There are a lot of restaurant, cafe and bar openings still to come this year all over Sydney. But what's really exciting is the push toward the CBD. A number of places are slated to open in the city before the year is out, and early into next.

First up, Nathan Sasi's Mercado. Part of the group that brought us China Doll and China Diner, this one is high on the list of anticipated openings. After finishing at Nomad earlier this year, the chef is currently working on the new 160-seat restaurant that will open around November in Angel Place. Food-wise, it'll be loosely based on Spanish and Moorish cuisine, with house-made charcuterie, house-milled flour and a wood-fired oven.

Secondly, the cafe that never really lost its buzz, The Grounds of Alexandria is heading to The Galleries on Pitt Street. The cafe will take over the old Mecca Cosmetica site, and plans have been submitted to take over the space next door, too. It's yet to be confirmed if the petting zoo will make the trip over.

After revamping Paddington darling 10 William Street with his creative ways with Italian food, chef Dan Pepperell will finish at the restaurant in October. He'll then join the Swillhouse crew (Shady Pines Saloon, Baxter Inn) to open Hubert on Bligh Street. With a classic Euro bent, we think the 150-seat venue will be one of the most popular spots in town once it opens in January next year. Design-wise, it'll be set up: “In the beaten-down village style. Lots of old timber and worn tables, as opposed to a brasserie with marble, brass and patina mirrors," says Swillhouse's Anton Forte. There will be be two bars, “A large sit-at counter, and a smaller holding bar.”

David Tsirekas, the Greek restauranteur behind popular Petersham restaurant Perama, and later Xanthi, Westfield City will open Greek restaurant 1821 in Martin Place – hopefully this year. The restaurant will be launched by Bill Drakopoulos of Sydney Restaurant Group (LuMi, Chiosco, Ormeggio), Jim Kospetas of the Civic Hotel and Jye Hong, current restaurant manager of Aqua Dining. "We want it to be a temple of Greek food that’s grown-up and mature, but not modernised, where it loses its essence," says Tsirekas. Bring on the grilled meats and seafood, we say.

After winning over Melbourne with steak frites, restauranteur Jason Jones hinted to Broadsheet last week that Entrecôte will open in Sydney next. A CBD location is yet to be confirmed, but watch this space.