I hate Italian food said no one ever. Spaghetti, lasagne, risotto, gnocchi – you name it, we (all of the humans) eat it. If that’s not love, we don’t know what love is.
We’ve heard your grumbling bellies and have taken on the tough challenge of eating our weight in all things Italian to bring you the ultimate list of every Italian restaurant worth visiting in Sydney. Think of it as compulsory eating. Buon appetito!
Bondi & Darlinghurst
A Tavola (meaning to the table) is the ultimate neighbourhood Italian haunt, centred on simple, elegant food, that’s all hand made with love. There’s a 10m communal marble table and a heavy emphasis on dried and fresh pasta (inspired by the Abruzzese region, near Rome), so if you’re after a high-quality bite (or twenty), with only the best Italian vino, put A Tavola at the top of your list.
10 William Street
If you haven’t yet been to 10 William Street, do you even Italian? With a simple yet modern approach to all things Italiano, 10 William Street is half restaurant, half wine bar. Designed to share so you get a taste of every damn dish, this place is perfect for date night or small group gatherings (so you can sample the whole menu, duh!).
Buffalo Dining Club
Ohhh Buffalo Dining Club. You bought us pasta served out of a cheese wheel and for that we are forever indebted. This mozzarella bar is a must. Every dish revolves around cheese (imported 3 times a week from Italy), what more could you possibly want in life!?
Holding the Sydney Italian dining scene together since 1983, Lucio’s is always a good idea. The daily house made pastas are divine and the desserts aren’t bad either.
If Negronis on tap isn’t enough to convince you to get to Casoni STAT, how does pumpkin ravioli with burnt butter, sage and pistachios sound to you? Casoni’s pretty much the definition of delicious and serves Italian the way it should be served, with love.
Mantecato is the name given to the final, vigorous, whisking in of butter to any real risotto so you can probably guess what this eatery’s speciality is. Yep, ridiculously rich risotto, cooked to absolute perfection. There’s saffron risotto with king prawns, leeks risotto with duck ragù and zucchini risotto with spanner crabmeat to name only a few. If you like a gloriously good risotto, this one’s for you.
An oldie but a goodie, Buon Ricordo is a Sydney institution. The decadent Fettuccine al Tartufovo dish (with cream and Parmesan, finished with a fried truffle egg) is an experience in itself (yep, we used the E word) and the award-winning wine never lets you down.
Salt Meats Cheese
Salt, meat and cheese. What more could you want (or need) from an Italian eatery? Salt Meats Cheese is your easy mid-week go to. Pizza, pasta and all the cheese you could ever want will forever keep you coming back for more, and the Nutella-based desserts will get you through a seemingly endless working week.
The menu at Vini changes daily to ensure only the freshest produce is used to dish up mouth-watering modern Italian food. The space is small and intimate and (unless you’re early) the food is most definitely worth lining up for.
Alexandria, Potts Point, CBD + Walsh Bay
Fratelli Fresh knows good Italian and there’s no better place to stuff yourself silly with all of the carbs than at this adored Sydney establishment. Serving simple, authentic Italian food, full of flavour, Fratelli Fresh never disappoints.
If you like your Italian in the form of wood-fired pizza, The Sawmill in Pymble serves up some of the best. The only thing better than the pizza is the pasta, which is homemade and served up with all of the right ingredients. Made with the kind of love only the Italians can give, expect food that’s hearty and oh-so satisfying.
Combine waterfront dining with fresh Italian and fine wine, and you’ve got Otto. With a menu full of Italian delights (catering to vegans and vegetarians alike), there’s plenty of vino to go around as well as stunning harbour views so you can sit back, relax and dine in style.
Local Potts Point favourite, Fratelli Paradiso, is never a bad idea. Run by three Italian geniuses, the food here is about as authentic as Italian gets (unless you’re in Italy, obvs). We can’t quite look past the parpardelle, lasagnetta or risotto or pretty much anything the menu, we’ll just take one of everything, and the wine list is up there with Sydney’s best too.
Speaking of Italian... ever wondered what your pizza order says about you? Find out here.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso