Best Pasta in Sydney

Updated May 7th, 2023

Share

You’re familiar with penne and spaghetti, but have you come across strozzapretti, tonarelli and fiori? If not, Sydney’s imaginative chefs will give you a lesson in Italy’s trademark dish. From classic restaurants that have mastered age-old techniques to next-gen kitchens creating tomorrow’s classics, this list has your pasta cravings kicked.

  • This grand trattoria in the CBD is the Love, Tilly Devine team’s biggest venue to date. And that means more kitchen space than ever to roll about labour-intensive pastas such as agnolotti del plin stuffed with Wessex saddleback pork. We also love the spaghetti alla chitarra with bottarga – crowned with a raw egg yolk begging to be busted open.

  • Masquerading as a beach house, Pilu serves modern takes on classic Sardinian food, including pasta shapes unique to the Italian region. Don’t leave without trying the culurgiones – Sardinian-style ravioli filled with potato, pecorino and mint, bathing in burnt butter and sage.

    Book a Table
  • The godfather of Italian dining in Sydney, Beppi’s has been ticking-over with the same consistency, fit-out and leather-bound menus – hand-carved by the late Beppi Polese himself – since 1956. Immortal pasta dishes include the house made pumpkin gnocchi with burnt butter, amaretti and sage, and there are plenty of gluten-free pasta options available.

  • There’s nowhere else quite like chef-restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni’s waterside institution. While the trifecta of seafood, crisp Italian wines and Middle Harbour views mostly succeeds in capturing the essence of a coastal Italian diner, it’s the house-made pastas that really nail it.

  • More striking than the view at A’Mare is the scent of fresh basil as you enter the dining room. That’s because the signature pesto alla Genovese – packed with macadamia and pine nuts – is pounded tableside in a 30-kilogram mortar. It’s finished with extra-virgin olive oil, then tossed with fresh semolina trofie pasta.

  • Italian food and good times in a courtyard behind a ’70s-era pub is a recipe for success; one Merivale has faithfully tried to replicate at spin-offs in the CBD and Rozelle. The pasta menu is pretty much the same across the board: go for the fettuccine in tomato sugo (with a mess of stracciatella on top), or the spinach paccheri with kale and pistachio.

  • The menu at this moody CBD pasta bar changes daily, and comes supplied by its retail sibling, Fabbrica, a few blocks away. You might order cavatelli with pipis and house-made pork sausage one day, and goat ragu mafaldine the next.

  • A deli, wine bar and pasta shop from the team behind Love, Tilly Devine and Ragazzi team. Whether you visit here or the pop-up in Balmain, you’re in for a free-wheeling pasta menu that might include a classic cacio e pepe or curly mafaldine tossed with 'nduja and prawns.

  • The laneway eatery is a collaboration by top Sydney chefs Federico Zanellato and Karl Firla. While they’re both known for ambitious fine-dining concepts, Leo is their ode to rustic Italian cuisine. That said, your pasta may come with truffles when they’re in season.

  • The restaurant that defined modern Italian dining in Sydney. Its wine list continues to be nothing short of groundbreaking, and introduced the city to many minimal-intervention styles that are now ubiquitous. But let’s not forget about its iconic lasagnette or the spaghettini with napoli, bisque, cherry tomatoes and roasted scampi.

  • At this garage-style trattoria from the rock star trio behind Bistrot 916 and Clam Bar, you can disappear into a bowl of prawn ravioli bathing in brown butter and sage sauce, a list of mainly Italian vino, and a lively soundtrack spanning Afrobeat and Italian pop.

    Book a Table
  • Sydney’s favourite experimental wine bar has Italian swagger in spades. Hand-rolled pasta has been on the menu since day one, ranging from intricate shapes such as strozzapreti and garganelli, to straight-up tagliatelle ferrying the must-order ragu.

  • Pecorino Romano, black pepper and sometimes butter: cacio e pepe is a highlight of the menu at Marta. It’s made with pepper from North Queensland, Pepe Saya butter, DOP Pecorino and pasta rolled in-house.

  • A bar and bottle shop styled after the enotecas of Italy. And a colourful upstairs restaurant with pasta and panache. Paski is a three-part stunner by wine importers Giorgio de Maria and Mattia Dicati, and chef Enrico Tomelleri.

  • Spicy vodka pasta had a huge moment in Sydney recently. It’s so popular at this family-friendly Italian joint, chef Orazio D’Elia wouldn’t dare to take it off the menu. He’s also serving up beach-appropriate pastas like spaghetti alla vongole with garlic and chilli.

  • Playful Aussie takes on Italian cuisine are all over the menu at Alberto’s. On the pasta front, you might be in for linguine with prawns, tomato and saffron butter, or fusilli with duck ragu, fried sage and Parmigiano Reggiano. Pair them with a Tuscan drop from the stacked wine list and you’ll be laughing.

  • This modern Italian joint is just as famous for its knockout pasta dishes as it is for its dazzling location, perched on the water at Woolloomooloo’s heritage Finger Wharf. Strozzapreti with seafood, potato gnocchi with wild boar, and mafaldine with duck ragu await.

    Book a Table
  • The southern Italian vibe is alive and well at Matteo. And even though pizza is the star of the show, the pasta options are no after-though. Vodka rigatoni and legit carbonara are on the cards – but you should ask the staff about the weekly stuffed pasta special. There’s an even bigger range at Matteo’s downtown sibling, including pasta varieties made table-side.

  • Bootleg Italian does “bootleg” vegan versions of Italian classics, and the whole menu – from fluffy dough balls with garlic butter to the lasagne – is plant-based. The spicy vodka rigatoni and convincing cacio e pepe are both outstanding.

  • The Porteño group’s Holt Street eatery pays tribute to the group’s seminal venue Bodega, combined with a ’60s-era Italian trattoria. Pull up at one of the mint terrazzo tables for a knockout drinks list and pastas such as spaghetti with blue mackerel, chilli, lemon and pangrattato.

    Book a Table
  • A club all about cheese and pasta? Sign us up for a lifetime membership. The signature is cacio e pepe twirled tableside in a giant wheel of Pecorino Romano cheese imported from Sardinia, Italy. But there’s also pillow-y ricotta gnocchi and legit carbonara to ballast you against the cracking wine list.

    Book a Table
  • Pino’s pasta is made fresh on the premises, and may be infused with anything from hay ash to squid ink and saffron. The menu also puts a big emphasis on premium produce such as Blackmore Wagyu and Hokkaido scallops, adding a touch of sophistication to these otherwise homely dishes.

    Book a Table
  • The best of the eternal city inspires this graffiti-covered pasta cave. Enter for classic Roman pastas including carbonara and cacio e pepe. Plus, blistered slabs of Roman pizza recognised by a prestigious Italian food authority.

  • Sagra is one of Darlo's quiet achievers. It's laid-back, wallet-friendly and there's something on the menu for just about everyone. The pastas – such as the squid ink number with calamari – are particularly worth your time.

    Book a Table
  • The old-school Italian with the iconic green door has been kicking hard since 1987 with honest Napoli-style fare including hand-made pastas, fish and beautifully prepared meat courses. The tablecloths are white, the upholstery is floral and the service is pitch-perfect.

  • A regional Italian diner that’s barely changed since 1999. Now in Paddington – the generous bowls of beef-cheek-ragu pappardelle are still here, along with more pasta and gnocchi options than ever.

  • Though the offering at Bar Vincent changes almost daily, you can always count on fresh oysters, a razor-sharp wine program and outstanding pasta. Settle into one of the intimate, candlelit nooks with a bowl of blue swimmer crab taglioni or rabbit maltagliati.

  • Inspired by Tuscany’s dining scene, this female-led diner is all about fresh pasta (including a squid-ink fettucine with crab), al fresco dining and flamboyant weekly specials.

    Book a Table
  • All of Busta's pasta is made fresh each morning – and it’s put to good use across dishes such as taglioni mixed with prawn, tomato, bottarga and lemon; and a hand-rolled gnocchetti with 12-hour brisket ragu.

    Book a Table
  • Two Chaps always had an Italian edge, but it sharpened the offering even further by transforming the cafe into a moody BYO pasta joint, Thursday to Saturday. The vibrant vegetarian pastas go head-to-head with any on this list.