Sydney restaurants – top picks
Sefa Kitchen is a Mediterranean restaurant just slightly up the road from Bondi Beach. The stunning interiors are reminiscent of the Middle East which really enhances the dining experience.
This is another restaurant that is ideal for sharing. The menu changes seasonally but if available we recommend the crispy brussel sprouts (can never go past these!), the probiotic labne with coconut dukkah and the halloumi with honey and za’atar.
Aside from the delicious food, Sefa Kitchen also have an emphasis on sustainability, sourcing grass-fed and hormone-free meat from local butchers. They also grow a lot of their own herbs and have a strong focus on seasonal produce.
This ‘deli’ style restaurant located near Bondi Beach has a “farm to plate” philosophy, offering lots of healthy, seasonal dishes. You can choose from their selection of small plates to share or a more substantial main. Otherwise if you’re in the mood to just graze and sip on cocktails they have a great range of platters… The veggie platter with 3 daily dips, olives, fermented vegetables and sourdough is delicious (with a Jalapeño Margarita on the side, of course).
Some small plate recommendations include the sprouted mixed grain falafel with red lentil dahl and coconut sambal, the warm mushroom salad with cashew purée, crispy brussels and a soy-lime dressing and/or the slow roasted pumpkin with cayenne, pine nuts and cavalo nero. It is one of those menus where you just want to try everything so you may need to factor in a few visits!
This is a local favourite of ours with perhaps the best selection of cocktails I’ve come across in Sydney. Their signature “tequila mockingbird” cocktail is a must-try, as well as their “Coco Mo” – a coconutty cocktail with lime juice, mint and a toasted coconut rim. We ask for no sugar/agave in our drinks and the friendly staff are always very happy to accomodate.
From the food menu, we love the ceviche tacos and the guacamole with quinoa crackers. It is quite expensive so we prefer to go when we are not overly hungry and just sip on cocktails and share a few small dishes.
It has a beautiful courtyard so it is an ideal location for a lazy afternoon session.
Chiswick is known for its beautiful gardens and emphasis on local, seasonal produce. The quality of ingredients is apparent as soon as you taste the food. I don’t think you can go wrong with this menu but some of our go-to’s are the local beetroot salad with honeycomb and the roasted pumpkin salad with seasonal mushrooms. The sashimi tuna is also delicious.
Note: The menu changes seasonally so you may want to look up the menu in advance.
Another Bondi favourite featuring delicious Mediterranean inspired dishes (this one is also great for brunch).
You’ve probably guessed by now we love sharing small plates… it is just a great way to get to try lots of different dishes and experience lots of different flavours. Here we love the falafel with charred eggplant, coconut labne and dukkah as well as the hummus with warm pita bread. They also have a great new vegan menu.
From the mains, the house made gnocchi with mushrooms, truffle oil and ricotta is hard to go past.
A Japanese restaurant using the freshest, highest quality produce right on Bondi Beach. For any sushi-lovers this place is a must. Their “Raw Bar Salad” with spinach, seaweed, avocado, tomato, carrot, lettuce, cabbage and cucumber with a sweet and tangy Japanese dressing is also delicious.
Coogee Pavilion is another one I love, especially in Summer. It is a huge multilevel restaurant overlooking beautiful Coogee Beach. There are a few different menus depending on what section of the restaurant you are in but I highly recommend trying a Vinnie’s wood fire pizza.
Otherwise the main menu showcases a great selection of small dishes to share, as well as some salads and a “raw” bar with a delicious range of sashimi. The cocktails are also fab – try the “cravado” with lychee, mint and coconut water!
I’ve always had a soft spot for Indian cuisine and this place really delivers the goods. My go-to dish is Palak Paneer, a puréed spinach dish with cubes of cottage cheese, with a side of roti and brown rice. Lentil dahl is another favourite of ours. This restaurant is in such a fabulous location, ideal for celebrating special occasions.
Also located on Woollomooloo Wharf, Otto is a fantastic Italian restaurant. As well as having delicious traditional Italian dishes such as pasta and risotto, they also have an entire dedicated vegan menu (not something you typically find at an Italian restaurant). We were lucky enough to attend a dinner hosted by Zomato, showcasing the vegan degustation menu (read more about it here). Some of the stand out vegan dishes include the beetroot ravioli with walnut cheese, and the ‘cheese’ platter for dessert. We were impressed by how closely these dishes replicate dairy cheese.
Looking for somewhere with amazing dumplings, great atmosphere and killer cocktails? Look no further. The 8 jade green dumplings are a must-try, as is the vegetarian san choi bao. If you’re after something a little more substantial, the China Diner signature salad bowl with tofu and sesame dressing is delicious. And if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try the lemongrass & coconut sour. Best cocktail I’ve ever tasted!