Restaurants

17 Of The Best Restaurants In Sydney’s Chinatown Right Now

By Urban List Writers
11th Jul 2023

Sydney Chinatown Best Restaurants XOPP

Sydney's Chinatown brings together flavours, cuisines and dishes from all over Asia—from classic yum cha to Korean BBQ, BYO dumpling eateries, spicy Thai curries, golden Peking duck and ramen.

Read on for the best Chinatown Sydney restaurants for your next Asian food feast.

Looking for something specific? Check out the best spots for yum cha in Sydney here.

East Ocean Seafood Restaurant

Sussex Street

Chinatown Sydney East Ocean Seafood RestaurantSussex Street’s East Ocean Seafood Restaurant is an iconic yum cha experience and a beloved Chinese Restaurant, with enough dishes to fill up your family 10 times over. Pop through for casual eats with all the traditional Chinese dim sum like crispy wontons, steamed dumplings and rice noodle rolls and mango pancakes on the rotation, or opt for the live seafood including prawns, pipis, abalone and market fish.

Arisun

Dixon Street

If you’re after killer Korean fried chicken and late-night bites, make a beeline for Arisun. Moving from its original Belmore location (which opened in 1991), Arisun arrived in Sydney's Chinatown in 2007, bringing its iconic fried chicken, signature black bean noodles, hot pots and smoked, grilled meats. This is definitely one for big groups, with a rowdy atmosphere, beer towers for the table, a beer garden, and K-pop blasting.

Chat Thai

Campbell Street

Chat Thai is a Sydney institution that first opened on Liverpool Street in Darlinghurst way back in 1989, and now has joints around town, including a Thai Town location right across from the Capitol Theatre. The vibe is high-energy street food, packed with vibrant colour and spice, with silky guay tiew lohd dumplings, a full suite of green papaya salad variations, a pop-bright yellow gaeng bpu crab curry, a proper bitter melon stir fry, and a crispy crab meat omelette all worth trying if you're here to expand your appreciation of Thai.

Ho Jiak

Hay Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants Ho Jiak MalaysianHo Jiak should be your immediate go-to in Sydney's Chinatown if you’re craving Malaysian comfort food. The restaurant is inspired by the homestyle/street food dishes of Ho Jiak group head chef Junda Khoo’s upbringing and by his amah’s (grandmother) cooking, so the menu features roti, rice, noodles, milk teas, classics like laksa, nasi goreng or char kway teow, and plenty of meats covered in chilli sambal sauce straight from the Nyonya grill.

Chinese Noodle House

Thomas Street

Chinese Noodle House is one of the most beloved Sydney Chinatown restaurants, so you might have to wait for a table, whether you end up crammed inside amongst the noise and wonderful smells, or out on the buzzing street. It's fast, it's casual and it's definitely not glamorous, but it's downright delicious. You cannot visit without ordering the special braised eggplant, but the Northern Chinese dumplings and knife-cut noodles also have their fans. And we didn’t even mention: it’s BYO.

Gumshara

Dixon Street

Chinatown Sydney Restaurants GumsharaSydney has a wealth of ramen joints, and Gumshara is a standout. Opened by Japanese expat Mori Higashida, the no-frills Eating World Food Court spot has a cult status and is best known for its thick, rich tonkotsu broth. Make sure you add a chilli bomb if you like your noods with some kick.

Mother Chu’s Taiwanese Gourmet

Dixon Street

Another staple of Sydney's Chinatown is Mother Chu’s Taiwanese Gourmet, which has been serving Sydneysiders for over three decades. Mother Chu’s serves up authentic Taiwanese breakfast, snacks, seasonal treats and traditional street eats, like glutinous rice rolls with pork floss, and an endless list of Taiwanese dumplings, noodles, fried rice, soups and omelettes.

Emperor’s Garden Restaurant

Hay Street

You can’t discuss Chinatown without mentioning Emperor’s Garden Restaurant. Open since 1979, the traditional Cantonese icon is well known as a must-visit for whole Peking duck, live seafood, yum cha, dim sum, barbecue and noodles, but it’s perhaps even more beloved for its hole-in-the-wall bakery and cake shop. You’ll commonly find a long lineup of people at the Dixon Street entrance waiting to get their hands on the famed and wallet-friendly Emperor’s Puffs: soft, custard-filled balls handed over straight out of the oven for under a dollar a pop.

XOPP

Little Pier Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants XOPPXOPP is the modern and playful addition to Sydney’s Chinatown restaurants by the family behind the now-closed icon Golden Century, with their classic Cantonese menu consisting of 10 different steamed dumpling baskets, stand-out salt and pepper squid, Cantonese veggie dishes, and loads of live seafood. Satisfy the sweet cravings with the soft liquid lava custard buns, while all overlooking Darling Square. 

Golden Century BBQ

Pier Street

Fans of Golden Century can also get their fix at this takeaway window that packs a punch. The casual diner sits just beneath its sister restaurant, XOPP, with an emerald green takeaway window from which you can order signature roast Peking duck, crispy roast pork belly, or signature char siu (BBQ pork) barbecued over open flame with your choice of rice or noodles. For an extra $4, you can get a side of Golden Century's famous XO sauce. 

Dim sum is made in-house and steamed fresh to order, with a neat menu of har gow, pork siu mai, and BBQ pork buns on offer. For dessert, it's custard lava buns and Cantonese steamed sponge cake.

Gardens By Lotus

Pier Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants Gardens by LotusIn the heart of the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Gardens by Lotus offers the winning combo of dumplings alongside beautiful surroundings. The tranquil teahouse-style restaurant offers modern Chinese eats during the day, generous yum cha banquets on weekends, Sichuan dining at night and even dumpling masterclasses.

Bornga

There’s plenty of excellent Korean BBQ around Chinatown and the CBD, but one of our favourites in Haymarket has to be Bornga. The restaurant stands out with its sleek interior–with long, lit-up booth seating, timber finishes and temple awning décor. But it’s the copper-coloured pull-down vents hanging from the ceiling we’re interested in because they feed down onto tables fitted with BBQ plates. Expect banchan (Korean “sides”) like kimchi, cucumber soup and chilli pickles to quickly fill the table before ordering up plates of meat to fry up yourself. Be sure to order woo samgyeop, the restaurant’s signature paper-thin slices of beef brisket.

Din Tai Fung

George Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants Din Tai FungIf you take dumplings seriously, grab a table at Din Tai Fung's World Square restaurant in the heart of Sydney's Chinatown. The world-renowned global chain is known for meticulous measurement, preparation and cooking practices, so come for speciality dumplings like xiao long bao or shrimp and pork shao mai, and work through the soups, noodles, fried rice and classic mains.

Porkfat

Ultimo Road

Porkfat is inspired by Bangkok and prides itself on authenticity with 100% organic palm sugar imported from Thailand and handpainted ceramics sourced from traditional artisans in Wiang Galong. Expect to sample classic Thai food and authentic staples, like green curry of grilled pork jowl and lychee, Phuket curry of tiger prawn, and fresh papaya salad. 

Spicy Joint

Dixon Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants Spicy JointSpicy Joint is a Sydney Chinatown favourite when it comes to, well, spicy eats. The chain is all about authentic Sichuan food—one of the world's spiciest cuisines—and the budget-friendly menu is truly enormous. Try the mouth-numbing Chengdu brisket hotpot, a Sichuan speciality guaranteed to knock your socks off, or the intense spicy chicken. Get in early, or come prepared to queue. 

KOGI Korean BBQ

Hay Street

Sydney Chinatown Restaurants Kogi Korean BBQLocated on the top floor of Market City, KOGI is all about bringing class and luxe to the Korean BBQ experience. Sitting amongst some seriously good yum cha, hotpot and sushi options in Sydney Chinatown's 1909 Dining Precinct, the Haymarket restaurant offers over 15 cuts of premium Wagyu beef and pork, with plenty of soups, banchan, fried chicken, chilled noodles and bibimbap to pair with. 

Pho Pasteur

George Street

This frantic dining hall serves up next-level pho in Chinatown, with loads of beef or chicken variations to pick from, all loaded with silky noodles and a side of bean sprouts, fresh lemon and basil. Sure, it might not be ideal for a romantic date night, but if you're looking for a lunchtime feed or quick bite before catching a movie, this spot is great for a cheap and cheerful meal. 

Still hungry? Check out the best restaurants in the Sydney CBD

Image credit: Destination NSW, East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Gumshara, XOPP, Gardens by Lotus, Din Tai Fung, KOGI Korean BBQ

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