Darling Harbour, once the epicentre of Sydney’s grand-scale attempts to lure in tourists (remember Sega World and IMAX?), is now a genuine dining destination. You just need to know where to go. There are still numerous view-flaunting restaurants serving overpriced fish and chips, but behind the waterside strip is a burgeoning food precinct with chefs dishing up both ambitious high-end dining and go-to lunchtime noodles.

This is your guide for sorting through the tourist traps to find the best value-for-money options, regardless of whether you’re looking for a water view, a mid-work pit stop or an innovative multi-course meal.

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Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium

It has nothing to do with sport.

1 14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

Hopper Kadé

Buttery roti stuffed with curies, kebab-style. And string hoppers made with sourdough batter at Sydney’s newest food precinct.

The Exchange 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Goobne Darling Square

The chicken here is twice baked, not fried. Get it spicy or served with powdered cheese.

Darling Square Building Shop SE16 Tumbalong Boulevard, Haymarket

Hello Auntie Darling Square

The second location for the Marrickville favourite.

Shop 2 16 Nicolle Walk, Haymarket

XOPP

A restaurant named after a Sydney institution's most famous dish.

The Exchange, Darling Square 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Cirrus

Seafood in Barangaroo with views of the harbour.

10/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney

love.fish Barangaroo

Ethically sourced seafood on the waterfront.

7 23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

Anason

Efendy owner Somer Sivrioglu brings a new generation of Turkish chefs together on the Barangaroo waterfront.

Shop 5 23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

Ume Burger

Japanese-inspired burgers and crazy good soft-serve.

Walugul Walk, Barangaroo

Belles Hot Chicken Barangaroo

Nashville-style spicy fried chicken, natural wines and craft beers.

Shop 5 33 Barangaroo Avenue, Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo

Lal Qila

A whole leg of lamb smothered in Pakistani spices and cooked for more than a day in a smoky tandoor oven.

30 Lime Street, Darling Harbour

Hunter & Barrel

Hunter and Barrel brings craft drinks and charcoal grills to Cockle Bay Wharf.

Tenancy 303 , Cockle Bay Wharf

Mister Percy

Old meets new in the lobby of Pyrmont’s Ovolo 1888 hotel, where you can snack on pintxos and wine.

139 Murray Street, Pyrmont

Quick Brown Fox Eatery

Dressed up and unconventional all-day meals in a laid-back and sunny setting.

22 Union Street, Pyrmont

The Port

An enormous, French-coastal-themed bar in Darling Harbour.

2-10 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

The Rooftop

Craft beers downstairs, and DJs, cocktails and views of the CBD upstairs on the sunny verandah.

214-216 Harris Street, Pyrmont