Surry Hills has many great restaurants to sample. Listed below are some our favourites that we think are worth a try. Have you dined at any of these Surry Hills restaurants recently? Let us know in the comments section below what you thought of them.
Journey from the streets of Sydney to the rolling hills of France as owners Luc and Loic La Joye showcase their grandmother’s authentic southern french cuisine. This elegant and cosy bistro seems almost out of place here in Surry Hills but its unique and dazzling dishes are more than welcome. LoLuk Bistro invites you to revel in some of their grandmother’s signature dishes such as the slow cooked lamb shoulder or the year round pan fried duck breast with gnocchi, a kitchen favourite that has stood the test of time. The only thing left to do is order your favourite glass of Bordeaux and immerse yourself as your surrounded by the almost exclusively french patrons that flock to taste a slice of their home
A relatively new neighbourhood gem, this Italian spaghetti and spritz bar is exactly what Surry Hill ordered. This fusion of old-school Italian pasta and new age innovative ideas from the mind of owners Mark Filippelli and his best mate Vince Pizzinga makes for a well rounded and always entertaining experience. The almost overwhelming menu of twenty spritzes at Mark and Vinny’s invites you to sample as many as possible as you wait for one of the colourful dishes to arrive, dripping with the vibrant personality of its owners. Complete with menu puns, mocktails almost better than the real thing and a city favourite blue swimmer crab, Mark and Vinny’s has already cemented themselves as a Surry Hills must see.
Beloved by the hard-to-please laneways of Melbourne, this Pizza and Mozzarella bar has decided to share their special brand of authentic award-winning Italian food with the streets of Sydney. The team in the kitchen claims to be “nothing fancy” but when they do simple so well it’s hard to overlook the talent and high quality ingredients on display in the kitchen. D.O.C Pizza is simply traditional authentic Italian done right. Their talents extend beyond just pizza as other highlights like their veal and pork lasagne continue to be a customer favourite. This is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to easily digest a small slice of Italy.
Sydney’s home of in-house made pasta, walking through Emilia’s doors teleports you to the rustic cobblestone streets and wafting cheesy aroma’s of Italy. It is here at Pasta Emilia where you will find only the finest of organic ingredients all used to make authentic Italian classics such as carbonara or truffle tortelli. Founder Anna Maria Eoclidi prides herself on paying tribute to her home country’s rich culinary history and insists you sign up for a class or at least take home a box of pasta for the family to share. For real Italian food just like nonna used to make look no further than Osteria Emilia.
Looking for a casual BYO italian experience? This Bourke Street pizzeria has you covered. While not piled high with mountains of cheese or toppings the minimalist style of pizza has earned nothing but rave reviews as every bite erects images of their Italian heritage. Enjoy the buffalo mozzarella fresh from Naples as the team at Vancanza serves only the best of ingredients flown in from across the globe. So bring your favourite beer, grab a seat by the sidewalk and enjoy an afternoon of watching the bustling city pass you by.
The quirky and cosy atmosphere of Yulli’s has been a haven for Sydney’s vegetarians for over a decade for good reason. The entirely plant-based menu has been perfected over the years, the Yull’s experience involves taking influences from all over the globe and never failing to provide a delicious tapas experience to be shared amongst friends. The assortment of tofus, eggplant involtini and pan fried polenta are a must try for any vegos and non-vegos alike looking to expand their culinary horizons. Yulli’s is easy on your wallet, easy on the eyes and the perfect introduction for anyone to enter the world of vegetarian meals
Imagine a classic Australian ‘pub bistro’ experience merged with a sophisticated family oriented atmosphere. This is exactly the environment the The Dolphin Hotel gives us as the time tested italo-Australian cuisine is here in peak form with a mixture of wood-fired pizza, antipasti and grilled meats. Enjoy as you settle in for a long lunch in the main dining room with a classic cocktail of your choice surrounded by some of Sydney’s most uniquely curated floral sculptures. There’s a reason this more casual and traditional dining experience has been our nation’s favourite for decades and no one does it better than the Dolphin Hotel.
Nikkei is living proof that two cultures can combine to create something magical. The fusion of Japanese and peruvian cuisine has resulted in a real unique blending of flavours that is simply the best in its class. Kick off your night at Nikkei with the finest liqueurs and cocktails Peru has to offer accompanied by starters such as the tuna tartare that foretell the future of the unique flavours that await for night ahead. Go on to enjoy an expertly curated set menu that allows you to experience the epitome of fusion cuisine as you journey from the “tostada” to the finishing dessert “tres leches”.
If there is one dish that cements itself as a must try for any aspiring local foodie, Gogyo’s charred ramen is at the top of that list. Created by ippudo founder Shigemi Kawahara, this pork belly and naruto fish cake dish serves as a bold introduction to the rest of Gogyo’s standout menu. Rest assured that this “burnt ramen ” isn’t a one hit wonder as meals like the goma kingfish sashimi and the nasu dengaku are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Come to Gogyo prepared to have all of your five senses assaulted as this little ramen shop dazzles with its innovative and unique dishes that you simply can’t find anywhere else in Surry Hills.
Melbourne’s unofficial favourite restaurant has finally made its way to Sydney and Chin Chin’s fusion of Australian-thai cuisine does not disappoint. Chin chin’s bar is the perfect waiting spot for the hundreds of prospective diners, providing the innovative and forever delicious cocktails alongside the gourmet bar snacks that forecast the quality of the dishes to come. Once you manage to score a table at Chin Chin settle in for a loud and unapologetically vibrant dining experience that can very will take you into the late hours of the night. Spanning the entire two levels of the Griffith Teas building, the neon drenched walls and thumping music make this a must-visit for anyone looking to start their night off with a bang.
The Bodega you once knew and love has been shuttered and injected with a new life as the new and old combine to form Wyno x Bodega. The Porteno group once again shows exactly what makes them such a city favourite as they bring their years of experience and skill to Wyno. Being a wine bar they of course provide an expected delicious number of vintages however it’s the bites that really impress, as their signature favourite fish fingers and basque cheesecake prove to be just as much of a draw. As you enter you’re greeted by a mural promising you a “full belly, happy heart” and you are guaranteed to leave with that promise fulfilled.
The perfect dining experience for those looking to delight their taste buds with an array of traditional foods and flavours, Izakaya Fujiyama’s extensive menu is at its best when shared and sampled amongst friends and family. Wander past the sizable sake collection adorning the shelves and grab one of the many intimate tables as you immerse yourself in the traditional and atmospheric setting owner Koji Shibata has created. While it is recommended you order at least three dishes each to taste everything an Izakaya has to offer, make sure you don’t miss the standout tsukene skewers or wagyu cheek buns.
A family run eatery, Sang by Mabasa is full of artful attention to details that continue to elevate them above the competition. Co-owner Kenny Yong Soo Son has miraculously taken traditional aspects of Korean culture and infused them into a number of contemporary pieces that adorn the eatery walls, really giving the place a unique identity that alone is worth the visit. Sáng by MABASA invites you to immerse yourself in the culture from one of the two communal tables as you delight in their signature stir-fried kimchi or their delicious platter of nine delicacies: a pancake platter complete with an assortment of bold condiments.
After an electrical fire at the end of 2019 saw Nomad relocate up the road, the restaurant has proved themselves to be unphased as they continue to provide standout signature dishes and fan favourite bottomless rose lunches. The NOMAD team is back better than ever here with their unique sustainable approach and a new emphasis on share plates so you can experience everything this Surry Hill favourite has to offer with your closest friends and family. They of course also boast an impressively massive wine list so enter the lunch service at your own risk, you might be settling in for the night ahead.
Straight from the kitchens of Argentina, the visionary chefs and owners Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz bring the country’s iconic flavours and traditional dishes to Australian shores. Indulge in not only the nations unique cuisine but their culture as well, as the town’s finest meats are prepared authentically in the centre on a traditional Parilla (barbecue) and Asado (pit of fire). The menus high quality ingredients and unique authentic presentation cement Porteño as a must see for a dining experience like no other. So sample one of the dozen cocktails, sit either at the bar or one of the many leather bound booths and immerse yourself right in the heart of the action as you watch the chefs work their magic.
Walking through the doors of Nour teleports you to the exotic Mediterranean coastline, invading your senses with the alluring aroma of Middle Eastern cuisine and a beautiful, contemporary interior design. Executive Chef Paul Faraq provides a modern twist on classic Lebanese flavours, bringing an array of bold and vibrant new dishes that are guaranteed to wow and delight. Complete your dining experience at Nour with puffy flatbreads, slow roasted lamb and mouth-watering smoky grilled meats you will find much more here on offer than your average affair of hummus, falafel and kebabs.
No where else in the city can you experience such a uniquely curated five course meal, complete with couplings of ten different dishes that perfectly compliment each other in taste and flavour. Tristan Rosier is the owner and head chef at Arthur, and manages to successfully illicite a narrative arc for the dining experience, providing a distinct beginning, middle and end as he takes you on a culinary journey over the course of the two hour seating. Combining this with very smart service and a sophisticated fine dining atmosphere makes Arthur a must visit for any aspiring foodie.
Over the last two decades Spice I Am has remained a haven for Thai food lovers across the city for a reason. Using only the most authentic ingredients and methods, Spice I Am simply represents Thai food done right. Chow down on signature dishes such as Mieng Ka Na or Aorm Gai that never fail to bring the fiery flavour synonymous with the nation’s cuisine. Luckily chef and owner Sujet Saenkham has the compassion to allow BYO so be sure to bring your favourite beverage to accompany some of the fiery red, green and yellow curries. The secrets out so get down before the masses to enjoy possibly the best Thai Sydney has to offer.
While Poly is technically a “wine bar” the multitude of irresistible,expertly crafted and ever evolving dishes have led them to more commonly be labelled as a “barstaurant”. While the Poly menu is heavy on snacks that complement the array of alcohol on display, their low price point and small portions sizes allow for you to experiment with a wide variety of bold flavours. It is not uncommon to start simply with a garlic bread appetiser and soon find yourself finishing your third serving of the alluring king prawn or savouring the last morsel of the Brillat Savarin.
Witness as Firedoor’s entirely wood powered kitchen heats up your dining experience with its unique smoky flavours and flame-kissed meats. For those of you lucky enough to nab a seat at the counter, visionary chef and owner Lennox Hastie invites you to gaze into the open flames in awe as he infuses your night at Firedoor with his special brand of woodfired cooking you won’t find anywhere else in Surry Hills. Take a journey through Hastie’s curated five courses and be greeted by some of Australia’s finest locally sourced ingredients as you chow down on grilled kangaroo skewers or the signature dry-aged steak. Believe the hype, grab a seat around the fire and enjoy the show.
Bad Hombres puts a Mexican spin on the new age plant-based cuisine, delivering a one-of-a-kind vegetarian experience complete with inspired cocktails and an exciting thumping house-party playlist. The mastermind behind the acclaimed Ghostboy Cantina, Toby Wilson has returned to bring his signature brand of Mexican food, this time set amongst a distinctly more fine dining atmosphere. Bad Hombres offers those looking for an upbeat alternative to the more standard “down to earth” vegan vibe, come and grab one of the city’s best margaritas and as many quesadillas as you can stomach for the perfect beginning for any night.
Sydney’s own award winning chef Dylan Cashman brings his own signature paddock-to-plate ethos back to his hometown to create an engaging dining experience like never before. The main draw? There is no menu to speak of. The Blue Door provides an ever changing curated five course meal produced from ingredients almost entirely sourced from inside NSW. Each dish is accompanied with a detailed description about where exactly the produce came from, how it was grown, raised and how it was used. While risky for some diners never fear, Cashman is yet to produce a dish that isn’t dripping with personality and flavour that will have even the fussiest of eaters foaming at the mouth.
When Australians think of India you think of butter chicken, cricket, spices and tea right? Co-owner of Foreign Return Gaurang Gahoi endeavours to expand this stereotype as he brings dishes from all across India to Sydney tables, broadening your knowledge of the flavours and culture the country has to offer. Everything from the marigold-infused gin cocktail to the laal maas curry to even the decor adorning the restaurant walls tells a different story about the nation’s major cities and provinces that are almost alien to the average Australian.
Everything from the Bollywood cinema lighting up the wall to the Indian aromas that fill the air, entering Don’t Tell Aunty entering India itself. Chef Jessi Singh brings his special brand of “unauthentic Indian” as he bends the rules of the nation’s cuisine, making butter chicken without the butter and dishing out “naan pizza” instead of naan bread. Sounds insane? Well ‘don’t tell aunty’ but this may be the new way to enjoy some of your favourite dishes. Throw in a few of the many bollywood inspired cocktails and you will have a night to remember.
Chef Tristan Rosier shares his grandmother’s own secret recipes as his restaurant Jane brings a cosy neighbourhood atmosphere imbued with the nostalgic and grandmotherly love it’s named after. You can almost feel his grandma in the kitchen as the 70’s inspired music of David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac fill the air while you chow down on the signature “Jane’s pink cake” she once made for him in his youth. Of course Rosier has added his own flair and provides a delicious extensive menu complete with everything from butterflied pink snapper to King prawn which never also never fails to impress. Jane is simply a well-rounded, comfortable and intimate experience; you can’t miss this .