Make like the Greeks and adopt a strictly Mediterranean approach to your lifestyle – starting first and foremost around excellent eating. With fresh produce and even fresher seafood a central pillar, indulge your Med cravings at these establishments.
For an impeccable fusion of Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, Isaac in Redfern brings punchy flavours and euro decadence together for a meal you won’t be forgetting any time soon. The Cedar St. buffalo haloumi with honeycomb and jam leads into the Spencer Gulf calamari fritti smoothly. Gorge on the baked spiced chicken with roast potato salad or the snapper acqua pazza with clams, fennel, tomato and olive oil broth.
99 Redfern Street, Redfern
Legends of coastal hospitality, Hotel Ravesis knows how to bring the pearls of Med cooking to the fore, while allowing the high quality Australian ingredients to speak for themselves. For something light, the share plates are hard to go past, while the sustainable seafood platter - Sydney rock oysters, scallops, confit Fremantle octopus and Crystal Bay prawns - is a dream.
118 Campbell Parade, Bondi
For football fanatics and Italian food fiends, this Alexandria restaurant perfectly combines both passions. Housed within the worlds largest football store, inside you will find Zona Azzurri serving up authentic handmade pasta and pizza. While you let the kids (and big kids) run around the store (they have an indoor football field and a playstation zone!) you relax while you take your pick from their menu.
160 Bourke Road, Alexandria
For a contemporary take on Mediterranean dining, bibo Wine Bar celebrates the region’s revered gastronomy with a strong Portuguese influence, thanks to Chef Jose Silva’s Portuguese upbringing. Kick things off with a sardine and squid ink beignet and flambé chorizo, before tucking into the blue swimmer crab à brás or the lamb with eggplant, almond and herbs.
7 Bay Street, Double Bay
Barzaari delivers Eastern Mediterranean effortlessly. Their polished menu is centered around the kitchen’s wood-fired oven and charcoal barbeque. The wood-fired fig with string cheese and burnt honey perfectly pairs with the gooralie pork neck with loukaniko, smoked eggplant and silverbeet. You’d hardly be able to say you’d visited without sampling the sandpit coffee over scented ice cream.
65 Addison Road, Marrickville
If Aperol spritz’ on tap and freshly rolled pasta sounds like your kind of scene, Casoni is a must-visit. The cacio e pepe donuts make for a strong start, while the stracciatella with tomato, peach, shiso and togarashi is a dreamy melange of rich and fresh components. Their set menu is a godsend for those struggling to commit to a single dish.
371-373 Bourke Street, Sydney
Neil Perry brings the renowned flavours of Melbourne’s Rosetta to the streets of The Rocks. You’ll be overwhelmed with having to choose between the crudo, antipasti, and pasta, but take our advice and dive into the zuppa di pesce with garlic bruschetta. The anchovy orecchiette with broccolini, garlic and chilli is so moreish it will have you desperate to escape to Puglia.
118 Harrington Street, The Rocks
Drawing on the joint heritage of Jonathan Barthelmess and Longrain’s Sam Christie – their take on the flavours of the Mediterranean (with a strong focus on Greek food) has garnered a lot of attention. A selection of their dishes are cooked over wood and charcoal, think BBQ calamari or octopus, dry aged pork shop or oven bake lamb shoulder.
44 Macleay Street, Potts Point
It hardly gets more Med than the spread on offer at 1821. The restaurant’s design, decoration and dining embraces Jim Kospetas’ Hellenic roots. Before diving into the food, give the cocktail menu a try as you dabble in a selection of mixed dips including Tzatiziki and Tarama. The octopus carpaccio and prawn saganaki are mandatory while the mushroom truffle moussaka with an apple, mint, fennel sauce is a signature dish of the house.
122 Pitt Street, Sydney
While not strictly Mediterranean, Culina et Vinum features dishes that would look at home on the Amalfi Coast or waterside in Santorini’s Ammoudi Bay. The octopus hand with grilled zucchini, fennel, olive and wild hop dressing sets the tone, while the whole fish on the grill and the pork belly with peach and black cabbage are just the dishes to order for mains.
1/19-23 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay