Sydney Restaurants

Sydney's dining scene is as sunny and cosmopolitan as the city itself, and there are diverse and exotic culinary adventures to suit every appetite. Mod Oz (modern-Australian) cooking flourishes, fueled by local produce and guided by Mediterranean and Asian techniques. Look for such innovations as tuna tartare with flying-fish ro
Sydney's dining scene is as sunny and cosmopolitan as the city itself, and there are diverse and exotic culinary adventures to suit every appetite. Mod Oz (modern-Australian) cooking flourishes, fueled by local produce and guided by Mediterranean and Asian techniques. L
Sydney's dining scene is as sunny and cosmopolitan as the city itself, and there are diverse and exotic culinary adventu

Sydney's dining scene is as sunny and cosmopolitan as the city itself, and there are diverse and exotic culinary adventures to suit every appetite. Mod Oz (modern-Australian) cooking flourishes, fueled by local produce and guided by Mediterranean and Asian techniques. Look for such innovations as tuna tartare with flying-fish roe and wasabi; emu prosciutto; five-spice duck; shiitake mushroom pie; and sweet turmeric barramundi curry. A meal at Tetsuya's or Rockpool constitutes a crash course in this dazzling culinary language. A visit to the city's fish markets at Pyrmont, five minutes from the city center, will also tell you much about Sydney's diet. Look for rudderfish, barramundi, blue-eye, kingfish, John Dory, ocean perch, and parrot fish, as well as Yamba prawns, Balmain and Moreton Bay bugs (shovel-nose lobsters), sweet Sydney rock oysters, mud crab, spanner crab, yabbies (small freshwater crayfish), and marrons (freshwater lobsters).

There are many expensive and indulgent restaurants in the city center, but the real dining scene is in the inner city, eastern suburbs, and inner-western suburbs of Leichhardt and Balmain. Neighborhoods like Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington, and beachside suburb Bondi are dining destinations in themselves. Plus, you're more likely to find a restaurant that will serve on a Sunday night in one of these places than in the central business district (the city center)—which can become a bit of a ghost town after offices close during the week. Circular Quay and The Rocks are always lively, and the Overseas Passenger Terminal (on the opposite side of the harbor from the Opera House) has several top-notch restaurants with stellar views.

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  • 1. Bathers' Pavilion

    $$$ | Balmoral | Australian

    Balmoral Beach is blessed. Not only does it have an inviting sandy beach and great water views, but it also has one of the best eating strips...Read More

  • 2. Bennelong

    $$$$ | Circular Quay | Australian

    One of Australia's most renowned chefs, Peter Gilmore, oversees the kitchen at possibly the most superbly situated dining room in town. Tucked...Read More

  • 3. bills

    $ | Darlinghurst | Café

    Named after celebrity chef and cookbook author Bill Granger, this sunny corner café is so addictive it should come with a health warning. It...Read More

  • 4. Billy Kwong

    $$ | Elizabeth Bay | Chinese

    Locals rub shoulders while eating no-fuss Chinese food at TV chef Kylie Kwong's trendy restaurant. Kwong prepares the kind of food her family...Read More

  • 5. Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

    $$$ | Bondi Beach | Italian

    The fashionable and famous (including celebrities like Mick Jagger and Paris Hilton) just adore perching like seagulls over the swimming pool...Read More

  • 6. Longrain

    $$ | Surry Hills | Thai

    It's always a fun night at this fashionable post-industrial Thai eatery because you never know who you'll end up meeting at the large communal...Read More

  • 7. Marque

    $$$$ | Surry Hills | French

    Chef Mark Best insists on exemplary service and great food at this elegant Surry Hills restaurant. Few chefs approach French flavors with such...Read More

  • 8. Quay

    $$$$ | The Rocks | Australian

    In his take on Mod Oz cuisine, celebrity chef Peter Gilmore, (who also looks after Bennelong at The Opera House), masterfully crafts a four...Read More

  • 9. Rockpool

    $$$$ | City Center | Australian

    A meal at Rockpool is a crash course in what Mod Oz cooking is all about, conducted in a glamorous, long dining room with a catwalk-like ramp...Read More

  • 10. Tetsuya's

    $$$$ | City Center | Australian

    It's worth getting on the waiting list—there's always a waiting list—to sample the unique blend of Western and Japanese-French flavors crafted...Read More

  • 11. Altitude

    $$ | The Rocks | Australian

    The lure of this decadent restaurant high above Sydney Harbour on the 36th floor of the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, is the view through the...Read More

  • 12. Aria

    $$$$ | Circular Quay | Australian

    With windows overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Aria could easily rest on the laurels of its location. Instead, celebrity chef...Read More

  • 13. Bambini Trust

    $$ | City Center | Italian

    It's hidden behind huge black doors in one of the city's historic sandstone buildings, but once you're inside you'd swear you were in Paris...Read More

  • 14. BBQ King

    $ | Haymarket | Chinese

    You can find better basic Chinese food elsewhere in town, but for duck and pork, barbecue-loving Sydneysiders know that this is the place to...Read More

  • 15. Bistro Moncur

    $$ | Woollahra | French

    This bistro in the Woollahra Hotel spills over with happy-go-lucky patrons—mostly locals from around the leafy suburb of Woollahra—who have...Read More

  • 16. Bronte Belo

    $ | Bronte | Brazilian

    One of eight or nine eateries in the buzzy café strip opposite Bronte Beach, this is a great place to refuel after the Bondi-to-Bronte clifftop...Read More

  • 17. Brown Sugar

    $$ | Bondi Beach | Australian

    You have to seek out this Bondi Beach restaurant, as it's situated several hundred feet back from the beach. You'll quickly find out, however...Read More

  • 18. Buon Ricordo

    $$$ | Paddington | Italian

    Walking into this happy, bubbly place is like turning up at a private party in the backstreets of Naples. Host, chef, and surrogate uncle Armando...Read More

  • 19. Catalina Restaurant

    $$$ | Rose Bay | Seafood

    This harbor-front restaurant occupies the site of the old "airport" (back in the days when the fastest way to get to England was by flying boat...Read More

  • 20. Chiswick

    $ | Woollahra | Australian

    Few central Sydney restaurants have access to their own homegrown produce, but here in trendy and leafy Woollahra—just a few kilometers east...Read More

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