The hub of Sydney's ever-evolving dining scene, Darlinghurst is brimming with contemporary restaurants (spanning all corners of the globe), intimate wine bars, and plenty of places to get loose. We present our edit of the best places to drink and dine in the bustling precinct.
Here are our top picks for the best restaurants and bars in Darlinghurst.
Buffalo Dining Club
Renowned for its pasta served in a giant Parmesan wheel of cheese, Buffalo Dining Club is a cosy little eatery and wine bar located in the side streets of Darlinghurst. The concise menu features simple and delicious offerings such as ricotta gnocchi, aged prosciutto, salami, and little side dishes of vegetables, salads, and pickles. The Mozzarella is definitely the highlight!
Serving traditional Middle Eastern fare, Almond Bar has the perfect intimate setting to come together with friends and spoil your palates. The small dishes are designed to share and each are delicately created to tantalise your taste buds with new flavours (think chilli hummus, za'atar, and avotamor). Favourites on the menu include falafel, spatchcock halabeh, and chargrilled lamb skewers. Host your birthday here and they'll throw in your very own belly dancer—talk about authentic!
Situated in the heart of Darlinghurst, Honeycomb is the locals' favourite. Do not underestimate the power of simple, tasty dishes, as chef Andy Bunn (of Café Sopra fame) will show you that using fresh ingredients is the key to creating mouth-watering dishes. Honeycomb is known for its regularly changing menu, so you can continue to be pleasantly surprised time and time again.
No neighbourhood is complete without a colourful hit of Indian flavours. Darlinghurst does not disappoint, with the delicious South Indian cuisine served at Malabar. With affordable prices and the option of BYO, Malabar is the perfect spot to kick off your weekend. Personal favourites include the palak paneer, cauliflower dumplings, and Peshwari naan with sultanas.
The Victoria Room
Looking for an evening of elegance, sophistication, and class? Lavishly decorated by interior designer Blainey North, you can enjoy The Victoria Room's cocktail bar and restaurant in style (without the hefty price tag!). High tea is hosted every Saturday and Sunday from midday, while the rest of the week is for sipping on classic cocktails and enjoying acclaimed chef Samuel Cheetham's fine selection of European-inspired dishes.
With its open fireplace (inside a charming old farmer's cottage), The Commons is an idyllic hideout from the cold as well as being one of the best restaurants in Sydney. Flavoursome modern-Australian cuisine is the name of the game here, with wholesome meals we know you'll love! And don't worry about a venue change in this cold, as downstairs you will find The Common's award-winning bar. With tasty and creative cocktails (can't go past the 'Surry Hipster Zombie') and live music events, this bar guarantees a good night out.
Described as one of the 'sexiest' Italian restaurants in Sydney, A Tavola is one Italian joint you don't want to miss. The restaurant is designed around a communal 10-metre-long table, which creates a 'euro chic' feel. Chef Eugenio Maiale's love for pasta resonates through the menu, with freshly cooked pasta to order. During the day, the communal table is an extension of the kitchen, so guests are involved in the dynamic process of preparing the pasta, and can witness the tricks of the trade.
The Argentinians may have lost the world-cup, but they have won our hearts with Boca—a celebration of all things meat! With the restaurant's colourful, vibrant interior you won't feel like you are in Darlinghurst, but a world away. Genuine Argentinian beer and a great selection of wines accompany the food, which at times is cooked right in front of you (the parrilladas are served on a rustic table-top grill). This great dining experience is a must for any Sydney foodie.
If you are in the mood for some non-pretentious tapas, then Foley Lane is the place for you. Owners, Nathan Moses and Julian Marchetto had their visitors' comfort and pleasure in mind when they created this small tapas bar. The sleek yet comfortable setting is hugely inviting and the friendly staff are happy to explain the tapas status quo to curious beginners. The owners have also curated a mouth-watering selection of Spanish and Australian wine, beers, and cocktails, which are paired with certain dishes for your comfort and ease. An enjoyable meal here is a no-brainer.
The Passage is really one of your all-rounder Darlinghurst bars. It's filled with every perk your stomach and wallet will love. From sliders to salads and a vast selection of drinks, you'll find a great special everyday of the week. With its trendy décor, resident DJ, and a license to close at 3am, this bar can offer you one great night out in Darlinghurst. Our personal favourite? The Friday happy hour special with $10 espresso martinis has us running out the door come 5 o'clock!
What have we missed from our list of the best restaurants and bars in Darlinghurst? Let us know, below!
Image credit: A Tavola