Inner Eastern Sydney darling, Stanley Street, has kept some of its old Italian heart and broadened its offerings to include vibrant young spaces, up and coming exhibitions and a multitude of drinking and dining options for its hip inhabitants.
Johnny Fontane's77 Stanley Street
Johnny Fontane's is what you might expect "if the King of Swing and a mafia kingpin opened a bar together". It is a cocktail, cigar, Italian snack and Chicago Deep Dish bar.
This Stanley Street joint, named after the fictional godson of mob boss Vito Corleone from The Godfather, brings signature cocktails, modern twists on Italian classic drinks, and hearty share food to the people of Sydney.
Indeed it prides itself on being the only major Sydney venue serving Chicago Deep Dish, a variant of the classic pizza pie. Check out each of Johnny Fontane's four distinct spaces (including a gangster lounge and cigar deck), just "don’t step on the wrong wise guy’s shoes".
Bill & Toni's72-74 Stanley Street
Iconic Eastern suburbs Italian institution, Bill & Toni's has been slinging coffees, panini, pasta and schnitzels for longer than most of us can remember. Downstairs is the cafe style eatery with breakfasts, sandwiches, snacks and coffee (plus pinball), or head upstairs for family friendly, home style Italian dishes at inexpensive prices. It's no-nonsense, hearty goodness, and it's kept crowds of loyal followers for years.
Stanley Street Gallery1/52-54 Stanley Street
Relatively new on the Sydney art scene, Stanley Street Gallery showcases art of many different mediums, especially worthy of note is their collection of contemporary jewellery.
Lucky Suzie78 Stanley Street
From the team at Devon Café and Devon On Danks, a sensational Penang via Stanley Street inspired Malaysian bar with food by Chef Zachary Tang.
Traditional Malaysian hawker food and snacks are given a contemporary Tan touch. Cocktails have Malaysian flavours and names. And there is an affordable short and sharp international wine list. Wines are also selected for Malaysian food matching.
Sagra62 Stanley Street
The corner Italian eatery fronts double sided windows that let in the light to the L-shaped room. Table tops bare paper napkins and steel cutlery in readiness for antipasti, primi, secondi and daily specials.
Sagra is a welcome addition to Stanley Street and surrounding restaurants and bars for a casual bite from a selection of four antipasti, four primi and two secondi.
Signature Fried zucchini, gorgonzola & honey is the highlight of the antipasti offerings and held in light, crisp batter with just a little touch of sweetness breaking through the flavour spectrum. A touch of chilli lifts the plate.
Primi start at $19 include Pappardelle with pork sausage ragu, Pici ox heart tomatoes, marjoram & parmesan, Ricotta ravioli with mint butter.
And there is a daily range of specials.
Licensed with a selection of Italian wines by the glass.