Sydney has borrowed the traditional Belgian snack, the waffle, and put a twist on it, serving up interpretations for breakfast, lunch and dessert. They're popping up on menus all around town, and they're very, very tough to resist.

Wrapped in paper for a hand-held snack or served as a filling sit-down meal, these examples come as savoury or sweet treats. We've found fried USA-style chicken and waffles dripping in maple syrup, Vietnamese pandan-infused waffles and old-school sweet waffles filled with Neapolitan ice cream. Whatever you're taste, embark on our tour of the best.

Sparrow Gelato & Espresso
“It’s all about the pearl sugar,” says owner James Donaldson of the batter ingredient that makes their Belgian waffles extra sticky and crisp once they hit the heat. Choose from toppings including icing sugar, melted chocolate, maple syrup, or banana and chocolate, and then finish it with one of 24 gelato flavours. “The Italian nougat and salted caramel are favourite waffle toppings.”
2 Ernest Place, Crows Nest

Chat Thai
Pick up an authentic Thai street food snack - khanom buaing - from mid-afternoon onwards. These sweet, thin wafers are individually cooked on a flat griddle, folded into a butterfly shape, filled with meringue and either threads of candied egg yolk or candied herbs and sweet, dried shrimps. “Originally from central Thailand, they’re now found at outdoor markets all over the country,” says owner and chef Amy Chanta. “They’re flying out the door at our Thaitown and Westfield shops.”
20 Campbell Street, Haymarket; Level 6, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney

Jazz City Milk Bar
“That flavour combination just works for us,” says US native and chef and owner Dan McGuirt of the North American love affair with combining sweet and savoury elements – think pancakes with bacon or French toast with sausage. “Our chicken with waffles is more of a soul food type dish. People think it’s weird until they try it!” A bed of spinach sautéed in brown butter is stacked with a Belgian waffle and crisp fried chicken breast, leg and thigh, plus diced capsicum and maple syrup. “We soak the chicken in buttermilk to help tenderize the meat, then roll it through seasoned flour.”
Republic II Courtyard, 248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst

Paramount Coffee Project
The waffles here are big and hearty, served with sweet or savoury toppings. Try them with peanut butter ice cream and dulce de leche, or with a fried egg, guacamole, maple bacon and pico de gallo – a fresh chopped tomato salsa made with coriander and onion.
80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

The House of Crabs
Finish off your sumptuous seafood boil with a waffle sandwich filled with Neapolitan ice cream, topped with raspberry sauce and slivers of almond. “Our executive chef Jamie Thomas came up with it on one of his late night inspiration sessions. Neapolitan ice cream rules, so that was an obvious inclusion,” says Jaime Wirth of hospitality group Drink ‘n’ Dine. “People seem to really love it. I think there is something reminiscent of childhood when people eat waffles, which might be part of the appeal.”
Level 1, 305 Cleveland Street, Redfern (above The Norfolk)

Pandan waffles in Cabramatta
Cabramatta’s main drag features a multitude of vendors and bakeries offering up just-toasted waffles, the batter tinted pastel green and carrying a nutty-floral flavour thanks to pandan leaves. Laced with shredded coconut, pick up the sticky-sweet Vietnamese street snack for a mere $1.50.
John Street, Cabramatta

Barefoot Coffee Traders
Traditional Belgian waffles with melted chocolate and vanilla ice-cream are the sole meal you’ll find on offer at this cafe tucked away off the corso. “We have our own secret recipe,” says co-owner Michael Jordan, adding that the flavour is complementary to their coffee. ”The waffles make the whole cafe smell really nice - you can smell it from 100 metres down the road.” Have them on-site or take them away.
18 Whistler Street, Manly

Cork & Screw
Though guests can bring along their dinner of choice, this bar’s own menu offers offbeat waffle creations. “With everything on the menu, we tie the flavours back to the wine,” says owner Jennifer Davitt, adding that their waffles use a French-style house-made batter. Try the sweet option with poached pears and viognier syrup infused with mandarin and vanilla, or with a malbec reduction and muscatels. On the savoury front, there’s chopped prosciutto with rockmelon chutney, and the Waldorf salad-inspired batter with walnuts and celery inside, served with yoghurt sauce and cider-soaked apple slices.
Republic II Courtyard, 248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst