Are you looking for some great places to eat out in Sydney? From casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants, the city has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll share our picks of the best restaurants in Sydney that are sure to delight your taste buds!
The best restaurants in Sydney are some of Australia’s most popular and respected. They are a testament to the country’s culinary prowess. These restaurants have earned their reputations through excellent service and high-quality food.
On this list of Sydney restaurants, you will find a wide variety of cuisines. You’ll see fine French dining and homey Italian cooking to Australian cuisine embraced by locals and tourists alike.
Do you want to go on a romantic night out with your significant other? Do you want to bring your family out for an unforgettable meal? Well, these are the places you want to go!
Sydney is known for its unique culinary scene. With so many restaurants, it can take time to decide which one to try first. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best restaurants in Sydney that offer unique dining experiences.
You’ll find something for every taste and budget. Michelin-starred establishments like Apollonia and Bennelong offer a lot of pleasures. Casual restaurants like Big Poppa’s and Bistrot 916 also give the true taste of Sydney. Head to Ormeggio at The Spit, Mosman, or Double Deuce Lounge for a memorable evening. And, of course, a list would only be complete by mentioning Tetsuya’s alumni Dan Hong and Luke Powell, who are helping shape the city’s culinary landscape.
Are you looking for natural wines and traditional dishes? Or you may seek a set menu that offers unexpected twists. So get ready to tantalize your taste buds at the best restaurants in Sydney!
Table of Contents
Best Restaurants in Sydney
Apollonia is a history-laden subterranean venue located in the heart of Sydney. It is a moody and romantic Sicilian-inspired cocktail bar. You can’t refuse this heritage-listed basement offer. You may enjoy an old-fashioned romantic escape through cocktails, beverages, and fun times. A mock drinking den for Sicilian bandits and a tribute to Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone from The Godfather.
Apollonia is the perfect place to spend time with friends or celebrate special occasions. It boasts an extensive spirits list, lots of negronis, and other solid and delicious twists on classic cocktails. Apollonia is one of the best restaurants in Sydney. Whether looking for last-minute tables at some of Sydney’s best restaurants or a great spot to spend time with loved ones, Apollonia has something for everyone.
The bar, an underground establishment steeped in history in the center of Sydney, offers a wide selection of spirits. They have plenty of negronis and other robust, delectable variations on Italian cocktails. These are served by friendly, enthusiastic bartenders. There’s a little mystery, a little drama, some fun, and a lot of love.
2. Aria Restaurant Sydney
There are many things to love about Aria. The spectacular view of Sydney Harbour is amazing. They have an award-winning wine list. Even better is their modern take on Australian cuisine. Aria continues to be one of Sydney’s culinary classics. Few eateries capture Sydney’s authentic flavor quite like it.
Aria has a magnificent, art-filled location. Its expansive views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are breathtaking. Aria combines the ambition of owners Matt Moran and Bruce Solomon, the inventiveness of Executive Chef Tom Gorringe, the most excellent seasonal ingredients, and a world-class wine list. Definitely Australian. Sydney in all its glory.
Aria is an operatic show of fine-dining elegance. You’ll wonder how the staff appears out of nowhere to open doors and how the wait staff appears to do the same. Executive chef Thomas Gorringe’s food menu competes brilliantly with those views worth a billion dollars.
You can enjoy the tasting menu at Gorringe or the four-course a la carte, both of which highlight seasonal, local produce. Setting the tone is a sweet potato doughnut amuse-bouche with duck liver parfait, balanced by revelatory slivers of frog skin melon.
An entrée of golden beets and persimmon is adorned with saffron-yellow blossoms. A Moreton Bay bug indulges in a bowl of buttery bisque that is decorated with freshly grilled maize and golden fennel. Add a bowl of mash to the house-hung Maremma duck that has been glazed with pomegranate molasses.
Head to Bennelong for a taste of fine dining in one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks – the Sydney Opera House. Located under the iconic sails, this multi-level restaurant offers an exceptional culinary experience. It celebrates the remarkable architecture of the Opera House. Bennelong, designed by renowned executive chef Peter Gilmore to be “a great Australian restaurant for our finest building,” is more than up to the splendor of its setting. Gilmore and head chef Rob Cockerill create culinary magic. They use only the best Australian seafood, meats, native flora, and wines in the cathedral-like interior of the Sydney Opera House.
Begin your gastronomic journey with a visit to the ‘Cured and Cultured’ bar. You can sample snacks such as red claw crayfish and oysters in that bar. Then, move up to the main dining area. Enjoy pork belly with miso, smoked eel, and seaweed salad. You can also eat slow-cooked lamb shoulder with broad beans and truffle. With a focus on seasonal produce, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and each dish is artfully presented and flavorful.
Finish your meal with one of Bennelong’s signature desserts. You can have pavlova with poached rhubarb or lemon curd tart, tarte tatin, and sorbet. With views overlooking the harbor, Bennelong is a unique experience that will have you talking about it long after your meal. So, if you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience in Sydney, book your table at Bennelong today.
See Related: Papa Gede’s Bar
4. Big Poppa’s
The creative minds behind Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn, and Lobo Plantation, three of Sydney’s most fabulous small bars, are behind this eccentric late-night Italian restaurant and bar with a hip-hop motif. Big Poppa’s is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to enjoy a night in Sydney.
Located on the lively Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, this award-winning restaurant and bar offer modern Italian dishes and a great selection of drinks until late. Big Poppa’s has something for everyone from pasta, cheese, cocktails, and wine. Enjoy a seat on their plush lounges and devour their menu, which has something for all tastes. With the kitchen open until late, it’s no surprise why this small casual bar draws in the crowds. So grab your friends and head to Big Poppa’s for an unforgettable night out!
The menu is limited, with about a dozen typical Italian dishes. This includes beef carpaccio, pappardelle with lamb ragu, and brasato di Manzo. There is a tiny dining area at street level and a more extensive cocktail bar-style space underneath. It has dim lighting and leather seats (braised beef with fava beans). A 2-page menu of predominantly European cheeses can be served as a board with bread, honey, and seasonal fruit. They take their cheese very seriously here. There is a sizable wine list and a wide selection of cocktails. You may order from the entire menu up to 3:00 AM!
See Related: Best Hotels in Sydney Centre
5. Bistrot 916
Bistrot 916 is one of the best restaurants in Sydney that takes the traditional French bistro to the next level. You’ll find Bistrot 916 in Potts Point. Three of the city’s most exciting young hospitality players lead it. They are Dan Pepperell, whose clever and inventive menu has been a hit with diners, and sommeliers James Kidman and Patrick Martin. This restaurant is open for dinner 7 nights a week, as well as lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Bistrot 916 is an excellent spot for an unforgettable dining experience.
The menu at Bistrot 916 is full of creative dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. Their highlights include their signature smoked eel mousse with house-cured salmon. They also have pork terrine with pickled mushroom and crispy-fried duck egg with smoked quail. The talented chefs also prepare a selection of classic French dishes like steak frites and roasted lamb shoulder.
Don’t forget to save room for some delectable desserts! They serve dark chocolate mousse, passionfruit soufflé, or poached peaches with honey ice cream.
There’s also a great selection of wines to match the food at Bistrot 916. Sommeliers Kidman and Martin have created an impressive list that features local and international labels. You can also opt for a bottle of one of their house wines – either a white or red – or enjoy one of their signature cocktails like a Pisco Sour or an Aperol Spritz. Take advantage of the unique dining experience offered by Bistrot 916 – book your table now!
See Related: Bellamy Beach
6. Cafe Paci
Cafe Paci is a cozy neighborhood restaurant located in Newtown, Sydney. It is open Monday to Saturday for dinner and lunch on Saturdays. This modern restaurant/wine bar began life as a semi-fine-dining ‘pop-up.’ Then, it settled down in Newtown and became one of the best restaurants in Sydney. The cafe was named in Concrete Playground’s Best Restaurants in Sydney list for 2022. It is a must-visit spot for foodies!
The menu at Cafe Paci is influenced by the Finnish heritage of its head chef Petanen. Its exciting dishes will tantalize your taste buds. From fresh seafood to roasted meats to hearty vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone. And remember to browse their excellent wine selection – it’s sure to please every palate!
Whether you’re after a casual dinner with friends or a romantic date night, Cafe Paci is the perfect spot. With its cozy atmosphere and delicious food, it’s no wonder why this Newtown eatery is one of the most popular restaurants in Sydney!
See Related: Sydney Itinerary
7. Cantina OK!
Cantina OK! is one of Sydney’s top Mexican-themed bars, offering an impressive selection of mescal and unique cocktails. Located in Council Place Sydney 2000, the standing-only bar has room for 20 people only. It serves up its world-famous margaritas and cocktails with hand-shaven ice and hand-pressed limes. Cantina OK! is the perfect spot for those looking to experience a taste of Mexico without leaving Sydney. The bar also stocks rare spirits from Mexico, making it a great place to try something new. So if you’re looking for a special night out in Sydney, check out Cantina OK!
See Related: Best Hostels in Sydney, Australia
8. Charlie Parkers
Charlie Parkers is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Sydney’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene. Located in Paddington, this intimate basement bar blends seasonality with technology to create a unique culinary experience. Featuring an innovative menu that showcases the best of the season’s produce, Charlie Parker’s is sure to tantalize the taste buds of all its visitors. From Bubble Tea and Juices to Coffee and Tea, there is something for everyone here. There’s also Biviano’s Italian on the menu for those looking for something more substantial. Whether you’re in the mood for a light snack or a full meal, Charlie Parker’s has you covered. So why not come on and experience this warm and welcoming atmosphere?
See Related: Best Travel Books About Sydney, Australia
Chiswick features seasonal foods cultivated in its kitchen garden and premium lamb from Matt Moran’s family farm. It showcases the finest Australian produce. If you’re wondering who Matt Moran is, he is a chef/owner of Aria Restaurant. The result is straightforward yet delectable cuisine. It ranges from starters like zucchini flowers with goat’s curd lemon or Sydney rock oysters to mains like entire John Dory fish with rocket and spring vegetable soup.
10. Dean & Nancy on 22
Dean & Nancy on 22 is a luxurious cocktail bar on the 22nd floor of the A by Adina Hotel in Sydney. Are you looking to take in the stunning Sydney skyline while sipping on some of the best cocktails in town? Dean & Nancy on 22 provides an unbeatable experience. I has 2-story windows, 360-degree aspect, and breathtaking cityscape views. The talented team from the acclaimed Sydney bar Maybe Sammy has crafted a unique menu. It features signature creations, classic favorites, and a range of wines and spirits. Perfect for any occasion, this sophisticated lounge is sure to make your night truly unforgettable.
See Related: What is the job market like in Sydney, Australia?
11. Double Deuce Lounge
Double Deuce Lounge is the place to be for a unique cocktail experience in Sydney. Located in the bustling financial district of Bridge Street, this 70s-inspired lounge from the team behind Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern is sure to impress. Double Deuce Lounge offers an incredible selection of cocktails. Not only that but it was also awarded TimeOut Sydney Cocktail Bar of the Year 2020.
It has the perfect backdrop for your night out. Are you looking for soul, funk, and furry wall? They got it all! You can be sure that Double Deuce Lounge will take your quads for a workout before you even reach your first cocktail. Choose from classic favorites like Espresso Martini or Margarita. You can also try something new, like their signature Double Deuce Martini or Apple Pie Sour.
So if you’re looking for an unforgettable night in Sydney, head to Double Deuce Lounge and get ready to be transported back to the 70s. Cocktails and good times await!
Ester is a vibrant restaurant located in the heart of Chippendale. Ester is beloved by off-duty chefs for its minimal fit-out and relaxed mood. The menu features an array of small wood-fired plates that satisfy any palate. Customers love modern Australian cuisine with influences from French and Italian traditions. Combined with a warm and inviting atmosphere, this restaurant is magical. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends, Ester is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal.
The award-winning chef Mat Lindsay’s small-scale, contemporary Australian restaurant Ester is situated in the Chippendale neighborhood in the inner city. The wood-fired oven drives the food, and a short but varied choice of natural wines from Australia and other countries complements it. The subtle, concrete-walled interior design draws attention to the straightforward yet elegant cooking. Open for dinner from Wednesday through Saturday and for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
A popular restaurant for foodies, Ester’s menu features share plates for a fine dining experience. The discreet Chippendale restaurant is small and has a simple design, but the menu is heavy on seafood and meat. Here’s how to do date nights.
See Related: Australian Museum
Netflix may have made it nearly difficult to make a reservation at Firedoor. For those fortunate enough to score a spot at the bar or a table, chef Lennox Hastie and his colleagues are still pushing the boundaries of flame-kissed cuisine. Instead of an à la carte menu, customers are now guided on a 5-course journey centered on locally sourced seasonal produce, with the option to add distinctive dishes.
Firedoor is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Sydney. Located in the city’s heart, it offers a unique dining experience that combines seasonal ingredients with fire in all its forms. With no gas or electricity, Firedoor has two wood-fired ovens used to create their delicious dishes. Firedoor uses fire in all its forms and seasonal ingredients naturally. They don’t use Gas or electricity in their kitchen. They have a wood-burning hearth, 3 grills, and two wood-fired ovens. The open kitchen gives visitors a complete vision of the activity. Lennox Hastie, the chef, and owner is fascinated by fire cooking and has a laser-like focus, resulting in a daily cuisine of accuracy and nuance.
Diners have praised the restaurant for its innovative menu, and the Good Food Guide has awarded it 3 hats and named it Restaurant of the Year. On average, diners can expect to pay around $60 per person for a meal at Firedoor. If you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, Firedoor is a must-visit destination in Sydney!
14. Fred’s Restaurant
Fred’s is an inviting, rustic farm-to-table restaurant on Oxford Street in Paddington. It serves up top-notch Australian produce cooked with fire. An average meal per person is around $65, and the drinks are all local.
At Merivale’s rustic farm-to-table cafe Fred’s, most of the food is prepared over the fire. Everything is produce-based, nothing is unduly sophisticated, and the beverages are all regional. The menu features the farmer’s freshest produce at the moment.
The entire cuisine is influenced by the restaurant’s central wood-fired oven and open-fire hearth. With warm, welcoming vibes and delicious food, Fred’s is a favorite spot for anyone looking for a delicious, home-cooked meal. Want to please your palate? They serve dishes like charcoal-roasted beef with onion jam. They also slow-cooked pork belly with honey mustard glaze. The caramelized cauliflower with crispy capers will make you cry tears of joy!
15. Iceberg’s Dining Room & Bar
The cozy and elegant Dining Room is the center of Iceberg’s Dining Room and Bar. It has a constantly changing menu that focuses on modern Italian cuisine and celebrates seasonal flavors. A menu influenced by the Italian ancestry of Maurice Terzini leaves a lasting impression when it is set up to take in the iconic vista of Bondi, whether during the day or at night.
The Dining Room has been at the forefront of changing Australians’ perceptions of Italian cuisine and how they enjoy it over the years. The dishes on the menu were created with the best ingredients Australia has to give. It includes sustainable seafood, artisanal produce, and the occasional nod to the country’s indigenous cuisine. The menu changes seasonally to allow you to try dishes that represent the details of Italian cuisine.
See Related: Queens Beach
16. LuMi Bar & Dining
When you seek out excellent food, you will take tremendous measures to achieve the experience that will give you food bliss on a greater level. However, you may forget that excellence can be found all around us when doing this.
One of Sydney’s treasures is LuMi Bar & Dining. This Japanese-Italian restaurant at the tip of Pyrmont Bay has won so many accolades since it first opened. The yachts and speedboats in the harbor seem downright lazy compared to it!
Through careful and expert Japanese inspirations, LuMi Bar and Dining elevates Italian cuisine to a new level. Italian and Japanese food has a similar concern for culture, ingredients, and simplicity that borders religiosity. Perhaps only an Italian Nonna’s ragu recipe is more cherished than a Japanese shokunin’s recipe for sushi rice.
Italians cook with heart and emotion. Meanwhile, Japanese cook with organization and accuracy. Despite their very different methods, both produce the same results. Pasta and sushi are the epitome of the adage “less is more,” which is more frequently preached than applied. There are just a handful of people worldwide who can create as much using five ingredients as the Italians, and most of them are Japanese.
17. Ormeggio at the Spit
Alessandro Pavoni, a chef from Lombardy, has been captivating customers at this waterside haven since 2009. Last year, Pavoni, co-owner Victor Moya, and head chef Gianmarco Pardini presented a stunning renovation. It is now an all-seafood and vegetarian menu. They use excellent, sustainably caught fresh fish to their door by nearby fishermen.
Ormaggio’s gives a feast of imaginative, delectable share plates. The Signature Chef’s Picks menu includes Mooloolaba Moreton Bay bug cooked over charcoal with piadinas, crustacean emulsion, and anchovy-infused Pepe Saya cultured butter, and Queensland Mud crab steamed on tomato carnaroli risotto.
18. Nomad Sydney
Nomad’s delectable cuisine honors regional Australian and New South Wales produce. This restaurant gathers produce seasonally through farmers and local suppliers. The staff makes its charcuterie and cheeses and baking its bread. Small plates and dishes for sharing from the timber grill, oven, and garden are included on the à la carte menu.
With its expansive rooms and industrial-chic/Nordic decor, Nomad may need more intimacy. Still, it more than makes up for it in warmth. You’ll enjoy dishes from the heart, pleasant service, and enough delicious scents. These will elevate any first date to the next level of a relationship.
Jacqui Challinor is in charge of the big open kitchen. The food has improved significantly since she took over management of the establishment. She creates exceptional dishes! She combines her Maltese heritage with the typical Nomad Middle-Eastern flavor.
19. Quay Restaurant
Quay is an ode to Australian products. It is a monument to craftspeople, farmers, fishers, and executive chef Peter Gilmore’s love for producing great food from the ground up. He is renowned far beyond Australian borders for his embrace of nature and ingredients.
Raw scallops garnished with the indigenous vegetables minutina and agretti, with fresh squash seeds, licorice kombu, and an oyster cream distilling the ideal saline flavor from the mollusk—all presented with a handcrafted mother of pearl spoon—showcase his virtuosity with flavor and texture. As stunning as its Circular Quay postcard surrounds, Quay’s dining experience is unmatched.
See Related: Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay
20. Restaurant Hubert
Now and then, a restaurant opens up that gets the entire city talking. It’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s unique. Restaurant Hubert is that.
The Bligh Street venue is underground and has a Parisian/New York 1920s vibe thanks to its soft lighting, grand piano on stage, and small alcohol bottles lining the walls. There are two bars, a sizable eating room, and a bar area where people may drink and eat.
The wine list is excellent, the meal is superb, and the cocktails are unique. This location does not let you down.
21. Sean’s Bondi
One of the most distinctly Sydney eating experiences is at Sean’s. The food is appropriately local and seasonal, the space is lit by sunlight, and the sound of Bondi’s pounding surf can be heard. However, it thankfully lacks Sydney’s constant flash and gimmick. Almost every foodie Sydneysider may recall a delicious dinner they once had at Sean’s with nostalgia. Your senses are immediately transported to a different location. The unique beauty of the hexagon tile floor, scallop shell lamps, small blackboards with wine recommendations, and striped tablecloths will take you away.
The view across the street, though, is purely Bondi Beach as surfers pursue waves off, Ben Buckler. It’s a charming farmhouse restaurant by the sea that feels cozy and at ease in its skin. It was a crazy small enclosed veranda area for a restaurant back then, and it is now.
There is already an impression of simplicity, color, and an artist’s eye. During the lockdown, Moran uploaded Instagram pictures of the daily takeaway menus. He framed them in fruits and vegetables like Arcimboldo. The pegboard walls have additional artwork hung on them, but the room itself is the actual work of an artist.
Sean works alongside executive chef Sam Robertson in the kitchen when not tinkering with his food. It’s a natural material that seems organic, uncomplicated, and accurate. They have a regularly changing menu that adapts equally well to the changing seasons, supplies, and passions. You will have several favorite dishes in Sean’s!
See Related: Best Day Trips from Sydney, Australia
22. Ursula’s Restaurant
Chef Phil Wood debuted his first solo restaurant in the quiet Paddington backstreets. From the outside, you wouldn’t have any idea. The only giveaways are a doormat that says Ursula’s and the soft sound of happy conversations inside the charming corner terrace, one of many old homes on Hargrave Street.
The recently refurbished area may serve as an art gallery. Each site features striking tonal contrasts. This includes theatrical light sculptures made of bent steel. The lights twist and form lighting across the textured walls in one room and powder blue in another.
The inventiveness continues, too. Intriguing contrasts and whimsical touches make Phil Wood’s contemporary Australian menu. The food menu features simple dishes, but he turns them into show-stopping masterpieces.
Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther created the wine list. It has a blend of well-known labels from vineyards like Tyrrell’s, Crawford River, Jim Barry, Henschke, and Grosset. It also has unique selections, including uncommon varietals and skin-contact wines.