A Local’s Guide to Sydney’s Chinatown and Haymarket

where to eat chinatown
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Home to a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, Sydney’s Chinatown is a vibrant neighbourhood to eat your way through. To get the local’s guide, we’ve enlisted Sydney pastry chef and MasterChef alumni Reynold Poernomo to talk about the diverse mix of eateries on offer in Chinatown, Haymarket, and Darling Square—including his favourite spots to grab a snack.

From old-school seafood eateries and hole-in-the-wall noodle shops to exciting new precincts offering a modern take on Asian street food, Sydney’s Chinatown is one of the best in the world.

MORE: How To Cook Reynold Poernomo’s Winter One Pot Wonder

where to eat chinatown

Where to get the best lunch

According to Poernomo, you will find his favourite lunch dish at the Malaysian restaurant, Ho Jiak.

“Their char kway teow is the best I can find in Sydney. I love the little bits of fried lard that are scattered throughout the noodles—they create an extra burst of flavour as you eat.”

where to eat chinatown
Photo: @dodeepaidang

Where to get the best late-night feed

With its night-time noodle markets and restaurants open late into the evening, Sydney’s Chinatown is a popular spot for a late-night feed.

“On a really late night, I love to go to Thai noodle joint Dodee Paidang for a level three or four of their spicy tom yum noodle soup; I love Thai food and everything spicy. They are open until 12 am over the weekend, and their keaw tod (deep-fried quail eggs wrapped in wonton wrappers) makes a great midnight snack.  

where to eat chinatown
Photo: @editionroasters

Where to get the best coffee

Chinatown has evolved its offering over the years. You can now find lots of sophisticated cafes and modern eateries, including Edition Roasters. According to Poernomo, they roast their own beans, which means the quality is high. He often grabs it to go, but the cafe’s interior is a great place to sit and relax.

where to eat chinatown
Photo: @bengongstea

Where to get the best dessert

Surprisingly, Poernomo is not a big dessert eater, although when in the neighbourhood, he enjoys a tub or two (yes, seriously) of the classic super dulce de leche flavour from Gelato Messina. “I’m a huge gelato fiend.

He also frequents Bengong Black for a good soft serve drink and Yomie’s in Haymarket for a purple rice yoghurt post-dinner treat.

Photo: @marketcity

Three must-dos in Chinatown and Haymarket

According to Poernomo, catching a musical or theatre performance at the Capitol Theatre is a must. As is exploring the diverse eateries and Asian groceries at Market City. For a late-night feast, stop by Bornga Korean BBQ.

where to eat chinatown
Photo: @dintaifungaustralia

More Food

Head to Din Tai Fung (World Square) for juicy dumplings and an extensive menu of Chinese dishes, including sweet and sour pork, braised beef noodle soup, and more. If you’re in the mood for noodles, try Dainty Sichuan Noodle Kitchen. They have a signature dish, Chongqing spicy noodle, which is a must-try. Mr Chen Beef Noodle is a hole in the wall, with a chef boasting over 41 years of experience cooking traditional Chinese food.

Boon Cafe at Jarren Chai Grocer serves up delicious Thai sandwiches and pastries, including a pandan croissant.

You can’t go to Chinatown without going to yum cha. The Eight is a great spot, with endless choices. Marigold is also a Sydney icon for yum cha, known for their dumplings.

MORE: Where To Find Sydney’s Best Best Specialty Food Stores

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