Whether you’re after a coffee, a cheap lunch, or a fine dining experience, Sydney’s inner east offers it all and everything in between! The hip inner-eastern suburbs are comprised of some the most sophisticated and trend-setting locations, such as Woollahra, Paddington, and Alexandria.
This lively and upmarket region boasts kitschy boutique shops, a great community feel, and is home to Sydney’s contemporary art and creative landscape. If you’re visiting the inner-east region, consider dining out at some of the best restaurants in the eastern suburbs and sample the range of cuisines and fresh organic produce unique to the area and greater Sydney.
Building 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Stepping into The Grounds of Alexandria might have you feeling as if you’re stepping into the Garden of Eden. The Grounds – as it’s known to locals – was built in 2012 with the vision of providing the community with quality products and a fresh, innovative approach to food. The Grounds comprises of a cafe, restaurant and bar, garden, bakery and patisserie, coffee roastery, animal farm, florist, markets and more.
The site stays true to its organic roots (it was originally an industrial site that included tanneries, wool washing factories, and market gardens) and the menus reflect that. The Potting Shed provides diners with a place to meet, relax, and eat and drink. An abundance of plants, terracotta pots, and fresh florals decorate the space. The menu is fresh and wholesome, with light snacks and three-course meals available. The Set Menu includes a main of slow cooked and smoky glazed Cape Grim beef with chimichurri, pumpkin fatteh for starters, and a selection of pastries for dessert.
19 Clovelly Road, Randwick
Clove Lane provides diners with a no-frills experience, bringing familiarity through a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. The restaurant and menu centres around the tradition of the family table, with a seasonally-driven menu using the very best in local produce.
The light and airy restaurant provides a community feel with a fine dining mentality. Guests are encouraged to relax and watch chefs cook in the open kitchen, and to savour the dining experience with fresh and creative meals, including air-dried beef rump with fresh curd and cauliflower ash, and scrumptious desserts that include chocolate fondant with malt ice cream and honeycomb.
47 Windsor St, Paddington
Established in leafy Paddington back in 1983, Lucio’s Italian Restaurant has a reputation in Sydney’s inner-east for exceptional, authentic Italian food alongside incredible Australian art. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, Lucio’s has a focus on delivering fresh, Northern Italian cuisine.
The restaurant sits on a corner terrace, and from the outside to indoors the space is adorned with unique artwork including The Plate Collection; a collection of 35 hand-painted ceramic plates. There are 18 art galleries within walking distance of Lucio’s, making this a great spot to eat for any art enthusiast or appreciator. The menu consists of silky pasta including fine green noodles with blue swimmer crab. A tasting menu is available alongside a carefully curated wine list designed to showcase Australian and Italian wines that can be enjoyed by the glass.
35 St Pauls St, Randwick
Specialising in Mediterranean Tapas, The Spanish Fly restaurant boasts a vibrant atmosphere with a delicious and modern take on traditional Spanish tapas. The restaurant is abuzz with movement and modern decor giving ‘The Fly’ a warm, lively atmosphere. Just two doors down from The Ritz Cinema, it is the ideal spot to grab a pre-movie bite or a delicious cocktail after a night out.
Perfect for groups, the tasting plate comes with 18-month aged jamon, manchego cheese, cornichons, marinated olives, and sourdough bread. Other delicacies include beef cheek empanadas made with Moroccan spice and the Portuguese style chicken with piri piri sauce and yoghurt dressing. The Fly has developed a taste for cocktails, creating an extensive list of mixed drinks including the El Pavlova; a pavlova-flavoured cocktail using vodka, passionfruit, vanilla, lemon, whole egg, and icing sugar.
Link to: https://skyegreensquare.com.au/
116A Queen St, Woollahra
For a taste of France in Sydney’s inner-east, head to Bistro Moncur. The French style restaurant provides a consistent French bistro menu using the best Australian produce. The sophisticated venue is polished in timber panels and bronze detailing with a contemporary mural skirting the wall of the dining area. With classic white tablecloths and exceptional service, Bistro Moncur takes fine dining seriously.
The long-established menu features entrees of tuna tartare and saffron crab omelette, mains of confit duck leg with duck neck sausage and blood orange fillets, and decadent desserts of passionfruit souffle or the classic creme brulee. The dessert menu pairs each item with their perfect wine accompaniment, while Bar Moncur features a seasonal cocktail list alongside French and Australian wines and a range of beers & ciders.
10 Oxford St, Woollahra
St Claude’s is a modern French bistro ideal for intimate dinners and those looking for an inviting dining space with a range of good food options. Inside, the sleek timber floors and black leather upholstered chairs are nestled in a cozy nook with floor-to-ceiling wine racks, an old fireplace, and an abundance of natural light.
The menu is honest yet refined, with delicious meal options including French onion soup, marinated spatchcock, and twice baked souffle. The menu also features a cheese selection as well as petit fours and a range of dessert wines to complement. The bistro is BYO wine, or you can purchase by the bottle for $20. St Claude’s is open seven days a week from 6pm.
333 Anzac Pde, Kingsford
Named after the Japanese word for rainbow, Niji Sushi Bar is not your usual spot for Japanese take-out. The contemporary restaurant offers a fresh, modern Japanese menu perfect for sharing. A 32-metre-long sushi train features in the centre of the restaurant with ample tables and chairs indoors and outdoors. Niji Sushi Bar offers a degustation menu, sushi train menu, and an a la carte menu with each menu carefully put together with the freshest, colourful ingredients.
Try freshly shucked Pacific oysters, wagyu beef, or old favourites such as miso soup, California rolls, and Gyoza. Niji Sushi Bar also has a great range of classic and signature cocktails as well as a mocktail list for those who want a fresh twist without the alcohol. Watch the expert sushi chefs prepare your dishes inside the open kitchen and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere with a group of friends before exploring Sydney’s inner-east.
1 Victoria St, Paddington
Hidden down a secluded laneway, The Stables succeeds in giving a New York Meat Packing District feel and a unique experience in the heart of Paddington. The sandstone building and a minimalist interior featuring rustic timber beams, concrete floors, and a lofty ceiling provide a welcoming oasis with a sophisticated vibe. Open for lunch, dinner, and drinks from Tuesday to Sunday, The Stables succeeds in delivering fresh, wholesome food highlighting local seafood and farm produce.
The menu features Sydney rock oysters which are shucked to order, alongside mains of Black Angus hanger steak, chargrilled king prawns, and Barramundi ceviche. The expert bartenders and cocktail creators provide fresh twists on cocktails, using unique combinations of strawberries, basil, and chillies and homemade syrup infusions of saffron and lavender. The wine list is ever-changing as well as beers on tap, which change each week.
65 Ocean St, Woollahra
This innovative garden to plate restaurant utilizes honest, homegrown produce and a delicate relationship with growers to provide the freshest menu for diners. Outside the French plantation-style doors you’ll see the kitchen garden where beetroot, eggplants, lettuce, herbs, and more grow to be picked and lovingly handled to produce mouth-watering dishes. The menu is seasonal, and each dish is made to highlight the flavours of the organic produce combined with locally-sourced fresh seafood and meats. The summer menu features the Chiswick crispy duck with orange and garden lettuce, the garden beetroot with sprouted lentils, radicchio, and sunflower, as well as desserts of cherry sundae and peach pavlova just to name a few.