While some will find there's nothing better than dinner, a few drinks and beddie byes, others will feel more like tripping the light fantastic (did I just type that?), and partying on with friends.
Around that 1.00am mark, long after you've danced away your dinner, is there any hope for respite against the humble doner kebab or fast food fix? Not that there's any shame in smashing a Bondi burger from time to time, but here are some alternatives for the late night gourmet:
7 Kellett St Potts Point NSW 2011 - (02) 9357 4729
Open Mon,Wed 5:30pm-11:59pm; Thu-Sun 12am-3am, 5:30pm-11:59pm
A big tip when late night dining is to follow the chefs. After service, there are a few places in Sydney where you'll find these white-jacketed ladies and gentlemen kicking back with a few glasses of vino and good food. Aperitif is one of those places. Open till 3am from Thursday to Sunday, the all European line up of wines by the glass as well as (yep, you guessed it Aperitifs) is all very reasonably priced for the quality you'll receive.
Food is designed to share, in this dimly lit, bordello chic supper club, with everything from snail and sweetbread cassoulet to suckling pig and paella. Do try the roasted bone marrow on crostini - with Fergus Henderson in town recently, be inspired to try something different. It's rich, buttery and something you should probably have no more than once a year, but it's worth risking a coronary for.
2. Big Rig Diner
231 Oxford St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9326 0044
Sun, Mon- Closed, Tues-Fri 12pm-late, Sat 6pm–late
The Big Rig Diner is open so late, there's no closing time on the door. Just 'till late'. Promising if you're looking for 1950's Americana themed food in generous proportions. Situated below Ruby Rabbit, if you're done with dancing, dig into a hot dog, fajitas and fries or chilli con carne - and the great thing is you get to cue your own music on the jukebox so you can slurp to Sinatra or chew to Chuck Berry.
3. Golden Century
93 Sussex St, Sydney
Operating hours: Mon to Sun Noon - 4am
If you like your dish of special fried duck (roast duck, deep fried) with a side of celebrity chef spotting, then Golden Century (or GC's if you're a regular partaker) should be your pick of the litter. With so many food events going on this October for the Sydney International Food Festival, chances are you'll find the people watching as interesting as the food. Golden Century specialises in two things: seafood and offal. While many have tried the mud crab, most probably haven't tried the duck kidneys; they're there and I dare you to try them. If offal isn't your bag, there are plenty of tamer dishes to suit your appetite, too.
4. Chat Thai
20 Campbell St. Haymarket tel 9211 1808
Lunch: 10am-5pm, Dinner: 5pm-10pm, Supper: 9.30-2am
The queues outside this Haymarket haunt speak for themselves. Perennially packed, with a good ratio of Asian to non-Asian patrons (the 60% rule applies), one of the great things about this venue - aside from the fact that they keep waiting customers happy with free tea or soup in the winter months - is that they're open most nights of the week until 2am.
There's a dedicated supper menu, a cut down version of their extensive dinner selection. Top picks are the Kai Dtun - a silky savoury steamed egg custard with ground chicken, holy basil, chilli and the crispy fried pork belly - crunchy bite sized pieces of pork belly, in a spicy, herbal vinegarette.
The good news, is that the bill usually works out at around no more than $20 per head, for which a kings feast will have been purchased. Worth the walk down from the Hollywood Hotel for post beer bites.