This is the short list of the best restaurants in Sydney, all are definitely worth the splurge if you have a special occasion to celebrate while in Sydney. We have included restaurants that are centrally located. Of course, with a top end restaurant you should expect to pay top dollar but on our list we have a few less expensive options. These restaurants are in no way lesser in quality but should be thought of as getting more for your money.
The first of these is Rockpool Bar & Grill. We have included Rockpool Bar & Grill on this list for its not to be missed art deco dining room plus it’s an excellent steak house with exceptional service. Believe us, you will feel like your dining on one of the Mad Men sets.
The other more affordable option is Glass Brasserie, again the food is excellent with service to match and the view above Sydney’s QVB shopping center adds to the opulence. Again if you have any suggestions or a restaurant you feel is worth the splurge drop us a line.
Add Your Suggestions
Below our list of Sydney’s best restaurants, you can have your say. Let us know if you think we have left a restaurant out or should drop one of the restaurants off the list. As always, if you discover a restaurant that you feel should be included on our best restaurants list please let us know and we will check it out. We would love to hear from you.
- Guillaume at Bennelong – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, (02) 9241 1999
Guillaume at Bennelong is located in the smallest sail of the Sydney Opera House and serves amazing modern French cuisine. Guillaume was awarded in 2011 Two Chef’s Hats by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide and Three Stars by Australian Gourmet Traveller. Most Sydneysiders will save a reservation at Guillaume for special occasions as you really can’t beat the location or the food. If there is a special occasion you’re celebration on your trip to Sydney, make your booking now! Don’t wait. Consider our opera plus dinner package for $348. It includes a three course dinner at Guillaume or Aria (see below) plus at performance at the Sydney Opera House.
Try: Best bet here is one of the degustation menu choices. The menu with matching French wines if very nice and highly recommended. Menu changes with the seasons but look for the Royale of Asparagus with spanner crab and truffle, Sealed Duck Foie Gras deglazed with jerez vinegar on a date chutney, and Scallops Sealed and Served with Cauliflower Puree. Most menus finish off with complimentary coffee and petit fours.
Lunch Thursday – Friday Noon – 3pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 5:30pm – 11pm
Average Meal Price $100 – based on one entree & main course only, with drinks you’re looking at $150 as they have a very pricey wine list.
- Aria Restaurant – Circular Quay, 1 Macquarie Street, (02) 9252 2555
Located on the very edge of Sydney Harbor with views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House, Aria is one of Sydney best restaurants. It was awarded Two Chef’s Hats by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011. The co-owner and head chef Matt Moran is quite the celebrity here in Sydney. He often appears on Australia’s Masterchef. The usual complaints about Aria are due to the service and the lighting in the dining room, it can be quite dark at some table especially towards the back of the dining room. Be sure to request a table with a view when making your reservation. Aria is the other choice for restaurant in our opera plus dinner package for $348.
Try: Again a safe ordering bet here is to go with one of the de-gustation menus, preferable the seasonal option. The menu changes with the seasons but look for the pork belly entree with pickled watermelon and pear and for a main try the assiette of duck, it is one of Aria’s Specialty. Be sure to save room for the the famous Valrhona chocolate for dessert.
Lunch Monday to Friday 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Pre-Theater Monday to Friday 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Saturday 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Dinner Monday to Friday 5:30pm to 11:00pm, Saturday 5:00pm to 11:00pm, Sunday 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Supper Monday to Sunday 10:00pm to 11:00pm
Average Meal Price $250 for two, plus drinks
- Quay – Circular Quay,Upper Level Overseas Passengers Terminal, (02) 9251 5600
In 2011 Quay was voted Number 26 on the coveted S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list becoming The Best Restaurant in Australasia. Like Guillaume and Aria, Quay is also located near Circular Quay train station with a view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge but from the other side of Sydney Cove perhaps giving it the better view of the Sydney Opera House. Here the food is brilliant and the service is exceptional. Definitely pick from the selection of menus offered as there is a lot of thought put into the different tastes of each and the combination as a whole. To get a table here you will definitely need to make a reservation.
Try: Pick one of the degustation menus offered and sit back, enjoy, relax and take in the view. It doesn’t get more perfect.
Lunch Tuesday to Friday from 12pm – 2:30pm
Dinner 7 nights a week from 6pm – 10pm
Average Meal Price a four course a la carte menu is $135 per person without drinks.
- Saké Restaurant & Bar – The Rocks, 12 Argyle Street, (02) 9259 5656
Saké is hottest new addition to Sydney’s dining and bar scene, this is where U2 had dinner on their last trip to Sydney. Saké serves up contemporary Japanese fare created by sushi guru Shaun Presland, who boasts authentic Japanese training and presents a mix of new-style sushi and classic dishes. Set within a funky designer space in the historic Argyle Precinct at The Rocks. Food is matched with an exclusive range of Japanese sakes, staff are friendly and experienced, and the atmosphere is always buzzy!
Try: Soft shell crab rolls and jalapeño kingfish.
Monday – Friday open lunch and dinner
Saturday – Sunday open lunch and dinner
Starters are $8-$44, Mains are $30-$40 This may not seem that expensive but trust me, things add up quick at Saké especially with drinks.
- Rockpool – The Rocks, 107 George Street, (02) 9252 1888
Rockpool is a Sydney icon of modern Australian cuisine. Chefs Neil Perry and Michael McEnearney weave Thai, Chinese, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences into their repertoire with effortless flair and originality. Prepare to be amazed by the lobster, abalone mushroom, tea-smoked duck prosciutto, and Asian pear with pepper caramel dressing as a starter, and the Moroccan-style lamb, which is slow cooked with almonds, olives, and stuffed dates. Don’t miss the date tart for dessert, which has graced the menu for 20 years. Books are essential. In 2011 Rockpool was awarded Two Chef’s Hats by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and Three Stars by Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Try: Seafood, if you love seafood this is the best place to order it. The de-gustation menus are very well thought out.
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm
Entrees $21-$50; mains $29-$130; dessert $16.
- Est. Restaurant – City Centre, 252 George Street, (02) 9240 3000
Est. has received three hats by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide every year since 2003. This elegant dining room is the perfect setting for showing off chef Peter Doyle’s modern, light touch with Australian cuisine. Anything Doyle cooks with scallops is perfection; the crisp-skin John Dory fillet is also a sure bet, as is the lamb with sautéed spinach and eggplant caviar. The service at Est. is exceptional.
Try: The caramelised peach tart with peach pistachio nougat ice cream is a must try for dessert.
Lunch Monday to Friday Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 6pm – 10pm
Average Meal Price $100 for one entree and one main only.
- Bilson’s Restaurant – City Centre, 27 O’Connell Street, (02) 8214 0496
Tony Bilson is known as the “Godfather of Australian Cuisine” and is credited with introducing French cuisine to Australia. He has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading chefs for over 40 years and his restaurants have been milestones in the advance of Australian gastronomy. Bilson’s serves French cuisine with an Australian twist. Service here can be hit and miss.
Try: The degustation menus at Bilson’s are probably the most expensive in Sydney but you won’t be disappointed with the less expensive option.
Lunch Friday Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6pm – 10pm
7-course degustation $145pp; 9 courses, $195; 15 courses, $280 – food only, 7-course degustation $145pp; 9 courses, $195; 15 courses, $280 – food only
- Rockpool Bar & Grill – City Centre, 107 George Street, (02) 9252 1888
Yes this is another Rockpool restaurant and the less expensive of the two. I’ve mainly put it on this list for the very glamorous dining room, it is a Sydney must see in my book. Sydney is well known for it’s art deco architecture but the Rockpool Bar & Grill dining room is art deco at it’s best. The menu is quite large and includes several family favourites like macaroni and cheese, creamed corn and onion rings. Don’t let these country favourites fool you, it’s all about steaks at the Rockpool Bar & Grill. You can spend as much as $110 on just a steak. If you’d like, you can order two different cuts with your mac-n-cheese, share and compare. The service is excellent and more than will to help you order the perfect meal.
Try: The Potato and Cabbage gratin, plus the Mac and Cheese with your choose of steak followed by Black forest gateau is one of the best meal you could possible have in Sydney.
Lunch Monday to Friday Noon-3pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 6-11pm
Entrees $15-$30; mains $26-$110; desserts $6-$19
- Bécasse – City Centre, 204 Clarence Street, Enter by the express escalator on Pitt St (02) 9283 3440
Many Sydney foodies will often take sides and defend their favourite high end restaurant. Becasse probably has the most faithful foodie following in Sydney and is often said to outshine Rockpool and the legendary Tetsuya’s. It’s not hard to be drawn in to the glamor of the Swarovski crystal light fittings to the luxurious drapes and gorgeous accoutrements. Justin North’s French restaurant is still the last word in decadence, with incredibly rich dishes such as the confit miso blue-eye and smoked scallop; caramelised suckling pig and braised pork tail; and the daube of Blackmore’s full-blood wagyu shin. North’s creations perfectly match the opulence of the swanky surrounds.
Try: Again the degustation menus are excellent, look for Coffin Bay oysters, Pig tail and Scallops and, if at all possible, or the Banana creme brûlée, it’s heaven on a plate.
Lunch Monday to Friday Noon – 2:30pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 6pm – 10:30pm
Three-course a la carte menu $120; Five-course degustation menu $150; Degustation with matching wine flights $190
- Glass Brasserie – City Centre, 252 George Street, (02) 9240 3000
One of my friends ate here recently and said that they were actually sad when they were done. They just didn’t want it to ever end, it was that good. Glass Brasserie is the less expensive choice on this list but still stands out as one of the best restaurants in Sydney. When having dinner here consider going all out and get an entree, main plus dessert. You won’t regret it.
Try: Wagyu steak tartare with a quail egg, or quail, foie gras and a truffled demi-glace, or the beautifully fresh whole bay snapper with braised saffron fennel.
Breakfast Monday-Friday 6am-10am.
Lunch Monday-Friday noon-3pm and Sun 1pm-3pm
Dinner daily 6pm-11pm
Entrees $15.50-$18.50; mains $33.50-$39.50; desserts $14.50-$17.50
- Tetsuya’s – City Centre, 529 Kent Street, (02) 9267 2900
Dining at Tetsuya’s is an experience you will not soon forget. Tetsuya’s was the top reining restaurant in Australia until Quay just recently took over. It still is one of the best one of the world’s best restaurants. Tetsuya’s is set in a refurbished heritage-listed site, with influences of traditional Japanese-inspired style, to create a serene dining enclave in the city. The eleven-course degustation menu is the only option at Tetsuya’s, which is $210* per person (beverages not included). Yes eleven courses, you will be here for a while but don’t worry all the courses are properly timed so that you are never too full to enjoy the next. Many Sydneysiders save up to celebrate a special occasion at Tetsuya’s. You will need to book well in advance and if you have any special food needs let them know when you make your booking and, perhaps remind them again a few days before you arrive.
Lunch Saturday from 12 noon
Dinner Tuesday to Friday from 6.00pm and Saturday from 6.30pm
The menu is always changing with the seasons. The degustation menu is $210 not including drinks.