1. A bunch of dishes at Fugo
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. One of the sandwiches at Fugo
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. An array of plates at Fugo
    Photograph: Supplied
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney


Fire and flavour has arrived in the CBD with this casual Latin American eatery

Avril Treasure

Time Out says

Sydney has gained a much-needed taste of Latin America with the opening of Fugo, a casual authentic eatery that has landed in the refreshed Hotel Downing on Castlereagh Street.

Childhood best friends Cuong Nguyen (executive chef and owner of Hello Auntie) and Luis Gil have teamed up for this venture, which has taken over the former sports bistro. The duo are aiming to show Sydneysiders just how vibrant, fresh and diverse Latin American cuisine truly is – and we are absolutely here for it.

“Sydney is known as the epicentre for multicultural food yet Latin American cuisine seems to be underrepresented,” says Gil. Every Latin culture has so much to offer in terms of food and flavour, so we want to share our passion for the culture in Sydney.”

The restaurant's name 'Fugo' is inspired from the word 'fuego', which translates to 'fire' in Spanish, paying homage to Gil’s Argetinian heritage and Nguyen’s passion for Latin American food and culture.

Highlights on the snack menu include traditional empanadas – queso (cheese), mendocinas (beef, green olive and egg), or hongo ajillo (mushroom and garlic); jamon croquettes; and a plate of chicharron (deep fried pork belly) served with a spicy green sauce and salsa. Hell yeah.

There’s also a must-try sandwich called the El Lomito, which means “little sandwich” (Gil’s dad used to call it that when he was a kid). Featuring a 200g rump steak, chimichurri, fried egg, ham, mayo, lettuce and cheese on a ciabatta roll with a serving of fries – it is anything but. Get your serviettes ready. We also like the sound of the El Cubano with 36-hour braised pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. 

It can’t be a Latin American restaurant without tacos, of course. Here, you can choose from pork, prawn, beef, lamb, fish and mushroom, and on Tuesdays, you can score three for just $20.

Fugo’s monochrome dining room is paired back with white table cloths, dark wooden furniture, and our favourite part – a feature wall with family photographs from Nguyen and Gil’s childhood. 

Keep your eyes on Fugo’s Instagram page for upcoming specials.

Hungry for more? Check out Sydney’s best Mexican bars and restaurants.


Hotel Downing
249 Castlereagh Street
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat noon-2pm & 5-9pm
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