12 Unique Restaurants in Sydney: Where to Find the Best Bites

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Sydney
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Welcome to our guide, where we uncover the most unique restaurants in Sydney. From beachside eats to themed dining experiences, we’ve got something for every taste and occasion. Get ready to explore the city’s culinary gems with us!

Imagine walking through the bustling streets of Sydney, where every corner and alleyway leads you to a new culinary discovery. This city, known for its stunning harbor and vibrant culture, also hides a treasure trove of dining experiences waiting to be explored, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Australia. From the heights of sky-high bars to the cozy corners of hidden gems, Sydney offers a palette of flavors that cater to every taste and fancy.

In this guide, we’re taking you on a journey to some of the most unique spots to grab a bite in the city. Think outside the box – places where the atmosphere adds as much to the meal as the food itself. Whether it’s dining underwater with fishes swimming by your side, savoring a meal in a retro-themed circus, or enjoying a feast in a lush garden oasis, Sydney has it all. Each restaurant we’re about to explore brings its own flavor to the table, making dining out an unforgettable experience.

Forget the ordinary. In Sydney, dining is about the experience, the memories created, and the stories shared, offering a unique perspective on the top things to do in Sydney. Ready to explore? Let’s dive into a world where every meal is a journey, and each restaurant is a destination in its own right.

The top restaurants to visit in Sydney right now

Unique Restaurants in Sydney: 12 Incredible Sydney Eateries

From hidden gems to culinary wonders, we’re taking you on a journey through the city’s most unforgettable spots, inviting you to fly to Sydney and explore flavors and experiences that make it a food lover’s dream.

1. Bar 83

Bar 83 is a cool spot in Sydney that takes you way up, 83 floors high! It’s one of the scenic places in Sydney to eat and enjoy a drink. This place is all about the ’60s, with a fun, retro look and an amazing view of the city. Picture yourself chilling in a colorful, comfy seat, looking out at Sydney from above.

Turning the top of Sydney Tower into Bar 83 was a big project. The goal was to make sure you could see the city’s beauty from anywhere you sit. The ’60s theme makes it feel like a fun, old-school party, but with a modern twist. It’s a spot where the cool design and the outside view come together perfectly.

The drinks at Bar 83 are fresh and exciting, with eight special cocktails that everyone will love. Whether you’re into sweet, refreshing drinks or something with a bit more kick, they’ve got you covered. And the food? It’s all about sharing and trying different things, from tasty prawns to yummy sausage rolls.

Bar 83 is one of the unique restaurants in Sydney.
Bar 83 offers a cool retro vibe with scenic city views from 83 floors high, perfect for dining and drinks.

2. Berowra Waters Inn

Tucked away by the Hawkesbury River, Berowra Waters Inn is a hidden gem in Australia. Getting there is an adventure, with no road access, you either take the restaurant’s ferry or arrive in style by your own boat or seaplane. The journey down is thrilling, with nature’s sounds all around. Once you arrive, the setting is peaceful, surrounded by water and bushland.

This spot is one of the most unique restaurants in Sydney, offering a six-course feast that’s all about the experience. The chef, Brian Geraghty, crafts dishes that make every bite count. The building, designed by the famous Glenn Murcutt, blends perfectly with its surroundings. Its glass walls reflect the river, making you feel part of the landscape.

The menu is a surprise, with no choices given upfront, adding to the mystery. Dishes like crostini with eggplant caviar, smoked ocean trout, and deep-fried oysters set the stage. Desserts, like the rum baba with roast pear, end the meal on a high note.

Nestled by the Hawkesbury River, Berowra Waters Inn is a hidden gem accessed by ferry, boat, or seaplane.
Nestled by the Hawkesbury River, Berowra Waters Inn is a hidden gem accessed by ferry, boat, or seaplane.

3. The Grounds of Alexandria

More than a cafe, the Grounds of Alexandria is a Sydney icon. Here, coffee takes center stage, with beans roasted on-site for the freshest brew. The place buzzes with energy, serving up delicious meals alongside their standout coffees. Whether you’re grabbing a quick take-away or settling in for a meal, the Grounds has something special for everyone.

It’s one of the coolest restaurants in Sydney, where the food is as impressive as the coffee. The menu shines with creative dishes like herb-crusted chicken schnitzel and a standout burger that would make New York proud. The Grounds doesn’t just serve food; they craft experiences. With a garden, chicken run, and even petting zoos on weekends, it’s a place where families and friends gather for memorable moments.

Always bustling, the Grounds of Alexandria is a testament to its quality and charm. Despite the crowds, the service remains friendly and the atmosphere inviting.

The Grounds of Alexandria: Where coffee shines with beans roasted on-site for the freshest brew.
The Grounds of Alexandria: Where coffee shines with beans roasted on-site for the freshest brew.

4. Knafeh

Knafeh is taking Sydney by storm, thanks to a group known as the “bearded bakers.” This dessert, rooted in the Levant region, usually wraps a gooey cheese center in crispy pastry. But at Knafeh Bakery, they do things a bit differently. Here, you’ll find a creamy, semolina-like treat topped with pistachios and syrup, served in a paper pot.

This spot is among the unique places to eat in Sydney, offering a twist on traditional knafeh. Instead of the expected cheesy filling, Knafeh Bakery’s version is sweet, warm, and comforting, especially on cold days. They pop up in new locations each weekend, announced on Instagram. Once there, you’re treated to a show as the bakers prepare your dessert to the backdrop of hip hop music.

The knafeh might not be traditional, but it’s deliciously unique. Paired with Moroccan mint tea, it strikes a perfect balance of sweet and herbal flavors. The “bearded bakers” ensure a lively atmosphere, making each visit a memorable part of Sydney’s culinary scene.

Knafeh Bakery, led by the "bearded bakers," offers a unique twist on the traditional Levant dessert.
Knafeh Bakery, led by the “bearded bakers,” offers a unique twist on the traditional Levant dessert. | Image Source: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/

5. Restaurant Hubert

Step into Restaurant Hubert and you’re taken back in time. Imagine sipping a gin martini, jazz music playing, surrounded by red velvet. This isn’t a dream but the real vibe of Hubert, especially on nights with live bands. It feels like a scene from “Casablanca,” right in Sydney’s heart.

The menu is a love letter to French cuisine, with dishes that make you fall in love at first bite. From the perfect steak bavette to a velvety Wagyu tartare, every dish is a masterpiece. The setting, deep underground, adds to the charm, making you forget the outside world.

Restaurant Hubert stands out as one of the best restaurants in Sydney for a romantic date or a fun night out with friends. The atmosphere is unmatched, with vintage decor and a wine list that invites exploration. Don’t skip dessert; the Champagne jelly is a must-try. At Hubert, you’re not just dining; you’re part of a Parisian fantasy, complete with steak, jazz, and wine.

Restaurant Hubert offers a vintage ambiance reminiscent of "Casablanca," with gin martinis, jazz music, and red velvet decor.
Restaurant Hubert offers a vintage ambiance reminiscent of “Casablanca,” with gin martinis, jazz music, and red velvet decor.

6. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Imagine dining under the sea, surrounded by the mesmerizing life of the ocean. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers just that – a private dining experience like no other. Here, you can enjoy a meal with your loved one, surrounded by the aquarium’s stunning underwater world.

Choose from six unique zones for your dinner. Whether it’s the Jurassic Seas, Dugong Island, or the glowing world of jellies, each spot offers a breathtaking view. This experience includes a self-guided tour, a three-course dinner, and drinks, making your special occasion unforgettable.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is one of the most fun places to eat in Sydney. It’s perfect for a romantic evening or a unique celebration. Adults only, this dining adventure promises an exclusive and intimate setting. With creatures of the deep gliding by, your dinner at the aquarium is sure to be a memorable one.

At SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, dine under the sea amidst the mesmerizing ocean life.
At SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, dine under the sea amidst the mesmerizing ocean life. | Image Source: https://www.visitsealife.com/

7. Spice World

Spice World in Haymarket takes the hot pot experience to a whole new level. Imagine beef slices presented on a Barbie doll or broth cubes shaped like your favorite characters. This place mixes fun and food in a way you’ve never seen before.

But it’s not all about the presentation. The food itself is a journey through flavors. The sauce buffet alone is a treasure trove of tastes, from smoky shrimp paste to soothing peanut butter sauce. It’s your chance to customize each bite exactly how you like it.

Spice World stands out as one of the fun restaurants in Sydney for many reasons. Beyond the quirky presentations and robots delivering mints, the variety of broth options, including a fiery Sichuan and a comforting herbal chicken, cater to all palates. Add in the texture-rich additions like crunchy bean curd sheets and chewy noodles, and you’re in for a culinary adventure.

Spice World redefines the hot pot experience with imaginative presentations, blending fun and food like never before.
Spice World redefines the hot pot experience with imaginative presentations, blending fun and food like never before.

8. Rising Sun Workshop

More than just another café, the Rising Sun Workshop is a standout among unique Sydney restaurants. This innovative spot combines a love for motorcycles with a passion for Japanese cuisine, creating an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

What sets it apart? The breakfast ramen is a game-changer. Picture a bowl of buttery broth, custom-made noodles, a perfectly cooked onsen egg, crispy bacon, and a charred tomato. It’s a dish that redefines breakfast, blending traditional Japanese flavors with a classic morning meal. For something different, try the Prison Bento for lunch. It’s a delightful array of Japanese staples, served in a steel tray that adds an authentic touch.

Rising Sun Workshop is more than a place to eat; it’s a community space where people can gather, work on motorcycles, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. The atmosphere is welcoming, with an open kitchen, a cozy upstairs seating area, and even a place for bikers to tinker.

Rising Sun Workshop uniquely combines motorcycles and Japanese cuisine, offering an unmatched dining experience.
Rising Sun Workshop uniquely combines motorcycles and Japanese cuisine, offering an unmatched dining experience.

9. Coogee Pavilion

Bringing a fresh vibe to the beach with its multi-level entertainment haven is Coogee Pavilion. Right on the northern headland, this place has transformed from a C-minus pub to an A-grade destination. It’s not just a spot for a drink; it’s an experience, with a wood-fired pizza oven, oyster bar, and even a playground.

This venue is a hidden gem restaurant in Sydney, offering more than just stunning views. The rooftop is a knockout, boasting 270-degree views of the beach. With retractable walls, you’re always in touch with the sea breeze, no matter where you sit. It’s a place where the decor is as interesting as the menu, with a touch of classy Jurassic Park thrown in.

The food and drinks match the unique setting. Start with a refreshing highball or dive into the Beachside Fizz for a mix of gin, cucumber, mint, and soda. The menu keeps it simple but delicious, with salted pork neck, zhoug lamb chops, and Lebanese cucumbers among the favorites.

Coogee Pavilion brings a fresh beach vibe with its multi-level entertainment haven on the northern headland.
Coogee Pavilion brings a fresh beach vibe with its multi-level entertainment haven on the northern headland.

10. Sefa Kitchen

Sefa Kitchen in Bondi is where the magic happens. Ever tried real Turkish delight? It’s nothing like the stuff you find in a kebab shop after a night out. This place will change your mind about it, big time.

It’s one of the best places to eat in Sydney if you’re into exploring new tastes. Chef Simon Zalloua whips up dishes that are simple yet smack full of flavor. Imagine diving into warm, gooey haloumi drizzled with honey, or munching on crispy golden potatoes sprinkled with coriander. And the beef short ribs? They’re so tender and rich, paired with a Moroccan eggplant salad that’s just the right kind of sweet.

Now, for the drinks! They’ve got this 961 Pale Ale from Lebanon that’s a total game-changer. Plus, a Beirut Blossom Spritzer that’s like summer in a glass. The place itself has got vibes for days, with cool Middle-Eastern decor that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.

Sefa Kitchen in Bondi is where the magic of real Turkish delight happens.
Sefa Kitchen in Bondi is where the magic of real Turkish delight happens.

11. Holey Moley

More than just a bar, Holey Moley in Newtown is a mini golf adventure with a twist, making it a standout spot in Sydney. Here, you can putt your way through 18 holes of pure fun, each with its own quirky theme. From the nostalgia of ‘Pac-Man’ to the fantasy lands of ‘Game of Thrones’, every hole is a story.

This spot shines as one of the unique restaurants in Sydney for dinner, blending playful eats with a laid-back vibe. The menu is a treat, featuring goodies like pork belly bao and panko prawn on lettuce cups. And the cocktails? They’re a blast from the past, filled with lollies or decked out like a ‘Happy Gilmoreo’.

But Holey Moley isn’t just about the golf or the grub. It’s about creating memories with mates or having a laugh on a date night. The venue pays homage to its musical roots with holes that rock out to past tunes. And for those who love a bit of cheek, there’s even a hole featuring a certain famous face.

Holey Moley in Newtown isn't just a bar; it's a mini golf adventure with a twist.
Holey Moley in Newtown isn’t just a bar; it’s a mini golf adventure with a twist.

12. Bondi Hardware

Nestled in the heart of Bondi is Bondi Hardware, a cozy bar with a twist, It’s like stepping into a stylish garden shed, with exposed brick walls and plants everywhere. This place has a cool vibe, with a mix of old tools from its hardware store days decorating the walls.

It’s one of the themed restaurants in Sydney that really sticks to its theme. The place is decked out with tools and industrial lights, creating a vibe that’s both rugged and inviting. They’ve got a menu that matches the laid-back atmosphere, serving up mini hot dogs, a unique take on the Bloody Mary, and even breakfast for those who can’t wait for lunch.

What makes Bondi Hardware stand out is its blend of good food, great drinks, and a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch, or just a few drinks, it’s a spot that promises a good time. With its unique theme and tasty menu, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking for a fun dining experience in Sydney.

Bondi Hardware is one of the unique restaurants in Sydney.
Bondi Hardware is a cozy bar with a twist. It resembles a stylish garden shed with exposed brick walls and abundant plants.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Sydney

Got questions about eating out in Sydney? Our Sydney restaurant guide’s FAQ section has all the answers you need.

What food is unique to Sydney?

Sydney is famous for its fusion of flavors from around the globe. One unique dish is the Australian meat pie, a classic found everywhere from sports games to local bakeries. In Sydney, these pies get a gourmet twist, with fillings ranging from kangaroo to seafood. Another Sydney specialty is barramundi, often served grilled with a side of fresh, local produce. For dessert, lamingtons are a must-try. These sponge cakes dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut are a sweet treat loved by locals.

Where can I find the best food in Sydney?

The best food in Sydney can be found in its diverse neighborhoods. For fresh seafood, head to the Sydney Fish Market. It’s a bustling spot where you can taste some of the freshest catches. If you’re after a variety of flavors, explore the eateries in Surry Hills or Newtown. These areas are packed with restaurants serving everything from authentic Thai to modern Australian cuisine. For those who love to explore, Sydney’s food festivals are a great way to taste the city’s top dishes.

Does Gordon Ramsay have a restaurant in Australia?

Yes, Gordon Ramsay opened his first restaurant in Australia at Crown Sydney. It’s a fine dining experience that showcases Ramsay’s signature dishes. The menu features a mix of local Australian ingredients and international flavors. Dining here, guests can expect high-quality meals prepared with Ramsay’s renowned attention to detail. It’s a must-visit for fans of the celebrity chef and anyone looking to enjoy fine dining in Sydney.

What are some cheap eats in Sydney?

Cheap eats in Sydney are easy to find if you know where to look. Areas like Chinatown and Newtown offer a variety of budget-friendly options. From Vietnamese pho to Turkish kebabs, these neighborhoods serve up delicious meals without breaking the bank. Food trucks and markets are also great places to explore for affordable bites. Sydney’s food scene is diverse, so you can enjoy flavors from around the world without spending a lot.

How can I experience fine dining in Sydney?

Fine dining in Sydney is an experience like no other. The city boasts several restaurants with international accolades, including Quay, Bennelong, and Tetsuya’s. These spots offer not just meals, but culinary adventures. They use fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are both beautiful and delicious. Many of these restaurants also offer stunning views of Sydney’s landmarks, making the dining experience even more memorable.

Where is the best place to eat seafood in Sydney?

Sydney’s location by the ocean means seafood is a must-try. The best place to enjoy seafood is at the Sydney Fish Market. Here, you can find everything from oysters to barramundi. Restaurants along the harbor, like those in Darling Harbour or Circular Quay, also serve fresh seafood with fantastic views. For a more laid-back vibe, beachside eateries in Bondi or Coogee offer delicious seafood in a casual setting.

Sydney Fish Market - Fresh seafood stalls and bustling atmosphere.
Sydney Fish Market – Fresh seafood stalls and a bustling atmosphere.

Can I find international cuisine in Sydney?

Absolutely. Sydney is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in its food scene. You can find authentic Italian in Leichhardt, known as “Little Italy.” For Asian flavors, Chinatown and Cabramatta offer Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine. The city’s Middle Eastern offerings are concentrated in suburbs like Auburn. No matter what part of the world you’re craving food from, Sydney’s diverse neighborhoods have you covered.

What are some must-try desserts in Sydney?

Sydney takes its sweets seriously. Pavlova, a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, topped with fresh fruit, is a classic Australian treat. Another must-try is the Tim Tam slam, a fun and uniquely Australian way to enjoy these popular chocolate biscuits. For something uniquely Sydney, seek out artisan gelato shops in the city, which often feature flavors inspired by Australian ingredients like wattleseed or lemon myrtle.

Final Thoughts On Unique Sydney Restaurants

We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the flavors and spots we’ve shared in our Sydney restaurant guide. Sydney’s dining scene is a vibrant mix of cultures, tastes, and experiences, inviting you to fly to Australia and delve into its culinary delights. From the unique dishes that define the city to the hidden gems waiting to be discovered, there’s always something new to try.

Whether you’re after the freshest seafood, craving international cuisine, or looking to indulge in fine dining, Sydney has it all, showcasing its Australian charm. Remember, the best part of exploring Sydney’s food scene is finding your own favorite spots.

The top restaurants in Sydney for all types of travelers
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