“What good new restaurants should I try?”

Broadsheet’s editors field this question, or a variation on it, almost every day. While we’d just as soon recommend one of Sydney’s straight-up best restaurants or a long-standing institution, the pull of a hot new place is hard to deny.

So here it is: our edit of the best new restaurants in Sydney from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some of these places are redefining the way we eat and will go on to become classics. Others will be shorter lived. Either way, these are the spots we’re enjoying eating and drinking at right now.

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Best Restaurants in Sydney
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Bistrot 916

Chef Dan Pepperell and his dream have brought a new wave of French dining to Potts Point. On the menu you'll find boudin noir (blood sausage) spring rolls, escargot pasta and steak frites. Plus, there's a drinks list by the Swillhouse Group's former sommelier.

22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point

Itacate

Rosa Cienfuegos makes some of Sydney's best Mexican food. At this colourful and casual all-day Mexican eatery and deli, she's serving home-style dishes: huevos divorciados, tacos, garnachas and more. Plus, there are hard-to-find Mexican pantry goods to buy.

129-133 Redfern Street, Redfern

Porcine

At this French bistro above P&V’s Paddington bottle shop, a 60-kilogram Berkshire pig gets delivered each fortnight. Every part of the beast is used, from the head (which becomes terrine) to the belly (bacon sangers for staff meals).

258 Oxford Street, Paddington

A'Mare

A’Mare is impressive. Owner Alessandro Pavoni wanted to emulate the theatre of a Michelin-starred meal, without the European stiffness – there's a roving gelato cart, pesto pounded tableside and a view over water so pretty that, if you squint, you might be fooled into thinking you're in Italy.

Crown Sydney, Level 1/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo

Haco

Keita Abe brings Japanese like you've never seen to Surry Hills with his tempura restaurant. Sit around the centrepiece wraparound counter and order from a constantly-shifting menu.

102/21 Alberta Street, Sydney

Lucky Kwong

A canteen-style lunch-only restaurant by celebrity chef Kylie Kwong. Named after her late son, Lucky serves Kwong's signature Australian-Cantonese food – including her famous savoury pancakes.

2 Locomotive Street, Eveleigh

Woodcut

This dazzling fine diner – from the duo behind legendary CBD restaurant The Bridge Room – was worth the wait. Each kitchen of the four kitchens here harness a different element: steam, fire, smoke and ice. From the seafood kitchen, you'll find piles of caviar and roe; and raw kingfish with lychee and grilled ginger. From the woodfire grill? There's swordfish and a 270-day-aged one-kilogram Black Market T-bone.

Level 1, Crown Sydney 1/1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

Seta

An ambitious, opulent multi-part Italian restaurant and bar inside Australia's first bank – with an executive chef who ran a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant. Take a seat in the main dining room, crudo bar or chef's table. There's Venetian-style bite-size snacks, 30 varieties of raw seafood and a three-metre-high wine fridge.

11 Barack Street, Sydney

Cafe Freda's

The successor to Chippendale's Freda's channels the spirit of the original late-night haunt into a buzzing sit-down bar and diner in the heart of Sydney's nightlife district.

191-195 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Alpha

Following a stunning makeover, this beloved Greek restaurant reopened in 2021. A handful of old favourites remain on the menu, but everything else – from the sprawling open kitchen to a tongue-in-cheek take on pigs in blankets – is brand new.

238 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
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Westwood Pizza

This tiny pizzeria, run by two ex-Bella Brutta chefs, makes just 150 pizzas a day. So order your fermented-garlic honey, 'nduja or pepperoni pizza early – they sell out fast.

245 Australia Street, Newtown

Bastardo

While Ben Milgate, Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joseph Valore have always infused their venues (Bodega x Wyno, Porteño, Continental Deli Bar and Bistro et al) with Italian ingredients, influences and dishes, this is the first time they’ve really leaned into it. Stracciatella, chickpea fritters and hunks of Parmigiano Reggiano pepper the antipasti menu, and there’s a decent list of silky house-made pastas – some of the best we’ve eaten all year. The room is pumping, the cocktails balanced and the service is effortless, making it a great addition to Sydney’s already strong Italian-food scene.

50 Holt Street, Surry Hills
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LP’s Quality Meats

When LP’s Quality Meats pulled down its roller door in February to focus on its growing wholesale business, with assurances that it would reopen in a different format at some point, Sydney’s carnivores were left wondering what the Chippendale diner might have in store. Now, with an expanded, fully kitted-out kitchen absorbing half the dining room, LP’s is back. And it's better than ever.

Unit 1 16 Chippen Street, Chippendale
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Fish Shop

An elevated fish'n'chipper from the team behind Fishbowl. Pull up a char in the light-filled dining room for Mediterranean-inspired bar snacks, or settle on a picnic rug in the neighbouring park with takeaway boxes.

87 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
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Ezra

This buzzing eatery – with courtyards for balmy evening dining and an intimate dining room – encourages lingering. It evokes Tel Aviv’s cosmopolitan dining scene. Like Tel Aviv itself, chef Ben Sears’s food reflects the diaspora of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) and Sephardic (Iberian, Mediterranean and Levantine) Jewish staples. Think pickles with meze and flatbread, roasted cauliflower dressed with liberal amounts of grated haloumi and punchy za’atar, and lamb tagine.

3 Kellett Street, Potts Point

Monopole

The CBD has some of the best cocktail bars in the world, but there’s a surprising lack of venues with a focus on vino. Since moving from its original Potts Point location, Monopole, with its clever mix of snacking and thoughtful drinks list, has changed that.

16-20 Curtin Place, Sydney
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Jimmy's Falafel

Jimmy’s Falafel's colourful room features booths, frosted-glass sconces and tourism posters of cosmopolitan 1960s Beirut. As the name suggests, there’s falafel, which is stuffed in pita (among other things) and served alongside meze plates including eggplant salad, hummus and silverbeet. At night, there’s also meat cooked on the charcoal grill, and a wonderful smoky scent permeates the air. As at Henrietta, eating with your hands is encouraged and toum (garlic sauce) is liberally applied.

312 George Street, Sydney

The Old Fitzroy

Woolloomooloo’s great-grandfather of a pub has an ex-Momofuku Seibo Chef in the kitchen and a celebrated indie theatre downstairs. The 150-year-old bolthole has outlasted many of its operators, but this latest incarnation – from the Odd Culture (The Oxford Tavern, The Duke Of Enmore) team – might be the best one yet.

129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo

Pepito's

Thanks to travel bans, it looks like we’ll be confined to Aussie shores for a long while yet. So a visit to Pepito’s is the next-best thing to a trip to Peru. Based on the “tabernas” (diners where you can eat home-style cooking, drink and hang out) owner José Alkon frequents when he’s in his Peruvian homeland, Pepito’s is serving Latin American cuisine and booze you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the city, while Peruvian punk rock is pumped from the speakers. Expect dishes such as leche de tigre especial – local seafood marinated in lime juice, garlic, chilli and ginger, and topped with deep-fried calamari.

276 Illawarra Road, Marrickville

Nomad

After a fire, a pop-up and a Covid-19 shutdown, Nomad has returned to its original Foster Street home. Enter for smoked free-range chicken, wood-roasted eggplant with flatbread, and a six-week dry-aged rib eye.

16 Foster Street, Surry Hills
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Restaurant Leo

Federico Zanellato and Karl Firla are two of Sydney’s most exciting chefs. On his resume the genre-bending Zanellato lists Copenhagen’s Noma, Melbourne’s Attica and Sydney’s Ormeggio at the Spit, and Firla was behind hard-to-get-into Newtown fine diner Oscillate Wildly, which sadly closed last year. Now they have opened an elegant Italian eatery in the city’s Angel Place precinct with slick service, white tablecloths and everything made in-house (pastry, bread, pasta, pickles – the lot). The menu swings from lobster ragu with truffles to veal saltimbocca and borlotti bean soup.

2-12 1 Angel Place, Sydney

Cicciabella Parramatta Square

Cicciabella’s second location pays tribute to the pared-back “cucina povera” style of Italian cooking – think woodfired Florentine steak, crudo, pasta and pizza.

Parramatta Square 153 Macquarie Street, Parramatta
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Amah

A brilliant partnership between Ho Jiak and Mr Wong's former head chef, Loong Oon. The menu pays tribute to Oon's grandmother with soy-braised pork belly, a deceptively simple king-prawn black-pepper curry, and a nostalgic soup of hand-pounded fish balls in a delicate clear broth.

436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
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