• First Look: flavour-packing diner Irene’s has taken over the Newtown space formerly known as Hartsyard. The menu is influenced by the bold flavours chef Neville Dsouza grew up with in India. Expect a salty, sour and crispy snack of cucumbers with lime, goat’s curd and chilli; a stupendous goat curry; and a rum-spiked mango lassi.

• Neil Perry’s elegant new bar, Next Door, is serving his cult-favourite burgers, a menu of Martinis and tinned fish. Like its sister restaurant Margaret (which, fittingly, is right next door), it’s simple yet elegant with exacting details such as drinks served on monogrammed trays. Along with snacks, you’ll find dishes inspired by classics around the world – grilled fish burgers, mussels mariniere and salt-beef Reuben sandwiches.

• First Look: restaurant and bar Kissuu is helping revive Oxford Street with disco tracks and Japanese bites. Begin your evening with prawn and scallop dumplings and kingfish sashimi tacos, then spend the rest of the night partying on the dance floor upstairs with creative cocktails and tunes by Diana Ross and Candi Staton.

• First Look: a former Gumshara and Yasaka chef is making “ramen with soul” at a tiny North Sydney cafe. At the Coffee Shop x Sou Ramen Lab is serving bowls of flat noodles bathing in chicken broth simmered for 20 hours, plus rotating specials such as tsukemen (dipping noodles), from breakfast till close. You can also get classic Japanese curries, sandos and coffee brewed with Colombian beans.

• Curried-sausage rolls and iced Milo mochas are on the menu at Good Ways Deli’s new Alexandria store. Good Ways Deli’s petite second sanga shop officially opens on Saturday in a heritage-listed corner spot on a leafy residential street. Like the original it’s doing updated versions of Aussie classics, with new menu items including creaming soda spiders, a very oozy cheese toastie, and cheese-and-spinach rolls.

• The owners of Petersham stalwart Sweet Belem open Lunas, a Portuguese diner on a sunny corner. There are Portuguese tart-inspired hotcakes, as well as savoury dishes like chouriço-laced scrambled eggs on toast smeared with sobrassada butter, and sardines piled on a family-recipe Portuguese cornbread. The owners hope to help keep Petersham’s Portuguese culture going strong.

• Kirribilli’s wharf cafe Celsius gets a sleek Hamptons-inspired makeover and a new menu. The views remain as mesmerising as ever, but the waterside diner has shelved its rustic dark-wood aesthetic in favour of bright white tables and pretty pastel pinks. And while its beloved Billy’s eggs – chilli-buttered poached eggs with tomatoes and mint on sourdough – remains, you’ll also find beef-brisket eggs benedict with yuzu hollandaise, and an update of its social media-famous waffles.

• First Look: The Grumpy Baker opens a new store down a Sydney CBD alleyway – and it’s dedicated to falafel. Freshly baked pita is stuffed with crispy falafel, pickles, tomatoes, cucumber and tahini. Plus, chicken schnitzel sandwiched in challah, and loaves of The Grumpy Baker’s sourdough.

Passeggiata, a bright Italian diner in Waverley by a former Sagra owner, is a celebration of the Italian way of life. Years living and working in Italy, and a dedication to local produce, have inspired Nigel Ward’s menu, which includes house-made limoncello, ricotta ravioli and pappardelle with braised lamb.

• First Look: squid-ink tortellini and crispy risoni fingers jostle for attention with the views at Sala in Pyrmont. In the heritage-listed former Flying Fish and Chuuka space on Jones Bay Wharf, it’s all about clever takes on Italian classics, executed using Australian produce – think creamy burrata with cherry ’nduja and a Ferrero Rocher-inspired hazelnut dessert.

• Menu reveal: beautiful waterfront fine diner The Gantry reopens this month after a major renovation. New head chef Rhys Connell used a “preview season” before the restaurant closed to shape three menus driven by the seasons. Expect a dish that’s like salt-and-pepper crab mixed with cacio e pepe, Wagyu with artichoke, and yellowfin tuna bruschetta.

• First Look: get vegan Reubens and BLATs at the plant-based sandwich spin-off of Bootleg Italian. “Good food is good food, regardless of what it is made of,” according to Sandwiches by Bootleg’s owner. Visit the tiny Woollahra space for show-stopping vegan sangas, including a hangover-buster with scrambled tofu, hash browns and maple “bacon”, and a schnitty sandwich known as the Hot Chick.

• Swish new Sydney CBD basement bar Tiva is all about live music, high-end cocktails and a touch of theatre. Part of new three-in-one venue The Charles, visitors can expect DJs every night it’s open and live performers four nights a week, as well as premium snacks – including crab tartlets with salmon roe, and Moreton Bay bug sandwiches – from the impressive kitchen team upstairs.

• Find three bars, a gallery, a gig space and a theatre under one roof at Meraki Arts Bar on Oxford Street. Have a whole night out in one building at this new multi-level venue, where the drinks and food are on an equal footing with music, performance and art. Catch a comedy show, a jazz gig or an art exhibition while sampling quality cocktails and truffle mac’n’cheese.

• Now open: Spice Trader, an intimate, low-lit bar at the top of heritage-listed Porter House in the Sydney CBD. It’s the final part of the three-in-one venue to open. Its signature cocktails are a field guide to items traded during the 1800s (including ginger, coconut and coffee). Plus, snacks including fried scallop and Moreton Bay bug toast, and Shark Bay scampi and caviar blinis.

Messy Spoon is a tiny gluten-free bakery in Surry Hills by a former Jamie’s Italian chef. Rock up to the takeaway window for thick, toasted slices of banana and buckwheat bread; bliss balls; and gut-friendly loaves made with sprouted Tassie quinoa, sweet potato and chilli. Everything on the menu is gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan-friendly.

• Get Mexican street food-style snacks and tacos at Nativo, a new hole-in-the-wall taqueria in Pyrmont. Its Mexican chef brings native Australian ingredients to the flavours and dishes of his home country. There’s unctuous al pastor-style pork shoulder tacos with saltbush salsa and roasted pineapple, and fall-apart beef birria tacos with Oaxaca cheese and kunzea (a native Australian plant) salsa verde.

• Historic Woolloomooloo pub, Woolly Bay Hotel, reopens with a Med-inspired rooftop bar and a restaurant. After a mammoth $14 million transformation, the three-storey 1800s boozer is back. Visit the diner for lobster rolls and braised lamb shoulder with oregano, or head up to the rooftop for city views, cocktails that’ll take you back to your last European summer, and potato scallops topped with taramasalata and caviar.

Ginny’s Canoe Club, a CBD basement bar by Old Mate’s Place, might be a pop-up – but it’s fully formed. Everything from the fit-out to the drinks and the food menu is fully realised. Sip on cocktails like the Nan’s Sherry Cabinet, choose drops from an “entry-level baller” wine list, and enjoy food by an ex-Cho Cho San chef, including tacos piled with fish fingers or jerk mushroom, and saffron-marinated mussel tostadas.

• A Med-inspired rooftop bar has opened on top of 100-year-old Sydney pub The Sussex Hotel. The sun-soaked, skyscraper-surrounded space is lush with greenery, and has an easygoing menu of skewered meats and refreshing cocktails.

• Views, dumplings and coffee: Opera Kitchen transforms into House Canteen, an all-day diner by Matt Moran. A little more relaxed than neighbouring Opera Bar, it’s open from morning (serving pastries and Single O coffee) till night, when it dishes up dumplings and sashimi, and pours summery cocktails.

• Gorgeous new Surry Hills restaurant Sofia celebrates southern Mediterranean dining with chargrilled meats. A collaboration with chef Justin North, it pays tribute to the owners’ Greek heritage – and centres around olive oil grown and pressed at their olive grove in Greece.

• First Look: coffee roaster Toby’s Estate opens a beautiful cafe in Martin Place – and this one’s spotlighting food. In a sun-drenched space, dig into French toast with mascarpone, berry compote, candied walnut and blood orange, or a burnt watermelon “steak” with kalamata olives, heirloom cherry tomatoes and herb oil, alongside single-origin coffee with beans from Costa Rica. It’s the perfect pre-work pit stop.

• Now Open: Oborozuki, an ultra-luxe new Japanese restaurant and bar on Circular Quay. The luxe new restaurant and bar’s 10-course kaiseki or teppanyaki menus might include lobster, Wagyu and abalone. And you’ll be enjoying it all against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour at Circular Quay.