Simply put, going out to eat is fun. Whether this means stopping by a local bodega, or heading out to a 5 star restaurant, eating out is as much about the food as it is about the experience. Think about your favourite restaurant. What keeps bringing you back again and again?
Sydney of course has an incredible range of restaurants. No list could ever capture everything that the restaurants in Sydney have to offer, but we are sure as heck going to try.
Today we have for you a doosey of a list which we are going to break into 2 parts. The top 20 best restaurants in Sydney, broken down into the most popular categories. We will look at the best restaurants for; Italian, Greek, Spanish, French, Japanese, Vegetarian, Vegan, Seafood, Romantic and Hatted.
Best Restaurants In Sydney – Ushop’s Top Picks!
Italian Restaurants In Sydney
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A Tavola | Darlinghurst & Bondi
This is not your quick pasta fix type of Italian restaurant. This is what we consider to be “Old School” Italian food made with love by talented chef’s.
What sets A Tavola apart from the competition is their focus on creating a few fantastic dishes every day. While this results in a relatively small menu, it also allows for each dish to be perfected. Along with a rotating menu, A Tavola has a few favourites including Casarecce Palmolese and Maccheroni alla Chitarra.
What’s fresh and good today is what is eaten today and possibly not tomorrow. All of A Tavola’s pasta dishes are made painstakingly by hand, fresh every day.
Given the quality of the food, prices are very reasonable with main dishes costing around $25 to $35. Just by having a quick look at their menu, you can sense the quality they provide.
Amici Ristorante Pizzeria | Cammeray
There are many different kinds of Italian food, and some restaurants make it their mission to perfect various aspects of Italian cooking. That is where Amici comes in. Located in Cammeray, Amici specialise in high quality authentic Italian pizza in Sydney.
While certainly not all they do, these traditional pizzas are a favourite of tourists and locals alike.
Amici also has an excellent indoor eating space with a fantastic atmosphere. Pizzas start at $15, making them a very affordable option for dinner. There is also take away available, meaning that you can grab a slice to go. With such easy convenience, high quality pizzas, and low prices, it is easy to see why people keep coming to Amici.
Have a look at what Amici Ristorante has to offer.
Greek Restaurants In Sydney
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Steki Taverna | Newton
If you are not in the mood for Italian, then why not Greek? Sydney hosts a diverse selection of Greek restaurants, ranging in affordability and quality.
One Greek restaurant that manages to stand out is Steki Taverna, in Newtown. Referred to as the “Great Greek Hangout,” Steki is a Greek restaurant that combines excellent food with great service, plenty of seating and a great atmosphere.
Unlike many other Greek restaurants in Sydney, Steki caters to larger groups, as well as those having celebration dinners.
Along with reasonably priced meals, (average price around $20), Steki has Banquet days on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where all food is covered under a single price. These range from $40 to $50 a person. To say you get a vast array of different dishes would be an understatement.
All your Greek favorites are here. Mousaka’s, souvlaki’s, meze’s and a large selection of Greek seafood dishes. To top it all off, every weekend there is live dancing and music.
Have a look at Steki’s banquet offerings when you’ve got a moment.
Medusa Greek Taverna | CBD
If you are looking for a Greek restaurant in Sydney’s CBD, you can’t go wrong with Medusa. Hailed as truly authentic Greek cuisine, Medusa has won a number of awards, including the National Best Greek Restaurant for 2011.
When we say authentic, we mean it. Head chef Gregori Akridas sources the best products and ingredients straight from Greece. We’ve found a lot of Greek restaurants we’ve visited have quite a small selection of truly Greek dishes, but that’s not the case at Medusa.
Mezze plates, fresh seafood, perfectly cooked lamb, traditional sweets and a good selection of Greek wines, it’s all here. Main dishes average around that $30 mark and they have banquets starting at $44 per person, minimum 4 people.
Go check out their menu for their full range of dishes.
Spanish Restaurants In Sydney
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The Spanish Fly | Randwick
I love tapas. I could eat tapas all day, every day and still want more. Luckily I’m not the only one in Sydney who feels this way as there are tapas restaurants popping up every where in and around the city and it’s outskirts.
The Spanish Fly is not only one of the best tapas restaurants in Sydney, it’s also one of the best dining experiences in all of Sydney, period. Between the elegant setting to the dish selection, The Spanish Fly combines affordability with class.
Great cocktails and great tapas, that’s the best way to sum up The Spanish Fly. Tapas plates average around $15 to $20 and their cocktails are all mostly $15.
Some of the popular tapas dishes amongst the regulars are their beef cheek empanada’s, the Victorian scallops and the paella balls. You couldn’t ask for a better start to the night than having a bite at The Spanish Fly.
Check out their tapas and cocktail menu.
Delicado Foods | McMahons Point
Along with the Spanish Fly, Delicado Foods is often listed as a Sydney favourite when it comes to Spanish cuisine. Located in McMahons Point, Delicado keeps the locals coming back for more. This is in part because of the extensive Spanish wine list, as well as an excellent tapas and dessert menu.
Delicado is a laid back and inexpensive way to have a great meal and some great wine, with the average tapas dish costing between $10 and $25. The tapas menu is what you would expect to find at any good Spanish restaurant, except of a generally higher quality. This attention to the quality of the food along with its local popularity is why Delicado Foods made this list.
Something truly special and unique to Delicado’s is their signature breakfast special, their baked egg paellera with jamon (spanish ham) & black beans.
You can check out all of their Spanish Menus here.
French Restaurants In Sydney
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Baroque | The Rocks
If you are looking for that memorable fine dining experience in Sydney, this might be the restaurant for you. With a great deal of competition among Sydney’s French restaurants, this has led to a few absolute standouts. One such standout is Baroque in The Rocks.
Split into a pantry and restaurant, Baroque has limited hours, making going on the fly a bit of a challenge. However, with a reservation, you can treat yourself to a truly unique culinary experience.
They serve up French favourites like cassoulet, steak frites, beef tartare, charcuterie plates and a speciality of theirs, a black truffle cheeseburger made from Angus beef.
Given the absolutely quality of the food, prices are reasonable, with mains ranging from $25 to $40. If you are after well done classic French fare, peruse their menu.
The Little Snail | Pyrmont
As you might expect by the name, The Little Snail is known for their signature dish of Escargot. So first off the bat, if you are looking for some of the best Escargot in Sydney, here you have it.
But don’t just think all they do is Escargot. They do many traditional French classics like, Bouillabaisse, salmon roulade, duck liver pate and veal tenderloin.
Definitely not a budget eating option (with mains between $30 and $40 A la Carte and set 3 course dinners for $60), if you are however looking to dress up and have a delightful eating experience where every meal is expertly designed with a matching wine, then look no further then the Little Snail.
You can have a look at their 3 course set dinner offerings at their website to see if something takes your fancy.
Japanese Restaurants In Sydney
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Sake Restaurant | The Rocks
This is not only one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in Sydney, but also one of my favorite restaurants full stop. This is definitely not your cheap and nasty local day old sushi place, this is authentic Japanese set in a sophisticated but casual setting.
As the name suggests, they have a great selection of Sake which can be matched to your meal. One of my favorite things to do on a Friday or Saturday night is to go to Sake, have a few Sake’s and sample a few dishes from their bar snacks menu. King fish jalapeno, steamed prawn dumplings, panko rice balls and the sashimi plates are my personal favourites.
If you are going with someone else or a party, definitely try their set menu’s. You get to try a lot of different dishes from the menu for a good price. ($88 per person).
Main’s here will set you back between $30 and $40, and their range of sushi and sashimi will set you back between $10 and $30 a plate. You definitely want to check out the Sake Restaurant Menu if you are looking for quality Japanese food in the CBD.
Tetsuya’s | CBD
We’ve all heard of Tetsuya’s and the chef behind the brand, and if you are lucky enough, you’ve probably booked weeks in advance to get a table. I know I have. You simply can’t have a best of Sydney’s restaurant list without Tetsuya’s.
While Tetsuya’s is a Japanese restaurant, it’s more of a fine dining experience. They serve a changing, 10 course Japanese degustation menu, which varies depending on what’s good at the time. The only way you can eat here however is with a reservation and I don’t mean booking in the morning and hoping to get in that night.
It can take weeks to get a reservation and that’s if you are one of the lucky ones. All of this, including the price ($220 per person + $105 if you want matching wines) might sound ludicrous, but from personal experience, this was one of the greatest meals of my life.
You don’t go to Tetsuya’s for a bite to eat. You go for the experience, you go for the food. It’s one of those places that if you love fine dining, it has to be on your bucket list. I’ve been 3 times in 6 years and can’t wait to go again.
Go and have a look at their degustation menu for yourself, read the many reviews online and I’m sure you will be either making a booking or putting it on your own bucket list of food experiences to try in Sydney.
Don’t forget to check out Part #2 of our 20 best Sydney Restaurants list where we will finish off our to do list with the final 10 restaurants you should try. Tell us, what do you think of our first 10 selections?
Main Photo Credit: Richard Taylor
All information & pricing above was correct at time of publishing.
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