The 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Under $30 awards

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food U$30 guide.
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food U$30 guide. 

The award winners

EFTPOS BEST RESTAURANT: AL ASEEL GREENACRE

A swish renovation in 2013 gave a new lease on life to the original Al Aseel. The food – generous serves of Lebanese classic hits – is back to its best and still easy on the wallet.

VILLA MARIA NEW ZEALAND BEST NEW RESTAURANT: CIPRO PIZZA AL TAGLIO ALEXANDRIA

Pizza by the slice isn't the only thing we love about Cipro. The brainchild of Rockpool alumni, it's won us over with its simple, produce-driven food, bright interior and casual vibe. And really great flourless chocolate cake!

BEST VALUE: SUN'S BURMESE KITCHEN BLACKTOWN

This sleepy suburban restaurant sees our under $30 budget and laughs at it. Serves are generous and the priciest dish is $10. The best bit? The authentic food packs a punch. The authentic Burmese food packs a serious flavour punch.

DAILY LIFE HALL OF FAME: PAUL'S FAMOUS HAMBURGERS SYLVANIA

As Sydney gets increasingly burger crazy, it seems timely to tip our hats to Paul's. It's hardly changed since opening in 1957 and is powering on, serving up simple, satisfying burgers to a crowd that's as eager as ever.

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE CHAMP: CORNERSMITH MARRICKVILLE

Sustainability remains the driving force at this cafe and its spin-off 'picklery'. The menu is focused on house-made seasonal fare and local produce, including customer-supplied citrus and honey from rooftop hives.

BEST BREAKFAST: MEZEBAR AT EFENDY BALMAIN

Efendy got a little more 'everyman' last year, adding a more affordable, casual mezze bar area. The highlight is the Sunday morning Van-style breakfast – a $29-a-head Turkish brekkie bounty.

BEST SWEET SPOT: SWEETNESS THE PATISSERIE EPPING

Gena Karpf and the team at SWEETNESS The Patisserie have won our hearts and our tastebuds with their sensational confections, including never-had-better marshmallows. Stock up from their little shop or one of their market stalls, asap.

BEST VEGETARIAN: VEGGIE PATCH VAN ON THE MOVE

Have veg, will travel. One of Sydney's original food trucks, the Veggie Patch Van is still attracting followers (literally and on social media) with its vibrant burgers and sides – all veg, all good.

BEST BAR FOOD: MARY'S NEWTOWN

The combination of craft beers, organic wines and champagne aplenty, a rowdy, buzzing atmosphere and seriously good burgers makes Mary's tough to turn down. Just ask the keen queue of punters.

BEST FAMILY FRIENDLY: UMI SUSHI & UDON SYDNEY

The playground at Darling Quarter is nothing short of epic. Among the strip of restaurants overlooking it all is this popular Japanese joint with kids' bento boxes and a well-stocked sushi train.

The three star recipients

This year's Good Food Under $30 guide contains more than 550 reviews across more than 140 Sydney suburbs. The best of these receive three stars in the book. Here are this year's three star recipients.

CENTRAL
Brickfields 
Caysorn
Chat Thai
Churburger
Devon Cafe
Din Tai Fung
Gumshara Ramen
Izakaya Fujiyama
Lotus Dumpling Bar
Mamak
Mexico Food & Liquor
Ramen Ikkyu
Single Origin Roasters
Spice I Am
Sydney Madang

EAST
Buffalo Dining Club
Da Mario
Fish & Chips by Fish Face
Four in Hand Hotel
Kepos Street Kitchen
Kitchen by Mike
Lox Stock & Barrel
Sushi Yachiyo

INNER WEST 
Black Star Pastry
Cipro Pizza al Taglio
Cornersmith
The Grounds of Alexandria
In the Annex
Mary's
Mezebar at Efendy
Na Zdrowie
New Shanghai
Prato Cafe & Diner

NORTH & NORTH WEST
Chica Bonita
Fourth Village Providore
Khao Pla
Via Napoli

SOUTH & SOUTH WEST
Jack of Harts & Jude
The Left Bower

WEST
Al Aseel
Chi & Co
Green Peppercorn
Hai Au Lang Nuong
Holy Basil
Tan Viet Noodle House
Temasek

The SMH Good Food Under $30 guide will be available for $5 with The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday from participating newsagents, while stocks last. It is also available in selected bookshops and online at smhshop.com.au for $9.99.