The 50 best restaurants in Sydney
This is the definitive, ranked list of where to eat in Sydney right now. These are the venues we send our friends and family to when they ask for recommendations. They’re the places that are more than just exciting food and exceptional drinks – they’re also a guaranteed good time. We’ve thrown in a mix of price points because sometimes you want to drop cash like a tourist and eat inside the Opera House, and sometimes you want a mini-treat, like some next level Bangladeshi food. If you want a better idea of how we price things there’s this helpful guide, and remember those dollar signs don’t include drinks. There’s some old faithful’s on this list that we keep coming back to, but we prioritised innovation, excitement and fun so that you can start at the top and work your way through the best restaurants Sydney has to offer. Bon appétit!
The best coffee in the Sydney CBD
There is a lot of bad coffee in this town. Thankfully, there’s a hell of a lot of good stuff too. In fact there’s some bloody brilliant coffee in the CBD, just waiting for you to come on it and order up. When you're in need of a city caffeine-fix, one of these ace coffee houses will see you right. Here's our guide to the best coffee in the Sydney CBD, from Circular Quay up to Wynyard, to Town Hall, Barangaroo and everywhere in between.
The best vegan restaurants in Sydney
It doesn't matter if you’re a full-time herbivore or just dabbling in some cruelty-free alternatives, these are the best vegan restaurants around Sydney, from a cheese-free slice at Gigi's Pizzeria to a plant-based burger from Soul Burger. Or maybe it's yum cha that's calling your name. It's all here and totally meat and dairy-free. Want more? Check out Sydney's best vegetarian restaurants.
Sydney's top restaurants
Time Out Sydney Food Awards: Winners
The Time Out Food Awards is the one night of the year when we recognise Sydney's champions of the restaurant scene – and throw a party to remember. On September 26, more than 300 of the city's culinary experts, professional eaters and Time Out readers gathered at Est for the 2016 Food Awards. Check out the full list of winners and nominees below, and be sure to read our full recap of the night, including the awesome freebies our guests took home. Disappointed you missed out? Sign up to our newsletter and you'll never miss another chance to party with Time Out!
The best fried chicken in Sydney
It’s official. Sydney is obsessed with fried chicken. Are we in the American Deep South? No. Are we surround by the sky scrapers of Seoul? Not really. Does that matter? Maybe. Are we doing it anyway? You’re damn right we are: this is deep-fried poultry for crying out loud, and we’re all about it. Here are our favourite joints (getit?) in town right now, doing chicken the way – our fictitious American/Korean/Indonesian – mamma used to do.
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The best hot chocolate in Sydney
Like heat? Like chocolate? Lucky you – we scoured the streets of Sydney to find the best hot chocolates in town. And we're still on a jittery sugar high. From thick and rich to smooth and creamy, these five drinks will make any winter's day a whole lot sweeter.
The best bacon and egg rolls in Sydney
Whoever first put cured, fried pork and soft, melty eggs together deserves a seriously prestigious award, in our opinion. Stuff them between two layers of soft white bread, spread on a heap of butter and you’ve pretty much got food nirvana right there. So we took it upon ourselves to traipse the streets of Sydney to find you the best bacon and egg rolls to fix any hangover, heartbreak or hard-earned snack. Man, it’s a tough job.
The best gelato in Sydney
Ever since Messina opened back in 2002, Sydney has been head over heals in love with gelato. Which we always should have been, really, given that we are a seaside city that’s also stinking-hot half of the year – because what do beaches and heat equal? That’s right: ice cream. There are a thousand places to get it – from the gummy, overly saccharine crap, to smooth, silky excellence. Rest assured, though, that these ten are all in the latter category. Here are our top ten favourite gelaterias in Sydney right now:
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The best restaurants in Surry Hills
From the city fringes to deep Crown Street, Surry Hills really is a bit of a hub for dining in Sydney. While Porteno and Firedoor and may be the top notch options, you'll also find plenty of places that are big on fun like Bodega, Salaryman and Bar H. Add to it cheap eats at Xage; great pub dining at the Dolphin, BYO winners and old favoruites like Longrain and and it's not hard to see why you'll often find yourself out for dinner in Surry Hills on any given night of the week.
The best restaurants in Newtown
Newtown has been bringing its A-game on the restaurant front for as long as we can remember. You can enjoy five star dining at Continental Deli Bar Bistro and Oscillate Wildly or casual but tasty as fare at Hartsyard, Jack's and Bach Eatery. You'll also find lots of great vegan options and the Thai restaurants this area has long been famous for dotted throughout the boho 'burb. RECOMMENDED: The 50 Best Sydney Restaurants
The best restaurants in Bondi
While most trek to Bondi to lap up the sun and sand, it's worth noting there are plenty of ace restaurants to check out too. Whether it's a long lunch at Sean's Panorama or Bondi Icebergs Dining Room and Bar or a sandy-footed post-swim snack at Porch and Parlour or Pompei's you'll find somewhere great to eat in North and South Bondi and beyond.
The best restaurants in Manly
This popular pocket of the Northern Beaches is best known for its foamy shore breaks and ferries, but Manly also dishes up some good dining options for after the sun goes down and before the party vibes are cranked up to 11. Whether you want smoked meats and awesome burgers from Papi Chulo, a beautiful brunch spot or just a really good serve of fish and chips from Fishmonger, Manly has a venue for the job. Want a drink? Check out Manly's best bars while you're in the neighbourhood.
The best restaurants in Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour is definitely one of Sydney's most visitor-heavy areas, packed with hotels, attractions, exhibitions and ways to while away a day in the city. When you need to refuel for more adventures these are the restaurants Darling Harbour is known for, from the ribs at Hurricane's to fine dining at Sepia and casual waterfront bites at Beer DeLuxe.
The best restaurants in Parramatta
The Parramatta precinct has been growing fast in recent years – the CBD here is now one of the second biggest commercial hubs outside the Sydney CBD – and so the restaurant scene is on the rise. Inner city slickers like Gelato Messina and Chefs Gallery have Parra outposts, and longstanding local favourites like Temasek and Nonna Maria's still pull the crowds. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the 50 Best Sydney Restaurants
For the sweet tooth
The best patisseries in Sydney
We’re pretty lucky that here in Sydney we have some of the best darn pastry chefs in the country. From the genius that is the strawberry watermelon cake at Black Star Pastry, to that ginger tart at Bourke Street Bakery, here’s where to get a lil’sweet stuff in Sydney.
The best desserts in Sydney
We don’t know about you, but dinner ain’t dinner for us without dessert. Sometimes it’s a bowl of silky, melting gelato, or it could be a maple syrup-drenched pudding or a good old fashioned passionfruit pav. Damn it, sometimes it’s an ornate plate of food made to look just like the brittle twigs on the forest floor (that’s when we’ve got the coin to get into Sepia). Regardless, it’s the traditional way to finish a meal, and we intend to keep up that tradition for as long as our waistbands can take it.
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The Schnitzelmeister Challenge
All throughout March the Munich Brauhaus is challenging you to the ultimate food competition. The Schnitzelmeister is one kilogram of pure crispy-crumbed, golden veal accompanied by four sides, including braised red cabbage, mashed potato, wedges, sauerkraut, potato salad and more. The record for devouring it has been set by competitive eating monster The Ressler, smashing the Schnitzelmeister in a crazy seven minutes and 27 seconds. If you can beat this time, you'll take home a $500 Munich Brauhaus voucher, a free T-shirt and of course, serious bragging rights. Think you're up for the challenge? The Schnitzelmeister is available at the Munich Brauhaus all throughout March.
7 food experiences you have to try in New Caledonia
New Caledonia is one of our closest neighbours – it’s just three hours flight from the east coast. The Pacific Islands gem is not just beautiful to look at (hello, white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, chilled-out turtles and palm trees), it’s also a culinary destination. Noumea and beyond offer up a cavalcade of local food experiences. Try Bougna, a local delicacy of chicken or lobster wrapped in banana leaves; get a taste of the French-influenced New Caledonian culinary scene; explore hip waterfront bars; or try a fun food festival (they even host their own Avocado Festival). Is your mouth watering yet? We thought so. Fortunately, New Caledonia are currently offering Time Out readers a chance to win a foodie vacation of their very own, including airfares, five nights accommodation, and an unforgettable meal. Enter here.
Hot Sydney function venues
Give your next celebration a twist at one of these great venues where you can book a table, a room or a bar area. The Norfolk Beer Garden This Cleveland Street party pub boasts a fully covered beer garden where you can reserve one of those comfy black-and-white striped centre benches. There are daily snack specials and $30 cocktail jugs to get those inhibitions loosened. House of Crabs Upstairs at the Norfolk is a dining experience that’s as much fun as it is delicious. Put on a paper bib, grab a shell cracker and dig into one of the big plastic bags straight out of the boiler filled with crab, prawns or mussels plus tasty, tasty sauce. The Forresters This Surry Hills perennial has cold beer, hot pizza and an unbeatable party atmosphere, with 14 hours of happy hour a week, Sunday roasts, trivia, comedy and more. Cocktails are just $12 on Fridays. Queenies Upstairs at the Forresters find a Jamaican bar and restaurant where you can book a table or the bar area for up to 30 people. Function packs with canapés are available for a minimum of 15 guests. The Oxford Tavern Southern-style snackage such as ribs, brisket and pulled pork from Black Betty the meat smoker are the go at Petersham’s good-times pub. There’s also $12 schnitzels on Tuesdays, Bingo on Wednesdays, and burgers that are just $10 on Thursdays.
The Annual Sheaf Sunday Brunch
Brunch has to be one of the best meals of the day, and now the Sheaf are making it even better with the return of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brunch on Sunday March 26. The event will feature a beautifully styled food spread from head chef Sam Brading. Showing off the Sheaf’s new seasonal menu, there will be plenty of charcuterie and cheese boards, an oyster bar and muesli station, crab sliders, yellowfin tuna and Yamba prawn sandwiches – plus you can go back as many times as you like until midday. Ease into the day at the DIY Belvedere Bloody Mary bar, where you can load your drink with fun garnishes like fried jalapeño poppers, bacon and prawns, or kick back with a flute of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. There will also be live music in the garden bar, and the ticket price includes a gift bag on arrival. Tickets are $65 and available now. Limited numbers are available.