Haymarket never used to be somewhere you’d go for fine dining. Now though? Different story. All the humble, value-oriented restaurants are still there, but now the miniature suburb also has the Darling Square precinct and with it a diverse array of restaurants serving both the CBD lunch crowd and destination diners looking for something more innovative.

For the old school, wallet-friendly options look to Thai Town, easily the best collection of Thai restaurants anywhere in Sydney, or the Dixon and Sussex street strips for a range of Chinese restaurants and the city’s best food-court eats.

Chat Thai

A Thaitown favourite, with rockin' grilled chicken.

20 Campbell Street, Haymarket

Bò 7 Món Thanh Tâm

Southern-style pho, chargrilled meats and raw beef from one of the inner city’s first Vietnamese chefs.

701 George Street, Haymarket

Goobne Darling Square

The chicken here is twice baked, not fried. Get it spicy or served with powdered cheese.

Darling Square Building Shop SE16 Tumbalong Boulevard, Haymarket

Kogi

Korean barbeque that’s all about premium meats, side dishes and soju.

3 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Spice World

The brand’s first Australian outlet is a gigantic-hotpot joint. With robots.

405-411 Sussex Street, Haymarket

Hopper Kadé

Buttery roti stuffed with curies, kebab-style. And string hoppers made with sourdough batter at Sydney’s newest food precinct.

The Exchange 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Mamak - Haymarket

Affordable Malaysian food with a range of flavoured roti. If you don't get in before the lunchtime rush you can expect to queue for a while.

15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket

Rey Jr

The crisp-skinned suckling pork is slow-roasted for 14 hours and comes stuffed in a roll, plus there’s other tasty lunch dishes under $16.

Shop 7 13 Little Hay Street, Haymarket

Pasta Wafu

Visit Darling Square’s Maker’s Dozen for miso bolognaise, cod-roe spaghetti and pasta with soy-buttered mushroom, all $14 or under.

Tumbalong Boulevard, Haymarket

Hello Auntie Darling Square

The second location for the Marrickville favourite.

Shop 2 16 Nicolle Walk, Haymarket

The Sparrow's Mill

Red Pepper and Sparrow Mill serves Korean-style chicken.

Shop 3, Sussex Centre 120/116 Liverpool Street, Haymarket

Cheng Kitchen

One of the few spots in Sydney to try genuine northern-style Thai food.

54 Campbell Street, Haymarket

Xi'an Cuisine

A no-frills Chinese restaurant serving the favourites and then some.

90 Hay Street, Haymarket

XOPP

A restaurant named after a Sydney institution's most famous dish.

The Exchange, Darling Square 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Beijing Impression

A high-end restaurant chain serving Peking duck and north-eastern Chinese specialties you can’t find elsewhere.

9/13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Phuong Special Vietnamese

Authentic, late-night Thai.

Shop 216, Harbour Plaza 25-29 Dixon Street, Haymarket

Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet

A restaurant by the host of the world’s biggest TV dating show serves spicy Sichuan noodle soup and dumplings.

3 9/13 Hay Street, Haymarket

Ho Jiak

Hokkien-style Penang home cooking.

92 Hay Street, Haymarket

8bit

Play “Donkey Kong” with one hand while you hold a Fatal Fury in the other.

Darling Square 2 Hay Street, Haymarket

Yok Yor Thai Food Factory

For fast-paced, real-deal Thai.

Shop G06 323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket

Dodee Paidang Haymarket

Thai food that pulls no punches.

9 37 Ultimo Road, Haymarket

Caysorn

A restaurant in Haymarket specialising in southern Thai cuisine.

Shop 106-108A Level 1 8 Quay St., Haymarket

Boon Cafe and Jarern Chai

In the heart of Pitt Street’s Thai town, the Chat Thai family dynasty has established Sydney’s first Thai grocer/cafe.

1/425 Pitt Street, Haymarket

Gumshara Ramen

Ramen worth sitting in a food court for.

Shop 211 25-29 Dixon Street, Haymarket

Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant

Seriously hot Sichuan food.

Shop 108 25-29 Harbour Street, Haymarket