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. 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. 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. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. The Deck

    $ | Milsons Point | Australian

    If you've wanted to know just what's inside that giant face on the north side of the harbor under the bridge, well this is your chance. The...Read More

  • 11. Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf

    $ | Walsh Bay | Australian

    Most people come to this buzzy bar at the end of Pier 4 for a quick bite before a show at the adjacent Sydney Theatre Company, but the views...Read More

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