Perfect for a special occasion or just a romantic night out – our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Sydney will be your ultimate guide to good food.
Although we do love a local pub feed, sometimes a dinner date or special anniversary is best accompanied by the finer details, the finesse and the art that eating in opulence serves up. So whether you’re looking for the top restaurants in Sydney, hidden gems a degustation menu, affordable fine dining or dinner with a view, our list is sure to deliver.
Fine dining institutions in Sydney rival Michelin-starred venues from around the world and, with so much variety in the city’s food scene, we’re spoilt for choice. So, for those on the hunt for a nice restaurant for an upcoming lunch, dinner or special occasion, we’ve garnered a list of the best fine dining restaurants in Sydney of 2023!
Nestled in a quaint corner spot in Surry Hills, Arthur offers sittings for just 32 guests at a time. Just like its appearance, don’t expect stuffy or formal airs here, but instead a casual and food-first approach with their renowned degustation menu. The seasonally influenced modern Australian menu is the product of Tristan Rosier (previously Farm House and Dead Ringer). All-in-all one of the best fine dining restaurants in Sydney, Arthur’s pièce de résistance has to be the pillowy house-made sourdough and butter, served in the middle of the meal to accompany the sauce-rich meals. It’s the only dish which is guaranteed, and it’s easy to understand why – there would be riots if it went!
One of our personal favourites, Bennelong is a benchmark for fine dining in Sydney from one of Australia’s most renowned chefs, Peter Gilmore. Located in Sydney’s most iconic harbourside space, the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong boasts a show-stopping venue with a definitively Australian menu which exceeds the very high expectations placed upon it. A new hybrid of affordable fine dining, the food at Bennelong is modern, beautiful and a celebration of Australian local produce. One of the best fine dining restaurants in Sydney, check out Bennelong for a five star dining experience!
Bentley Restaurant & Bar
Chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt have transformed the stuffiness of corporate dining into a cleverly designed bar and restaurant in the original Fairfax Building in the heart of the CBD. Rarely can a duo pair food and wine together as well as Savage and Hildebrandt, so much so that dining at Bentley isn’t just about ‘going out for dinner’, but a whole experience in a league of its own. One of the best fine dining restaurants in Sydney right now!
Ester is fine dining that isn’t too overworked. At the heart of this Chippendale restaurant is a mallee root-fuelled wood-fired oven which was co-designed by chef Mat Lindsay. The overall feel of the dining room is stripped back – we’re talking concrete interiors and paper napkins on bare tables. But, when it comes to the food, Ester doesn’t hold back. Masters of dishes that work just as well at the bar as they do at the table, you’ll see likes of Roasted Rock Oysters with horseradish, Grilled Abalone with chicken skin and Bread & Butter Ice Cream to name a few.
LuMi Bar and Dining
Drawing inspiration from Italian food and interweaving masterful Japanese influences, LuMi Bar and Dining takes fine dining to a whole new level by bringing together two incredibly different cuisines for one cohesive experience. The menu is ever-changing due to seasonal availability, but the seven-course degustation always impresses. If you consider yourself an oenophile, we recommend also taking advantage of the wine flight designed to match seamlessly with each of the dishes paired by expert sommelier, Michela. If you’re wanting fine dining in Sydney with a view, this is it.
Adorned with three hats and requently making the list of the top restaurants in Sydney, eating at Quay is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. Located at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, this restaurant has sweeping views of the harbour with the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge all in view. Chef Peter Gilmore has never been one to rest on his laurels, continuing to fill Quay with some of the most articulate, textural, botanical and graceful food in all of Australia, with many considering it to be Australia’s best fine dining restaurant. The essence of fine dining in Sydney.
If you’re wanting fine dining and seafood, Saint Peter enables this concept to go hand-in-hand without all the picking and choosing. A go-to and also featured in our list of the Best Seafood Restaurants in Sydney, Saint Peter in Paddington serve up a daily changing seven-course set menu at $175, featuring all the best options of the day as chosen by the chef. From swordfish to pink snapper, you’ll be pleasantly surprised every time you come to dine, which is sure to include a dessert or two. And, as well as the set menu, Saint Peter also has a fish butchery a few doors up from the restaurant, serving quality seafood for you to feast on at home!
This ambitious, degustation-only restaurant serves some of the most finessed food in the Inner West, with a focus on produce grown in the backyard or on the Parry family farm in Bowral. Sixpenny is not your standard fine dining restaurant in Sydney that is defined by chef egos or a million-dollar fit-out, but it’s about letting ingredients speak for themselves in new and interesting ways. A hidden gem in Sydney’s heart, here each dish is a lesson in simplicity, unbothered by excessive or unnecessary techniques.
Tetsuya’s eight-course degustation ($255) is a balancing act of Japanese and European flavours that is elegantly minimalist and best taken at a leisurely place. In an art-filled restaurant that is light-dappled by day and moodily dramatic at night, Tetsuya’s overlooks a glorious Japanese garden and is a masterclass when it comes to fine dining in Sydney. Long term favourites are the Confit of Tasmanian Ocean Trout with salad of apple and witlof; and sumptuous Chocolate Stone with Honey and Milk – divine!
10 William St
Sitting at its namesake in Paddington, 10 William St is a wine bar first and foremost – but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking on the food. Boasting Italian braggadocio with a modern Australian twist, the menu is the work of Trisha Greentree (previously Brae), and the atmosphere is courtesy of the Italian brothers and owners of the nearby Fratelli Paradiso. Expect riotous fun while eating at the bar with salads and crudites in summer, while winter will bring ragus and risottos. This Sydney fine dining restaurant is a must visit in 2023!
For more hidden gems in Sydney, eat your way through these 10 Unique Dining Experiences in Sydney Foodies Have to Try in 2023. Or, for something with a view, you can’t go wrong at the 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney of 2023.