Harry’s Cafe de Wheels – www.harryscafedewheels.com.au is a Sydney institution. It’s history goes right back to the depression in the 1930s when Harry Edwards established a caravan cafe “Harry’s” at the front gates of the Woolloomooloo naval dockyard.
In 1938 Harry enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. He was quickly dubbed “Tiger” due to his talent in the boxing ring (which later became the name of my favourite pie!). He returned from service in 1945 and realised that it was near impossible to get a late night feed so he reopened his cafe. Due to a council ruling that insisted that mobile food caravans move a minimum of 12 inches a day, the cafe was renamed “Harry’s Cafe de Wheels“. In 1975, Alex Kuronya purchased the cafe and ran the cafe right through until Michael Hannah became the first Australian owner on Australia Day, 1988.
I don’t think there is a celebrity that hasn’t stopped by Harry’s on their trip to Sydney. It’s part of the initiation process into Sydney’s informal family with the cafe serving the likes of Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Marelene Dietrich, Kerry Packer and more recently, Sir Richard Branson, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Brook Shields, Pat Rafter, Olivia Newton-John, Jerry Lewis, Billy Crystal, Pamela Anderson, Sara O’Hare, Lachlan Murdoch, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Adrian Greiner, Anthony Bourdain and Peter Blakely just to name a few.
All of the pies at Harry’s are handmade daily with no freezing or frying involved. The house special is Harry’s Tiger which is a chunky lean beef pie served with mushy peas, mash & gravy. However, my favourite is the Chicken and Mushroom Tiger: consists of chunks of chicken meat cooked with fresh mushrooms and cream served with mushy peas, mash & gravy. It is yummy. The kids favourite is the Harry’s Cheese Dog: continental Viennese smoked Frankfurt served with cheese sauce or fresh grated cheese.
We love attending Harry’s in the early evening with the kids. It’s a great place for people watching (as a Sydney landmark, it’s the perfect spot for this!). The weekend evenings can be very busy, so expect a queue. Snap up one of the few seats when you can. The menu isn’t that wide, but there is sure to be something on there for everyone!