Best Restaurants in Paddington

Updated 2 weeks ago


Paddington has been at the centre of classic European dining for more than 40 years. That’s especially true for Italian restaurants: now-closed classics such as Lucio’s and Darcy’s Restaurant, and the still-going-strong Buon Ricordo have each left marks that stretch well beyond the boundaries of the suburb.

But it was the genre-defining 10 William St – with its minimal-intervention wine and famous pretzel with whipped bottarga – landing in an old William Street terrace in 2010 that made a big-enough splash to start a new wave of progressive dining in the area.

Now, Paddington’s stretch of Oxford Street is home to some of the best restaurants in Sydney – not to mention Josh Niland’s world-recognised seafood diner, Saint Peter. There are also plenty of damn fine neighbourhood eateries scattered throughout the lush backstreets around the Five Ways. Even the area’s historic pubs have upped their games, with restaurant-level ambition at work in previously ho-hum kitchens.

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Best Pubs in Paddington

  • A pioneering “fin-to-scale” eatery by Josh and Julie Niland. Behind the sleek marble counter, chefs deftly butcher sustainably caught fish and utilise every part of the animal across a menu of wildly inventive dishes. A meal here is thrilling, educational, and enhanced by an impressive selection of Australian wine and Japanese sake.

  • At his first solo restaurant, acclaimed chef Phil Wood explores and expands Australian cuisine with a produce-driven menu combining classic European cooking with local ingredients. There are nods to Aboriginal history, too, plus a fresh take on the classic peach Melba dessert.

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

  • 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).

  • Set over two storeys in an iconic Paddington terrace, Sydney’s most experimental wine bar has Italian swagger in spades. Come for pastas that are anything but traditional, and a pretzel with whipped bottarga that’s so spectacular it’s never left the menu. The wine list changes so frequently, you could visit three times in a week and never get bored.

  • 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.

  • An unassuming terrace house on the outside; a fun Latin American bar and diner on the inside. Dishes span Peruvian, Mexican and Brazilian flavours, backed up by a solid selection of tequila and mezcal. The best drink on the menu? The Tequila Mockingbird, of course.

  • 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 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.

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

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  • 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.

  • Paddo Inn is home to Il Baretto, an Italian diner that feeds all corners of the venue. In the restaurant out back, the a la carte menu includes hand-made gnocchi, antipasti and aperitivo. And in the timber-fitted front bar, you’ll find home-style Italian fare such as meatballs and lasagne to match well-priced wine and beer.

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  • This backstreet local made a particular name for itself under Colin Fassnidge's culinary leadership but is now under new management. It retains its produce-driven menu but without the nose-to-tail ideas Fassnidge was keen on. There's a bigger wine selection than most pubs and taps pour all of the classics.

  • This classic English pub was founded in 1875. There are little Union Jack flags on the table and a menu that lists everything from fish and chips to dhal. It's a classic family pub, filled with dogs, daily specials and match-day Swans supporters.

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