The well-heeled Sydney suburb of Paddington is home to many of the Harbour City’s best gastropubs, but if you’re feeling like something a little fancier than chicken schnitzel and chips, there is no shortage of restaurants to choose from, either. From decades-old icons of Sydney’s dining scene to exciting new eateries just starting to make their mark, check out these 10 tasty restaurants in Paddington, Sydney.
Follow your nose through the winding streets of Paddington to discover a string of tantalising eateries lighting up the neighbourhood.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
This Boundary St institution is, without a doubt, one of Sydney’s most iconic Italian restaurants. Napoli-born Armando Percuoco opened Buon Ricordo in 1987 and has spent the past three decades turning this old-school eatery into a landmark of the Harbour City’s dining scene. Don’t miss the fettuccine al tartufovo (creamy pasta topped with a truffle egg, tossed at the table), which Armando invented all those years ago and is still the most popular dish on the menu today.
Restaurant, Fast Food, $$$
Pass through the old Sloanes Café signage on Oxford St to enter a little slice of America in Paddington. Cheekyburger’s menu is long — there are 14 burgers and hot dogs to choose from, a delectable list of snacks, plus beer, wine and shakes — but the dishes are perfect in their simplicity, delivered to your booth on bright red takeaway trays. They are also open for brunch on weekends.
Restaurant, Healthy, Contemporary
Having learned her craft at legendary Californian restaurant Chez Panisse, head chef Danielle Alvarez has brought the same paddock-to-plate philosophy to this mega-popular Oxford St venue. Fred’s menu revolves around ethically sourced seasonal fare, and the open kitchen combines ancient techniques with cutting-edge innovation. What’s more, the restaurant’s bespoke hearth and grills make the most of the exceptional ingredients supplied by local producers.
Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
Some places embrace the ‘less is more’ attitude when it comes to pizza toppings. Love Supreme isn’t one of them. So head to 180 Oxford St if you’re looking for a mountain of ingredients on top of your pizza, including plenty of organic produce. Love Supreme’s lively atmosphere is just as full-on as its liberal use of pizza toppings, plus there’s pasta, salads and antipasti on the menu if you don’t feel like a slice.
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Thai restaurants are a dime a dozen across Sydney, but this Oxford St favourite puts a very contemporary spin on Southeast Asian classics. Chubby Cheeks uses fresh Australian ingredients to produce punchy dishes like crackling pork belly bao and crispy skin, master stock chicken in a secret satay sauce, as well as a daring Thai-inspired cocktail menu infused with house-made syrups.
Named after the apostle who caught a fish with a coin in its mouth, Saint Peter is one of Australia’s finest seafood restaurants. The menu changes daily depending on the quality of fish available that morning, a custom-built cool room showcases crispy-skinned dry-aged fish, and the eatery’s sustainable approach to local Aussie seafood is exemplified by the offal (organ meats) on offer, utilising leftover livers, swim bladder, roe, milt, eyes and scales.
Restaurant, South American, $$$
This lively Latin American restaurant has converted a classic Paddington terrace into one of the most exciting eateries in the neighbourhood, and it certainly has the cleverest name. Tequila Mockingbird uses local produce to plate up an elegant, modern interpretation of old-world Central and South American cuisine, washed down with a dram or two from the dozens of tequila and mezcal bottles lining the bar.
Restaurant, Indian, $$$
If you find yourself walking past the Unicorn Hotel on Oxford St on a Sunday morning, you’ll notice orange stains dotting the pavement. That’s because of the Indian kebabs flowing out of Indian Home Diner next door every Saturday night. IHD takes chicken tikka, fried potato and onion bhaji, smothers them in curry sauce (butter chicken, korma, Rogan Josh or spicy vindaloo), then wraps them all up in a piece of naan (plain, garlic or cheesy). Voila! You’ve got one of Sydney’s greatest culinary inventions.
Straddling the border of Paddington and Woollahra, the dining room of this stylish French bistro is every bit as sophisticated as the dishes coming out of the kitchen. St Claude’s is the perfect spot for a romantic date with the short, but sweet menu of French favourites like steak tartare, duck confit and gruyere soufflé in a historic two-storey space.
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
This Asian fusion restaurant began as a hole in the wall on Fitzroy St in Surry Hills in 2010 before graduating to its current Flinders St location, bringing its mouth-watering hand-made dumplings to the streets of Paddington. Missy K’s range of steamed and pan-fried dumplings are the specialty — chicken and shiitake, beef and leek, lamb and onion, the list goes on. The rice and noodle dishes are also worth a look.