The Best Late-Night Eats in Sydney

Minimally regrettable, damn tasty nosh that you can get on the other side of midnight.
Marissa Ciampi
Published on January 31, 2022

The Best Late-Night Eats in Sydney

Minimally regrettable, damn tasty nosh that you can get on the other side of midnight.

Your brain knows it as well as your stomach: food tastes a certain way after midnight. And that way is generally "very good".

Something happens to your tastebuds (and appreciation for food) post-wines on a weekend. One minute you're happily wandering down George Street on your way to get a train home and the next you're hit with a craving for noodles.

Or you're suddenly incapacitated in the middle of Oxford Street with a need for schnitty. Instead of doing a futile (and probably ineffective) search through Google Maps, bookmark this page to come back to. We see you and your late-night salty food cravings — and give you the best late-night eats in Sydney.

  • 10

    The Sydney CBD has added a highly lauded New York City import into its ranks with Employees Only opening on Barrack Street. The US venue was an architect of the modern speakeasy movement in New York and now it hopes to make a similar impact on Sydney, bringing its late-night vibes and world-class cocktails Down Under. Follow the neon psychic sign through the curtain and into its heritage-listed basement haunt. Once through the curtains, you’ll see the bar offering both signature EO drinks and Sydney-exclusive drops. Alongside the drinks is an all-night bar menu that is available from 10pm–2.30am. Think steak tartare hand-made at your table and truffle and crab fries with lime pearls and sriracha aioli.

    How late? Open till 2.30am Mondays to Saturdays.

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  • 9

    Sitting behind a bright red neon sign on Regent Street, Manny’s is a matchstick-sized diner, whose pizza by the slice and juicy philly cheesesteaks are a hit with punters leaving and The Lord Gladstone in the wee hours. If you find yourself in Randwick, Manny’s has opened a second venue on Belmore road. It’s open until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. So, if you do stumble out of one of the aforementioned establishments after witching hour, you’ll be able to grab a thin-crust New York-style pizza. If you’re looking for something on-the-run, it’s able to turn out a cheesesteak in a minute. They’re made with custom-made hoagie-like rolls — a cross between baguettes and panini — thinly sliced grass-fed scotch fillet steak, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

    How late? Open till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, 12am Monday–Thursdays and Sundays.
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  • 8

    Old Town Hong Kong brings the late night culture of the city after which it is named to Sydney. This casual, two-storey spot boasts a fit-out of recycled timber, exposed brick and hanging globes that give off a golden light. The Peking duck, served with pancakes, shallots and cucumber is particularly tasty, but we suggest looking beyond the regular dumplings and stir-fried noodles, too. You can also get duck tongue, chicken feet and durian desserts. The entire menu is on offer late, with the venue open until 2am seven nights a week. Though a second location has just opened up in Barangaroo, it’s not taking the late-night route of its original counterpart.

    How late? Open until 2am daily.

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  • 7

    Restaurant Hubert is one of the few fine-dining options available for late night eats in Sydney — and what an option it is. Hubert is from the minds behind drinking dens The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s and Shady Pines Saloon, so you know they’ve got that late crowd in mind, despite the fancy, post-war Parisian decor. The restaurant affords Sydneysiders a rare opportunity to suit up for a post-midnight meal and chef Dan Pepperell (10 William Street) has put together a delectable menu of classic French brasserie dishes, including duck parfait, wagyu tartare and a gruyère soufflé. It’s opulent, it’s sophisticated and it’s the fanciest meal you’ll get after midnight.

    How late? Open until late every day except Sundays. 

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  • 6

    Arisun has long been a late-night favourite for big, rowdy groups sharing their signature beer towers and Korean fried chicken sets. The Seoul-style beer garden offers an extensive menu, but you’d be remiss to overlook the fried favourite, which is really perfected by the house-made sauces on offer — including spicy garlic, shallots and wasabi, sweet, sour and spicy options. Choose from boneless or bone in and make sure to keep the beer flowing. There’s just something special about tucking into a big bowl of fried chicken with a cold beer late at night, and Arisun has perfected this.

    How late? Open until 12:30am on Fridays and Saturdays with last orders at 11:30, and 11.30am from Sundays through Thursdays with last orders at 10:30. 

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  • 5

    Merivale’s Mexicana pop-up-turned-permanent resident, El Loco is the place to be if you want tasty quesadillas late at night. When El Loco opened at the Excelsior Hotel back in 2011, it completely revamped the space, pulling out the band room to create brightly coloured, cacti and skulls painted walls and kitschy decor. Its late-night menu features the aforementioned quesadillas — filled with chorizo, chicken or mushrooms — guacamole, wings and churros.

    How late? Open until midnight on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 1am on Thursdays, and 3am Fridays and Saturdays. 

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  • 4

    Big Poppa’s is all about three things: wine, cheese and hip hop. The compact space is dark and moody, giving it a date night vibe — but the whole menu is available until 2.30am if you’re dropping in after drinks. Think snapper crudo with blood orange, aleppo pepper and herb oil to start, along with bigger plates of hand-cut pappardelle with lamb shoulder ragu. It’s also offering up late night desserts which is a rarity. There’s also a menu of 23 cheeses and counting — so, you really can’t go wrong.

    How late? Open until 3am daily. 

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  • 3

    There is no better combination than karaoke, booze and gyoza, and Goros has this trifecta down to a science. Apart from the aforementioned pork, chicken, prawn or mushroom gyoza, the late night menu includes, karaage chicken plate or burger, and crinkle-cut fries with Japanese curry ketchup. Sake highballs and large mugs of Sapporo are the drink mainstays here. Get stuck in with your favourite tune and tuck into some pillowy dumplings while you’re at it, but expect to wake up with a hangover and a full belly.

    How late? Open until 2am Friday and Saturday and 1am Thursday. 
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  • 2
    woman ordering a drink while bartenders work at old mate's place - one of the best bars in Sydney CBD

    A little tough to find, but well worth the effort, Old Mate’s Place makes for a charming hideaway, pulling inspiration from the diminutive drinking dens you’ll find hidden throughout office blocks in Japan. Inside, the bar’s lower floor calls to mind an old library, complete with stately bookshelves, dapper furnishings and family heirlooms throughout. Foliage creeps in and around the bar like it’s been there forever. A level up, you’ll find the bar’s secluded — and equally as green — rooftop, which is open till 1.30am six days a week. Expect a cocktail list that’s broad and oft-changing, spreading plenty of love across a 300-strong back bar selection. To match, the kitchen’s currently pumping out six variations of a Philly cheesesteak, a deli sandwich and a few meats and cheeses.

    How late? Open till 2am Tuesdays through Sundays.

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  • 1

    This unassuming Thai restaurant in Capitol Square goes off on weekends, with Thai bands rocking it loud and late into the night and large groups of friends sharing the signature bottles of whiskey and mixes at nearly every table. The place gets absolutely packed out, but if you’re lucky enough to nab a table, you’re in for a real treat. They’re serving up some legit Thai food alongside the drinks, including the requisite tom yum, array of rice dishes, curries and noodles, along with an impossibly spicy whole fish with chilli and ginger. When combined, this atmosphere somehow manages to transport you from a dingy shopping mall to the raucous streets of Bangkok.

    How late? Open until 1am Sunday–Thursday and 4am Friday and Saturday.

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Top image: Frankies

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