Dinner Date: The Best Restaurants in Surry Hills
A gourmet and foodie favourite, Surry Hills is a culinary mecca boasting an eclectic mix of multicultural eateries and dinner date hangouts. Whether you’re after slow-roasted pork from an Argentinian grill house or a four-course vegetarian banquet, Surry Hills has something for everyone.
Lucky for you, we've taste-tested our way around this foodie ‘burb to bring you the ultimate restaurant edit (it was a hard task, but someone had to do it). Despite their differences, these restaurants all have one thing in common – no matter where you pick, you’ll be walking out a very happy, (and full) version of yourself.
An interior design dream, you’ll want to capture every nook and cranny of this stylish space, which occupies the 100-year-old Griffiths Tea building in Surry Hills. Famed for their flagship Melbourne outpost, Chin Chin brings their inventive Thai fare to Sydney’s drooling crowds, and we’re loving it!
69 Commonwealth St
Led by a third-generation pizzaiolo, Via Napoli is as authentic as it gets. The pizzas are topped with ingredients imported straight from Italy, and wood-fired, Neapolitan style until the crust is blistered and bubbly. The restaurant follows the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’s rules (think of them like the pizza police) to a tee, and we can’t thank them enough.
628 Crown St
Just when we thought the Paramount House Hotel complex had it all, it added a wine bar-slash-restaurant. The laidback industrial interiors match the menu, which is made up of 20 wines by the glass, 10 sakes and 8 cocktails, including the bar’s spin on a Negroni with a splash of tequila. Unlike its sister venue, Ester, the food here is meant to be eaten with your hands.
74-76 Commonwealth St
A Lebanese restaurant, but not as you know it. A popular spot on Crown Street’s foodie trail, Nour creatively transforms the traditional flavours of Lebanon into artistic Insta-worthy dishes. The interiors are just as gorgeous, a contemporary fit-out with plush pink chairs and glass doors opening out onto a gorgeous terrace.
3/490 Crown St
For mouth-wateringly good Middle Eastern food in a converted warehouse setting, head to Nomad. Tucked away on a Surry Hills backstreet, this exotic gem has well and truly made its mark on Sydney’s buzzing dining scene. And it’s not hard to see why. The menu is designed for groups, and there are delicious options for vegetarians. The wine list is boutique, and features lots of homegrown talent.
3/490 Crown St
Talk about good genes! The sister venue of Porteno, Bodega is a star in its own right. The huge bull mural sets the scene for a Latin American feast, tapas-style. The open kitchen sends out plates piled high with Latin cuisine, and the South American and Spanish wine list is extensive.
3/490 Crown St
An Argentinian restaurant and grill house that has made Surry Hills its home. Porteno uses traditional Parilla (barbeque) and Asado (pit of fire) to prep their meat – so you know it’s going to be juicy and succulent. There are definitely a few standout woodfired dishes, but if we had to pick one, it’d be the animal a la cruz. At the moment, it’s a slow-roasted Berkshire pork slow-cooked until it’s smoky, sweet and deliciously crisp. Pair it with their selection of South American, Italian and American wines.
3/490 Crown St
If you're after a swish meal without the hefty price tag, The Dolphin's trendy gastropub is the place to head. For top notch pub-grub, book a spot in the Dining Room. The menu, created by chef extraordinaires, Monty Koludrovic and Dan Metcalf, excites the palate with delectable antipasti share plates, chicken cacciatore, spaghetti with blue swimmer crab, and perfectly crispy wood-fired pizzas.
412 Crown St
Masala Theory gives Indian food a modern edge. The owner, Yashpal Erda, combines the food of his childhood with global trends, and his fusion has been a success. The menu is full of traditional dishes with a twist – including tons of hearty vegetarian options – and the drinks list is as colourful as it is creative.
545 Crown St, Surry Hils
Mark + Vinny’s is an inventive Italian spaghetti and spritz bar serving up traditional favourites and innovative creations. This is seen throughout their food menu where old-school classics like cacio e pepe spaghetti with pecorino, sit alongside vegan carbonara. Boasting an enormous spritz menu – there are over 50 variations – you'll have a challenging time whittling it down to just a few.
Set in the back streets of Surry Hills in a heritage-listed building, Firedoor has a well-earned reputation for their sumptuous wood-fired cooking. Here, everything is cooked to order over wood coals – they burn a collection of different woods to bring out all the natural flavours. Tuck into the pipis – they’re plucked from the restaurant’s tank, grilled over an apple-wood coals, and finished with karkalla (beach bananas), wild garlic, lemon and chilli.
g08/38-52 Waterloo St
One of the best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, Yulli’s is known for its eclectic menu, which combines Asian, American and Moroccan flavours – as well as many cheesy delights. The four-course banquet menu is perfect if you need a little guidance.
417 Crown St
Specialising in traditional, sharing-style banquets, Longrain is a genuine social house with a constant buzz of activity. Their combination of authentic South-eastern Asian recipes, innovative flavours and fresh produce has put this local institution on the map, with its on-trend industrial digs and Asian-inspired cocktails featuring in many-a social media blast.
85 Commonwealth St
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