Getting the gang together for a group dinner or long, leisurely lunch? You’ll need a place that will fit your guests comfortably, and allow them to eat, drink and chit-chat until their hearts are content. Sure, you can fork out for a private dining room, but if you want something a little less formal (and where you’ll get more bang for your buck) we’ve whittled down the best restaurants in Sydney, that don’t just accommodate groups; they thrive on them. Rowdy or refined, casual or chic – you’ll find a spot to suit your group’s vibe. Here’s our pick of the best.
The Apollo’s motto: the bigger the group, the better. The reason is simple, really: the more people you have, the more things you can try! Once you’ve settled in to the long, communal tables, ask for the ‘Full Greek’ banquet menu, which features the legendary slow-cooked lamb and saganaki cheese drenched in honey and oregano, plus salads, seafood and a selection of Greek desserts.
44 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Top tip: Over in Kogarah, Parea’s Greek Tavern is geared towards group dining. They offer set menus made up of Mediterranean classics and desserts for groups of 10 people or more.
In Darlinghurst, this former farmhouse will win your guests over with its rustic-chic interiors and cobblestoned cellar, that comes fully stocked with local wines, beers and liquor. To add to its charm, The Commons is a sustainability star, and the team can tell you exactly where every ingredient came from. Luckily, the menu is made for sharing, so you’ll be able to taste-test your way through a bunch of Modern Australian dishes.
32 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Top tip: For a similar vibe, try Acre Eatery in Camperdown. Walk through the farm (where most of the produce is plucked from), and then settle in to one of the long, wooden banquet tables inside.
On the quieter side of Surry Hills, you’ll find Nomad, a Middle Eastern restaurant that’s as stunning as it is spacious. Nab a long table in the main dining room, and then decide between the Feast ($69 pp) or Bigger Feast ($95 pp) menus, which are designed for sharing. Either way, we guarantee you’ll leave full and happy, and maybe a little buzzed thanks to the Turkish coffee tiramisu!
16 Foster Street, Surry Hills
In true Paddington style, Tequila Mockingbird sits inside a restored terrace house. It’s spread over all three storeys, so there are plenty of nooks, crannies and even a courtyard and sun-drenched terrace to choose from. Inspired by the owners’ travels through South America, the menu is bursting with bold flavours – as is the tequila-heavy cocktail list. If you can’t decide what to order, go for the tasting menu.
6 Heeley Street, Paddington
For the best Lebanese street food in Sydney, Emma’s Snack Bar is a must. The neighbourhood haunt doesn’t just cater to crowds, it was built for them, serving up banquet mezze menus for just $47 per person. There are meat and vegetarian options, both of which feature dips, salads, falafel and the famous handcut potato bread.
59 Liberty Street, Enmore
On the shores of Coogee Beach, Sugarcane takes your tastebuds on a trip around Asia.The made-for-sharing menu is divine, with Pad Thai, roti, curries, and a selection of cooked and raw seafood (hello, sashimi). There’s truly something to please every palate. If the weather’s warm, take over part of the outdoor deck, which has 180-degree views of the ocean.
Shop 1, 56 Carr Street, Coogee
East meets west at Kylie Kwong’s restaurant, which dishes up the most delicious Chinese-Australian fusion fare. If you’re dining with 10 or more people, you’ll have to go for the banquet menu, which is brimming with the celebrity chef’s famous standout dishes. The steamed pork buns and crispy skin duck with orange and plum sauce are a must-try.
Shop 1, 28 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Sydney’s most beautiful garden restaurant is a magnet for ladies’ lunches and family celebrations. Honestly, it’s hard to think of a better place to spend a sunny afternoon. Looks aside, the food is incredible. For groups of 10 to 20, Chiswick offers shared menus made up of seasonal plates and the signature slow-cooked lamb, which comes from Matt Moran’s family farm.
65 Ocean Street, Woollahra
Grab your group and get messy with a rack of ribs at this carnivore haven. Thanks to its long, communal tables and relaxed vibe, this is one of our favourite places for a group dinner. Treat yourself to the chef’s banquet, a full-blown meat feast. Save room for the beef short ribs, which spend 15 hours in a smoker before landing on your plate.
Shop 16, 12 Chippen Street, Chippendale
Is there anything more shareable than pizza? Fratelli Fresh’s CBD location is buzzing with city slickers catching up over long lunches and happy hours that stretch into dinners. You can order a la carte or from the group menu. Or, if you’re a group of keen cooks, do something different and sign up for the pizza masterclasses.
11 Bridge Street, Sydney
Top tip: On the city fringe, Da Mario whips up woodfired pizza in a roomy, industrial-chic space. It’s so good, it was the first restaurant in Australia to get the AVPN’s seal of approval.