The vibrant Australian capital is known for its incredibly diverse and colourful food scene home to some of the best restaurants “down undah.” Whether you are visiting The Emerald City or are a local looking for your next mind-blowing meal, you certainly aren’t lacking on options. From swanky upscale Australian restaurants to cosy Italian eateries, there are loads to choose from. Here are the best places to eat in Sydney.
25 Best Places to Eat in Sydney in 2021
Sydney is home to one of the most vibrant and thriving greek food scenes in the country, and The Apollo proves it. Known for their contemporary spin on Greek classics, you’ll find all your favourites here and more. From the creative saganaki cheese with honey and herbs to classic oven-baked lamb shoulder, every last one of their menu items is sure to transport you right to the heart of Hellas.
For a taste of Argentina, there is simply no better place than Porteño. At Porteño they are all about family-style eating so be prepared to share everything. Honestly, it’s better this way because you can really load up on their fabulous menu items and have a smorgasbord of Argentina at your table. Be sure to grab the roast lamb shoulder with chimichurri and a bottle from their private wine cellar.
Cho Cho San brings modern Japanese cuisine to life at this Sydney favourite. They pride themselves on putting a creative spin on the traditional Japanese izakaya and innovating with mouthwatering dishes such as pork katsu steam buns and king crab omelettes. Even better are the cocktails such as the peach tea sour and yuzu sprits.
If creative and innovative Australian cooking if your thing, head to Ester. You’ll find that here it’s all about quality over quantity. The rotating menu is quaint but not lacking at all in terms of deliciousness. Since the goods are sourced from Sydney itself and the surroundings, local fresh ingredients are a top priority. Because of this, the menu is always evolving with the latest seasonal dishes. Currently, they are offering a smoked duck breast that’s a bit of a local legend…
Chef David Thompsom is here to bring you the very best of Thai cuisine from zesty fish cakes with Thai basil and cucumber relish to hearty curries including sweet potato, chicken and king scallop. Whether you opt for the pork jowl stir fry, lamb rack gorlae or classic pad thai, you’ll be a regular at Long Chim Sydney in no time at all.
Candlelit tables, rich wood panelling and endless French elegance, are a few things you’ll find at the oh so charming Restaurant Hubert. Renowned Chef Dan Papperell gives classic French dishes a facelift that is sure to have you raving in no time. From the escargot served with the house XO sauce to the duck parfait with maple jelly, modern French fare is taken next level at Restaurant Hubert. Be sure to treat yourself to the souffle au fromage and the legendary poisson du jour.
Thailand meets Japan meets Vietnam meets Bali at this pan Asian gem aka Chin Chin Sydney. Simply put, it’s an overwhelm of the senses in all the right ways. From the feisty kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and Thai basil; right on to the wholesome Southern Thai goat curry, you’re sure to be reeling over Chin Chin for days.
At Nomad their menu is a tribute to the regional New South Wales and Australian produce sourced seasonally and locally. Cheese and charcuteries? Those are made by the team. Breads? All baked in house of course. Their a la carte menu offers a host of plates perfect for sharing tapas-style. We’re talking barbecued spatchcock with harissa, raw hiramasa kingfish and more.
Run by Central Thailand native, Chef Sujet Saenkham, you can rest assured that you’ll be treated with all the colourful flavours of Thai cuisine at Spice I Am. From the legendary roast duck tamarind on to crispy fried fish balls, you’ll be licking your fingers before you leave. Best part? Spice I Am also offers cooking classes so that you can learn the roots of the dishes that bring this amazing Thai eatery to life.
At Firedoor they take local meats, fish and seafood next level. As the name suggests, fire plays a key role here. At Firedoor they worst instinctively with flames to create the very best dishes with seasonal ingredients. No gas or electricity here, folks. Just two wood fire ovens, three fire grills and a wood-burning hearth. They are especially innovative with the types of wood they use to flavour their items such as “shady’s woodfired bread” and the famous “extraordinary pork.”
Quay sets the standard for fine dining in Sydney with modern, sophisticated Australian dishes that look as fabulous as they taste. Take your pick from their four-course dinner or the multi-course tasting menu and don’t forget to opt for the wine pairings. The menu is entirely seasonal and largely sourced from Chef Peter Gilmore’s own back garden where the behind the scenes magic comes together to create an incredible fine dining experience.
This wine bar slash restaurant is the place where winos and foodies unite. Unique handcrafted dishes that include everything from honey and spice marinated pig’s ear to the grilled bone marrow to mascarpone pannacotta it won’t be hard to see why the menu is one of the most creative in Sydney. Obviously, don’t forget a wine pairing to bring it all full circle.
Ever wanted to try purple sea urchin? How about dry-aged murray cod or moonlight kiss rock oysters? You’ve got all that and so much more at Saint Peter. Famous for their fresh, locally sourced seafood, this is definitely the place to get your ocean bites. They showcase the very best of Australian sustainability and make some pretty incredible dishes in the process. Their approach to sustainability goes so far in fact that all of the fish are processed in their custom fish butchery right down the road, and they utilize every last bit of the whole fish – including offal where appropriate.
If your thing is dinner and a view, there is simply no better place than the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Elevated high above Bondi’s rough surf guests are greeted with an incredible view alongside equally incredible food. From the fresh-shucked rock oysters to the charcoal roasted spatchcock, each menu item is more delightful than the last. Don’t forget to treat yourself to an apertitivo, either.
Do you even need a reason to dine on classic Italian food? At Alberto’s Lounge, that’s what you’ll find. From the same guys who brought you Restaurant Hubert up above, this neighbourhood Italian eatery is the stuff of dreams. Take your pick from their wide range of nostalgic dishes like pasta e fagioli conchiglie and rigatoni braised beef cheek. Either way, it won’t take long to see why Alberto’s Lounge is hands down one of Sydney’s best restaurants.
Haute, evocative and sophisticated are a few words that perfectly describe Aria Restaurant Sydney. They pride themselves on being “unmistakably Australian and quintessentially Sydney” so you know you’re set up for an awesome meal. Even better are the unforgettable views of the epic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House. Be sure to order the dry-aged maremma duck or the junee lamb.
Cantonese aficionados need look no further than Mr. Wong. Get your fill of their legendary dumplings, and you’ll be reeling for weeks. We’re talkin’ lobster and scallop, prawn and bamboo, chicken and chive, Sichuan lam and even more if you can imagine. Whatever you do, you absolutely can not leave without an order of the steamed bbq pork buns.
Tetsuya’s is a slice of Tokyo in the heart of Sydney. From the lush Japanese sculpture garden to the four swanky dining areas, it’s not sore on the eyes either. The real star, of course, is the food. At Tetsuya’s, they marry Japanese seasonal flavours with time tested French techniques and Australian produce. Choose from their five or eight-course menu to dine on some of the best Japanese food outside Japan. We strongly recommend the sashimi of SA Hiramasa Kingfish.
Rockpool Bar and Grill is one of the best restaurants in Sydney for its opulent decor including a chandelier made from 2,682 Riedel Riesling glasses, killer service and unbelievable delicious menu. At this award-winning restaurant, you’ll find some of the best beef in Australia alongside an extensive wine list of over 3,000 options. We recommend the rib eye and buttery lobster for the meal of a lifetime.
When it comes to Caribbean fusion, Momofuku Seiōbo gets it right. It’s also the Sydney branch of THE David Chang’s global empire. At Momofuku Seiōbo they perfectly combine the very best of Caribbean fare to bring a taste of Barbados, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Cuba right to your plate. Be sure to try the ‘cou cou’ – a Bajan black pudding riddled with colonial history.
Cirrus is one of the best restaurants in Sydney for its unbelievably fresh and sustainably caught seafood. While the seafood is what shines here, vegetarians and meat-eaters can fill up too. Veggies will love the goat cheese curd, and pumpkin scallops and meat-eaters will enjoy the O’Connor dry-aged rib eye. Honestly, their entire menu is to die for. But we recommend loading up on the oysters, sea urchin with potato puffs and eastern lobster with salted egg yolk.
If you are looking for a super casual eatery loaded with the flavours of Sri Lanka, look no further. Lankan Filling Station is the perfect spot to get your Resplendent Isle fix. Start with a fill of the crab cutlets with curry, green chilli and dill or the murukku with lots of crunch and spices. Then move on to either of their fiery curries such as the potato, fish, prawn or chicken. Don’t forget to seal the deal with a creamy ginger and turmeric gelato.
Nobody does a charming cafe atmosphere, warm Aussie hospitality and delicious bites quite like Cafe Paci. Here you’ll find a hearty lineup of tasty delight from potato and molasses bread with butter to roasted veal with grilled mackerel. You really can’t go wrong with any of their menu options but leaving without a bite of the devilled eggs with trout roe would be criminal.
Bella Brutta takes your neighbourhood pizzeria and cranks it up a few notches. Perfectly freckled crusts, paper-thin dough, rich sauce and fresh toppings are a few things to expect. We recommend the mortadella pizza or the classic pepperoni; but only after some of their delicious bread and butter with some burrata.
Few places in Australia imitate the charm and pizzaz of an Italian villa like that of Totti’s. This classic Italian eatery is like a scene straight from a sleepy village in Puglia. When it comes to a nostalgic Italian atmosphere, delicious Mediterranean food and world-class service, Totti’s has it in spades. Be sure to feast on the lamb ragu with pappardelle or the prawn casarecce – either way, you’ll definitely be back for more.