Some things just go together, like PB and jelly, and Posh and Becks, so this year we’ve teamed up with MINI to bring you, our discerning readers and drivers, our fortnightly MINI Fave 5 series: The must-try guide to Sydney, celebrating the launch of the new MINI 5-door hatch!
We love a good carbonara (that hasn’t been made with cream) and spaghetti bolognese as much as the next guy, but we also love Italian restaurants in Sydney that are doing things a little differently to how Nonna used to.
We’re talking about new-school Italian restaurants that are leaving the red and white tablecloths behind and opting for modern takes on classic dishes and negronis on tap. Here are our favourites…
Easily one of our favourite restaurants in Sydney, Casoni is doing new-style Italian and it’s damn delicious too. Order a round of Aperol Spritz (they’re on tap here) as you peruse the succinct, but 100% tasty, menu. Our picks are the pumpkin ravioli, the spiced meatballs, and their daily special. Be sure to order this as soon as you can, because there are only a few serves available per day and once it’s sold out, that’s it!
10 William St
With a name that leaves no guesses as to its location in Paddington, 10 William St is doing some beautiful things with Italian dishes. Designed for sharing, ordering a bunch of dishes is the name of the game here. Don’t miss the whipped ‘bottarga’ (roe) pretzel or the sardine katsu sando (a twist on a Japanese favourite). For something a bit larger, the pappardelle bolognese is always a winner. Add a glass of wine into the mix and that’s dinner sorted.
Fratelli Paradiso is one of those Sydney restaurants where you can order anything from the menu and it will be good. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’re sure to be well fed whatever time of the day you turn up. If it’s a more “drinking-appropriate” hour, the extensive, and almost exclusively Italian, wine list is the perfect accompaniment to your lunch or dinner.
The handwritten menu on the chalkboard at this Surry Hills restaurant changes daily depending on what is in season and showcases a range of Italian dishes—many of which you may not have tried before. As the name suggests, Vini is also serious about wines, which is why an entire wall of the restaurant is dedicated to the ever-changing wine list. If you’re looking for something a little different, the regional dinners held on Tuesday nights explore dishes from a particular part of Italy and are presented in four delicious courses.
Buffalo Dining Club
Yes, the space is tiny. And yes, you’ll probably have to wait a while for a table. But let us tell you that it’s so, so worth it when you do make it inside these four walls of deliciousness. The menu here is small but to the point, so start with some cheese and prosciutto that comes with your choice of sides, and then order the cacio e pepe which is spaghetti that’s served out of a wheel of pecorino cheese. Yep, straight outta the wheel. Who said it ain’t easy being cheesy?
We're thrilled to partner with MINI to bring you our Fave 5 series—our fortnightly guide to the best of the best in Sydney. From food to fashion, Campari to Crossfit, each Fave 5 edition is researched and recommended by The Urban List, and driven by the new MINI 5-Door Hatch—putting the city at your fingertips and giving you the freedom to explore it!
Image credit: Jackielyn Powell at Casoni and Federica Portentoso at 10 William St, Vini, Buffalo Dining Club and Fratelli Paradiso