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Sydney's favourite local late-night snacks

Need a feed past midnight? It can be hard to find good food after the witching hour

Photograph: Mitch Lui

Need a feed past midnight? It can be hard to find good food after the witching hour, and when you do the last thing you need is a hefty fee tagged onto that $6 slice of pizza. Luckily for night owls, these seven late-night eateries have got your back. They don’t charge a dime for ordering burgers, pizza, pork buns or fried chicken using your plastic money. What legends.


Frankie's Pizza

The heart of the business district is not where you’d expect to find an underground heavy metal pizza party, but Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice doesn’t much go in for the expected. The front room feels like a pizza parlour from a movie set, but it’s more Ninja Turtles than Sopranos. They sure can bake the heck out of a pepperoni pizza, and they’ll sell you a slice of whatever is hot for $6. They’re open until 3am, seven nights a week, and Fridays and Saturdays hit peak party. Try squeezing into the concealed whisky room past the stage after 9pm.

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Mr Crackles

You can smell the roasting pork all the way down Oxford Street. There are hotdogs, cheesy fries and salted crackling on offer, but the roast rolls are what to go for. When we visit, the shop’s absolutely packed with dudes, including four huge policemen. In fact, there’s a ‘manwich’ on the menu boasting ‘twice the meat, and half the salad.' We order one, and struggle to finish it despite the tender, sweet fatty hunks of roast pork and shards of golden crackling on a chewy white roll with pickled carrot, cucumber and as much chilli as you can handle. Late night eats will never be the same after you’ve had one.

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People really love Mary’s burgers. Those five star American-style burgers turned Sydney’s bar scene on its head – now you can’t lob a brick without hitting someone melting cheese over beef patties and packing them in sweet, soft buns. Here at Mary’s you can devote your evening to locking down rounds of cheeseburgers, baskets of fried chicken and super silky mash with gravy. The Mary’s T-shirts bearing the command ‘get fat’ are not being sarcastic. There are ten cocktails, ten wines by the glass, plus a handful of stubbies from crafty crews like Feral, Newstead, Moo Brew and Murray’s.

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BL Burgers

BL Burgers is situated on a busy stretch of Oxford Street, and they're in the right place for late night eats. There are five burgers plus a special on offer, but we say order the Blame Canada. It’s a thick, pink-centred beef patty topped with crisp, maple-glazed bacon, double American cheese, poutine (fries and cheese curds soaked in gravy) and maple aioli. We would strongly suggest you get a fried cheese patty in there too. It’s a massive piece of mozzarella crumbed and fried, and it oozes into the burger the way only melted cheese can. In for a penny…

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Thirsty Bird

Boy, do these guys know how to fry a chicken. The coating is plentiful, dry and crisp without being greasy, and the chicken meat within is tender and juicy. Try the meal deal – when we visit you get two pieces of fried chicken (the cuts are up to them) with some pickles, one side and one sauce. The side of mash and gravy is pure comfort fare, but you can’t walk past the South’s favourite side – why is mac and cheese so damn perfect with fried chicken? Here it’s spiked with bacon and topped with crisp breadcrumbs, it is faintly cheesy and the sauce is nice and loose.

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Potts Point

Unicorn Hotel

When was the last time your local offered a plate of four juicy lamb chops? It was probably sometime in the early ’90s, but thankfully the new era at the Unicorn hotel is kickin’ it old school in the kitchen. Here your chops come with a slice of buttered white Tip Top bread, a fried egg for an extra three bucks, house-made mint sauce and a light, clear gravy. The counter meal has a new king. The tunes are rock, the food is excellent without being fiddly, and the doors are open to anyone who fancies a schooner.

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Lord of the Fries

What started as a food truck venture in Melbourne doing chips and twelve different sauces has now expanded to 12 locations dishing up burgers, hotdogs, nuggets, onion rings and potato cakes. And before you go clutching your chest in calorific concern, everything they do here is completely vegetarian, halal and kosher. That's right, it’s veggie bacon, texturised vegetable protein patties and soy chicken nuggets. Trust us, it’s all way more delicious than it sounds. And you’ll be hard pushed to find more ethical eats at 4am on a Saturday morning.

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