Sydney draws its culinaryinfluences from a variety of areas, as evidenced by the meat pie stands sandwichedbetween Turkish kebab joints and dumpling shacks. American fare, however, haslargely been left off the table until recently. It’s actually the southernstaples more than anything else anchoring the menus at these newestablishments.

In the last 18 months, Sydney’swelcomed two new American-themed and -operated restaurants. Blue Plate Bar and Grill in Neutral Bayopened in early 2010 as the sister eatery of then nearby South, anotherAmerican joint that closed late last year. Brooklyn-born owner Leo V Breretonborrows part of South’s Creole menu and serves it in Blue Plate’s fancierdining room. Digging into down-home favorites below a chandelier—why not?The buffalo wings are the real deal: spicy and slathered in sauce with a sideof blue cheese. Other southern highlights include gumbo, crab cakes andjambalaya (corn bread on the side) and pecan pie for dessert.

Detroit transplant DanMcGuirt says his time at Vue de Monde in Melbourne inspired him to open his New Orleans–themed Jazz City Diner inDarlinghurst last December. Complete with servers in old-school waitressuniforms, black-tiled countertops and small TVs airing old jazz performances,this diner is exactly where you should eat southern classics like biscuits andgravy and poached eggs and grits while slurping up a milkshake. Lunch anddinner feature burgers, macaroni and cheese and chicken and waffles. Plus,there’s real drip coffee—a forgotten thing in a city of foamy flat whitesand lattes. The humble McGuirt is always quick to say “hello” and make surediners enjoy their meals.

Lauren Fritsky is anAmerican living in Sydney. You can read her blog, The Life That Broke, here.

Photo Courtesy of T+L's Photo Contest