'Wealthy, respectable, impoverished, bohemian and just plain criminal,' declares a plaque where Sydney's Victoria Street meets Darlinghurst Road. The historic description of Kings Cross citizenry still applies, but in the 32 (at last count) cafes and restaurants that line Victoria Street south of 'the Cross', life is now tame. Tropicana Caffe 'The Trop' is a gastronomic pillar of Sydney's eastern suburbs. The home of the annual Tropfest short film festival offers a huge menu, including superb focaccias from A$8 ($48), salads (A$8.50) and a large variety of meat and pasta Italian-style mains (A$10-A$15). Tropicana Caffe, 227 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (tel: 61 2 9360 9809; www.tropicanacaffe.com ). Una's This restaurant has been here for 35 years, serving good-value, Austrian-style fare. The menu says it all - sauerkraut, goulash, scaloppine, rosti, strudel - with matching decor by the edelweiss-and-Alps school of painters. The coffee lacks some grunt and the service can range from gruff to charming. However, this popular eatery boasts the best people-viewing window in town. Order a huge Vienna schnitzel (A$15.50), plus a glass of house red wine (A$4.50) and lemon pancakes (A$6.90), and watch the Darlo street circus swirl by. Una's, 340 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (tel: 61 2 9360 6885; www.unas.com.au ). Oh Calcutta Basil Daniell's stylish Oh Calcutta has evolved its version of 'contemporary Indian' (with Pakistani influences). Entrees average A$13: try the scrumptious mantus (ground lamb, celery and chilli in a steamed pastry). Mains such as char-grilled wagyu beef or kingfish with green mango, chilli and coconut top out at A$28. The lamb shoulder kokum curry with spinach is highly satisfying, as is a dessert of baked plums with shrikand and pashmak (A$8.90). Wine averages A$35 a bottle, or A$8 a glass. Oh Calcutta, 251 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (tel: 61 2 9360 3650). The Victoria Room This stylish new kid on the block occupies a large first-floor space that was once a panel-beating shop. The faux-decadent restaurant bar is bedecked with cane blinds, chaises longue and deep, shadowy corners - all seemingly reminiscent of Rangoon circa 1930. It serves tasty Mediterranean mezze food, entrees such as salted cod and potato croquettes cost A$14, and mains such as chargrilled beef are about A$20. Servings are small and wines overpriced, but the crowd tolerates this because of the fun atmosphere. The Victoria Room, 235 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (tel: 61 2 9357 4488; www.thevictoriaroom.com ). Bar Coluzzi When Italian prize-fighter Luigi Coluzzi opened his coffee bar back in the 1950s, little did he guess that five decades on it would be a Sydney icon. With only five tables and two benches, it's fuelled generations of taxi drivers, judges, doctors, dealers, socialites, cyclists and all comers. Coluzzi's is famous for its industrial-strength cappuccinos (A$2.80); its phone booth-sized kitchen provides snacks such as stuffed bagels and rosettas (A$7.80) and salads (A$9). Bar Coluzzi, 320 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (tel: 61 2 9380 5420).