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The best late night dining in Sydney

Got a hankering for a midnight snack? These are Time Out’s go-tos, for a late night bite

Photograph: Daniel Boud

Sometimes you’ve been out on the tiles and need something to soak up the booze, or maybe you’ve been working late and need something to soothe your soul in the wee small hours. Whatever you’re after, here’s where to eat late in Sydney.

20

House

This is downright funky Thai, fragrant with fermented fish sauce, fistfuls of chilli and shrimp paste. They open their kitchens till 2am, so it’s a safe bet to hit ’em up for a bucket of beers and a plate of sun dried beef strips as a midnight snack.

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Surry Hills
19

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken

If it's late-night food you're after, then you want Hot Star – Taiwanese-style fried chicken served in a paper bag on Liverpool Street. What started off as a popular Taipei night market staple has now hit the inner city and it’s as close Sydney’s ever come to actually having street food.

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Sydney
18

Butter

You know you're English if it isn't a night out until you've closed the evening with a mouth burning from a killer vindaloo. For the rest of us, mix it up at Butter with their seriously spicy fried chicken. Boozy slushie optional, but it sure will help to cool down your mouth.

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Surry Hills
17

Arisun

Arrive early in the evening for a spot in the courtyard or conveniently late at night for a basket of soy flavoured fried chicken, some shoju and Korean beers.

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Haymarket
16

Golden Century

Ah, GC, and your wall of fish, crabs and sticky abalone sticking to the sides of the tanks like edible suckers. All of this, of course, is available all day. What you want to do is grab the congee menu, which is available from 10pm till four am.

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Haymarket
15

Madang

Korean food is taking over the world. Well Pitt Street, at least. The fried dumplings with rice vinegar are a must-order but the little sides of pickle, fish cake and tofu will you feeling virtuous from the inside out. Come for the barbecue and stay for the kimchi pancake.

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Sydney
14

Chat Thai

It’s not till the supper menu kicks in at 10pm that these guys really hit their straps. Go for fantastic salty/sweet Thai desserts and a bunch of hot and sour things from the grill. Or spike your late-evening malaise with a spicy soup. Ting!

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Haymarket
13

Mr Wong

The kitchen shuts down at 11pm early in the week, but from Thursday on, you’ll be able to order your fill of steamed crab and roast meats till midnight. Failing that, head through to neighbouring cocktail bar Palmer and Co for a 1am toastie.

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Sydney
12

Mamak

Most days of the week, this outrageously popular Malaysian restaurant stops spinning its roti at 10pm. But come Friday and Saturday, they serve supper till 2am. Happy days all round for die-hard nasi lemak and roti canai fans.

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Haymarket
11

Juicy Lucy

Juicy Lucy is a chicken shop, with a South East Asian bent. Order ‘Aunt Lucy’s seasoned chicken’. It’s been brined overnight with Sichuan pepper, cassia bark (like cinnamon), cloves and coriander seeds, making it super tender. It comes whole, halved or quartered, stuffed with garlic rice that hums with the aromas of those spices, layered with the deeply umami flavours of a slowly cooked chook. It's roasted on the rotisserie rather than in the Southern-fried style, upping the moisture levels even further. What it lacks in crispness it makes up for in caramelisation. 

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Surry Hills
10

Unicorn Hotel

This just in. You can get a Mary's-style burger at the Unicorn Hotel until 2am. Paddington has never looking so inviting for a big night out. 

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Paddington
9

The Paddington

Late into the wee small hours you can head to this celebrated Paddo pub for plates of hot chips and the best gravy in town. Don't think. Just do it.

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Paddington
8

Frankie's Pizza by the Slice

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. Head here for late night rock, pizza and tinnies.

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Sydney
7

Mr Crackles Carryout

Every night this late-night sandwich shop is absolutely packed with party people deperate for 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.

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Darlinghurst
6

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, and sure, you could have a cheeseburger, but these guys are known for their riffs on the classics, so we say order the Blame Canada instead. 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.

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Darlinghurst
5

Thirsty Bird

Kings Cross just got amazing with this kickass fried chicken joint, owned by the same guys as Mr Crackles (so you know it's going to be good). Try the meal deal – when we visit you get two pieces of fried chicken with some pickles, one side and one sauce. The side of mash and gravy is pure comfort fare and the mac and cheese is spiked with bacon and topped with crisp breadcrumbs. Get into it.

 
 

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Potts Point
4

Big Poppa's

Where can you go and eat a full, delicious restaurant menu until 3am every night of the week? Big Poppa’s, baby. At Oxford Street's newest late night Italian, start with the vongole: soft little nubbles of oceanic purity. The bowl of lamb ragù with handmade pappardelle is pure comfort food: soft hunks of meat amongst long curls of pasta, served with as much parmesan as you damn well like, grated at table. And speaking of cheese, the baked eggplant is a cheese extravaganza. Order with a side of natural wine and you'll be set til sunrise.

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Darlinghurst
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Need something for the morning after?

The best yum cha in Sydney

Fluffy pork buns. Silky, thin tofu skin. Beef tendon. The sweetest prawn dumplings. Here is our definitive list of the best trolley spots in Sydney.

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By: Myffy Rigby

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