Sydney’s 11 local favourite restaurants

Blackwood, one of Bondi’s favourite meeting places and must-book brunch spots. Credit: Blackwood
The interiors of a restaurant, with multiple tables, grey chairs, a light green banquette and white walls with ceramic on shelves

The CBD isn’t Sydney’s only food-friendly pocket. Plenty of other neighbourhoods in the Harbour City burst with cosmopolitan restaurants, cafes, and bars

A Thai spot in Enmore impresses with an entirely plant-based menu. A family-run French restaurant in the heart of the Hills offers a taste of Paris. Tasting flights of Japanese whisky, plum wine, and shochu fuel a lively but laid-back vibe at a beloved Burwood yakiniku joint. 

These 11 Sydney neighbourhood favourite restaurants deliver high-quality food and consistently good vibes, all while reflecting their scenic, sun-kissed surroundings. 


Little Turtle (Enmore)

Little Turtle is a sought-after spot where the waitstaff knows your name and recalls your favourite dishes. Creative Thai plates include sticky sesame cauliflower wings, pineapple fried rice (dyed blue by butterfly pea flowers), and rainbow rice dumplings in sweet coconut soup. In addition to being Instagram-ready, Little Turtle’s dishes are entirely vegan. To all that, add industrial-chic interiors and large tables in a pretty garden and you’ve got all the components for a consistent crowd-pleaser. 

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Chaco Bar (Potts Point)

Fukuoka comes to Potts Point at this unassuming izakaya, steered by Keita Abe, the force behind the popular noodle chain Chaco Ramen. Repeat diners love Chaco Bar for the charcoal-grilled handhelds including sweet pork belly skewers with yuzu kosho, a Japanese paste made from yuzu, chiles, and salt. For special occasions, there’s an eight-course yakitori menu. If you’re stumped by the rich selection of fruity sake, whisky highballs, housemade plum wine, and Japanese beer, enlist the friendly sommelier for help.

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Osteria di Russo & Russo (Enmore)

A neighbourhood trattoria with 1970s-inspired interiors and family portrait-clad walls. Credit: Osteria di Russo & Russo

Since opening in 2013, this Italian trattoria has earned neighbourhood gem status for its sumptuous Australian Italian plates, stirred up by father-and-son team Pino and Mark Russo. It’s also an area favourite for its cosy 1970s-inspired interiors, featuring family portraits on the walls. On the menu, specialties include Moreton Bay bug linguini with scallop XO sauce and salmon roe, smoked eggplant with chickpea miso and bush tomato, and Nonna’s classic tiramisu. Drinks are Italian for the most part with a few international beers, housemade sodas, and Pino’s famous limoncello. 

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Khao Pla (Chatswood)

A bowl of green curry and a bowl of red curry with two bowls of rice at Khao Pla, a restaurant in Sydney
Green curry with chicken thigh fillet and eggplant and confit duck curry, with pineapple at Khao Pla. Credit: Khao Pla

Khao Pla (“rice and fish” in Thai) is adored for its innovative riffs on traditional Thai street food. The signature dishes here come from chef Pla Rojratanavichai (whose previous stints included the kitchens at Ms. G’s and Mr. Wong), who dishes up twice-cooked tamarind pork ribs, which go well with a slow-cooked massaman beef cheek curry or crispy soft shell crab salad. Khao Pla’s more adventurous offerings include a piquant fish curry mousse wrapped in banana leaf. The snug space is a local star for its innovative plates—and the groovy 90s hip-hop soundtrack.

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Little Viet Kitchen (Manly)

An array of Vietnamese-style dishes with dumplings, buddha bowls and salads on a dark table at a restaurant.
Dishes from the indulgent “Feed Me” set menu at Little Viet Kitchen. Credit: Little Viet Kitchen

Manly locals are lured by the takeaway lunch specials, Vietnamese-style bottomless brunch, and indulgent set menu (appropriately named “Feed Me”) at Little Viet Kitchen. Dishes include build-you-own banh mi sandwiches and rich pho made with broth that’s simmered for 24 hours. Nab an outdoor table in the summer and watch the sun go down with snacks and drinks, such as a roasted coconut water slushy with pineapple and spiced rum.

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Hinataya (Mascot)

Hinataya is a home away from home for south Sydneysiders thanks to its friendly service, warm atmosphere, and Japanese comfort food. By day, the sunlit spot serves quick don (rice) bowls, handrolls, and bento boxes with teriyaki salmon and fried chicken. The evening crowd feasts on hearty katsu curry, crispy tempura udon, and high-grade Australian teriyaki wagyu. To round out the easygoing meal, Hinataya carries a selection of Japanese beer, sake, and wines. 

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La Boucherie (Baulkham Hills)

Take a tour of France at this family-run restaurant in Baulkham Hills. La Boucherie is renowned for its phenomenal service, exceptional wine, and stylish French interiors. Choosing between the three-course experience or the best-selling tomahawk steak, served juicy and tender on the bone, is the hardest decision you’ll have to make here. No matter what main you land on, finish the meal with the featherlight cheesecake for dessert, plus a house wine or French gimlet.

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Del Punto (Randwick)

A dish of four little fried balls with aioli sauce on top and herbs in a small brown plate at a restaurant
Vegetarian paella balls served with aioli. Credit: Del Punto

Del Punto is Randwick’s go-to tapas spot for date nights, family celebrations, and everything in between. Soak up the stylish ambiance over sangria and shareable plates such as empanadas filled with slow-cooked beef, juicy prawn and chorizo pinchos, and the signature seafood paella. If you’re catching a show at the nearby Ritz cinema, opt for Del Punto’s $50 dinner and movie deal, which includes a film ticket, a four-course set menu, and a glass of red sangria.   

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Burwood Rengaya Casual Dining (Burwood)

Burwood Rengaya Casual Dining, a sibling spot to Australia’s pioneering yakiniku restaurant in North Sydney, prioritises both quality and quantity. The barbecue restaurant is known and locally loved for an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring wagyu, takoyaki (octopus balls), unagi nigiri, and sanuki-style chewy soba noodles. Desserts such as matcha soft serve and coffee jelly also have Japanese accents. Pair your bottomless feast with drinks including tasting flights of Japanese whisky, umeshu (plum wine), and shochu

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Chloe’s Bondi (Bondi Beach)

Scallops, nahm jim, finger lime, kaffir butter and Thai basil. Credit: Chloe’s Bondi

Intimate and unpretentious, Chloe’s is the spot for mid-week catch-ups and romantic date nights. The locally owned place is on a side street just minutes from Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. People flock here for the relaxed ambience, cosy seats, and seasonal selection of modern Australian share plates. Fresh and earthy flavours shine in dishes such as scallops with nam jim (a Thai chile dipping sauce), finger lime, and kaffir butter, and cheesecake with pineapple and lime granita. An expert sommelier walks you through the top-notch wine list, filled with chilled reds, pet nats, and blackboard specials.

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Blackwood (Bondi Beach)

A white plate with a steak, salad leaves, a white sauce and red jus on a restaurant table.
Riverina black Angus rib eye steak with garlic labneh, avjar, and arugula. Credit: Blackwood

One of Bondi’s favourite meeting places and must-book brunch spots is within easy distance of the beach. This is the second outpost for the Blackwood team, who stretched beyond their original Cronulla space in early 2022. Both venues share a bright, seasonal menu including hallmark green goddess salads, fresh prawn poke bowls, and spicy bacon and egg rolls, livened with hot sauce and crispy shallots. Locals can’t get enough of one of the area’s best happy hours (every Friday and Saturday from 4-6pm), complete with charcuterie boards and rosemary truffle chips. On Sunday evenings, expect live music and DJs.

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