The Commons is one of the favourite restaurants in Sydney for the local stovepipe jeans- and chequered shirt-wearing crowd that congregates for casual boozing in the sandstone-walled courtyard, which has lots of overhanging greenery and flickering candles at night. Set in a heritage terrace, complete with recycled hardwood floors, the restaurant is laidback and wholesome, with an organic, rotating menu that’s fairly heavy with meat dishes like rabbit terrine, beef ragu and just-like-mama-used-to-make-a lasagne. It’s cheap enough to attract a younger, friendly crowd, and though there’s a limited number of communal dining tables, good-natured diners are usually happy to shunt over to make room. It’s convivial enough to order some antipasti and wait until there’s some space, too – either pull up a stool or a wooden crate in the courtyard, or in winter, head down to the cosy sandstone cellar. There’s a small bar tucked away downstairs that serves boutique wines and single-malt whiskeys with plump leather chairs, a growing collection of books in the library and even a fireplace to encourage lingering.