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Buon Appetito! The Best Italian Restaurants in Sydney CBD

Grab a vino and settle in for the definitive list of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney CBD.


When the cravings for pasta, pizza, ragu or melt-in-your-mouth tiramisu hit, consider yourself lucky to live in Sydney. We’re not only spoiled with Italian restaurants, but the ones we have are truly top-notch or should we say, molto bene. There’s a spot to suit every mood; whether you want to eat by the water or underground, whether you're after cheap and cheerful, vibes aplenty or an intimate romantic date night spot...

From old-school Italian to modern mash-ups, here’s where to go for the best Italian restaurants in Sydney.

The Best Italian Restaurants in Sydney: CBD

Palazzo Salato

Palazzo Salato 

From the good people who brought us Love Tilly Devine and RagazziPalazzo Salato is one of our favourite haunts for Italian feasting. The 120-seat venue is brimming with kitchen space which means an even wider variety of unique hand-shaped pasta, grilled meats and more. Diners have the choice of the walk-in-only bar and the dining room, with interiors inspired by traditional Italian trattorias (that’s a relaxed Italian eatery to you and I). A 500-strong wine list rounds out the offering. If you're a big fan of the Love Tilly Group, you'll love this refined and fancy version of their thoughtful Italian offering. 

201/203 Clarence Street, Sydney  

Buon Ricordo

It’s widely accepted as one of the best restaurants in Paddington but, if you ask us, Buon Ricordo (Italian for good memory) might just be one of the best restaurants in Sydney. Between the next-level interiors, with art literally lining the walls from floor to ceiling and the to-die-for dishes, Buon Ricordo is a feast for all the senses. With two courses for just $90, this is one of the best fine dining deals in town.

Everything on the menu is great but the must-try dish has to be the fettuccine al tartufovo. Fresh pasta served with cream, parmesan, topped with a truffle fried egg and tossed at the table, in the almost four decades that Buon Ricordo has been operating in Paddington no dish has been as loved as this (except maybe their veal braciolette which is a very close second). Safe to say we're obsessed.

108 Boundary Street, Paddington

Cucina Porto (Image Credit: Samantha Rose) 

Cucina Porto

The gorgeous Cucina Porto should be high on your list for fine Italian feasting. Serving up honest Italian fare using quality ingredients with a touch of old-world hospitality. Their menu includes traditional wood-fired pizzas as well as seasonal dishes and they have recently revived a number of their beloved signature dishes including Conchiglioni alla Norma, made with fried eggplant, fresh basil and ricotta salata as well as Slow-cooked Pork Belly accompanied by apple puree, pickled eschalot and tomato marmalade, creating an intricate combination of flavours to savour.

Level G, Harbourside Entrance at The Star Sydney

80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont 

Zafferano Trattoria Mediterranea 

Having opened in 2021 as a café, Zafferano has officially relaunched as a trattoria serving a slice of Sicily to Sydneysiders. With Sicilian-born chef Simone Crivello at the helm, alongside his partner Isobel Galloway, the trattoria has brought the Mediterranean to the heart of Paddington. The menu is simple yet sophisticated with signature Sicilian classics including Sfincione – a fluffy pizza – and considered seafood dishes. The interior pays homage to Palermo with forest green walls and marble finishes and windows that frame some of the tree-lined terraced streets of Paddington. 

354 South Dowling Street, Paddington 

Lucio Pizzeria

Lucio Pizzeria

A proud member of the AVPN, the highest pizza honour, Lucio's Pizzeria is a firm favourite for pizza and pasta lovers alike. Lucio’s is helmed by only the most accomplished Pizzaioli, flipping fresh pizza from the woodfire oven and serving up rustic dishes like crab pasta, veal saltimbocca and polpette al sugo.

248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst

Pasta Emilia

We’re obsessed with this Surry Hills Italian restaurant, with its rustic charm, enviable corner location and handmade pasta. The Pasta Emilia menu includes antipasti and mains of fresh seafood and meat but the true showstopper here is their pasta. We love their strozzapreti pasta with slow-cooked ragu, raviolini in brood, rich gnocchi served with walnuts and blue cheese sauce, duck and truffle tortelli with sage butter and crispy guanciale… honestly, it would be quicker to just say we love it all!

Want to recreate the delicious Pasta Emilia experience at home? Pasta Emilia runs pasta-making classes at their cooking school. Each class ends with a glass of organic wine (yes, please!) and a full meal and a take-home pack of fresh pasta and sauce.

259 Riley Street, Surry Hills


Paski Vineria Popolare

Opening their doors in 2022, Paski is a collaboration between Sydney wine legend, Giorgio De Maria and chef Enrico Tomelleri (formerly of Ragazzi, Alberto’s Lounge &10 William Street). With a bar and bottle shop on the ground floor, serving some of the best bar snacks in Sydney with oysters, pancetta-wrapped muscles, meats and cheeses as well as inventive Italian and local wines, upstairs you’ll find one of the best new Italian restaurants in Sydney.

Upstairs at Paski Sopra (literally Paski above), you can find a rich a la carte menu in the intimate brick-lined space which looks down over the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Expect inventive starters such as the incredibly moreish tapioca and asiago fritti drizzled in chestnut honey, lead into handmade pastas which are all beautifully paired with delicious drops from the infamous Paski cellar.

239 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Club Fontana

Move over When Harry Met Sally there’s a romance on the block and it all happened when the team from Don (Peppino’s) met Ron (the former Ron’s Upstairs) space. The Result? Club Fontana. Hard to define, the menu is best classified as Italian meets Australiana, picture kangaroo tail stepping in for ox tail in dishes. The dining room is light-filled with a mural and a bar and gives off an effortlessly cool vibe that truly befits the suburb they call home. The menu is set to rotate regularly with dishes on deck for a good time not a long time. Think house-made ricotta, seafood carpaccio roo ragu paccheri, cotoletta milanese and a traditional dessert range with cannolo, gelato, biscotti and more.

133a Redfern Street, Redfern



Fabbrica is a lowkey and no-fuss eatery, tucked away under street level in Sydney's busy CBD. Their newly opened Balmain pasta bar is testament to the popularity of this handmade pasta joint. Pop by on a weekday for a bowl of the good stuff which you can score for under $30. Expect fresh, seasonal sauces produced from the best ingredients available. Both restaurants also offer a fantastic wine list with a focus on Australian-made and Italian varietals. If you're feeling hungry, the set menus offer incredible value. 

Want to take a little bit of Fabbrica home with you? Grab one of the pasta packs for a mid-week dins and you'll be praising your foresight forevermore. 

Sydney CBD and Balmain 

Acqua e Farina

Acqua e Farina

Acqua e Farina is a small-scale pasta restaurant run by the prodigious Lucinda Khan. Lucinda is one of the youngest head chefs in Sydney but she’s no stranger to the Sydney dining scene, her father, Chef Opel Khan, is behind the nearby Métisse and Pizza Boccone. Making it even more of a family affair, Luci’s sister Jasmine is running the floor and the two are a match made in heaven. It’s a truly intimate feel with the restaurant seating just 12 inside with a few al fresco tables to enjoy fresh pastas with deliciously inventive flavours. Think tagliatelle with wild mushroom ragu and black truffle or with pork cheek, tomato and vodka cream! BYO is $10 a bottle which makes it the perfect opportunity to bust out that special bottle you’ve been saving. 

Big fan of BYO? Check out our edit of the best BYO spots in Sydney.

5/9 Roslyn Street, Potts Point

Enoteca Ponti (Image Credit: Jude Cohen)


Potts Point has become a true Mecca for Sydney foodies and Ponti is taking pride of place in the lush inner-city suburb. The new menu from chef Aldo Farroni serves modern Italian food with a focus on Roman classics. With an interior inspired by 1950s Roman wine bars, you can pick up focaccia, charcuterie, mortadella brioche topped with cheese and Asian-inspired twists on classics like a lasagna spring roll served with fermented chilli aioli, a colourful and playfully plated raw tuna noodle dish served with wasabi emulation. Traditional Italian mains include ragu, amatriciana, T-bone steak and beetroot risotto. 

71A Macleay Street, Potts Point

Il Pontile

Il Pontile

Il Pontile is located on Woolloomooloo's iconic Finger Wharf and boasts a lavish menu of fresh seafood, pasta and bistecca; you'll find it difficult to narrow down your options. Our suggestion would be to arrive hungry, so you can make the most of the menu. You will want to try the linguine baked in a parcel with mixed seafood, along with the too-pretty-to-eat jumbo scampi with finger lime.

Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo 

Alberto's Lounge

Alberto's Lounge

Italian cuisine at its finest, Alberto's Lounge is the neighbourhood restaurant that nails the romantic dinner for two vibes. Tucked away in the back streets of Surry Hills, the relaxed and inviting atmosphere is reflected in the hearty, soul-warming dishes—think rigatoni with pork sausage and cow’s milk burrata with fresh figs. Intimate and refined, you need to get in early to get a seat. But don't stress if you don't land a table straight away, you can chat over a drink or two at the bar while you wait. This might be one of our favourite date night spots... 

17-19 Alberta Street, Sydney


Ragazzi Wine & Pasta

From the team behind two of our favourite wine bars, Ragazzi is the delectable pasta and wine bar of your carb-infused dreams. Chef Scott McComas-Williams crafts the menu daily with classic flavours and contemporary cooking at the heart of their culinary offering.

Shop 3, 2-12 Angel Place, Sydney

a Tavola

A Tavola

In Italian, ‘A Tavola!’ means ‘to the table’, and you’ll want to rush straight to get a table at this Darlinghurst stalwart. The A Tavola menu is made up of fresh, handmade pastas, simple entrees and daily specials scrawled across the blackboard. Head chef Eugenio Maiale is foodie-famous for his pappardelle con ragu, which could be anything from duck to beef or rabbit when you’re in. For dessert, get the cremino. Prego! 

348 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

10 William Street

10 William Street

Tucked away in a Paddington terrace, this chic wine bar-slash-restaurant is perfect for date nights and catch-ups with friends. Run by the Fratelli Paradiso brothers, 10 William Street gives its chefs room to experiment. The result is an ever-evolving menu that’s Italian, with an Australian and/or Asian twist. Order the gnocchi and a glass of red – ask the staff to find your perfect pair – and finish with the fluffy tiramisu.

10 William Street, Paddington

Fratelli Paradiso

Fratelli Paradiso

When a menu is written only in Italian, you know the restaurant means business. That’s the case at Fratelli Paradiso, a local institution that’s all about authentic food and imported wine to match. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (a rarity!), but we suggest making it your last stop of the day so you can feast on calamari, prawn risotto and ricotta nettle ravioli at your leisure.

12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point

Civico 47 (Image Credit: Steven Woodburn)

Civico 47

Paddington mourned when Lucios’ shut their doors after four decades but, luckily for the locals, Civico 47 stepped in to take their place. Helmed by Chef Matteo Zamboni formerly of Ormeggio, Pilu at Freshwater and Jonah’s, Civico 47 is a light-filled dining space with a cosy bar and a Mediterranean feel. The menu is refined yet accessible which is perfect for its suburban location.

Highlights include housemade focaccia with charcuterie and EVOO, carpaccio with macadamia, vincotto and Brussel sprouts, Mafalde with king prawn, bok choy and tomato and show-stopping whole market fish with orange and saffron emulsion. Finish your meal with an amaro and a rich chocolate and coffee budino topped with orange caramel.

47 Windsor Street, Paddington


A Bondi mainstay that has now expanded to the CBD, Rozelle and has even broken through the border to Lorne in Victoria, Merivale's Totti’s needs no introduction. Their salt-crusted, wood-fired fluffy bread is enough to start a religion - or at the very least give you some great content for the 'gram! We suggest ordering up some antipasti before sharing some plates of pasta. Think spinach pappardelle with kale and pistachio, cacio e pepe, campenelle with milk-braised pork and chilli and more.

Bondi, CBD, Rozelle & Lorne (VIC)

Loving our edit of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney and keen to continue your culinary journey. Why not check out the best French restaurants in Sydneyor the best Japanese restaurants in town. Or if you're keen to see something new, check out the best new restaurants opening in Sydney this year

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