Sydney has a well-deserved reputation as a foodie hotspot, and it has a rich culinary heritage marked by innovative dishes served in spectacular settings.
The city is constantly saturated with trendy new cafes and pubs, making it tough to construct a thorough bucket list of favorites. So we’ve curate a selection of classics, gems from the city, and Michelin-starred wonders to ensure that you get the best possible experience. If it’s the atmosphere, the service, a breathtaking view, or simply the quality of the cuisine on your plate, you know when you’re in a top restaurant in a city.
Choosing just a few of the city’s many superb restaurants and claiming them to be the pinnacle of culinary excellence is risky in our fair harbor metropolis. There’s a good chance that not everyone is on the same page. Some may become enraged. This list includes some of our hometown’s finest ever performers, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more incredible selection anywhere else.
Here are some of Sydney’s hottest spots for dining right now.
Nobu’s brilliance and simplicity will please even the pickiest eater. Chef Harold Hurtada creates melt-in-your-mouth black cod miso with yellowtail jalapeño. To make classic and modern meals, Nobu fuses Japanese tradition with regionally inspired ingredients and fine seafood. Wagyu gyoza with spicy ponzu is delicious. Enjoy with sake, Wine, or botanical cocktails and mocktails.
As one of Sydney’s most renowned fine dining restaurants, Bennelong is housed in the Opera House and provides meals worthy of its illustrious surroundings. It’s only fitting that this restaurant’s menu draws heavily from the cuisine of Australia’s vast brown country and its many waves of migrant populations. A three-curd ravioli, Murray cod, and pork belly koji are some of the current offerings on the menu. It’s a meal fit for a king, and it’s aware of its status.
Chefs Ross and Sunny Lusted have meticulously crafted Woodcut’s menu. They are an award-winning pair who use wood, charcoal, and steam for cooking their traditional dishes in an open kitchen. Regulars may expect a constantly evolving menu. However, Woodcut’s success might be attributed to locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Margra lamb and spinach are two of our favorite dishes to serve as an appetizer or main course. For dessert, try Valrhona chocolate crackers or artisanal cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyere.
Located just a few blocks away from Bennelong in Sydney’s CBD, Quay is another one of Peter Gilmore’s acclaimed restaurants. Pioneering chef Gilmore is known for his use of locally produced ingredients and the quirks of nature. When it comes to celebrating Australia’s natural beauty, Quay is the place to go. The food at Quay is sourced directly from Australia’s land, rivers, and oceans. A superb wine list with some of the country’s most exemplary and world leaders is also available at the restaurant.
Everything is prepared to order in a wood-fired kitchen. Observe the chef at work in this open-kitchen environment. Custom-grown veggies and matured meats, including lamb, hog, chicken, beef, and fresh seafood, may all be found at this restaurant. Please make yourself comfortable and witness the masters of the flames in action as they work with unique ingredients from small-scale producers.
6. Long Chim
“Best Thai in Sydney” is a big claim since there is a lot of competition in this city. Still, Long Chim has been able to keep that title for the past five years, ever since restaurant owner David Thompson came back to Sydney after running restaurants with Michelin stars in Singapore, Melbourne, and Perth. It’s Thai food from street vendors and has more heat and flavor than anything else in the city. The busy restaurant in the Central Business District (CBD) aims for quality, spice, and cultural authenticity.
This Italian-inspired dinner features local fish. According to the chef, Chef Alessandro Pavoni’s menu will have a distinct Sydney flavor. Swordfish roasted over charcoal is a must-try, as is the ‘elephant ear’-shaped Cotoletta Milanese, which is meant to be shared. A relaxed pace and good company is critical components of this highly recommended luxury dining experience.
8. Restaurant Hubert
At Hubert, you may enjoy a delicious night out in a dimly lit, wood-furnished subterranean environment if you’re in the mood for a throwback to the Jazz Age. You can enjoy classic delicacies like duck liver pate, steak tartare, and cheese soufflé while listening to live music and popping champagne corks. Baxter’s and Frankie’s hedonistic inclinations are displayed here, albeit in a more polished context.
Sydney Harbor gets a taste of Greece from the man behind Alpha and Omega. In addition to its beautiful views of the Opera House, the restaurant serves you regional seafood delicacies that take you straight to the Mediterranean. This salad features sea urchins, Abrolhos octopus, lamb tomahawk, and taramosalata. Artisanal cheese, cured meat, olive oil, and natural spices, all derived from Creta and Cypress, also catch our attention.
The historic Potts Point Yellow House is opening a vegan fine dining establishment. Award-winning Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Monopole, Cirrus, and Ria Pizza + Wine have teamed up to bring you Yellow. Taking inspiration from the European dining scene, chef Brent Savage and his crew have devised a plant-based cuisine that is both delicious and cheap. A wide selection of natural, biodynamic, and organic wines and non-alcoholic options is ideal for pairing with this dish.
11. Cho Cho San
Casual Japanese food in Sydney has never been as full of flavor as it is at Cho Cho San. The restaurant takes the idea of a traditional Izakaya and makes it more modern with a great menu of cocktails, local wines, and sake. Even though the menu looks a little more casual, don’t be fooled: the ingredients are fresh, and the flavors are as good as you could hope for.
12. Fratelli Paradiso
With Fratelli Paradiso, the Paradiso brothers can show off their culinary prowess and offer a broader range of Italian cuisine than is feasible at their sister restaurant, 10 William Street. Outdoor street sitting and the ubiquitous coffee bar serves as the perfect backdrops for people-watching. Food is available from early in the morning until late at night, and it’s always made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. That includes breakfast pastries, pasta for lunch, and an excellent roast half-chicken for dinner.
The restaurant has 45 seats and serves the food that your favorite chef likes best. Since 2013, Ester has been a mainstay of the fine dining scene, with a strong reputation for fresh food that blows your mind. Every dish here is made with a lot of care and is made in a way that will surprise and please you. Matt Lindsay is a genius who can always create something new out of old favorites and familiar tastes that makes you wonder why it was ever done any other way. You can’t beat Shwarmama, Lindsay’s stylish take on the kebab shop for something more relaxed.
14. Sean’s Panorama
Since 1993, head chef and owner Sean Moran has sent food from his 20-acre farm in the Blue Mountains to his Bondi restaurant. Sean’s has three-course menus with two choices for each course that change every day. The farm plate is made up of fresh vegetables, eggs, and whatever else is in season.
Ester’s younger sibling runs a wine bar and restaurant in a raw, basement-like setting, and she lives with them. Wine lovers can choose from a wide range of traditional varietals, some genre-defying naturals, and an ever-evolving snack menu that emphasizes wood-fired flavors and eating with your hands whenever possible. Pork ears marinated in honey and five spices served on skewers are one of our all-time favorite recipes. Once again, it’s easy to tell that the crew is in a good mood. Choose the cuisine and ask for the Wine that goes with it or around. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad.
16. Rock pool Bar & Grill
Though the original Rock pool is now closed, the opulent steakhouse which bears its name is still the straightforward favorite child in Neil Perry’s family of bars and restaurants. Despite being (slightly) more casual than the original, this is still one of Sydney’s premier exceptional occasion restaurants. Rock pool Bar and Grill refuses to rest on its laurels; Neil Perry’s commitment to timeless dishes cooked with fastidiously-sourced ingredients has given this fine-diner commendable vitality and longevity.
This suburban fine-dining establishment on Stanmore’s quiet corner terrace is free of distracting vistas or an open kitchen so that you can concentrate solely on the meal in front of you. The night’s dinner is unveiled step by step, beginning with appetizers and moving on to five savory courses, followed by two desserts and a petit fours encore. Spencer Gulf squid’s delicate, silky petals or the fragrant mix of red pepper and poor man’s orange combined with crisp-skinned coral trout are just two examples of the dishes that will be presented. You don’t want to waste your time on people who don’t appreciate the detailed work to prepare this caliber of food.
The head chef at Automata, Clayton Wells, has extensive experience working in some of Australia’s and Europe’s most prestigious dining establishments. As a result, the modern Australian menu at this restaurant is constantly evolving. It features dishes that make the most of the freshest, most flavorful ingredients available at any given moment. For lunch, guests can choose between a three-course and a five-course meal, while at night, guests can select between a five-course and a seven-course meal.
19. Alberto’s Lounge
The same people who ran Restaurant Hubert also run this lively Italian restaurant. It shows in the food, which is often traditional-looking but has a relaxed, slightly subversive vibe. For example, the trippa alla Romana (braised tripe) is the restaurant’s signature dish. Instead of the usual Roman flavors, cinnamon, cardamom, and garam masala are used. Kinds of pasta are more straightforward, but they are just as exciting.
There is an air of luxury about this waterfront property. There is a welcome area, which is elegantly adorned with historical furniture, and the bar has a scalloped pattern that’s nearly mesmerizing. Among the offerings are classic French and Italian dishes and high-quality Australian seafood prepared to the exacting standards reflected in its pricing. Bert’s is an excellent choice for any occasion, whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a get-together with close friends and family over a few drinks.