Gelato Messina, Knafeh, Porteño, and more announced for Sydney Festival 2016

There’s going to be some serious eating to do at Sydney Festival’s 40th anniversary this year as some of the city’s best and most innovative food outlets spread out over the festival’s four separate entertainment hubs, from Parramatta to Barangaroo, and of course Hyde Park. Everything from Gelato Messina’s carnival candy inspired creations and gelato doughnut treats to popcorn shrimp wraps by Saké Restaurant & Bar will be available for the duration of the festival, from 7th to 26th January.

Meriton Festival Village

Gelato Toffee Apples by Gelato Messina

Meriton Festival Village (formerly known as Sydney Festival Village) in Hyde Park will be dominated by Gelato Messina’s adventurous exclusives, re-imagining cult festival classics like their Messinawieners, Yeeeah Dawgs, and something called The Bearded Lady (cream-cheese gelato popsicle with thin red chocolate coating, red velvet cake crunch, red fairy floss, red velvet cake powder), alongside a Gelato Doughnut Bar with indulgent creations such as Five Million Dough-Lars (headline image; chocolate gelato, peanut cookies, caramel, sprinkles of popping candy, and a red chocolate glaze plastered with white choc dots – a doughnut version of their famous Doctor Evil’s Magic Mushroom Cake), and The Biggest Gainer (peanut butter gelato, fresh banana, milk chocolate glaze and crushed roasted peanuts).

Gelato Messina’s Yeeeah Dawg

Serving up good times along Messina will be culinary force Porteño, who will be making their welcome return to the Village with Argentinian smoked, grilled, fried, and BBQ’d meats, vegetarian treats, Baked Pretzels with beer, cheese, mustard, and sauce, and their famous Smoked Wagyu Brisket Reuben Sandwich.

Rounding out the offerings at Meriton Festival Village: Puntino Trattoria will be on hand for Italian street food, Oysters Unplugged will be shucking all day, every day, Bar Pho will be serving up how bowls of Vietnamese Pho, burgers will be sorted by Harvest Trader & Co, Bar Coco are bringing the freshly-brewed coffee, and Bite Size Delights have some traditional handmade pastizzi in store.

The Domain

The Domain will be an important entertainment hub for Sydney Festival this year, and a very busy one seeing as the freakin’ Flaming Lips are performing a free concert there on 9th January. A bunch of food outlets will be on hand there every day of the festival to keep things moving along nicely. You’ll find Emmy’s Turkish Gozleme, WOW Pizza, Sundweesh which will have a Crunchy Peri Peri Chicken Slaw, De Wafel with hot and crispy Belgian Waffles, a Texas style fire pit with meats by Byron Bay Smoke House, the ever-popular Chips on a Stick, burgers by Bad Betty Burgers, and more.

Prince Alfred Square (Parramatta)

The Western Sydney hub for Sydney Festival will be running on Friday and Saturday nights with live music, and food by the likes of the famous Knafeh Bakery, noodles and dumpling stall Yan’s Asian, and Emmy’s Turkish Gozleme.

The Cutaway (Barangaroo Reserve)

The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve is one of the newest creative spaces to open up in Sydney, and Sydney Festival won’t be wasting their opportunity to fill the space with art installations, free flying fox rides, and food by the Urban Purveyor Group who are bringing treats from several of their awarded restaurants (including Ananas Bar & Brasserie and Saké Restaurant & Bar) to create a huge offering othat includes Truffle Parmesan Fries, Popcorn Shrimp Wraps and Wagyu Beef Dogs. Bar Coco will be tagging along for the coffee and gelato too.

For more information about Sydney Festival head to


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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