In Food + Drink

Sydney’s Swankiest Spots For Late-Night Dining

While there’s always a time and place for quick kebabs and casual burgers, after hours dining in Sydney has become so much more.

In fact, it’s in the early morning hours that many Sydney dining venues spring to life, and where you’ll find served platters of imported cheese, full caviar service, multi-course lobster meals, and rich steak tartares.

These spots elevate the notion of a ‘midnight snack’ to a level of dining not often associated with such unsociable hours.

Not sure where to find Sydney’s quality late night eats? We’ve rounded up the best:

Reign

Newly-opened Reign is a Champagne and Parlour Bar on level one of the historic Queen Victoria Building. Here you’ll find soft pink, leather sets, marble floors, and a beautiful Romanesque window from which you can peer at the street shenanigans down below, drink-in-hand.

Over 150 Champagnes and sparkling wines feature on the menu, along with a solid cocktail list and a constantly-changing ‘nibbles’ offering. Choose from dishes like duck liver mousse with chive crumpets, steak tartare with anchovy cream, and thyme & burnt honey ice cream sandwiches with plums.

Level One, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, CBD; Mon-Wed until midnight, Thu-Sun until 2am

Esquire 

Another new opening inside the QVB is Esquire. The swanky bar and eatery takes cues from a New York City supper club with a dapper décor of dark oak, soft leather and mosaic floors. Over 100 wines, whiskies and cocktails on offer complement the experience.

Dishes like Squid Ink Maccheroni, barbecue Octopus, and reimagined comfort food like a Jaffle with gruyere de comté rotate through the menu.

Level Two, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, CBD; Mon-Wed until midnight, Thu-Sun until 2am

Big Poppa’s

big-poppas late night eats sydney

Big Poppa’s in Darlinghurst has a dedicated cheese menu. Image: Big Poppa’s / Facebook

An eternal favourite for inner-city night owls, Big Poppa’s is best known for its cheese menu which features no less than 23 varieties from around the world.

Feeling like some Toma Della Rocca from Piedmont, Italy? Can’t go another second without some Marechal Meule Entiere from Vaud, Switzerland? Hankering for Brillat-Savarin from Burgundy, France, flecked with decadent truffles?

Step off Oxford Street and into this two-storey venue to satisfy those very understandable desires. Best of all, you can do this any day of the week until 3am.

If you’re after the full experience, make sure to check out their smart casual Italian fare, like the tagliata of flank steak with garlic, rosemary and lemon, or the hand-cut pappardelle with lamb shoulder ragu and parmigiano-reggiano. Buona cena.

96 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst; Mon-Sun until 3am

Restaurant Hubert

Hubert-Sydney late night eats

Restaurant Hubert is probably Sydney’s most sophisticated after-hours eateries. Image: Restaurant Hubert / Facebook

Restaurant Hubert is perhaps the most sophisticated feast you can find after midnight. The highly-regarded eatery is at its very best when the rest of Sydney calls it a night, extending its dinner service all the way till 1am every night except Sundays.

Venture into the immersive French-inspired restaurant and order favourites like the roasted snails with house-made XO sauce, and the enormous Côte de Boeuf ­­– a 1kg grilled Rangers Valley rib eye with garlic and sauce choron.

For a real treat, consider the caviar service, which will see you being served 30g of sterling caviar with buckwheat blini and cultured cream.

15 Bligh Street, CBD; Mon-Sat until 1am

Golden Century

Golden-Century late night eats Sydney

Golden Century is easily Sydney’s most well-known dining spot. Image: Golden Century / Facebook

Golden Century is easily the most well-known late-night dining spot in Sydney.

The legendary seafood restaurant in the heart of Chinatown is one of the only places open in the city past 3am, stretching all the way `til 4am every day of the week.

Here you’ll find all the XO pippies, live lobster sashimi and steamed prawns you can eat. For market price, you can also get a 2-course live lobster feast, with meat served alongside wasabi and kikkoman soy sauce, and the shell and claws dressed up with ginger and shallot or deep-fried with chilli.

Golden Century’s fast-paced atmosphere and rustic setting is contrasted with the world-class seafood on the menu, all prepared fresh. And if it’s good enough for the country’s top chefs, it’s good enough for your after-midnight seafood cravings.

393-399 Sussex Street, CBD; Daily until 4am

Employees Only

Employees-Only-Bar late night eats sydney

Employees Only serves some of the tastiest late-night bar snacks. Image: Employees Only / supplied

Sharing its DNA with New York’s most famous speakeasy, Employees Only is a cocktail bar below Barrack Street, housed in a heritage-listed basement.

Its inventive cocktails are some of Sydney’s finest, and its bar snack menu some of the city’s tastiest. Split Yamba prawns with scorched lemon, Warrigal greens and nduja, and a 250g chargrilled hangar steak with Café de Paris butter, matchstick potatoes and watercress are all served until 2:30am Monday through Saturday.

Much like Hubert, a full caviar service can be indulged in here. Choose from 50g of wild Alaskan smoked salmon or Tzar Nicoulai white sturgeon beluga.

Hold out until 3am closing time, and you’ll get a complimentary bowl of warm chicken soup made from a 15-year-old family recipe, a tradition carried over from the New York outpost.

9a Barrack Street, CBD; Mon-Sat until 3am

(Lead image: Esquire / supplied)

Published 02 April, 2019