With COVID-19 turning our 2020 upside down, we have yet to discover all the best new restaurants in Sydney that have opened through lockdowns and social distancing.
So, to whittle down your 2020 edit, we’ve taste-tested our way around town to reveal the hottest new restaurants on the Sydney dining scene. The best new restaurants in Sydney are so worth clearing a space in your diary for.
Lotus Dining Group has introduced its latest concept, Chi by Lotus, a new casual eatery and bar located on the ground level of International Tower One. With sweeping views across Sydney Harbour and inspired by the vibrant night markets found on Beijing's Ghost Street, this vibrant new venue has been designed to bring to life the buzzing atmosphere and delicious culinary experience of the popular Chinese food street. An extensive drinks list of wine, beer and Chinese inspired cocktails are there to be enjoyed with a quick bite or over a long, leisurely afternoon while popular pop tunes play overhead to create a fun and lively ambience.
Shop 2/100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
The Star's new Italian eatery serves up honest traditional cuisine with an unpretentious spirit. Drawing on his heritage, Cucina Porto is a culmination of Executive Chef Martino Pulito’s childhood memories; recreating his family table for guests to enjoy as they discover his favourite recipes, inspired by his home region of Puglia. With an authentic menu cooked in their partially open kitchen, each dish highlights exceptional local produce. Guests can expect classic Italian snacks, pizza, pasta - each plate delivered with care and passion synonymous with Italian cuisine. Familiar favourites feature alongside more adventurous options including a mussel and prawn saor with chardonnay sauce.
Level G, Harbourside Entrance The Star Sydney, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Known for their fresh takes on Middle Eastern cuisine, Ibby Moubadder and Jorge Farah, the duo behind Nour and Henrietta have changed tack with Lilymu. The team are putting their best foot forward for their Parramatta restaurant with a menu by Brendan Fong (Mr Wong) that highlights the dynamic flavours of Chinese and South-East Asian cuisines. Their banquet menus are truly spectacular with fresh snapper and coconut ceviche, Kingfish sashimi with toasted rice, chicken larb, wagyu beef and, our personal pick, black garlic Mie Goreng served with leek, bean sprouts and topped with a tantalizing egg yolk. Plus you’ll be able to wash everything down with a cocktail (or two!).
153 Macquarie Street, Parramatta Square, Parramatta
Looking to recreate and reinvent the best of what the Amalfi has to offer, this waterfront restaurant and bar dishes up an honest yet unexpected line up of fresh seafood dishes and signature cocktails. With the aroma of lemon zest and charcoal burning from the wood-fire pizza ovens, The Amalfi Way is designed to be enjoyed alfresco. The menu elevates seaside dining, with ingredients so rich in flavour, colour and character that they speak for themselves.
Shop 2/6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo
A little over a year ago, Maurice Terzini (Icebergs) opened his osteria CicciaBella in Bondi, and now he’s back, opening a sister spot in Parramatta Square. Like the first Cicciabella this spot is a status supernova with it’s hand-made pasta making it the place for Italian. Celebrating the simplicity of Italian food, the menu was put together by Nic Wong (Cho Cho San, Apollo) and for the drinks you can thank sommelier James Hird for his rich list of Italian varietals and Matt Whiley (Scout) for CicciBella’s bespoke cocktail list.
12 Darcy Street, Parramatta
The leafy suburban streets of Lane Cove will gain its very own Southeast Asian dining destination. Following in the footsteps of Executive Chef Milan Strbac’s Coogee outpost, Sugarlane will emulate Sugarcane’s laidback, luxury Thai beachside atmosphere.
Die-hard Sugarcane fans will be pleased to see many of their favourites on the menu, including Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche, Rice Cakes with Prawn, Crispy Chicken with Plum Sauce and, of course, the famous Wagyu Beef Rendang Curry. And new fans will experience the melting pot of flavours they are best known for, from Thai and Vietnamese, to Malaysian and Cambodian. Already popular with the locals, be sure to get in quick and book your seat!
89 Longueville Road, Lane Cove
Milpa Collective, who own and operate Carbon, La Palma, Taqiza and Sonora will welcome another Bondi venue, Calita, this month. Calita (‘tiny beach’ in Spanish), is a 26-seat seafood restaurant that will sit pretty on Bondi Beach amongst a line up of local legends (i.e. Sean's Panorama and Porch & Parlour). Working with local suppliers to showcase a rotating selection of fresh, locally and sustainably sourced seafood, and boasting a mezcal and tequila-based drinks menu made up of small bath and boutique Mexican drops, Calita will fast become your new favourite restaurant.
Shop 1/266 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Iconic poolside restaurant Uccello is set to reopen this month! Just in time for a Mediterranean-style summer by the pool, this Merivale hotspot is bringing the Amalfi coast to Sydney. The new menu takes its cues from the Italian coastline, supported by our incredible Australian produce, and makes full use of the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and charcoal barbeque. Expect delicacies like Burraduc Valley buffalo mozzarella, with violetta artichokes and cantabrian anchovies; Cape Morton scarlet prawns with native finger lime, spaghetti alla chitarra, vongole, chilli and bottarga; and Melanda Park suckling pig, with wine grapes and vino cotto. Pair this with an incredible line up of Italian drops and you are in for one fine summer of dining.
Ivy, Level 4, 320 George Street, Sydney
The coastal haven of Cronulla will welcome a stylish new beachside restaurant experience to its ranks. Located in the heart of the Cronulla dining scene, The Pines, perched above iconic North Cronulla beach, has views spanning the coastline - the name paying homage to the famous Norfolk Pine trees that line the vista.
The stylish yet relaxed Hamptons inspired open-air dining room, sets the tone for a beautiful dining experience. Starting with an aperitif in the Après Beach Bar before moving inside for the à la carte or degustation menu, guests can then settle into The Pines Lounge to complete the experience with smoked cocktails, global spirits, decadent desserts and chocolate cigars.
Unit 1, 8 - 18 Kingsway, Cronulla
The Venues Collection has opened Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant Sydney, positioned in Bays 1-3 of the historic Campbell’s Stores at The Rocks, Sydney. As stated in the name, Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant Sydney is superbly positioned with direct views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Diners will enjoy outdoor dining under a fixed awning right on Sydney’s Harbour with an internal private dining room for a more intimate setting.
Specialising in the freshest local seafood, Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant is the perfect place for Sydneysiders to come out of their shells and enjoy the city after a tough year. With the vision to create an exclusive yet casual dining experience, locals and visitors from interstate can really enjoy the very best seafood in Sydney’s best location.
Campbell's Stores Bay 1-3, 7-27 Circular Quay West, The Rocks
Esteban is the latest offering from the team behind popular Paddo neighbourhood-gem, Tequila Mockingbird. This new restaurant will take up permanent residence in the same venue which housed Tequila on York (previously home to pioneering laneway bar, Grasshopper), with the main entrance located on Temperance lane – a shrouded ‘New York’ style sidestreet nestled between York and George street.
From street vendor-inspired bites to large asado share plates, Esteban will deliver an innovative dining menu showcasing authentic Mexican dishes. Across the split-level venue, you can get comfy in the upper-tier restaurant, basement taqueria, tequila and mezcal bar or the alfresco dining laneway. The choice is yours!
1 Temperance Lane, Sydney
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: October
Jimmy's Falafel (Photo credit: Nikki To)
Opening up just before lockdown, Jimmy’s Falafel is a place to hang out, share plates and pitas, and party until late. An homage to the madness and energy of the bustling takeaway kebab stores of the 60s and 70s, the space provides a nostalgic backdrop for two dynamic dining experiences. Up the front, the takeaway kiosk is designed to grab and go, with a menu of vegetarian pita, plates and wraps that can be ordered on digital tablets for ease and speed.
312 George Street, Sydney
Coogee Bay Hotel
This iconic beachfront venue has just undergone a sophisticated renovation, and just in time for the warmer weather! Coogee Bay Hotel has just reopened with a newly designed dining space, Marrah, and menu that features Mediterranean-inspired dishes and locally sourced seafood. The menu also uses produce from bushfire affected regions in order to support the local communities. Their must-try dishes include the chargrilled octopus and grilled snapper fillet with smoked oysters, and the zucchini blossom with fennel.
253 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee
Located amongst some of Sydney’s most popular small bars, Above Par offers a casual, all-day/late-night eatery. The venue caters to Sydney’s ‘work hard, play hard’ city dwellers, offering up authentic Middle Eastern fare – best shared with friends over chilled beers. Inside, Above Par channels chic but comfortable modernity, a stark contrast to the ancestral dishes it carries on its menu. The casual, indoor dining space features an open kitchen with extensive marble benchtop where diners can watch the chefs inaction.
215 Clarence Street, Sydney
Glorietta (Photo credit: Anson Smart)
This luxe eatery in North Sydney is bound to become one of your new favourite hangouts. Designed by Alexander & Co, Glorietta is inspired by a love of all things Italian. The perfect spot for an after-work spritz or casual dinner, the menu delivers big on pizza, pasta and antipasto. Our favourites!
Upper Ground Floor, 100 Mount Street, North Sydney
Surry Hills welcomes the new chick on the block, Henrietta, a 65-seat casual eatery, bar and take-away venue serving traditional Middle Eastern style charcoal chicken, with all the trimmings. Located on Crown Street, in the space formerly occupied by Pizza E Birra, Henrietta sits alongside Middle Eastern restaurant and big sister Nour, and you can expect big flavours and wholesome eats.
Shop 1, 500 Crown Street, Surry Hills
81 floors above the CBD streets, Infinity at Sydney Tower is set to take Sydney's dining scene to new heights...literally. Boasting beautifully, stylish interiors, jawdropping views and a killer menu showcasing the best of Australian cuisine, we can't wait until they open their doors!
Westfield Sydney (Located between Pitt & Castlereagh Streets, entry via Level 4 Westfield Sydney)
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: March
D.O.C, Melbourne’s iconic Italian pizza joint, opens its first Sydney restaurant in the heart of the Inner-City food bowl, Surry Hills. Focussed on age-old simplicity, D.O.C is serving up pizza just like the Italians eat – so crispy, springy pizza bases and simple combinations that don’t overload the crust. Alongside their signature pizzas will also be a delectable antipasto offering. The hero? D.O.C’s fresh buffalo mozzarella flown in directly from Italy. Lush.
78 Campbell Street, Surry Hills
Transport your taste buds to the Amalfi coast with a decadent dinner at North Spoon. A local fave come brunch time, the team at North Spoon have launched Italian Nights; a delicious dinner menu available Thursday through till Saturday. Expect a sensory feast of traditional Italian fare; from homemade pappardelle with slow-cooked lamb ragu to freshly made, creamy burrata. To make it an even more authentic experience, be sure to pair your meal with a fine Italian vino or refreshing aperitif.
165 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point
Bar Tikram, The Star Sydney’s newest venture, will be opening its doors later this month. A casual dining concept, the Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant will celebrate the exotic region’s vibrancy and culture. Led by Executive Chef of BLACK Bar & Grill Dany Karam, expect bold flavours, colour, and an electric atmosphere.
The Star, Pyrmont
A vibrant little sister to iconic Sydney restaurant Via Napoli, Pizza Fritta is Surry Hills’ newest dining spot. Inspired by founder and head chef Luigi Esposito’s Neapolitan heritage and the classic dishes of his childhood, Pizza Fritta pays homage to the humble flash fried pizza. Reminiscent of the lively bar scene you’ll find in the backstreets of Naples, pizza lovers can look forward to a refined menu best enjoyed over Aperitivo hour, followed by a flavoursome digestif.
428 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: February
Locals are lining up to check out the long-awaited middle floor of Coogee Pavilion, and mimi’s is leading the charge. Set over the waves, mimi’s celebrates the coastline. A simplicity and constrained elegance permeates the food offering, with skilful craftmanship underpinning the quality seafood, meat and vegetables that are served up.
Amid the cool, calm interiors, diners can savour delicacies like roasted spanner crab, grilled pork collar and grilled wagyu flatiron, to name a few. Better still, the 600 strong wine list will ensure your meal is perfectly accompanied. Chablis, anyone?
Level 1, 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
Inspired by the bustling Izakayas of Tokyo, TOKKI in Surry Hills combines excellent food, incredible drinks and personality-packed service for a dining experience with a kick. Serving up a tantalising mix of small share plates, raw delicacies, bao buns, and their famous Korean fried chicken, you will fall in love with their flavour-packed dishes.
To pair with the delectable short rib and pork belly, TOKKI pours a killer range of cocktails that are guaranteed to kick your casual dinner into party mode. Sip your way through their gin-infused Tiger Brew and sweet Merry Soju, before perusing the saké menu.
44A Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
Set to open early this month, Neutral Bay will welcome Henrys to its leafy suburban streets. Following in the footsteps of its big brother, Henrys Cronulla, Henrys Neutral Bay will emulate its sibling’s laid-back atmosphere, but with an added element of sophistication. Expect this stylish hangout to be dressed up in elegant tones of black, white and rose gold, with natural and modern furnishings. Following the success of the Cronulla outpost, it’s sure to be a favourite for local hedonists in no time.
Shop 2, 19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay
One of the other new venues to open on Coogee Pavilion’s middle floor, Una Más, is a local wine and tapas bar with a Mediterranean soul. A place where locals can walk off the beach and stop by for a quick bite or get lost for a few hours, this beachside dining destination is arguable one of the best new restaurants in Sydney. The menu is uncomplicated and recognisable, with influences from both Spain and Australia –freshly shucked oysters and eating plancha style.
Level 1, 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
A wing-packed, sauce-smothered spin-off of The Bavarian has just opened down at Circular Quay and is ready to satiate your BBQ cravings. WingHAÜS by Bavarian is a new dining and entertainment concept by Rockpool Dining Group that fuses eight variations of sauce-doused, American-inspired chicken wings, and other treats and snacks, with 40 draught beers and margaritas on tap. There is a boisterous sports-bar vibe thanks to 20 large-screen TVs throughout the venue, complemented by the bright neon lights, nostalgic signage and sports memorabilia adorning the walls.
Gateway Centre, 1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: January
From the brains behind Bondi’s Taqiza and Carbon comes upmarket Mexican restaurant and Mezcal bar Sonora; an eatery fast becoming known as one of the best new restaurants in Sydney. Far from your cheap and cheerful Mexican street food, the dishes rolling out of the kitchen at Sonora push the envelope, taking Mexican cuisine into fine-dining territory. The food is fresh a market to table vibe, and the bar focuses on Tequila and Mezcal: from top-shelf drops to boutique tipples.
37 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
Although not a new venue, beloved Bronte café Eugene’s is now open for dinner service on Friday and Saturday nights. Expect a candle-lit affair in a charming yet casual space, with delicacies like Ora king salmon, Tuscan meatballs and coconut chicken curry. Make sure to save room for dessert as the tall carrot cake and lemon meringue tartlet are too delicious to pass up.
69 Macpherson Street, Bronte
Taking residence along Ben Boyd back street with a direct access to the garden, Alala’s celebrates the strong feminine lineage of The Oaks’ family owners, and is reminiscent of a country homestead.
The light timber furniture complements a colour palette inspired by the dappled sunlight of the iconic oak tree including leafy greens, soft blues and apricot tones. Spilling outside into a terrace with café furniture and a light canvas awning, the transition from indoor to outdoor is seamless.
Central to the kitchen is the cast iron oven, which fills the air with aromas of roasted vegetables, meats and baked focaccia. Fresh and Euro-inspired, the menu is equal parts wholesome and indulgent, from delicious tartines to decadent terrines. To accompany the light and whimsical menu, the drinks menu focuses on the classics, with aperitifs and bubbles leading the charge.
118 Military Road, Neutral Bay