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10 William Street

10 William Street is a sophisticated, tiny trattoria with a well-curated menu that puts creative twists on classic Italian cuisine in Sydney.
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Alberto’s Lounge

Sydney's Alberto’s Lounge serves such Italian favorites as cacio e pepe gnocchi and burrata caprese. The always-buzzing neighborhood spot is a great spot for high-quality wines and cozy but creative Italian-Australian cuisine.  
Food at Aqua Dining, Sydney, Australia

Aqua Dining

Closed for renovation in 2024.

This modern Aussie restaurant has one of the most memorable settings in Sydney. Its indoor and outdoor tables hang suspended in a glass cube-like structure over the North Sydney Olympic Pool right between Luna Park (the city’s vintage amusement park) and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As you dine on fresh oysters and prawn tartlet or fried zucchini flower and mozzarella salad, you can watch sailboats on the harbor and swimmers doing their laps in the historic pool. This is a taste of how Sydney revels in its unique geographic blessing.

Food at Aria, Sydney, Australia


Aria Restaurant has a central location on Circular Quay and a view to match its award-winning menu. French-trained chef-owner Matt Morant contributes to Sydney’s fine dining scene with an elegant culinary experience based on seasonal produce. The dining room is sophisticated and the atmosphere is grown up. The restaurant’s exclusive chef’s table provides an in-kitchen experience and the opportunity for guests to interact with the toque. While lunch offers a choice between one-, two- and three-course meals, dinner is served à la carte, with a variety of excellent wines options (both well-known and boutique) to pair. Advanced reservations are necessary.

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Australia isn’t known to have the most unique cuisine, borrowing extensively from its British heritage with a mish-mash of American and Asian influences. Read Indagare's review of Attica.
Editors' Picks

Bang Bang Byron Bay

Indagare member Molly V.W. recommends a trip to Bang Bang for their Asian fusion cuisine. "We ordered a ton of plates and mains. It's really good food and a great atmosphere," she notes. Wok dishes include Bangkok fried rice and crispy cashew chicken, while sticky pork belly and whole fried snapper are included elsewhere on the menu. There's also a menu section for curries, salads, "Little Bangs" (appetizers) and desserts.

Food at Bar Lourinhã, Melbourne, Australia

Bar Lourinhã

Tucked behind a narrow, unprepossessing storefront at the tumbleweed end of Little Collins Street, Lourinhã is chef Matt McConnell’s answer to the bar scenes of Spain and Portugal. The arty crowd packed around the communal tables and perched on bar stools eats up—literally and figuratively—the kitchen’s take on those sunny climes, like yellowtail kingfish “pancetta” (salt- and spice-cured, served finely sliced and drizzled with lemon oil) and roasted free-range chorizo. The décor doesn’t take itself too seriously; tchotchkes picked up from the chef’s travels adorn the walls, enticing passersby to come and join the fun.

Bar Patrón

With views of Sydney Harbour, Bar Patrón has a cocktail menu centered around Patrón tequila. Indagare member Molly V.W. recommends stopping by, and says it offers a great mix of Mexican and Spanish flavors. "They also have outdoor seating in an alleyway, if you want that."


"This was a surprise find, and we loved it!" says Indagare member Molly V.W. "It's hidden in an indoor/outdoor courtyard with stores that we would have gone back to if we weren’t leaving the next day, and it’s close to the Elements hotel, not in the main part of town," she says. "The food was amazing and the service was great and it was very pretty with good people watching." A local bakery and bar, Barrio is the place for fresh bread and pastries, plus quiches, pies and Argentinian medialunas.

Bayleaf Cafe

Seasonal dishes made from local ingredients make up the menu at Bayleaf Cafe. Indagare member Molly V.W. says it was the best breakfast spot she'd been to in a very long time, and noted the coffee blends and food are "interesting, fresh and unbelievably good." "We went back two days in a row and wish we could have gone more!" she says. Natural wines from Luna Wine Store, cocktails made with Lord Byron Distillery and beers from Wandana & Yulli’s complete the menu.

Beach Byron Bay

Overlooking Clarkes Beach, Beach Byron Bay is a beautiful waterfront restaurant serving healthy and casual options for lunch and dinner. You'll get a great view from any table, and seasonal produce and seafood highlight a rotating menu. "I'd go for a long lunch to watch the surfers," says Indagare member Molly V.W.

Belongil Beach Italian Food

Says Indagare member Molly V.W.: "Belongil Beach Italian is owned by the same people who own Bondi Iceberg. The food is fresh with an emphasis on seafood, and it’s across the street from the beach, although you can’t see the beach from the restaurant. It wasn’t very full when we were there (as opposed to Light Years and Bang Bang, which were packed), but the food was really good. It has a more relaxed but still sophisticated vibe."

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Bennelong Restaurant

Housed in the iconic  Sydney Opera House  and overlooking the bustling Circular Quay, Bennelong Restaurant is a delightful spot for innovative cocktails and modern Australian cuisine. Despite its touristy location, Bennelong feels refined and intimate, serving fresh takes on seafood dishes.

bills Surry Hills

The three bills cafés are the places to brunch in Sydney. Bill Granger—another of the city’s perpetually sunny-natured celebrity chefs—has perfected the art of delicious yet basic food in convivial (if noisy) surroundings. His cookbooks have become international best-sellers because he celebrates keeping things simple. Blackboards serve as menus and his ricotta hotcakes with banana and maple syrup are considered a Sydney icon right up there with the Opera House.

Editors' Picks
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Black Pearl

For a late night drink in Fitzroy, Melbourne, look no further than this speakeasy-inspired Black Pearl cocktail bar with a creative menu.
Bar at  Bulletin Place, Sydney, Australia

Bulletin Place

This tiny, convivial inner-city bar exudes a kind of artfully undone glamour, thanks to a subway-tiled bar, scuffed white painted walls and industrial-chic furnishings, with an unfurled roll of butcher’s paper scrawled with the day’s drinks menu. The cocktails are a revelation: changing each day according to what’s fresh and fabulous and archly named, expect concoctions like the “Fresh Quince of Bel Air” (cognac, vermouth and spiced quince) or the “Toreador,” made with tequila, lime and smashed apricots.

Bar at Café Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Café Sydney

With an enviable location on the rooftop of Customs House, this upscale venue offers fabulous harbor views from its dining room, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace and a buzzy cocktail lounge. While the sweeping vistas over the harbor are reason enough to come, Café Sydney also offers exquisite dishes like Suffolk lamb with smoked eggplant, labneh and mint and a host of seafood and shellfish dishes. The interiors are elegant, contemporary and sleek and the service is attentive and polished. Café Sydney is a fabulous spot to welcome oneself to the city.

Editors' Picks

Caffé e Cucina

Nothing beats disappearing for a few hours into the warmth of this dimly lit cavern, where everything from the specials scrawled in chalk on the blackboard to the rakishly handsome waitstaff is just so. The refined Italian menu includes dishes like beef carpaccio, homemade beetroot gnocchi and, of course, impeccable coffee. There is also an outdoor space and a private balcony for special occasions.

Food at Catalina Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia

Catalina Rose Bay

This award-winning restaurant, one of the grande dames of the Sydney restaurant world, is for those who prefer more serene water views than are on offer at such trendy seafront spots as Otto’s or Icebergs. Few experiences match watching the quaint little seaplanes take off just outside the window as you feast on roasted snapper, but do look out for the enormous resident pelicans. Owners Michael and Judy McMahon have now been joined by their children James and Kate, whose glittering CVs include stints at some of the city’s hippest restaurants and bars, and who are injecting a new forward-thinking spirit to this old classic.

Marble countertop topped with numerous dishes all on white plates with chopsticks and a few wine glasses scattered throughout the table

Chin Chin

At Chin Chin, Southeast Asian dishes complement a fun atmosphere, with menu items such as curry, stir fry and noodles. Says Indagare member Molly V.W.: "Chin Chin was recommended by a number of people for modern Asian fusion in a super fun atmosphere. We did the option where the server could choose a number of courses for us. Great people-watching and food was really good."

Chin Chin

Serving up Australian takes on Southeast Asian food, Chin Chin is a beloved and fun no-reservations spot in Melbourne that is worth waiting for.
Food at China Lane, Sydney, Australia

China Lane

Executive chef Ben Haywood, whose CV includes a stint at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck,  brings a playful sensibility to the Chinese-Cantonese menu at this delightfully kitschy, old Shanghai-themed restaurant tucked in a small cobblestone inner-city laneway. Order a cheekily named cocktail – Slow Boat from China; Mao’s Elixir – while you peruse the comprehensive menu. Assertive spices infuse dishes such as five spice “drunken” lamb and swordfish jungle curry, but there are plenty of less feisty options as well, like delicate prawn, snow pea and water chestnut dumplings. There are also banquet menus available for groups, an impressive list of vegetarian offerings and a private dining room that seats 10 people.


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Chiswick Woollahra

Located 15 minutes from downtown Sydney and in a greenhouse, the beautiful farm-to-table Chiswick Woollahra serves seasonal fare like house made focaccia, wood-fired eggplant with chickpea miso and flank steak with heirloom carrots.


This St. Kilda landmark uses seasonal produce to create classic Italian meals. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, as is an impressive wine list with over 150 bottles. Cicciolina is packed to the gills every night and no bookings can be made, but waiting for a table in the lively back bar, cocktail in hand, is half the fun.

Bar at Circa, Melbourne, Australia


This stylish hotel restaurant and bar (located in The Prince) serves seasonal, modern Australian cuisine in a slick and stylish space. The emphasis is on clean flavors that allow the produce to shine on the plate. Views of the bay from the dining and balcony rooms are stunning. Diners will also enjoy the spectacular wine list.

Food at City Wine Shop, Melbourne, Australia

City Wine Shop

An adjunct to the The European, this intimate bar–restaurant–wine merchant does a brisk trade with cuisine connoisseurs in a hurry. Masterfully prepared small dishes are served alongside wines from the astonishingly good list (or from the wine wall, opposite the bar). For a more casual evening, visitors can order cheese plates with their wines to enjoy while perched at the convivial bar.

Cutler & Co

Casual but elegant, Cutler & Co in Fitzroy serves delicious bistro food from one of Melbourne’s top chefs.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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