Oxford Street is one of Sydney’s most important thoroughfares. Though it starts at Bondi Junction and runs all the way to the CBD, it’s best known for its Paddington and Darlinghurst sections.

In the 1980s, Oxford Street – the Darlo strip in particular – was the heart of Sydney’s nightlife. The area was particularly important to Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community, which helped turn Sydney into one of the world’s party capitals by the turn of the millennium. That influence is celebrated each year at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade – one of the world’s largest parties and one of the most anticipated days in Sydney’s cultural calendar.

During the lockout law era, the street’s nightclubs took a big hit. But its bars and restaurants picked up the slack, particularly on the Paddo end of Oxford Street. In the 2010s, many of Sydney’s best restaurants and bars (including the world-renowned Saint Peter) opened on Oxford – so the street’s never stopped being a destination.

With lockouts now lifted and nightlife well on its way back, you can now enjoy some of Sydney’s best drinking and dining before the party gets started. And by day, Oxford is arguably the best place in Sydney for shopping. You’ll find plenty of independent fashion, beauty and homeware retailers on the strip, alongside more established names

Related Pages
Best Restaurants in Darlinghurst
Best Restaurants in Paddington
Best Bars in Darlinghurst
Best Cafes in Paddington

Restaurants

Saint Peter

All-Australian seafood and wine.

362 Oxford Street, Paddington

Fred’s

A wood-fired oven, an open-flame hearth and some of the country’s best produce and cocktail bar underneath.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Il Baretto

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

338 Oxford Street, Paddington

Love Supreme

Pizza done just right on Oxford Street.

180 Oxford Street, Paddington

The Paddington

Like a cross between a pub, a bistro and chicken shop. Enjoy the rotisserie-focused menu in this sleek and sunny fit-out. If you've got a solid amount of pals for an event, ask for the private space, a magnificent frieze-covered dining room with a sun roof.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Don Pedros

Down this historic backstreet venue, you'll find a SoCal take on Mexican cuisine. Enter for soft shell crab tacos, and slow-cooked pork ribs. And a pre- and post-dinner shot of tequila is heavily encouraged by the team.

1 Victoria Street, Paddington
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La Scala

La Scala on Jersey offers seasonal, produce-driven Italian dishes in relaxed surrounds.

2A Oxford Street, Woollahra

Fish Butchery

Josh Niland – of the boundary pushing seafood restaurant Saint Peter – is behind this retail seafood boutique.

388 Oxford Street, Paddington

Berkelouw Paddington

The crown jewel of the Berkelouw empire in Sydney. This three-storey literary landmark on Oxford Street has everything a book nerd could wish for, not least of all a good cup of coffee from the upstairs cafe. It’s licensed and open late, which means it’s primed for a pre-movie drink if you’re hitting the Verona Palace Cinema next door.

19 Oxford Street, Paddington
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Bars

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

The Unicorn Hotel

A lot of pubs get major revamps, only to lose their old-school charm. Not the Unicorn. The team here have given the spot a stylish but sill pubby fit-out. Drinks here are an inclusive mix of commercial brews and natural wines. Food, meanwhile, involves jazzed up pub classics, and probably the best schnitzel in Sydney.

106 Oxford Street, Paddington

Charlie Parker’s

A 100-seat cocktail bar beneath Fred’s.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Goodbar

A live-music venue on Oxford Street with DJs, cheese toasties and a 3am licence.

11a Oxford Street, Paddington

Big Poppa’s

Italian food, drinks and hip-hop served until 3am. Yes. Big Poppa's is low-key one of Sydney's best places for cheese-lovers – whether you like it on a platter or inventively deployed across a range of pasta dishes.

96 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Chubby Cheeks

A modern Thai restaurant serving twice-cooked master-stock chicken and Wagyu brisket that takes four days to prepare.

437 Oxford Street, Paddington
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Cafes

Ampersand

This Paddington bookseller does food, drinks and books. And what a combination that is. Every book across its three levels is second-hand, with regular bargains to be had. The website is constantly updating, with titles landing daily – even if they’re used, the rotation keeps things feeling new.

78 Oxford Street, Paddington

Köket

A Swedish cafe by Funkis serving cinnamon buns, skagen and lingonberry cordial.

202 Oxford Street, Paddington

Café 1812

A polished wine bar on the top floor of Berkelouw's Paddington store.

19 Oxford Street, Paddington

Four Six Eight

An unassuming little cafe on the Oxford Street strip.

468 Oxford Street, Paddington

Shops

Berkelouw Paddington

The crown jewel of the Berkelouw empire in Sydney. This three-storey literary landmark on Oxford Street has everything a book nerd could wish for, not least of all a good cup of coffee from the upstairs cafe. It’s licensed and open late, which means it’s primed for a pre-movie drink if you’re hitting the Verona Palace Cinema next door.

19 Oxford Street, Paddington

Palace Verona

One of the best places to see artfully directed cinema in Sydney.

17 Oxford Street, Paddington

The Pottery Shed

When Oxford Street began to droop, Joseph Darling saw an opportunity to play a role in the creative renovation of the once-vibrant street.

76 Oxford Street, Paddington

Aesop Paddington

Dive in for facials, skincare products and aquatic-inspired design.

3a Glenmore Road, Paddington

C&M

Camilla and Marc’s second line, C&M, has its own home in Paddington.

16 Glenmore Road, Paddington

Sarah & Sebastian

So much more than the average high-street jeweller.

Kiosk 261 Oxford Street, Paddington

Great Dane

Luxury mid-century Scandinavian furniture and interiors that will lift any home.

344 Oxford Street, Paddington

Nice Martin

Womenswear styles designed in Sydney and delivered weekly. Plus homewares, jewellery and Italian eyewear.

5 186 Oxford Street, Paddington

Parlour X

Luxury statement pieces for women with big budgets.

261 Oxford Street, Paddington

Opus

Creativity, passion and a good eye for what people like makes this gift store a keeper with more than 50 years’ history under its belt.

354 Oxford Street, Paddington

Come As You Are

From J Brand jeans to slinky Equipment silk shirts.

443 Oxford Street, Paddington