The 50 Best Restaurants in Sydney Right Now

Too many restaurants, not enough time. Cut the fat with our guide to the best restaurants Sydney has to offer
Malaysian food
Photograph: Anna Kucera
By Time Out editors |
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Welcome to the Time Out EAT List, our handpicked ‘best of’ for Sydney's food scene. These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.

Unless you have the metabolism of a nine year old, and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Sydney's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, that is. 

Time Out’s local experts scour the city every day for great eats, great value and insider info (like these cheap hacks for fancy places). We value fun, flavour, creativity – and 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 Malaysian food. So behold, our eat-and-destroy list – a guide to Sydney's best restaurants. 

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList

Find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants.

And when you're done eating, start working your way through our guides to Sydney's best cafes, 50 best bars and 50 best pubs. Bon appétit!

 

 

The best restaurants in Sydney

1
Food at Saint Peter
Restaurants, Seafood

Saint Peter

icon-location-pin Paddington

Do you know your blood clams from your flame cockles? Or what the hell a stargazer is? Josh Niland does. This young gun chef wants to personally introduce you to the treasures of the high seas.

2
Chicken fricassee at Hubert
Restaurants, French

Hubert

icon-location-pin Sydney

Here at Hubert, the Frenchified first restaurant from Sydney’s favourite bar boys, the Swillhouse group the chicken is the go-to. That’s what you get with one of Sydney’s most innovative chefs, Daniel Pepperell in the kitchen.

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3
Food at A1 Canteen
Restaurants, Cafés

A1 Canteen

icon-location-pin Chippendale

It’s brunch with fine-dining credentials, a coffee spot that also does dinner, and it’s brilliant anytime of day. Welcome to the all-day dining renaissance.

4
Fried chicken at Paper Bird
Restaurants, Korean

Paper Bird

icon-location-pin Elizabeth Bay

Sometimes you walk out of a dining experience and think ,‘We only want to eat here for the foreseeable future.’ That’s how you’ll feel after dinner at Paper Bird, the mod-Asian diner from the Moon Park team.

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5
Yabbies with roti and onion puree and muntries at Momofuku Seiobo
Restaurants

Momofuku Seiobo

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

Ringside seats don’t get better than the stools lining the Momofuku Seiobo kitchen. This is as close to the cooking action as you can get without head chef Paul Carmichael reaching over and handing you a veggie peeler and a bag of spuds.

6
Table of food at Lankan Filling Station
Restaurants, Sri Lankan

Lankan Filling Station

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

We’ve waited a very long time for O Tama Carey to open her own restaurant. Now the Sydney chef has a permanent home that’s bringing tropical fire, and the only thing standing between you and more curry is the wait time on a table.

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7
Food at Sixpenny Stanmore
Restaurants, Modern Australian

Sixpenny

icon-location-pin Stanmore

It takes moxie to make a potato the star of your degustation, but here, tubers are a power move. At this understated dining room in a Stanmore terrace, a whole confit spud was the most memorable dish of the meal.

8
Ho Jiak kapitan kay
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Malaysian

Ho Jiak Haymarket

icon-location-pin Haymarket

At their first hole-in-wall location in the corner of a Strathfield shopping plaza, Ho Jiak’s kitchens tapped into a thirst for nyonya cooking – hybrid Chinese-Malay cuisine – so strong that patrons quickly spilled out onto the communal seating outside.

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9
A tray of assorted smoked meats on a metal tray with dipping sau
Restaurants

LP’s Quality Meats

icon-location-pin Chippendale

Sydney loves a bit of smoke, so it makes sense that two of the guys behind Porteño couldn’t be satisfied with one firey restaurant alone, so they backed Luke Powell to head up a restaurant that rejects all imitations and does barbecue the southern American way.

10
Eggplant at Yellow
Restaurants

Yellow

icon-location-pin Potts Point

Chris Benedet (Rockpool, Cirrus) took over the control decks and, overseen by Yellow co-owner Brent Savage, is doing a fine job protecting the restaurant’s permanent record. Yellow is as great as ever. 

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11
Tablelay at Ester, Chippendale
Restaurants

Ester Restaurant and Bar

icon-location-pin Chippendale

Chef Mat Lindsay slings big, punchy flavours into the wood-fired oven so that the blistering heat can work its magic, softening the fat of a tender half duck, blackening the leaves of cauliflowers and drawing the flavours out of the shells of their famous king prawns.

12
Food at Aria
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants

Aria

icon-location-pin Sydney

Dining at Aria will make you fall back in love with Sydney. It’s a kind of romantic alchemy forged by the floor-to-ceiling glass – the only thing between you and the the Sydney Opera House – and six flawless courses from the chef Joel Bickford. 

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13
Food at Berts The Newport
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Bistros

Bert's

icon-location-pin Newport

Lunch at Bert’s is as close as we can ever get to actually living the jazz age in all its glory. There’s not a dining room in the city that can hold a candle to the soft-focus beauty that Merivale have achieved in the final instalment of the Newport’s renewal.

14
Steak cooking over fire
Restaurants

Firedoor

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Apple, peach, cherry and grapefruit might sound like a list of ingredients, but they’re not what you’re eating, but how you’re eating. They are the woods that are feeding the charcoal oven, grill and hearths on which everything is cooked at this fire-powered Surry Hills restaurant.

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15
Sandwiches at Continental Deli & Bistro
Restaurants

Continental Deli Bar Bistro

icon-location-pin Newtown

Merging New York's bodegas with Europe's wine bars and Argentina's skill with meats sounds like a pipe dream, but Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore of Porteño, Bodega and LP’s Quality Meats fame made it a reality with Continental Deli Bar Bistro.

16
Kylie Kwong behind the counter reading order at Billy Kwong
Restaurants

Billy Kwong

icon-location-pin Elizabeth Bay

To create something entirely new in an industry built on tradition sounds impossible, but that is what Kylie Kwong has done with her modern Chinese-Australian diner in Potts Point.

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17
Food at Automata
Restaurants

Automata

icon-location-pin Chippendale

Is it too much to ask to go on a culinary adventure, and be done in a snappy two hours? Not at Automata, Clayton Wells' mod fine diner in Chippendale’s jam-packed dining precinct. 

18
Long Chim
Restaurants, Thai

Long Chim

icon-location-pin Sydney

The kitchen in the concrete-lined restaurant in Angel Place is a fire and smoke-fuelled locomotive, filling the dining room with that sweet wok breath that promises fat, flat noodles with extra char.

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19
Tablelay at Porteno
Restaurants

Porteno

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

You can’t help but feel like a serious power broker with your back up against the plummy leather banquette and a dry-aged steak that’s big enough to feed two.

20
Bar at Harsyard Newtown
Restaurants

Hartsyard

icon-location-pin Newtown

At Hartsyard 2.0, there’s no sign of a sophomore slump. Aside from the absence of their famed fried chicken what you’re getting here in 2018 is just a slightly more sophisticated pressing of their original neighbourhood diner. 

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21
Food on table at Spice I am
Restaurants

Spice I Am

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

At 82 items long, Spice I Am's A3, double-sided, laminated menus have been keeping flavour fossickers on their toes for 14 years, thanks to head chef Sujet Saenkham's authentic brand of Thai cooking.

22
Fred's
Restaurants, European

Fred's

icon-location-pin Paddington

Behind the little linen curtains and dark timber façade of this Oxford Street diner you’ll find an experience so warm and inviting it feels like you’ve gone back in time to Julia Child’s kitchen. 

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23
Golden Century food overview
Restaurants

Golden Century

icon-location-pin Haymarket

Picking up the giant menu book at Golden Century is like sitting down for story time, but the tale you’re about to embark on involves a lot of shellfish, eating all the fried things and having hazy recollections of thinking that second bottle of Hunter Valley chardonnay from Scarborough was a bonza idea. 

24
Inside at Quay Sydney
Restaurants

Quay

icon-location-pin The Rocks

Early this year one of the most famous restaurants in the country decided it was time for a little nip and tuck of the old operation. Fast forward a few months and Quay has sleek new look, a sharp new menu and it's even harder to get a table than before.

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25
Duck Panang at Moon Restaurant
Restaurants, Thai

Moon Restaurant

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

How do you convince a town whose bachelor degrees are powered by six-dollar Thai that they should pay $36 for a Panang curry? Serving it inside a room that looks to be moonlighting as a European wine bar is a good start. 

26
Food at Bentley Bar and Restaurant
Restaurants

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

icon-location-pin Sydney

You might not expect a seriously schmick wine bar and restaurant housed in the original Fairfax building in the heart of the CBD to be all about inclusivity, but the Bentley Restaurant and Bar by sommelier Nick Hildebrandt and chef Brent Savage wants everyone to have a good time. 

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27
Bolognaise at Fratelli Paradiso
Restaurants

Fratelli Paradiso

icon-location-pin Potts Point

Frills and frippery can be fun, but nothing tops tripped back Italian in the weekend lunch stakes. Fratelli Paradiso has been dishing up the goods for close to two decades and it's still as stuffed as a fresh cannoli on a Saturday at noon. 

28
Food spread at Marta
Restaurants

Marta

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

Sydney is in the midst of a full Italian renaissance, and so when a classic Italian restaurant in Rushcutters Bay decides to change things up, they go and transform themselves into... a classic Italian restaurant, but this time with a sharp focus on all things Roman. 

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29
Food at Gogyo Sydney
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Japanese

Gogyo

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Gogyo comes from the same people who brought Japanese ramen juggernaut Ippudo to Australia. They specialise in a kogashi (which means ‘charred’ in Japanese) ramen, which sees a pan heated to a smoking-hot temperature before a dollop of miso paste is added and then it's deglazed with chicken broth. 

30
Table full of food at Chula Potts Point
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Mexican

Chula

icon-location-pin Rushcutters Bay

This particular stretch of Bayswater Road is not where we expected to find Sydney’s best Mexican food, but suddenly this barren field is bearing delicious bounty in the form of a whole snapper, deboned and dressed like a traffic light.

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31
Food at Yan Wolli Creek
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Barbecue

Yan

icon-location-pin Wolli Creek

Finding amazing food in the least likely places is one of the best things about Sydney. All that sprawl means more hot spots for ace noodles, baked treats, and in this one very specific case, a smoked chicken katsu. 

32
A port katsu bao at Cho Cho San
Restaurants

Cho Cho San

icon-location-pin Potts Point

Opening up a excellent restaurant is hard. What’s even more difficult is staying great. After four years on Macleay Street, Jonathan Barthelmess and Nic Wong’s modern Sydney-via-Tokyo joint Cho Cho San has managed to do just that.

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33
At Bondi Icebergs Dining
Restaurants

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

icon-location-pin Bondi Beach

Dining fashions may come and go, but drinking Spritzes with ocean views and a corps of Sydney’s most beautiful people at neighbouring tables will never go out of style.

34
A shot of the crab at Mr Wong covered in XO sauce
Restaurants, Chinese

Mr Wong

icon-location-pin Sydney

They’ll tell you to go for the Peking duck. They’ll tell you it’s a juicy bird with crisp skin and sweet meat. And they’d be right. It is. This is just one of the many roast delights at Mr Wong – a two-level Canto-extravaganza.

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35
Table top at Stanbuli
Restaurants

Stanbuli

icon-location-pin Enmore

Inside the beautifully restore Marie Louise salon on Enmore Road you can sit upstairs in the dining room-proper, but we’re all about the casual vibes of the black and white-toned downstairs bar, where you can sit next to your partner and watch all the action of the bar unfold.  

36
Food at Juan Bowl and Tea redfern
Restaurants, Japanese

Juan Bowl and Tea

icon-location-pin Redfern

The delicious is in the detail at Juan, the compact Japanese diner in Redfern where there are only four main meals to choose from. Go with a friend and you’ve tried 50 per cent of the menu – a stat that allows little chance for food envy to kick in.

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37
An interior shot at Bennelong showing the centre bar surrounded
Restaurants

Bennelong

icon-location-pin Sydney

They've clearly put a lot of thought into how people are going to approach the beautiful restaurant inside the Opera House sails.

38
Sokyo
Restaurants, Japanese

Sokyo

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

This is the most impressive sushi counter in Sydney. The only challenge is landing one of those eight spots that let you take both hands off the wheel and let chef Chase Kojima do the driving during your omakase dining experience. 

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39
A dish of small tube pasta with slices of chilli and an egg yolk
Restaurants

ACME

icon-location-pin Rushcutters Bay

It's the restaurant that made a simple baloney sandwich an Instagram sensation, a soft milk bun bearing a sour, bright tomato sauce and a smooth, light slice of baloney. 

40
Prawns at Cirrus
Restaurants, Seafood

Cirrus

icon-location-pin Barangaroo

You’d think going out for a little fancy fish with water views would be an simple request in a harbour-front city, but it's taken culinary kingpins Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt opening Cirrus to finally nail the brief. 

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41
Sean's Panaroma
Restaurants

Sean's Panaroma

icon-location-pin Bondi Beach

This little beachfront restaurant looks like a coastal café but has the heart of a fine diner, and for nearly 25 years it has been setting the standard for thoughtful modern Australian cooking.

42
People sitting on deck with view of sydney harbour at Bea Barang
Restaurants, Modern Australian

Bea

icon-location-pin Barangaroo

Cory Cambell (ex-Noma and Vue De Monde) has created a straight-shooting menu for this top floor, waterfront venue down in Barangaroo.

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43
Main dish at The Apollo
Restaurants, Greek

The Apollo

icon-location-pin Elizabeth Bay

Our advice is as true today as it was when we first wrote it: don’t order everything, as much as you’ll want to. You will leave Apollo uncomfortably full.

44
A dish of fried zucchini flowers with a lemon wedge at Sagra
Restaurants

Sagra

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

You don’t come to Sagra to show off. It’s not about pomp or prestige, any more than fiddly garnishes or fancy plating. But taking someone there will impress them, because this is one of Sydney’s most beloved modern Italians. 

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45
Chicken at Chin Chin Sydney
Restaurants

Chin Chin

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Sydney might have invented the dance known as ‘queuing for hours for a hot new restaurant’ but that aspirational jig was perfected by Melburnians when Chin Chin, proved that the quickest route to popularity was a hot wok, a cache of chilis and a stocked bar. 

46
Cauliflower Falafel at Nour
Restaurants, Middle Eastern

Nour

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Here they're all about a modern spin on classic Middle Eastern dishes. Spiced short-rib, haloumi and baked olives come straight from the wood-fired oven that powers the kitchen area, while two kinds of arak, Lebanese beer and wine from Bekaa Valley are housed behind the bar. 

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47
Crab at Queen's Hotel
Bars, Pubs

Queens Hotel

icon-location-pin Enmore

Mud crabs are the new dining status symbol. Forget lobster – either you can afford to shell out on the fleshy crustaceans (that usually go for $140-odd dollars a kilo) or you can’t. 

48
Food at Banh Xeo Bar
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan
Restaurants, Vietnamese

Banh Xeo Bar

icon-location-pin Rosebery

Right in the heart of this new dining precinct is a white-tiled lunch spot lit by a pink neon sign, where Robyn in on the stereo and Vietnamese is on the menu. Don’t you dare pre-snack because you’ll need every inch for the titular, lacey-edged, coconutty pancakes in a luminous turmeric gold.

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49
at The Dolphin Hotel, Surry Hills
Restaurants, Italian

The Dolphin Hotel Dining Room

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

The Dolphin Hotel has been taken over by none other than Maurice Terzini, the man behind Icebergs and Da Orazio, and he’s brought everything but the sand with him. 

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Photograph: Anna Kucera
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Photograph: Supplied/Nikki To
Restaurants, Tea rooms

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Photograph: Anna Kucera
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