I don’t really like the word “cheap eats” much, at least when I’m referring to food that is not processed in a whole lot of machines and doesn’t come out looking like blobs of pink, red or green. Usually the term is used to refer to small joints, hidden away in alleyways or tiny corners where from you can only get real food, but my dislike for the term aside, we’re going to discuss some amazingly small places where you get amazing food. Like a good old mom and pop joint making the food they ate as kids, served their kids and their grand kids and hopefully their great grandkids too. These are places that care about what goes on your plate than the plate itself or the room freshener used or the paintings on the wall. They’re plain and simple all about food! And there’s nothing better than getting a well prepared meal in a small hidden away place that couldn’t care less for a big signboard.
Sydney is a potpourri of cultures, being a metropolitan city with a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, you can find almost any kind of food here.
Balkan Oven Bakery Café – Massive pies, stuffed with minced beef accompanied by a glass of buttermilk will make your tummy thank you a thousand times and those taste buds, oh don’t ask! Enjoy Macedonian coffee prepared in copper pots to give your adrenalin the right kick while you sit on one of the tables outside.
Address: Shop 2,1-3 King St, Rockdale NSW 2216
Bovine & Swine Barbecue Co – If you love beef, you have to try the beef brisket here, into which goes a good twelve hours of love and care, while the meat cooks on low and slow on Australian ironbark until it is soft and you can pull it with a gentle tug. The restaurant has a day and a night menu; by day serving brisket and chopped pork on sandwiches and by night unfolding an expanded menu of whole chickens, ribs and pulled lamb.
Address: 92 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042
Casa do Benfica – Didn’t I tell you that Sydney is a melting pot of cultures? Who would have known there’d be a Portuguese restaurant hidden away in a tennis court? Right? A hall decked with Lisbon’s Benfica memorabilia. Garlic prawns to arouse your taste buds, round hand cut potato chips to satisfy your carb needs and salted codfish or grilled cuttlefish to fill you up. What else? This place has live music on weekends! Don’t forget the dancing shoes.
Address: Marrickville and District Hardcourt Tennis Club Ltd, Henson Park, Centennial St, Marrickville NSW 2204
These guys have a nice salad and snack menu for North and North Eastern Thai spiciness. Be it crunchy Isaan chicken wings or raw beef salad or papaya salad (high on spice) with eggplant in Thai spices. Whats more? This place has a train station waiting room theme! Didn’t I tell you small places have more flavour
Address: Chatswood Interchange, P4/436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Do Dee Paidang – If you’re a fan of Tom Yum soups, this is your spot, chewy glass noodles in a glass of hot and sour soup topped with fried wantons could very well become your favourite lunch. You could also try their Thai spicy sausages and pork neck skewers.
Address: 37 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket NSW 2000
Faheem’s Fast Food – Think about India and you think of pungent spices and curries and flatbreads and roasted meats. This place serves some really nice tandoori chicken, made fresh in the tandoor (clay oven). Vegetarians have a choice from eleven delicious Indian – Pakistani themed dishes.
Address: 194-196 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042
Chatkazz – This is a strictly vegetarian joint. You can order anything from a dosa to a north indian stuffed flatbread to a cross cultural dish called Bombay Chinese. If you’re craving some good Indian curry go for the Chole Bhature (chickpea curry served with leavened flatbread). They are known to have a sweets shop around the corner too.
Address: 4/14-20 Station St E, Harris Park NSW 2150