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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Four ate Five

    $ | Surry Hills | Café

    This buzzy little café serves some of the best breakfasts in Surry Hills, which is really saying something as there is plenty of stiff competition...Read More

  • 13. Four in Hand

    $$ | Paddington | Australian

    At this cute, popular little pub in Paddington, chef Colin Fassnidge (an Irishman who emerged as the most controversial guest judge on Australian...Read More

  • 14. Mere Catherine

    $$ | Potts Point | French

    You won't find the number of this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in any trendy young thing's speed dial, but it is beloved by legions of...Read More

  • 15. Otto Ristorante

    $$ | Eastern Suburbs | Italian

    Few restaurants have the magnetic pull of Otto, a place where radio shock jocks sit side by side with fashion-magazine editors and confirmed...Read More

  • 16. Porch and Parlour

    $ | Bondi Beach | Café

    You'll probably have to wait to get one of the tiny tables in this rustic hole-in-the-wall café and wine bar on the northern end of Bondi Beach...Read More

  • 17. Red Lantern on Riley

    $$ | Darlinghurst | Vietnamese

    Owned by Vietnamese TV chef Luke Nguyen, this restaurant is popular with his legions of TV fans. Diners should always start with the country...Read More

  • 18. Sean's Panaroma

    $$ | Bondi Beach | Australian

    North Bondi Beach wouldn't be the same without Sean's Panaroma ("Sean's" to locals), perched on a slight rise a stone's throw from the famous...Read More

  • 19. The Bucket List

    $ | Bondi Beach | Seafood

    In the famous buttercup-yellow Bondi Pavilion, this beachfront restaurant has broad appeal—there are gatherings of families having brunch; lunchers...Read More

  • 20. The Goods

    $ | Darlinghurst | Café

    Griddle pan dishes are the draw at this friendly, and slightly noisy, organic café and food store on the city fringe. Served in cast iron skillets...Read More

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