Sydney – Australia’s buzzing city filled with culture, adventure, plenty of sun, and good times. Another thing that Sydney is also famous for however, is its diverse dining scene, which showcases wonderful food from all over the world.
Though the first unofficial cuisine of Sydney might be Thai, Italian is arguably a close second. Indeed, some of the city’s finest eateries have been influenced directly by Italian menus. From budget-friendly pizzerias to locations suited for a fancy authentic Italian dining experience, the Harbour City has it all.
In this article, we go through some of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney. Whilst doing so, we take into consideration food, budget, location, occasion, and style – meaning there truly is something for everyone.
Location: 1 Angel Pl, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8964 3062
We’re opening our look at the best Italian restaurants in Sydney with Ragazzi Wine and Pasta. This charmer of a venue is cosy and cosseting as a bowl of their blissful Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe.
Offering 250 different types of wine from classic to contemporary, Ragazzi highlights the authentic Italian art of winemaking whilst also paying recognition to the growing use of native Italian variations used in Australia.
As far as food is concerned, their chef crafts all the pasta on their menu by hand on-site using primo produce, whilst paying respects to traditional tasty shapes and sauces. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian experience, Ragazzi is the perfect place.
If you find yourself in the Victorian capital, see our guide to the Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: Parramatta Square, T3.01/153 Macquarie St, Parramatta, NSW 2150 Ph: (02) 8090 6979
Home to local Italian dining, CicciaBella is fueled by a wood-fired oven and modern approach, allowing you to eat as you prefer.
Pair their wood oven pasta with a tall glass of wine with a natural lean from both Australia and Bel Paese and relax as you experience a range of flavour combinations that can only be provided by this popular Terznini restaurant.
If you want to take in Sydney’s spectacular natural beauty, grab drink at one of these glorious Rooftop Bars.
Editor’s Note: We are sad to hear that CicciaBella Trattoria + Bar has closed. We will let know know if we learn more. As this Italian haven is no longer operating, why not try this new favourite instead…?
Location: 80 Campbell St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 8593 0114
To say that this eatery is one of the new darlings of the hip in cool in Sydney is an understatement.
Created around the concept of a neighbourhood trattoria, Pellegrino 2000 has old-world charm combined with a spin on Italian classics. And whilst the menu is small, everything sings with love and just the right amount of seasoning.
At Pellegrino 2000, even the butter comes heady with the earthy, addictive scent of truffles. The Burrata, Funghi & Hazelnut ($28) is a textural flavour bomb. And as for the Ravioli, Prawns & Brown Butter ($34) – Wow! If you like seafood, this is a must-try, with the Prawns bouncy and irresistible, swathed in the silkiest pasta in town.
In addition, to truly fine Italian food, this spot also has an amazing wine list and doubles as a great place to stop in for a drink or 2.
Do yourself a favour and give Pellegrino 2000 a try. Just make sure you book ahead. As one of the top Italian restaurants in Sydney, it’s always incredibly busy.
If you chase the sun up to FNQ over the winter months, see our guide to the Best Restaurants in Port Douglas
Location: 137 Cleveland St, Darlington, NSW 2008 Ph: (02) 8937 0530
An Italian that is intimate, cozy, low-lit, and perfect for date night, Kindred is located on Cleveland Street. If it’s a homemade carb feast you’re after, look no further than this atmospheric eatery.
This rustic Italian dining spot focuses on making products in the house from bread to butter and more. Eat here and we promise a wholesome and delicious Italian experience in the city.
Think Italian and think meatballs? Me too. But this can be a problem if you eat paleo. Well, our Paleo Beef Meatball Recipes are here to help
Location: 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026 Ph: (02) 9365 9000
From low-key and intimate to glamorous and fashionable. Thankfully, our rundown fo the top Italian restaurants in Sydney has something from everyone.
If you’re after an Italian restaurant with a view, look no further than Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Perched above Bondi Beach, they offer caviar and truffles on their menu along with pasta influenced by Asian flavours such as their famous kangaroo ragu. And let’s not forget Icebergs perfectly cooked biscetta.
Expect class and fancy dining at Icebergs, a perfect place for a special occasion or big anniversary. Yes, a meal here isn’t cheap. But then it’s hardly a humble spot offering basic plates of pasta either. In the contrary, it’s one of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 2/205 Victoria Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204 Ph: 0417 849 419
Pizza Madre is a modern, sleek pizza restaurant in the Inner West’s Marrickville which promises its visitors only the finest local ingredients.
From fresh cheeses which are sources only footsteps away from the restaurant, to herbs picked by one of the owners and native ingredients such as saltbush from a nearby suburb, you will struggle to find food that is fresher anywhere else in the city.
Try one of their delicious wood-fired pizzas with wild-yeasted sourdough, cheese, and fresh vegetables. Alternatively, opt for one of their famous vegan pizzas with toppings from seasoned broccoli and pine nuts to caramelised onion and Brussel sprouts.
If you’re after sustainability and unique flavour, Pizza Madre is more than worth a visit.
And whilst we’re talking pizza, these are our go-to Pizza Places in Sydney
Location: 283 Bondi Rd, Bondi, NSW 2026 Ph: (02) 9114 7371
You’ll find Totti’s at Bondi, tucked away inside what looks like an old pub. However, if you venture into the courtyard, you’ll be greeted by two beautiful olive trees and it promises to be the perfect location for a long stylish lunch.
It’s a local Italian that prides itself on sharing good food, lots of laughs, and fun times with family. Try some of their small plates or delicious antipasti before moving on to flavour-packed pasta from Eggert or chicken cooked in a Josper charcoal oven.
Don’t forget to pair with some organic wine or a retro-Italian-inspired spritz to top off all the flavour.
Editor’s Note: If you find yourself down in Victoria, Totti’s has recently opened a sister establishment in Lorne, on the stunning Great Ocean Road.
Fancy whipping up your own pasta tonight? Check out our Best Bacon Pasta Recipes
Location: 417-421 Bourke Street, Surrey Hills, NSW 2010
Offering some of the city’s best wood-fired pizzas, lasagne, and Italian cocktails, it doesn’t get much better than Maybe Frank, on Bourke Street.
Our recommendation here is to go for the pizzas. Try the one with eggplant, salami, and taleggio-washed rind cheese, or perhaps the one with as many capers, anchovies, and olives as will fit on top of the crust.
Editor’s Note: We are sad to hear that Maybe Frank has closed. We will let know know if we learn more. As Maybe Frank is no longer operating, perhaps try the next recommendation instead…
Location: 135 Crown St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: 0400 378 152
When an eatery has been serving pretty much the same much-loved menu for 30+ years, they must be doing something right.
Such is the case with Bar Reggio. From its terracotta walls with their frescos of Italian scenes, to the home-style cooking, Bar Reggio knows that food fads may come and go, but people will always appreciate good, honest food.
Whether you go for the Ricky’s Pizza (traditional bolognese & Parmesan), the Boscaiola Pasta (bacon, mushroom & cream), or the Saltimbocca, everything is hearty and full of flavour. And that’s why Sydney-siders keep coming back.
Location: Area 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011 Ph: (02) 9368 7488
With a reputation as one of the city’s most respected dining institutions, OTTO Ristorante Sydney offers refined service and of some of the best Italian cuisine around, cooked and prepared by chef Richar Ptacnik.
Making your own pasta is easier than you think. And with a good pasta machine, turning out spaghetti and ravioli is a joy! For more information and prices, see here.
For alfresco dining and waterside views, OTTO is the standout place. Enjoy a long glass of wine and flavoursome pasta dishes whilst relaxing in the Australian sun. Relax, knowing that you’re in safe hands in a restaurant that is not only popular but has a die-hard fan base.
Does this talk of waterside views make you hungry for fish or prawns? Read our recommendations for the Best Seafood Restaurants in Sydney
Location: 171 Norton Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040 Ph: (02) 9560 9981
A little red sauce joint located on Norton Street, if you want tradition, this is what you’ve been waiting for. A budget-friendly option with enthusiastic servers, if you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant where you’ll feel warm and welcome, Bar Italia is perfect.
We recommend the fettucini Amatricana followed by their famous strong coffee and fresh cannoli with tiramisu gelato. Dining here is an authentic Italian delight. After all, Leichhardt has been known as Sydney’s ‘Little Italy’ for years, for good reason.
Wondering where to grab a drink in the Harbour City? Here are our Best Bars in Sydney.
Location: 12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, NSW 2011 Ph: (02) 9063 8180
Located on Potts Point, not only is this one of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney, but it is sustainable. The quality of its food and environmental credentials make it a popular and busy destination for tourists and locals alike.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the dining room with its chalkboard wall. Fratelli Paradiso offers a casual Italian dining experience filled with homemade carbs, delicious cheese, and a variety of freshly cooked meats.
Whip up beautiful pasta sauces, pizza and desserts with an easy-to-use (and clean!) blender or a state-of-the-art food processor. There are models to suit all budgets. For more information and prices, see here.
Offering traditional dishes like ragu, lasagne, and bolognaise, to the most adventurous dishes like a one-kilo bistecca Fiorentina and a crumbed veal cutlet, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Pair with a glass of Australian wine and follow with some of their famous mango gelato and you’re in for a tasty treat.
For some of the best Lebanese Restaurants in Sydney, check our guide.
Location: 30 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay, NSW 2011 Ph: (02) 9361 6641
You’ll find one of Sydney’s most popular Italian kitchens, inspired by traditional flavors and the streets of Rome in Rushcutters Bay.
Transport yourself to Italy’s capital at Marta with a greatest hits menu inspired by the ten years Flavio Carnevale spent in the city. From fried gnocchi to Roman pizza, there is something for everyone.
Location: Moore Road, Freshwater, NSW 2096 Ph: (02) 9938 3331
Pilu at Freshwater is great if you’re looking for a venue for a special event. They cater for weddings, birthdays, christenings, corporate presentations, book and product launches, and even client dinners.
For any occasion where you need good food and wine, Pilu at Freshwater can deliver. It is a Sardinian fine diner perched above Freshwater beach and promises to transport you to a vacation destination as you dine on fine Italian cuisine.
Serving beautiful food in a gorgeous spot, this is definitely one of the finest Italian restaurants in Sydney.
If you feel like something fresh and zingy for dinner, why not try one of these Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney?
Location: 1/2 -12 Angel Place, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9235 3383
Restaurant Leo is a new city diner by Lumi Dining and Oscillate Wildly, who have combined creative forces to bring you a fresh facetted dining concept and espresso bar in the dynamic Angel place and Ash Street in Sydney.
Seasonal produce is used to provide high-quality Italian cuisine and paired with coffee as a result of their alliance with Little Marionette coffee and a versatile cocktail and wine list, every element of your experience at Restaurant Leo is carefully thought out to make you want to keep going back for more.
Head over the Harbour Bridge and and dine at one of the Best Restaurants in North Sydney
Location: 412-414 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9331 4800
At the heart and soul of this hotel lies the Dolphin Dining Room, a casual dining space that focuses on provenance-driven Italo-Australian food and an extensive wine list of over 100 local and international wines with a natural wine focus.
The space consists of an open kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven designed by architect, George Livissianis. The walls are covered with pieces by Beni Single and floral sculptures by Tracey Deep.
Created by the man who brought Icebergs to life, The Dolphin Hotel Dining Room is all about glamour and fine dining. When you want to impress on a special occasions, this is the place to book.
Why not treat yourself to one of the Best High Teas in Sydney?
Location: 17-19 Alberta Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Lastly, but certainly not least, on our look at the best Italian restaurants in Sydney, we have Alberto’s Lounge.
For good food, good music, good times, and good wine, Alberto’s Lounge has it all. An Italian restaurant and bar, the lounge pays respect to both the Italy of Lygon Street, as well as the streets of Rome.
An Italian sibling of the French bistro, Hubert, Alberto’s Lounge is the place to load your table with rich dishes of freshly prepared gnocchi, tripe, and expensive wine.
The cacio e pepe gnocchi is our top recommendation, served in pecorino butter with a hefty serving of black pepper.
You’ll be greeted by vintage posters and prints as you walk through the door and pigeonholes full of wine that you’re guaranteed to be tasting throughout the night. Popular with visitors from miles around, Alberto’s promises not to disappoint.
For some of the Best Bars (and great pubs) in Sydney, click here
Location: D’Albora Marinas, Spit Rd, Mosman, NSW 2088 Ph: (02) 9969 4088
What is it about Ormeggio at The Spit that makes it such a quintessentially Sydney Italian restaurant?
Is it the fabulous location – basking on a sun-drenched deck amongst the moored yachts of the rich and famous. Maybe it’s the modern, seafood-leaning Italian food which pays homage to the best produce the Harbour City has to offer? Perhaps it’s the relaxed, yet effortlessly chic vibe? And then there’s the well-heeled clientele, mopping up the vibrant sauces with Organic Rosemary Foccacia ($16) and sipping chilled glasses of Italian wine?
All of the above, and more.
The fact of the matter is that on a sunny Sydney day, few things are more appealing than an hour or 2 at Ormeggio. Start with the Mud Crag & Sweet Corn filled Polenta Tart ($18 ea), revel in the luscious Seafood Lasagna ‘Alla Bolognese’ ($38) and bliss-out on the Ormeggio’s Black Forest.
Book a table for Sunday lunch and you’ll thank us for it. After all, it’s one of the top Italian restaurants in Sydney.
Ormeggio has a stunner of a sister restaurant – a’Mare at the Crown. For more on a’Mare and the Best Restaurants in Barangaroo, click here.
Lucio’s Italian Restaurant – Re-Born in Noosa
47 Windsor St, Paddington, New South Wales 2021
Having served fabulous Northern Italian food to a loyal following for more than 40 years, Lucio’s Italian Restaurant packed up it’s famous art and closed it’s doors in 2021.
However, sad though this was for Sydney, the people of Noosa rejoiced. For the Galletto family promptly threw their hospitality expertise behind a new venture at Noosa Marina – Lucio”s Marina.
Here, echoes of the old Lucio’s menu echo in dishes that combine fabulous Italian cooking techniques and flavours with local Sunshine Coast ingredients.
For more on Lucio’s Marina and other dining spots, see our post on the Best Restaurants in Noosa.