Sydney’s vibrant dining scene is not defined by the latest and greatest, but by the restaurants and dishes that have stood the test of time. Since the sad departure of Quay’s infamous Snow Egg, the title for Sydney’s most sought-after dish is one again up for grabs. From fuss-free cheap eats to decadent fine dining, we’ve tasted our way around Sydney to bring you the best of the best. These are the standout dishes set to achieve Sydney icon status. How many have you tried?
Pork Bahn Mi: Marrickville Pork Roll
At this hole-in-the-wall eatery they do one thing, and do it well. On any given day, Marrickville Pork Roll has a queue of people waiting in line for their crusty Vietnamese Bahn Mi. The moreish pork and house-made sauce will guarantee a repeat visit.
236A Illawarra Road, Marrickville
The Mary’s Burger: Mary's
A well-kept local secret long before it became one of Sydney’s best burger joints. Their signature beef burger with cheese, lettuce, onion and Mary’s sauce is a triumph. Dine-in for the full Mary’s experience feat. good vibes and killer music.
Newtown, Sydney CBD
Pho with Beef Brisket: An Restaurant
Boasting one of Sydney’s best pho dishes, the broth at An Restaurant is brewed for ten hours before it reaches the table. For flavour fiends, dip the beef brisket into the chilli and hoisin sauce mixture before dunking it into the soup.
27 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown
Pippies with XO Sauce on Fried Vermicelli: Golden Century
A favourite amongst Sydney’s best chefs, this late-night Chinese haunt is an institution on the Sydney dining scene. The delectable Pippies with XO has been a staple on the menu from day one, and its fresh flavour has garnered a cult following.
393-399 Sussex Street, Sydney
Dumplings: Mr Wong’s
It’s hard to pick just one dish that this award-winning Merivale venue does well, but the dumplings are some of Sydney’s best dumplings. Whether it’s the steamed lobster and scallop or crispy calamari and foie gras, you can’t go wrong at Mr Wong’s.
3 Bridge Street, Sydney
Fried Chicken: Butter
The fried chicken at Butter is equal parts crispy and succulent, just how we like it. At this chicken shop, upgrade your 3 Pac lunch with a glass of bubbles and a side of shopping (FYI-they sell sneakers too).
6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Roti Canai: Mamak
Mamak are the kings of Malaysian cuisine. You know their food is good when there are queues snaking down the street before the doors have even opened. Be sure to try their crispy and fluffy Roti Canai served with two curry dips and spicy sambal – it’s the most popular dish.
Pork Ribs: Hurricane’s Grill
Arguably the best ribs in Sydney, Hurricane’s is known for their legendary special sauce and chargrill smokiness. The pork ribs are melt-in-the-mouth delicious and taste even better when paired with their house special creamy mac and cheese.
Bondi Beach, Brighton Le Sands, Chatswood, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Narellan and Top Ryde
Diavola Pizza: Via Napoli
Voted the best pizza in Sydney many times over, Via Napoli serves up authentic Napoli-style slices of woodfired creations. With its San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, hot salami, olives and basil, the Diavola is a crowd favourite.
Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Surry Hills
Saganaki Cheese with Honey and Oregano: The Apollo
The Apollo in Potts Point is an absolute must for Greek-loving Sydneysiders. The sweet yet salty saganaki cheese with honey and oregano is the stuff of (Greek) legend and will surpass all your expectations on the flavour front.
44 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Green Tea Soft Serve: Cho Cho San
One of the best matcha desserts in Sydney, Cho Cho San’s green tea soft serve really packs a punch. The crispy waffle cone is filled with brightly coloured, frozen matcha, with an extra creamy finish to avoid any bitterness.
73 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Cacio e Pepe in a Pecorino Cheese Wheel: Buffalo Dining Club
For those with a penchant for cheese-laden pasta, Buffalo Dining Club dishes up some of Sydney’s finest pasta. Our favourite? The huge pecorino cheese wheel filled to the brim with cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta. A giant wheel of cheesy, creamy pasta, what’s not to love?
116 Surrey Street, Darlinghurst
The Tiger: Harry’s Café de Wheels
Already a Sydney icon before Laurina’s ‘Dirty Street Pie’ Bachie date, Harry’s Café de Wheels is the late night, street food pit stop. The Tiger combines a chunky beef pie with mash, mushy peas and lashings of gravy – the ultimate hangover cure.
Campbelltown, Haymarket, Tempe, Woolloomooloo
Sausage Rolls: Bourke Street Bakery
Dishing out their legendary baked goods from 11 different locales, this Sydney institution boasts an array of standout dishes (here’s looking at you, carrot cake), but it’s the sausage rolls that have real star status. They’re made using eggplant, pork or lamb, each with their own distinctive flavour, but united by a wonderfully flaky and buttery pastry exterior.
Alexandria, Balmain, Banksmeadow, Barangaroo, Kirrawee, Marrickville, Neutral Bay, Newtown, North Sydney, Parramatta, Surry Hills
Crackles Classic: Mr Crackles
Oxford Street’s late-night hang out, Mr Crackles is a pork-laden haven. The Crackles Classic roll is a delectable mix of crispy skinned, slow roasted, spiced pork belly with Vietnamese salad. Crisp and juicy!
155 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Cheese and Wine: GPO Cheese & Wine Room
Known as Sydney’s Temple of Cheese, the GPO Cheese & Wine Room offers over 100 seasonal cheeses and 250 international and Australian wines. From cheese flights and charcuterie to fondue and antipasti, every dish at this tasty temple is an absolute showstopper.
Lower Ground Floor, Sydney GPO Building, 1 Martin Place, Sydney
Strawberry and Watermelon Cake: Black Star Pastry
A must for any cake lover, the Strawberry and Watermelon Cake at this popular Sydney patisserie is a total game changer. Real ingredients, real flavours, and it tastes just as good as it looks on Instagram.
Newtown, Rosebery, Sydney CBD
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Gelato: Gelato Messina
It’s on everyone’s best eats list, and for good reason too. On Messina’s ever-changing menu, this gelato flavour has secured its spot on the roster. Salty and chocolatey, it pairs perfectly with any Messina serve, but to really harness the flavour it’s best enjoyed on its own, in a double scoop.
Bondi, Circular Quay, Darlinghurst, Glebe, Miranda, Newtown, Parramatta, Pyrmont, Rosebery and Surry Hills
Cherry Jam Lamington: Bennelong
From the man behind the Snow Egg, Peter Gilmore’s signature cherry jam lamington is a must-try Australian classic. A decadent dessert of cherry jam, ice cream, coconut cream, and gooey chocolate ganache – believe us, this is worth saving room for. While you are there, be sure to try the equally iconic pavlova – the meringue is fashioned into the sails of the Opera House.
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Guacamole with Plantain Chips: Mejico
Mejico goes one better than your average avocado dip, serving their creative guacamole with crispy plantain chips. Better still, they mix the guac tableside with a mortar and pestle. For an authentic experience, order the dish as a starter with a round of margaritas.
105 Pitt Street, Sydney
Lebanese charcoal chicken: El Jannah
Sydneysiders from all corners of the city flock to this celebrated, family-run Lebanese eatery. El Jannah’s charcoal chicken is succulent and smoky, and best enjoyed with their tahini and garlic sauce.
Blacktown, Granville and Punchbowl
Date Tart: Rockpool Bar & DiningA staple on the menu, and who doesn’t love a tart!
66 Hunter Street, Sydney
Knafeh: Knafeh Jerusalem Street Food
Cheesy, sweet and moreish; a one-of-a-kind dish.
Fish and Chips: Doyles on the Beach
Their batter is refined, and the chips are crispy. The view from the water makes the dining experience all the more enjoyable.
11 Marine Parade, Watsons Bay
Portuguese Tart: Sweet Belem
For the creamiest Portuguese tarts, this Petersham bakery is a must-try.
35B New Canterbury Rd, Petersham
Tiramisu: OTTOServed from a slab, this rich and decadent dessert tastes just like Nonna made it.
8/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
Ricotta Hotcakes: Bills
A brunch icon, the ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter are a guaranteed hit.
Bondi Beach, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills
Ricotta Cannoli: Pasticceria Papa‘Papa knows best’ when it comes to their delectable and creamy ricotta cannoli.
Bondi, Five Dock and Haberfield
Ramen: GumsharaGumshara creates their thick and flavoursome ramen with just pork bone, water and soy sauce. Simple, but oh-so-delicious.
25-29 Dixon St, Haymarket
Popcorn Shrimp: Saké Restaurant
A signature dish from day one, these tangy puffs of lightly battered prawns are guaranteed to impress.
Double Bay, The Rocks