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a sign above a store

Harry’s Café de Wheels, the mandatory late-night feed for all those who enjoyed best day ever in Sydney. A must on anyone’s 24-Hour Sydney itinerary.

Harry’s is a Sydney icon. The van has been serving peas and pies since the 1930s when Harry Edwards first opened his café in front of the naval dockyard. In 1938 though Mr. Edwards closed his van and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during WWII.  He returned in 1945 to reopen the café named “Harry’s” at the same spot. The origin though of the “de Wheels” is due to council regulations requiring food vans to move at least a foot each day. Harry made sure he complied.

The name of the café’s signature item of a beef pie, covered in peas, mash and gravy was called “The Tiger”. This was created when Harry was serving in the Middle East and he earned the nickname of “Tiger” due to his boxing skills.

Harry diligently operated his food van for over 30 years, finally selling it in 1975. In 1978 Rear Admiral and future Governor of NSW, Sir David Martin, commissioned the caravan as “HMAS Harry’s”. Later, in 1988 the van was sold it onto its current owner who was a Vietnam Veteran and was a frequent visitor to Harry’s throughout his childhood. In 2004 Harry’s Café de Wheels was classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and included on its register.

This Sydney icon has been frequented for years by an assorted range of people from taxi drivers, police, soldiers, late night pub goers, media tycoons and international celebrities including Colonel Sanders, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and Pamela Anderson to name a few. The original van is still located near the Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo. #yougottalovesydney