Something many residents of Sydney experience is getting bored with the restaurants they frequently visit. But it can be equally frustrating trying to find the best new restaurants to enjoy a delicious meal.
This is because it’s always a risk going to a cool restaurant you’ve never been to before; the atmosphere could be off, the service might be really poor, and the food could taste awful but be expensive.
These risks are also faced by those just visiting, who simply want a decent dinner from one of the city’s fanciest, or coolest restaurants, and one that’s not an overhyped tourist attraction. Never fear, we’ve taken those risks for you. So, if you’re looking for a restaurant in Sydney to visit on your next night out on the town, these are the ones you need to go to.
In this Sydney food story…
This guide to the top restaurants caters to all budgets, cuisines, and atmospheres; so, whether you want a pleasurable dinner with friends, or really want to impress a date, you’ll find a place perfectly suited to your dining needs below. And it goes without saying, but all of these restaurants have incredibly delicious food.
The best Italian restaurant in Bondi
283 Bondi Rd, Bondi – $$
While some may think the only top-notch place to eat in Bondi is Icebergs (and don’t get us wrong, it is a great place to go) Totti’s is somewhat of a hidden gem that is slowly getting the hype it deserves. With a sandstone courtyard filled with olive trees and flowering bougainvilleas, you’ll feel like you’ve actually flown to Italy for the night; plus, the Italian eatery has one of the most competent wood-fire chefs in the country.
With delicious antipasti, pasta, steak, schnitzel, and more on offer, we highly recommend getting a few dishes and sharing them, so everyone can taste the various mouth-watering Italian dishes Totti’s have to offer.
“The food was exceptional as was the personal service! Having been in the Industry for many years the team here have all bases covered!”Lushas_Long (TripAdvisor)
The Grounds of Alexandria
The best breakfast experience
Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street Alexandria – $$$
Effortlessly blending the natural beauty of the great outdoors with simple, rustic charm is The Grounds of Alexandria, one of the best places in Sydney for weekend brunch, The Grounds wants to bring people together to enjoy fresh, wholesome food, The Grounds have become famous for their highly photogenic, immersive experiences; think, hundreds of pine trees covered in twinkling lights and snow machines at Christmas time.
The Grounds and their Insta-worthy installations are open to everybody and anybody, and at times can be seriously busy and crowded. This is why you’ll need to make a reservation for ‘The Potting Shed’ so you can enjoy a table to yourselves and experience the insanely delicious food on offer.
“What a beautiful spot to visit for brunch, super impressed with the ambience and speed for what was a very busy Saturday morning.”605maddih (TripAdvisor)
5 Kensington St, Chippendale – $$$$
Helmed by Head Chef Clayton Wells, Automata offers a frequently changing tasting menu. Components of this everchanging menu stem from Clayton’s varied background at some of Australia’s and Europe’s finest dining institutions, meaning you can always expect exquisite food.
Automata has an extremely cool and sleek modern industrialist look, which when paired with delicious fine dining, will provide you with an unforgettable night! It’s a little on the pricier side, but when it comfortably lays claim to being one of the top restaurants, we think it’s worth every cent.
“What a brilliant restaurant – a tasting menu to delight, so creative and a stellar presentation. Caters well for non drinkers and extremely careful for diners with gluten free requirements.”aquilins (TripAdvisor)
1/35 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney – $$$
Fuss-free food, world-class wines, and simple, classic cocktails are what Bea, located on level 1 of Barangaroo House, has to offer. With a spacious outdoor deck overlooking Darling Harbour, and indoor banquettes, Bea’s chefs use a wood-fired grill and local ingredients to create vibrant dishes that are best enjoyed as sharing-plates.
“The food and service was amazing. A vibrant atmosphere as we enjoyed a late lunch. I highly recommend Bea as a great new city dining experience.”chrissO6542OJ (TripAdvisor)
46-52 Meagher St, Chippendale – $$$
If it’s a fine dining restaurant you’re looking for, Ester is incredibly minimalist and cool in regards to both the menu and decor, but this is because the team focuses on substance over exaggerated style. With both an à la carte menu and a set menu with optional wine pairing available, no matter what you choose, you’re in for a treat with a dinner you won’t forget.
“Great professional workers on top of their game. was a great night, food and service on point with a very engaging barwoman full of knowledge. will be back soon.”taivon2015 (TripAdvisor)
The best ‘cooked over charcoal’ restaurant
23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills – $$$$
With a name like Firedoor, it’s no surprise that chefs at this restaurant work exclusively with fire in all its forms. The kitchen uses no gas or electricity, instead, opting to use two wood-fired ovens, three grills, and a wood-burning hearth. Plus, the kitchen is open to allow guests a clear view of the action that unfolds in the fiery kitchen.
Using seasonal Australian ingredients, Firedoor’s menu is ever-changing but always delicious.
“By far the best fine dining experience I have had in Australia! The food and cocktails were amazing!”cell101010 (TripAdvisor)
380 Oxford St, Paddington – $$$$
Warm and welcoming, Fred’s offers farm-to-table cooking, so naturally, the decor has been set up to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a friend’s rustic country home. All of Fred’s meat and seafood sources have been sustainably farmed and fished, the pasta is made from organic local wheat and semolina flours, and the Crème Fraiche is house-made using organic local cream.
If you’re after a dinner that’ll make you feel cosy and appreciate life’s simple luxuries, Fred’s is the restaurant for you.
“If you only had one meal left this is the place where you would go. Dear as poison, but worth every cent.”David C
Bennelong Point, Sydney Opera House, Sydney – $$$$
Wanting to celebrate the iconic Sydney Opera House and its extraordinary architecture? Then Bennelong should be on your list. It allows Australian produce and wine to take centre stage, with a three-course à la carte menu offered across all three dining levels of the restaurant.
A rarity for a fine dining venue, the cooking is not overly technical and tricky – it’s robust and direct – allowing the pure flavours of the ingredients to sing; meaning the food is always impeccably delicious. Considering it’s situated inside the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong is an absolute must-visit for tourists.
“What an experience- the moment you walk up to the steps of the Opera House and enter this seamless restaurant under the iconic sails you are greeted with warmth and professionalism”PhotoHutt (TripAdvisor)
83 Percival Rd, Stanmore – $$$
Named after the sixpence restaurants that operated in the late 1800s in Australia and housed in a historic building on Percival Road which was erected in 1907, Sixpenny is a restaurant linked to Australian history.
A hidden gem tucked away in a corner terrace in Stanmore, Sixpenny offers one a downright delectable tasting menu to all guests. Collaborating with small-scale farmers, fishermen, and producers, Sixpenny’s food is simply marvellous and influenced by the seasons.
“We really enjoyed our experience at Sixpenny. In particular we love that they championed Australian ingredients and the touches of quirky Australiana, through the use Australian artists in their ceramics and interiors. Overall, a great experience and well suited to a special occasion.”the whereto (TripAdvisor)
The best French restaurant
15 Bligh St, Sydney – $$$
Restaurant Hubert is “a restaurant for people who love restaurants”. The menu reflects a passion for Paris with exquisite French cuisine. The decor present throughout the venue – which includes three bars, a large central dining room, a pair of intimate private dining rooms, alongside the Theatre Royale (an art-house cinema) – give Hubert an unmistakable French bistro vibe; one that is extremely pleasurable.
It can be tricky to get a booking at Restaurant Hubert, but if you do manage to snag one, you’ll dine at what is often regarded as one of the most exclusive restaurants in Sydney.
“After a long wait to get in (booked months in advance) it was so worth it. The food was on point, but its the overall vibe and attention to detail that really sets this french with spice restaurant apart.”mytravelromance (TripAdvisor)
LuMi Bar & Dining
56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont – $$$
LuMi, a waterfront venue with light and sophisticated glass doors, offers a casual fine dining experience. LuMi, which is Italian for small lights, is adorned with small pendant lights which creates a magical atmosphere within the restaurant.
As for the food, it’s described as modern Italian with a Japanese twist. Focused on the seasonality of the product but more importantly on the flavour, LuMi cements its place as one of Sydney’s best.
“Lumi offers true degustation fine dining with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Every plate of food was delicious with knowledgeable and friendly service staff and some interesting wine pairings.”O9719UNbarbaral (TripAdvisor)
The best Australian cuisine
16 Foster St, Surry Hills – $$$
Nomad offers fine dining in one of the best restaurant venues we’ve come across. Effortlessly cool and fresh-looking, the venue is one you’ll want to spend considerable time in. The food on offer is inspired by the team’s travels through Spain, Morocco, and the Middle East, and is cooked with fire and smoke. Plus, the wine list has been curated to highlight the very best of Australian wine, all of which pair beautifully with Nomad’s delicious dishes.
“Unmissable experience! excellent food perfectly prepared and impeccably presented. nice cozy atmosphere and great service.”Y2299WUrobertot (TripAdvisor)
The best Chinese food
3 Bridge Ln, Sydney – $$$
Despite being spread over two levels, Mr Wong feels intimate with many nooks for two to share a table, with dim lighting and moody jazz being spread all around. With an extensive menu and over 80 Cantonese-style dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you visit Mr Wong. A favourite crowd-pleaser at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Sydney, is the barbecue duck, which is simply mouth-watering.
“Mr Wong never fails to deliver brilliant food, wine, cocktails, and the staff are always professional and efficient. A true gem.”soniapG9500DO (TripAdvisor)
4 Ash St, Sydney – $$$
If you’re after a casual yet elegant dining experience you have to try Mercado. This is because Mercado offers a share-style menu inspired by the Mediterranean, with Spanish cuisine being a particular focus.
If you’re a meat lover, you’ll be impressed with Mercado’s use of traditional kitchen techniques: whole animal butchery, inhouse meat curing, and dry-aging of premium cuts of beef. These techniques really enhance the flavour of Mercado’s already fine food.
“The service was efficient and friendly, with our server offering us food and wine recommendations that we enjoyed. We would go back again.”juliethatcher (TripAdvisor)
The best Florentine steak
3 Dalley St, Sydney – $$$
Dedicated to (and even named after) Tuscany’s revered cut of steak, bistecca alla Fiorentina, Bistecca is the best restaurant in Sydney for, you guessed it, Florentine steak, enjoyed alongside a classic cocktail. The steak, after which the restaurant is named, is cut and weighed, then presented to diners before being cooked fireside over charcoal to a perfect medium-rare.
This paired with the ambience of Bistecca, which is unashamedly Italian, makes for one of the coolest dining experiences you’ll find in the city.
“Bistecca is the dinner experience of a lifetime – we had so much fun as a group. Watching the steak being cut in front of you to selecting the sides and having them confiscate your phone is all part of the experience.”carlym757 (TripAdvisor)
The best Greek restaurant
44 MacLeay St, Potts Point – $$
The Apollo is one of Sydney’s best Greek restaurants. It’s no wonder, this beloved contemporary Greek taverna serves memorable food for modern tastes, and you go to experience the elegant, spirited atmosphere and stay for the top-notch Mediterranean food.
Oh, and the classic Greek wine list. Inspired by the pleasures of eating together, The Apollo’s dishes are designed for sharing so everyone can enjoy the various scrumptious meals.
“Well, this place is definitely a MUST experience. Nice atmosphere and decoration. Friendly and knowledgeable staff that really know what they are doing. The chic-casual style combined with excellent food brings s brilliant match.”wherethaylostherboot (TripAdvisor)
There you have it, the must try Sydney restaurants to experience this year.