Travelling to the north side of the Harbour Bridge – whether for work or leisure – has long been put in the too-hard basket by those to the south. And vice versa. We all have what we need, and the thought of a gridlocked Bradfield Highway is a quick deterrent. But when Sydney Metro’s City and Southwest Line opens in 2024, that excuse will retire.

The zippy new train route will bring quick-smart travel between Martin Place (or Barangaroo) and North Sydney’s Victoria Cross Station. At the centre of the precinct is the soaring 42-storey Victoria Cross Tower, a new-build office block. There will be 20 dining additions in the area, opening from mid-2024 into 2025.

Newtown-born burger joint Mary’s is crossing the bridge for the first time, as is Marrickville Pork Roll, the iconic inner-west banh mi joint that retains its name wherever it goes. Japanese comfort-food spot Dopa (from the Devon team) is hitting the locale too, along with Only Coffee and Machi Machi.

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The soon-to-come venues join a raft of fresh opens: the flame-powered Poetica, vast terrace restaurant Rafi and charming French patisserie and bistro Loulou in nearby Lavender Bay. In 2025, Miller House will join the Victoria Cross precinct, as well as five new terrace restaurants on Miller Street.

The build boasts a focus on sustainability, with all retailers required to be carbon neutral and exclusively use renewable energy.

Victoria Cross retailers will begin to open in mid-2024.