina and Zumbo in the city.

Two further floors will arrive in mid-September, through to October. Tokyo Laundry, Chat Thai, Burger Project by Neil Perry and a new Japanese barbeque offering from David Loh will live on level one.

An extensive new Hurricanes Grill will open on level two, joined by laksa house Jimmy’s Recipe. Popina, a two-level restaurant and rooftop terrace from (Salt Meats Cheese and North Bondi’s Shuk) will explore Turkish, Italian and Argentinian flavours.

The entire development will officially launch in mid-October.

Mon to Fri 7am–late
Sat and Sun 10am–late