From the Opera House sails to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, this city has captured not only a nation but also the world with all its glory.
Sydney city centre also boasts a plethora of restaurants, cafes and bars that are all worthy of a visit…continuing on our delicious drive around Australia of 2023 Readers’ Choice award-winning restaurants, here are six locations that will satisfy any hunger growl:
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Spanish:
Alegrias Spanish Tapas
delights Sydney diners with authentic Mediterranean cuisine in lavishly elegant surrounds on Terry Street in Rozelle. Dripping crystal chandeliers, wooden ceiling beams and curved archways set the scene for indulgent semi-fine dining, while on balmy days the alfresco area beckons as an ideal spot for drinking and grazing.
Live flamenco shows make sure of a bustling evening vibe as you ponder a menu with a focus on using fresh, local produce, featuring shared plates great for sampling with friends; think Chef’s specials such as pork belly and vegetables, cured in citrus juices, or mussels in spicy tomato sauce.
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Café:
Botanica Garden Café
on Bay Road is a tranquil oasis in Waverton, where guests can escape the hustle of Sydney city life. Established in 2012, the former nursery's polished timber walls and bare hanging light bulbs create a whimsically rustic vibe, while a bright mural-lined courtyard provides the ideal spot to soak up the sun.
With a menu focusing on classic recipes with contemporary twists, think breaky tempters of smoked salmon, capsicum, cheese scramble, avocado mash and a hash brown; while later diners delve into a braised pork belly and brown rice bowl with poached egg, pickled cabbage, coriander, shallots, bean sprouts, sesame oil and chilli.
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Pizza:
Generations of pizza making are on the menu at Dani and Fiori’s Gourmet Pizzeria
on Homer Street in Earlwood. This Italian eatery proudly displays the family history with a black and white photo gallery on one wall, as third-generation pizza maker Fiori is behind the counter, using fresh local produce to tempt all who enter with tantalising aromas.
Pasta lovers can expect plates like spaghetti with King prawns, scallops, octopus, chilli, garlic, parsley and Napolitana sauce; or devour pizza slices topped with Lucky’s special – mozzarella, Italian sausage, red onion, feta, grilled eggplant, roasted garlic, olives and oregano.
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Greek:
Embrace the vibrancy of Greek culture at Koutouki
, a lively restaurant in the bustling shopping and dining precinct established on Norton Street in Leichhardt. Warm in ambience, inside is fitted out in earthy features with a mix of honeyed timbers and exposed brick walls, while a stage beside the bar remains a permanent fixture ready for live music performances.
While toe-tapping to the sounds of Greek blues music, kick back with a tantalising drink and mingle among friends, before mezze plates of grilled octopus, oregano, lemon and olive oil, followed by slow-baked lamb shoulder, served with lemon potatoes and Greek salad.
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Lebanese:
Nestled in a 100-year-old cottage surrounded by lush greenery, Salwa’s Garden
brings a casual style of Lebanese dining to Oatley Avenue in Oatley. Fairy lights twinkle in the paved courtyard, overflowing with blooming plants and hanging baskets, while indoors presents a warm and welcoming vibe in keeping with the cottage feel.
Take a seat at a rustic timber slab table and start with hummus, topped with lamb and pine nuts; before devouring fresh barramundi fillets, on saffron rice, with chilli, tahini, garlic and coriander sauce on the side, or pulled leg of lamb on a bed of rice, with herbs, cashews, pine nuts and yoghurt. Those who can’t choose opt for the set menu and dig in!
Readers’ Choice 2023 – Thai:
Those seeking the tantalising flavours of Thai fare, head along Perouse Road in Randwick to find Ummarin Thai Restaurant
. A relaxing vibe of moody lighting, traditional ornaments and polished wood floors set the scene for memorable dining with family and friends over an authentic menu of everyone’s favourites.
Pair an icy glass of wine with entrées like money bags, stuffed with prawns, mixed seafood and minced chicken, or salt and pepper squid; moving onto Ummarin specialties such as whole deep-fried barramundi, steamed vegetables and chilli, basil sauce. Sticky rice, banana and coconut cream makes for the ideal indulgent finish.