The Best Restaurants in Sydney, Australia

The 11 Best Restaurants in Sydney, Australia

From Thai-style pork fat cooking, Sri Lankan hoppers dripping in curry sauce, and fish butchers to French sirloin steaks and quail skewers intended for a 10th-century Middle Eastern sheikh, Sydney’s restaurant scene truly is exciting. 

The best restaurants in Sydney serve everything from dim-sum lunches to posh fish and chips, a culinary spread that reflects the city’s character as a multicultural hub. Attracting the best chefs from home and abroad, you’re never going to go hungry when kitchens are flooded with fresh, local produce from the New South Wales farmlands and rock lobsters and oysters from the Pacific Ocean.  

Dine on caviar in the Sydney Opera House, splash out on a seven-course tasting menu, or fuel up with North African sharing platters and super-sized ribeye steaks. Whatever you love, Sydney’s got you covered.  

But with so many incredible restaurants in Sydney, you might not know where to eat. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best Sydney restaurants for you. Stick to these exciting and creative venues, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time eating your way around this gorgeous Australian city!

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The 11 Best Restaurants in SYDNEY

1. Fred’s

Best Restaurants in Sydney: Fred’s
Images courtesy of Steven Woodburn

With a fantastic location on Oxford Street, Fred’s is a Sydney favorite that brings the farm to the city. Enjoy a taste of the Aussie countryside in Paddington as you embrace Fred’s homey, rustic appeal and taste the best seasonal produce from the surrounding farmlands. 

The chefs at Fred’s focus on old-fashioned cooking that changes with the seasons, so depending on the time of year you visit, the menu can be very, very different. Typically, you’ll start with Sydney rock oysters while you wait for your bass grouper or Sommerlad chicken to be grilled in the wood oven. 

Lighter bites include the Poached Lobster Salad or Spanner Crab Omelet, while the tantalizing dessert menu features Honeydew Melon Sorbet and Ricotta Ice Cream & Rhubarb. 

2. Mr. Wong

What Restaurants to Try in Sydney: Mr. Wong
Images courtesy of Mr. Wong

You’ll find Mr. Wong on Bridge Lane in central Sydney, where post-industrial chic reigns supreme in this moody Cantonese eatery. With an extensive menu featuring more than 80 dishes, this is one of the best Sydney restaurants you’ll never tire of eating out at.

At lunchtime, Chef Michael Luo leads the dim sum charge, offering a huge selection of authentic Cantonese dumplings that can be fried or steamed. Dim sum is only served at lunchtime, and you’ll find everything from lobster and scallops to wild mushroom dumplings on the menu. 

Executive Chef Dan Hong takes over the dinner service, and he’s known for the succulent barbecue duck that has long brought in the Sydney crowds. You can select live mud crab and lobster to be served with your choice of sauce, while classics like Mr. Wong’s Special Fried Rice and Kung Pao Chicken are perfect for sharing. 

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3. Lanka Filling Station

If you ever crave the taste of South Asian cooking, then one of the best restaurants in Sydney is the Lanka Filling Station. Centrally located in Darlinghurst, you might be a long way from Sri Lanka, but the hoppers and roti served here are phenomenal!

Lanka Filling Station is casual to its core, and you’ll love tearing off chunks of hopper (a savory pancake shaped like a bowl) and dipping the flaky dough into your curry. Potato curry, prawn curry, fish curry, and pork curry are all on the menu, while Monday night is devoted to biryanis, and the last Sunday of every month is crab curry night.

4. Bennelong

One of the most iconic restaurants in Sydney is Bennelong, a fine dining establishment located within the Sydney Opera House. Few settings are as magnificent as this, particularly if it’s your first time in Sydney, but the quality of the food also matches Sydney Harbor’s supreme views. 

It’s named for Woollarawarre Bennelong, who was the first Aboriginal person to visit the United Kingdom (and come back home again) after the British began settling New South Wales in the late 18th century. True to its inspirations, the restaurant focuses on local Australian ingredients, while the chefs are largely classically trained in European traditions. 

The merging of cultures is paramount here, and as you gaze across to Sydney Harbour Bridge, you can enjoy delightful dishes. There’s Mud Crab Congee and Smoked Pig Jowl to start, while Wild-Caught Fish, Lamb Short Loin, and Roasted Corn Tart follow, and Pavlova and The Chocolate Crackle are on the dessert menu.

5. Saint Peter

Must Visit Restaurants in Sydney: Saint Peter
Images courtesy of Saint Peter

For a modern take on seafood classics, Saint Peter is one of the most unique restaurants in Sydney. Pioneering Chef Josh Niland is the brains behind a sustainable ethos that avoids waste and treats seafood in much the same way butchers have been treating meat for centuries.

Located on Oxford Street, Saint Peter is both a fine-dining seafood restaurant and a “fish butcher.” The first of its kind in Sydney, fresh fish is taken straight from the fishing boats, and the catch is butchered so that everything can be used. 

That means the menu is rather eclectic, with dishes like Coral Trout Head Terrine and Swordfish Belly Bacon to start. Fish filets are cut, dry-aged, and smoked like a beef steak, and the main menu features delightful options like Yellowfin Tuna Rib Eye and Murray Cod Chorizo. If you can’t choose, then why not try the seven-course tasting menu at dinner?

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6. Quay Restaurant

With a glorious location overlooking Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House, the Quay Restaurant is as much about the views as it is about the food. Both are incredible, though, and you’ll love gorging on a creative menu that’s been painstakingly collated by Head Chef Peter Gilmore.

You have a choice of four, six, or eight courses, each of which has been prepared using Australian-sourced ingredients. The cuisine here is quite unlike anywhere else in Sydney. 

Raw Abrolhos Island scallops are served with smoked eel cream and cucumber crackling, the Mud Crab Custard features umami tapioca and shellfish emulsion, and the Southern Rock Lobster comes with sea urchin and Koshihikari rice. 

7. Aria Restaurant

Executive Chef Tom Gorringe and Celebrity Chef Matt Moran have teamed up to create a modern Australian menu that’s served in the fine-dining Aria Restaurant overlooking Circular Quay. 

Their seven-course tasting menu varies with the seasons but features creative dishes like W.A Black Marron with turnip, caviar, and lemon and Wagyu Rump Cap served with asparagus and bearnaise.  

8. The Gidley

Whether you love your steak medium or rare, or with a side of caviar or a portion of mac and cheese, The Gidley has got all your carnivorous needs covered. This unique steak house on King Street merges gluttony and fine dining, creating an unusual meat-eating atmosphere you’re going to love.

Riverine ribeye can be served to taste, with a thin English cut or ribeye on the bone proving popular. Gidley burgers feature double patties, cheddar, eggs, and bacon, and there are at least three choices of potato each evening (we love the hash browns!). 

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9. Porkfat

Cool Restaurants in Sydney: Porkfat
Images courtesy of Leigh Griffiths

At Porkfat, Head Chef Narin Kulasai brings a taste of Thailand to the streets of Sydney. This Thai favorite is inspired by the night markets of Bangkok, and the fiery cuisine of Saraburi, in Central Thailand. 

But while dishes like the Papaya Salad and Green Curry with Grilled Pork Jowl are undeniably authentic, Portkfat takes pride in sourcing its ingredients as locally as possible. Barramundi and Queensland tiger prawns are served in Penang curries and with green mango salads, making this one of the top fusion restaurants in Sydney. 

10. Restaurant Hubert

Cool Restaurants in Sydney: Restaurant Hubert
Images courtesy of Restaurant Hubert

Parisian dining meets Australian functionality with a venue that’s part restaurant, jazz bar, and art house cinema. Restaurant Hubert’s motto is “Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite, and there’s live jazz music every single day of the week.

Raw caviar and escargot are served to start while you sip on a Martini or Vin Blanc. French classics are to follow, with Beef Bourguignon, Cote du Bouef, and Poisson du Jour high up on the menu. Creme Caramel and Mille-Feuille are to finish before you retire to the bar for another glass of wine and an evening of jazz. 

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Cool Restaurants in Sydney: AALIA
Images courtesy of AALIA

One of Sydney’s best restaurants, AALIA is inspired by the Middle Eastern and North African cooking of old. Indeed, AALIA has taken the concept of culinary heritage to the extreme, as Executive Chef Paul Farag spent years traveling and cooking in the Middle East, uncovering historic recipes as he went.

Much of AALIA’s modern menu has been taken from the pages of a 10th-century Arabic cookbook, but the dishes themselves are firmly rooted in Australian produce. There’s a “Persian Caviar Service,” for example, chips are served with ras el hanout spices, and the Pharoah’s Foie Gras is fit for a king. 

If you’re in a party of four or more people, you can order the Banquet Menu, and feast on Middle Eastern sharing platters – including almond crumbed john dory, smoked buffalo labneh, lamb neck shawarma, and quail skewers – just the way it should be. 

There you have it! The 11 best restaurants in Sydney. What’s your favorite place to eat in Sydney?

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About the Author:

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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