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Sydney’s 10 Best Italian Restaurants of 2020

Italian food. Photographed by Bruna Branco. Image via Unsplash

Ciao Sydney! Get ready to indulge in the best Italian restaurants the city has to offer!

There’s more to an Italian restaurant than meets the eye (or a big pizza pie)…Say arrivederci to the Aussie ‘takes’ like spag bol or carbonara, and instead, indulge in a perfectly balanced sugo, flavour-packed polpette (rolled just like Nonna) or proper handmade gnocchi.

Alas, we’ve donned our stretchy pants and explored countless trattorias, modern infusions and hole-in-the-walls to source the very best Italian Sydney has to offer.

Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano

Machiavelli has been one of Sydney’s most renowned Italian restaurants for over 30 years and inside it is often graced by the business and political elite, many of whom have portraits adorning the walls of this European style restaurant. The food is classically Italian, with a focus on traditional Neapolitan cuisine. The menu features a range of antipasti to more heartier mains and the hardest decision will be picking out exactly what to get. If you’re a bit unsure, we’d recommend the Spaghetti Machiavelli that’s swirled with king prawns and mushrooms in a refreshing butter chilli, basil and garlic sauce.

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123 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 Ravioli alla Veneziana

Flour Eggs Water

If you’re wanting to stick to a staple but also be tantalised by some distinct tastes each visit, Flour Eggs Water should be the first place to visit for your Italian feast. With four venues across Sydney, Flour Eggs Water allows diners to get back to basics and to rethink pasta. Offering fresh and authentic pasta made the Italian way, your meals will be far from anything you’ve ever tasted before.

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Forest Lodge, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Bondi Beach Gnocchi with Mushroom, Ricotta Salata and Sage $34

Rosetta

Rosetta is located in the elegant, light filled Grosvenor Building, complete with an outdoor terrace and styled in a sophisticated yet comfortable way. As for the menu, it travels through an array of delicious Italian classics that make it incredibly hard to just choose one dish. Expect everything from Bruschetta with Zucchini Flowers ($26) to Potato Gnocchi with duck ragu and mushroom ($32) to name a few. And with a 40 page wine list, we can assure you that Rosetta will surely stock a drop for all types of wine lovers.

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118 Harrington St, The Rocks NSW 2000 Yellowfin Tuna Crudo and salsa verde $32

Pendolino

Time stands still at Pendolino with the low warm lighting, crisp white table cloths, dark wooden floors and gastronomic banquettes that make the outside world not matter so much. As for the menu, it is equally timeless and features a range of handmade pastas and risottos that are accompanied by classic sauces made from only the freshest ingredients available. And, if you’ve got room for dessert, don’t look past the Éclair al Cioccolato – the perfect way to end your meal.

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100/412-414 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 Milk Braised Pork Belly

La Rosa The Strand

Since its opening, La Rosa has been the perfect European oasis for Sydney Italian lovers alike. Featuring bar-side dining, La Rosa is also complete with an imported Italian volcanic rock grill and custom-built rosticceria that has been added since their opening. For southern Italian dining, Sydneysiders cannot look past La Rosa.

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133/193 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000 Polpo Ubriaco del Castelli

Tottis

Taking Bondi by storm, Tottis is yet another Merivale masterpiece led by CEO and hospitality mastermind Justin Hemmes. Much like their sister venue – Bar Tottis which opened early 2020 – Tottis features an impressive range of revolutionised Italian classics on their menu including their renowned wood-fired bread and house-made antipasti. As for tipples, guests can enjoy a range of favourites such as spritzes and after-dinner cocktails.

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283 Bondi Rd, Bondi NSW 2026 Prawn Casarecce $29.50

Intermezzo

Found in the historic GPO building Intermezzo is a Sydney staple offering diners to enjoy their meal either in an alfresco setting overlooking Martin Place, in the cost front room or under the glass atrium that towers eight floors high. The menu is delicious, the antipasto platter is a must and the pasta and mains are exquisite. Featuring over 2000 wines encased in a seven-and-a-half-metre wine tower which adds just that touch of luxury to Intermezzo’s renowned fame.

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1, Ground Floor Sydney GPO Building, Martin Pl, Sydney NSW 2000 Tortina Di Melanzana $25.50

Uccello

Overlooking onto the rooftop pool of the iconic Sydney ivy complex, Uccello provides a modern take on classic Italian. A delicious blend of sturdy classic pastas and lighter mains perfectly complements the relaxed and colourful setting. Although their view is quite spectacular, Uccello’s stone oven is a highlight especially as it helps creates dishes such as their famed Woodfire Grilled Mooloolaba Swordfish ($41) that’s marinated in a combination of fennel, celery, salmoriglio and raisin. On top of that, be sure to flick through their 450 strong wine list which rounds out the dining experience.

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4/320 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 Woodfired roast Yamba prawn $15

Bambini Trust

Bambini Trust, over 20 years old and located in the plush St James Trust Building, is a charmingly classic location for your next Italian feast. The menu is hearty and timeless, made with fresh ingredients and varying slightly with each season. The Bambini Spaghettini ($26) with a side of Truffled Parmesan Fries ($12) is a specialty. Not to mention the excellent European wine list which is an added bonus.

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185 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000 Suckling Pig Ragu Tagliatelle $24

CicciaBella

Hailing from Bondi Beach, CicciaBella is here to provided Sydneysiders with it’s southern Italian food fix. Fuelled by their wood-fired oven and a modern approach to Italian classics, diners can expect nothing short of an impeccable Italian feast. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the colourful drinks menu featuring three of CicciaBella’s homemade digestive liqueurs.

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75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026 Crab Malloreddus $26

Sydney, are you ready for date night? Why don’t you and your special someone check out this romantic wine bar in Woollahra. Or, if you’d like to keep up to date with the latest openings around Sydney, we’ve got just the place!

This article was first published on November 22 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on June 17 2020.
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