Not many Italian restaurants in Sydney have a foosball table. But as you enter Lola’s Italian & Bar, the Bondi diner formerly known as Lola’s Level 1, you’ll clock the classic tabletop game, which pulls double duty as a pasta making station during the day, and frees up during service so foosball fanatics can get their game on.

When it opened in 2021, Lola’s looked to the whole Mediterranean region for menu inspiration. These days it’s 100 per cent Italian, and comes with a renewed focus on generous hospitality; both qualities embedded in the two Sydney institutions Marcus Ambrosino famously co-owned for many years, Fratelli Paradiso and 10 Willliam St.

Ambrosino and co-owner Manny Spinola (Grand Pacific Group) have appointed former Old Fitz and Fabbrica chef Toby Stansfield to execute a menu of classic Italian dishes, from semolina spaghetti with clams and ’nduja to cotoletta alla Milanese. Stansfield has even done a restaurant-style take on Ambrosino’s mum’s lasagne.

Naturally, the wine list presented by manager and sommelier Mon Ditbunjong (ex-Ragazzi, Dear Sainte Eloise, Gerald’s Bar) is focused on Italian drops.

Otherwise the space looks as sharp as ever; equally suited to a quick weeknight bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, or a long and boozy lunch soaking up the venue’s incredible Bondi views in a space decorated with wall art, murals and ceramics made by Ambrosino’s wife Pina Ambrosino.

Contact Details

Updated: August 16th, 2023

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.