The 50 best restaurants in Sydney
This is the definitive, ranked list of where to eat in Sydney right now. These are the top restaurants 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 faithfuls 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! If you're working on a budget try these cheap hacks for fancy places. Or maybe you just want a drink? Here's 50 of Sydney's best bars to help you along. RECOMMENDED: The 50 best cheap eats in Sydney.
The best cheap eats in Sydney
In a perfect world, we'd spend every night enjoying fine cuisine at Sydney's most indulgent restaurants. We'd be at Quay and Rockpool Bar & Grill... anywhere, really, that requires half (or all, or far more than) what's currently in your bank account for a shared plate. But we do not live in a perfect world – sometimes the stove is broken, the thought of checking your balance makes you break out in hives and skipping meals seems a viable option. But you don't have to do that! There's a host of cheap restaurants in Sydney all around our fair town serving up tasty food at prices that won't leave your wallet empty. In fact, there's plenty of fun to be had in Sydney on a shoestring budget, starting with these 25 things to do in in Sydney under $25. Or maybe you want to know where to get a cheap meal every night? RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in Sydney.
The best cafés in Surry Hills
It was once a forbidding slum, but now the scariest thing about this inner-city utopia is the waiting time to get your smashed avo on a Sunday morning. No visit to Sydney is complete without a coffee and a repast at the undisputed breakfast capital of Australia – here are the places you need to know about, and how long you can expect your satisfaction to be delayed. RECOMMENDED: Surry Hills area guide. Want the best of the brunch? Check out our guide to the 20 best breakfasts in Sydney. After a dining hit list? Brush up on our guide to the 50 best restaurants in Sydney.
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 25, 250 of the city's culinary experts, professional eaters and Time Out readers gathered at Porteno for the 2017 Food Awards. Check out the full list of winners and nominees below, and be sure to read our full recap of the night. Disappointed you missed out? Sign up to our newsletter and you'll never miss another chance to party with Time Out!
Eight Sydney institutions for your dining bucket list
New restaurants are often in the spotlight, ready for their Instagram close-up. But Sydney is also home to a host of long-running venues that are still at the top of people’s dining hit lists – hell, Time Out has been writing about them from our very first issue, back in 2007. These establishments have stuck to their mission statement, offering great food with polish and personality. They’re safety zones that don’t give in to fast-breaking fads, but they can be progressive, too – Billy Kwong was one of the earliest adopters of native ingredients. Meanwhile, places like Sean’s Panaroma, Golden Century and Fratelli Paradiso show that it’s possible to stay timeless without coming across like a dusty museum display. These are the restaurants that have stayed vital over the last ten years and belong on the Sydney dining honour roll. Want more top chefs? Check out our guide to the 50 best restaurants in Sydney. Want something a little more casual? Check out our guide to the best burgers in Sydney.
Where to eat seafood in Sydney
Sydney is a seafood city – we love our fish and chips, we've got one of the biggest seafood markets in the country and everyone is going nuts for poke. So where are the best restaurants for eating the ocean's gifts? Whether you want to get around a whole mud crab at Mr Wong, try freshly shucked oysters overlooking Blackwattle Bay or be adventurous and try fish offal at Saint Peter, these are the best seafood restaurants in Sydney. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the 50 best Sydney restaurants
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The best Sydney cafés
The best cafés in Bondi
In a suburb where morning runs, dawn surfing and AM yoga are part of your daily routine, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. We got up with the sun to find the best brekkies in this clean-living corner of Sydney. For more, check our guides to the best coffee in Sydney's CBD, Sydney's best cycling cafés and Sydney's best coffee cocktails. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the best Bondi restaurants
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 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 in 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. Not in the CBD? Here's where to find the best Sydney coffee elsewhere else, plus consult our guides to Sydney's best coffee experiences, cycling cafés and Bondi cafés for more inspiration. RECOMMENDED: Sydney's best coffee cocktails
Sydney by cuisine
Sydney's foodie hotspots
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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Just for Laughs
Now in its eighth year, Just For Laughs has become a comedy fixture for Sydney, presenting a largely Antipodean, UK and American line-up across Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Factory Theatre and City Recital Hall. Highlights from this year's program include English comedy stalwart Bill Bailey, who'll be bringing stand-up, sing-alongs and satire to the Sydney Opera House in his new show, Earl of Whimsy. You know him from his laugh-out-loud roles in Crazy Rich Asians, The Hangover and Community, but did you know Ken Jeong actually started his career as a doctor before moving to stand-up? He'll be reverting back to his foundations in comedy, with a one-off Opera House performance. Iliza Shlesinger, who was the first woman to win Last Comic Standing in 2008, and has four Netflix specials to her name and the hugely popular podcast, Truth and Iliza. Improviser extraordinaire Reggie Watts, who'll be using just has voice and looping pedals to create a hilarious musical performance. Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops, who'll be bringing a touch of the Whose Line magic to Sydney in an improvised performance. Ryan Hamilton and Becky Lucas will also both take to the Opera House while Ismo, Kenny Sebastian and Mo Gilligan will hit the Factory Theatre for solo shows. Returning this year is the popular All-Star Gala (which tends to sell out), which will again be hosted by Dave Hughes and features Reggie Watts, the stars of Whose Line is
Head to Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour
Pyrmont's own cocktail and chicken devoted bar will be dishing out this new aperitivo hour every week. Inspired by the Italian tradition, you’ll be able to order up glasses of red or white wine, bitter amari or Resch's Draught for just $5. If you're after a cocktail, there will be a menu of bartender's picks. You can order up an Aperol Spritz, Negroni, Daiquiri or a Paloma. To go with your drinks, you can peruse a selection of $10 snacks, including salt and pepper silken tofu, avocado and edamame guacamole, chicken and chorizo croquettes and spicy jalapeño poppers. A highlight of the $10 menu is Whirly Bird's signature messy wings, which you can order in three different styles – chilli caramel with pickled radish, sesame and lime; satay with spicy peanut sauce and green onions; or classic buffalo wings, with honey and chilli hot sauce, blue cheese dip and celery. If you're in on Thursday night you'll also find $12 burgers, and every day you can get around the rest of the full Whirly Bird menu, which includes rotisserie chicken and porchetta, buttermilk fried chicken and salads. Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour goes down Sunday through Thursday from 5pm-7pm, making it the perfect spot for after work drinks or a pre-theatre bite to eat. Find out more about Whirly Bird.
Local guide to Double Bay with Kayla Lagesse, the Sheaf
The Sheaf has a legendary status as an Eastern Suburbs party pub. Visiting this Double Bay venue is practically a rite of passage for young people, and there's a line-up of DJs and live entertainment throughout the week. Their beer garden is one of the best places to be, day or night. One of the Sheaf’s biggest fans works there: duty manager Kayla Lagesse. Kayla, how long have you worked here?I have worked at the Sheaf for just over four years. I applied for a job as soon as I turned 18! I started out as a food runner in the bistro and have since worked my way up to bartender, then a bar supervisor, and now a duty manager. What do you love most about your job?Hospitality is one of the greatest industries to work in. There is always something exciting happening, whether it’s a big event or helping create a new cocktail list. I’m someone who enjoys eating and drinking, and I also value being able to provide guests with a great experience and tell a story through the food and drinks they enjoy. Plus, I have met some of my greatest friends, and so many people with interesting stories along the way. Who have you met?I know many of the customers that come in very well. A mother and infant son have come in for the past three years, and some of the baby’s first words were learning the staff’s names! There were two girls who came in on a Wednesday night and one of the girls’ boyfriends had just dumped her. They seemed a bit down, so I sent them over a couple of [complimentary] Cosm
Get around these chimney cone ice creams
Sydney has its very own dessert truck devoted to chimney cones, a traditional Hungarian dessert that takes grilled sugar dusted doughnut-like cones, fills them with ice cream, then tops it with sweet treats. Pimp My Chimney rolls around Sydney serving up the decadent, portable dessert, and now you can find it at a bunch of locations around the city and surrounds. You'll find them regularly at EQ Moore Park and in Blacktown, and also at one-off events including the upcoming Cabaramatta Moon Festival; Penrith Octoberfest and the Marrickville Festival. To keep your eye out for where you can get around the treat, follow the Pimp My Chimney Facebook. Once you track the dessert truck down, you'll be able to try one of the eight tasty chimney cones like the Naughty Nuts Nutella, Nutella brownies, vanilla ice cream and hazelnuts; the Cheeky Choc, cookies, choc fingers, flakes, sauce and ice cream; or the oozey doozy Caramel Baby, with honeycomb, caramel fudge, caramel popcorn, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Find out more about Pimp My Chimney.