Welcome foodies! From interactive food experiences to the best special occasion restaurants – Sydney has it all!
Are you looking for a side-dish of whimsy with your chicken fricassée? Perhaps a sprinkle of eccentricity with your gateau au chocolat? The city’s food and hospitality scene has never been more vibrant, but it is not just about what is on your plate at these quirky restaurants in Sydney.
Whether you’re looking to impress your colleagues, or lock in that second date, this list of the best quirky restaurants in Sydney has something for everyone, no matter what you’re into!
Sitting pretty at 245 metres above street level, the elevator ride up all 83 floors of the Sydney Tower is enough to have you working an appetite. But, with a 260-degree views of the city, there is no better view than that which is on offer at Sydney’s highest bar. Designed like something out of the Jetsons, the striking red carpet and stark white furnishings ooze retro nostalgia. There is a contemporary bar menu with sunset packages featuring oysters, tasting platters and bubbles for your boujie after-work drinks. One of the coolest restaurants in Sydney for a fun night out, take Bar 83 for a spin!
Berowra Waters Inn
Described by its architect as a “veranda by the water”, Berowra Waters Inn is a gastronomic experience you don’t want to miss. Located on the Hawkesbury River, the Inn is only accessible by boat or seaplane making it one of Sydney’s most exclusive dining experiences. The peaceful water and gumtree lined shore offer a perfect backdrop to the culinary wonders of head chef Brian Geraghty. And, if you wish to travel in style, for $555 a person you can arrive and depart via seaplane and enjoy a delicious three-course a la carte lunch with front row-views of the water.
The Grounds of Alexandria
Few Sydney venues embody decadence quite as boldly as The Grounds of Alexandria. And their private high tea dining experience, served to you and your guests in the sunlit Glasshouse, is no exception. Beautifully styled with elegant tableware, tapered candles and bright florals, this is the closest you’ll ever get to an afternoon delight in The Secret Garden. The menu consists of sweet and savoury delights, with coffee, tea, juice or bubbles. Plus, stick around and wander through their beautiful exhibits that charms every nook and cranny of this spectacular venue!
This pop-up now permanent diner comes with a warning label: 100% rude staff! Located on George Street, Karen’s Diner is equally an interactive food experience as it is unusual. Here you can expect bad service, rude waiters, great burgers and, in return, they’ll be expecting you to go into full Karen mode! This is a place where you can let off steam and whinge about the most minor inconveniences to your heart’s content, because they don’t care! So if you’re looking for a cool restaurant in Sydney fo a fun night out, Karen’s Diner is the place to be. Just don’t ask for more serviettes!
Specialising in one mouth-watering Middle Eastern dessert – what started off as a passion-project between brothers – has turned into one of Sydney’s favourite ongoing pop-ups. Ameer and Joey El-Issa, also known as The Bearded Bakers, have a large online following and are well known for their singing and dancing, as much as their Knafeh. One of the most spectacular Sydney dining experiences, Knafeh operates out of a moving shipping container which they post their upcoming locations to on their Instagram page. With people flocking from all over to enjoy the food and entertainment, this is one of the most unusual experiences you need to try in 2023!
If you’re a fan of Frankie’s or The Baxter Inn, then you’re going to love this full-service restaurant by The Swillhouse Group located in Sydney’s CBD. Walking through the doors of Restaurant Hubert can only be likened to travelling back in time to post-war Paris, so dress the part. With dim lighting, and worn-timber furnishings, this lavish French-style parlour is perfect for date night, but perhaps not the right setting for the ‘it’s time to call it quits’ chat. Also making our list of the Best Steak Restaurants in Sydney, be sure you check their website for their Live Jazz nights which are not to be missed. One of the top dining experiences in Sydney to try in 2023.
Royal Botanic Gardens
If you enjoy a bite of culture with your foodie experiences in Sydney, then the Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour at the Royal Botanic Gardens is for you. A First Nations guide will walk with you through the Cadi Jam Ora Garden, teaching you about Indigenous bush foods including how to spot them, and their traditional and modern uses. While you learn, you’ll get to taste goodies for yourself and you’ll also have the opportunity to browse through the native bush foods selection at the Garden Shop.
If you’re still looking for Nemo, then pull up a seat because we have found him here at Sea Life’s private dining experience in Sydney. One of the best special occasion restaurants in Sydney, it is unique, quirky and cool. With an exquisite underwater backdrop, this dining experience includes a beverage package to match a three-course dinner, a self-guided tour and, of course, hundreds of fish, turtles, sharks and sawfish cruising the reef before your eyes. With six different locations within the aquarium to choose from, this is truly a unique dining experience you must try in 2023.
Looking for a quirky yet fun restaurant in Sydney? In the heart of Chinatown lies an unusual restaurant experience so capricious you won’t know what hit you. From the Hello Kitty stock cubes to the Barbie dolls in meat suits and the robot waiters wandering past you, this quirky Sichuan oddball is enough to get anyone’s attention. This hotpot chain has over 600 restaurants worldwide and boasts devotees such as Orlando Bloom and David Beckham. Heck, that’s good enough for us.
Sydney Oyster Farm Tours
Sydney, if you’re looking for a fun dining experience that’s just as interactive as it is delicious, we must shuck you in the direction of Sydney Oyster Farm Tours. Located in Brooklyn, just 45 minutes from the CBD, this unique dining experience allows you to be guided through an authentic oyster farm experience. Supplying to the Sydney market for over 15 years, after a short boat ride, the Sheridan family will have you geared up and shucking your way through the freshest oysters directly in the Hawkesbury River. Check out their website and decide between the three different tours on offer. A must try in 2023!
If you’re looking for the best special occasion restaurants in Sydney, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in Sydney of 2023. Hungry for more? Interactive food experiences are at the heart of these 10 Fun and Unique Date Night Ideas in Sydney.