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417 Bourke Street
Surry Hills, 2010 NSW
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Opening Hours

SUN 5:30pm - 10:00pm
MON closed
TUE closed
WED 5:30pm - 10:00pm
THU 5:30pm - 10:00pm
FRI 5:30pm - 10:00pm
SAT 5:30pm - 10:00pm

The Details

  • Italian
Need to Know
  • Great for Dates
  • Dinner
  • Dessert

A plate of fresh pasta being pulled up and mixed.

Tucked into a courtyard on Bourke Street in the former Maybe Frank spot, Cicerone Cucina Romana is the little slice of Roman culture Sydney has been missing.

Though don't expect to encounter the gaudy touristy face of the Eternal City. Instead, co-owner Isabella and head chef and Rome-native Stefano have taken inspiration from the city's vibrant street culture. Its neighbourhood restaurants, street art, and underground music scene are all the muse for Cicerone, and street tags, stickers, and limited-edition artworks by contemporary Roman artists line the walls. 

Served on cool antique plates Isabella has collected from vintage stores, kick-off with an enormous knot of locally-made burrata from Marrickville's Vannella Cheese, or crispy fried calamari and Mazzancolle prawns served with espresso mayo for dipping.

Fresh pasta is a highlight at Cicerone, so you need to follow with the classic tonnarelli carbonara—one of the famous four pastas of Rome—topped with fresh truffle, of course.

Pizzas follow the lighter Roman style, made with 100% semolina flour, meaning you can absolutely fit in an extra slice (or three). The "Finocchiona", with fennel salami, tomato, mozzarella, creamy whole milk ricotta, and basil, and "Diavola", with spicy salami, tomato, mozzarella, honey drizzle, and pecorino are both perfection in pizza form. 

For dessert, it's tiramisu with salted caramel and chocolate chunks, ricotta and chocolate gelato, or a mini crème brûlée topped with pistachio. 

To drink, you'll find a neat list of mostly new-world Italian drops—some supplied by Giorgio de Maria of nearby Paski Vineria Popolare—each perfectly paired with antipasti, pizza, and pasta. There are classic Italian cocktails, as well as Roman riffs and signatures too, like a raspberry Negroni and an Espresso Martini with shaved nutmeg.  

Image credit: Cicerone

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