Where did Colonel Sanders, Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich dine out when they came to Sydney? Well, the original Harry’s Café de Wheels in the suburb of Woolloomooloo, of course.
During the 1930s depression, Harry Edwards opened a caravan café near the front gates of Woolloomooloo naval dockyard such that the working man could get a decent feed at a fair price in hard times. Word of his ‘pie n’ peas' and crumbed sausages spread and Harry’s van took off.
In 1938 he closed up shop and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for the duration of World War II.
On his return from the War, in 1945, he reopened his caravan and it has operated continuously since.
Harry’s assumed the grand title ‘Café de Wheels’ due to the fact that the post war City Council insisted that mobile food vans moved at least 12 inches per a day. Harry complied and the Café de Wheels moved forward 12 inches one day and back 12 inches the next day until the council ruling was overturned.
In the mid 1970s when the van's wheels went missing one night it unofficially became Harry’s Café de Axle. In 1978 Rear Admiral David Martin, while enjoying a pie and a glass of Champagne (as one does), commissioned the van as HMAS Harry’s.
Dear Reader when you are in Sydney don’t forget to go down to 'the Loo' for a pie at the again wheel-less, now National Trust listed, Harry’s Café de Wheels. The 1945 version of Harry's Pie Cart, which was retired in 1985, can be seen in the Powerhouse Museum.
While the menu concentrates on pies, pasties, sausage rolls and hotdogs are also available. The hotdogs were introduced in the 1970s to appeal to visiting American sailors.
Harry signature pie is Harry’s Tiger – ‘a chunky lean beef pie served with mushy peas, mash & gravy’. It comes with my personal recommendation so you won't be disappointed. My final picture, from Harry's website, depicts this delicacy.
For the record, Harry Edwards sold the business in 1975 and since 1998 about ten other franchise outlets have opened in Sydney and slightly further afield.
Mon-Tue - 8.30am – 2am
Wed -Thur – 8.30am – 3am
Fri – 8.30am – 4am
Sat - 9.00am – 4am
Sun – 9.00am – 1am
Getting there - Bus 311 from City or walk down from Kings Cross
My next May 2016 Sydney Review
Favorite Dish Harry's Tiger pie
I live in newcastle, home of the original harry's pies. Most of the customers are people that are drunk and or high passing through town. Harry's is the perfect night cap after drinking (or getting high lol) and always minimalise the hangover next day. Congratulations for making something mentioning as a true australian delicacy.
Quick, cheap and easy.... ;)
Harry De Wheels, started out as a simple caravan cafe during the years of the depression and has developed into somewhat of a Sydney Icon.
After a big night out, nothing feels better than a hot dog from Harrys ;)
The caravan is covered in photos of various celebs that have stopped by for a famous harry hot dog or pie ;)
Favorite Dish Hot Dogs
Harry's is a Sydney instituition just like Nathan's is to Coney Island. Harry's is basically a snack/quick food shack. The menu had a variety of easy to eat items. We had passed by Harry's numerous times while walking back to our hotel and finally decided to stop by for a snack. There was a line but we barely waited 10 minutes. Chris decided on a curry pie and I ordered a hot dog. The food was pretty good and I felt satisfied.
Favorite Dish The hot dog was very good and I liked the spicey mustard.
Harry's Cafe de Wheels
Grab a delicious pie (you can add many topings... like mash potato, tomato sauce, mashed pees, onions, gravy, cheese... whatever pleases you), and sit outside (or stand) and enjoy a nice simple meal.
Many Sydneysiders love to go here, especially around midnight to 3am, and no matter how well off people are, you will get all walks of life coming here.
There is also a photo display of famous people who have been to Harry's.
If you are famous, then the owners will take a photo of you eating your pie or hot dog (or both if you're starving!) and they shall frame it and hang it up on one of their walls.
Harry’s is a Sydney institution. I have seen others around the city but this trip I found myself passing the original nearly every day on the bus back to the hotel. So we stopped and got off to get a pie for a snack.
You will always find that there is a crowd here. We even had people waiting behind us while I decided quickly what I was going to eat. The do quite a bit of business and are worth the visit at least once. They’re an attraction for a reason.
Favorite Dish I had the curry pie and she the hot dog. I was pretty impressed in the curry pie and do wish I had bothered to stop and get another during the week but with so many better food options just up the stairs in Potts Point we never did.
I ate at Harry's Cafe de Wheels one lunchtime during my visit to Sydney in April 2006.
This pie cart has been operating since 1945 and can be found next to Finger Wharf, Wooloomooloo Bay. Pick up a snack and sit at one of the benches looking out across the wharf!
Harry's speciality is pies...with all manner of fillings!!....but you can also choose from hotdogs, burgers, pasties and a variety of other fast food snacks.
Favorite Dish I opted for:
"Curry Tiger" pie - Cost: 4.95 AUD
A beef and curry pie topped with mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy. Mmmmmmm!!
600ml bottle of Coca Cola - Cost: 2.70 AUD
A wide variety of cheap fast food snacks with great views over Wooloomooloo Bay!
Due to its reputation, "eating a Harry's meat pie" was on my list. I even marked its location on my map before leaving HK. There's nothing much to do at night in Sydney if you're not into partying/clubbing/pubbing. I suggested taking a late dinner at Harry's to my new friends - 4 medical students from HKCU that I met in my hostel. HK people like eating and I was glad that there's no exception for doctors! It's a real long walk from Darling Harbour to Harry's, we used like 30 minutes (or more?). The vicinity of Harry's was very quiet at night, which made us (4 girls and 1 boy) a bit nervous. I was so worried that Harry's would have closed (it's after 10p.m., pretty late in Australia), luckily it's not the case. We were very satisfied by the meat pies, which were very filling and too big as a late night snack.
They're so yummy! Another important point to note is that Harry's is famous among locals. We were the only group of non-locals when we arrived. I was so happy to see so many people there at night.
Favorite Dish I ordered a Curry Tiger (AUD4.7), Vincent ordered a Chili con Carne (AUD4.9) and Doris/Nicole ordered the simplest one (forgot the name).
My Curry Tiger was very tasty, though the curry wasn't spicy at all, i guessed it's Japanese curry, not my favourite. There was a big mass of mashed peas on the top of my pie and the whole pie was filled with meat. I was so full after eating.
Vincent's Chili con Carne was wonderful too.
Bonus of the night: saw a handsome Japanese Harry's staff!!!
My thanks to VT member M0B1US, whose tip inspired me to go here.
This pie cart is a great experience. You can wander around and eat while looking at the Australian navy ships, interact with people, and spend less than A$10 for dinner. There is something about the very real sights and smells of the wharf that make this special. Some say the superstars eat there. I don't know, but Russell Crowe's condo is at the end of the adjacent pier. The cart isn't in Sydney proper, rather Wooloomooloo.
Favorite Dish The Tiger, a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and mashed peas, then hollowed and filled with gravy. Pasties are good too.
If you're after a good vegetarian restaurant, try (don't laugth) the Govinda's theatre/restaurant in Darlinghurst Road. You get a buffet food plus youcan also buy a meal and movie package. This is a well kept Sydney secret. if you're down on the budget and still want a bit of movie plus food , this is unbeatable. Cushions style seating in the cinema. If you are a Carnovore like me, Harry's Cafe De Wheels can't be beat. The Harbour View is free.
Favorite Dish Its all you can eat at tGovindas( Krishna). Shepherds Pie at the Harry's Cafe De Wheels.
Harry's Cafe De Wheels is well known and famous for there pies. They are located in Wooloomooloo. Its a great location... usually people go there after a big night out.... in the early hours of the morning.
Favorite Dish Pies ...... anything you could imagine...they have it.
Okay, I used to eat hot dogs as a kid, but kinda gave them up aside from the occasional summer picnic. And then came Harry.
I'd heard about these famous hot dogs, but to taste one was a new adventure in eating.
First you have a hot dog bun, put some mashed potatoes, then mashed peas (no, really!) then the hot dog. Add some gravy and or tomato sauce (that's Australian for ketchup) and you are good to go.
This iconic landmark is at the end of Wooloomooloo Pier, easily reachable and recognizable. There's always a crowd of people at this 24 hour eatery, which must say something in itself!
There are photos of famous faces eating at Harry's adorning the building - see how many you recognize!
Some people eat in their car, some people eat next to the building on the benches - you have a view of the water, the Navy ships and Woolloomooloo Pier (where Russell Crowe lives)
Great hang out and eating spot year round, but especially nice on a warm sunny day!
Favorite Dish "Hot Dog with the lot" and a fresh home baked chocolate chip cookie .... Mmmmmmm
They have a full selection of bottled water, juice and soft drinks as well.