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The best Italian cheap eats in Sydney

Eat old school at these classic red sauce joints
An interior shot at Machiavelli showing a centre table with various foods and hanging deli meats above it
Photograph: Daniel Boud
By Time Out editors |

Sometimes you just need a big-ass plate of spaghetti Bolognaise, or a giant pizza replete with bouncy crust and salt-laden cheese. Food like that doesn’t need to cost the Earth, and that's what these restaurants are all about. Here’s our list of where to eat Italian cheaply in Sydney. 


Bar Italia

icon-location-pin Leichhardt

You can eat here for under $15, there's excellent gelati for dessert, and if you've taken a punt on a date you're not sure about, it's loud enough to hide the awkward silences.


Bill & Toni's

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

The café itself is an echo of the Piazza del Popolo in Ascoli Piceno – old men sip espresso from short glasses, gym junkies chug cappuccinos, Russell Crowe mulls scripts over macchiatos and footballers feast on pasta and free cordial upstairs.


Bondi Trattoria

icon-location-pin Bondi Beach

Peter Harvey was a fan; Wine Bar of the Year's sommelier Charles Leong is a fan. They must be doing something right at this super-casual Italian restaurant.



icon-location-pin Sydney

Plot your next corporate takeover or political coup over a bowl of penne Bolognese at Machiavelli. Every heavy hitter has eaten here at one time or another, from "Aussie" John Symonds to Julia Gillard – each with a larger-than-life photo on the wall to mark the occasion.


No Name Italian Restaurant

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

There ain’t nothing fancy about No Names but that’s just how the regulars like it. Take the stairs via the seedy back alley entrance and you’ll find yourself ejected into a starkly lit dining room packed tight with chipped Laminex tables.

Wanna get fancy?

Bolognaise at Fratelli Paradiso
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Italian

The best Italian restaurants in Sydney

Italian food is the unofficial second cuisine of Sydney (the first being Thai), so we've picked our favourites, from red sauce joints to high end pasta purveyors. 

More to explore