To meet the growing demands for the development of new molecular entities for discovering new drugs and materials, organic chemists have started looking for new concepts to supplement traditional approaches. In one such approach, the expertise gained over the years in the area of organic synthesis and the rational drug-design concepts are combined together to create nature-like and yet unnatural organic molecules that are expected to provide leads in discovering new molecules. Emulating the basic principles followed by nature to build its vast repertoire of biomolecules, organic chemists are developing many novel multifunctional building blocks. Sugar amino acids constitute an important class of such polyfunctional scaffolds where the carboxyl, amino and hydroxyl groups provide an excellent opportunity for organic chemists to create structural diversities akin to natures molecular arsenal. Recent advances in the area of combinatorial chemistry give unprecedented technological support for rapid compilations of sugar amino acid-based libraries exploiting the diversities of carbohydrate molecules and well-developed solid-phase peptide synthesis methods. This review chronicles the development of sugar amino acids as a novel class of peptidomimetic building blocks and their applications in generating desired secondary structures in peptides as well as in creating mimics of natural biopolymers.