2022 has been one of the most exciting years in recent memory for Sydney’s hospitality industry. From humble bistros to luxe dining experiences, sky-high bars with sweeping city views to hole-in-the-wall eateries, the city’s gastronomic scene has grown by leaps and bounds despite the hardships of the last few years. Having trouble keeping track of all the incredible new restaurants that have swung open their doors in our fair city? We’ve rounded up some of the best restaurant openings in Sydney in 2022 to entice you including some of Secret Sydney’s personal favourites.
1. Aalia, CBD
Aalia offers an upscale and refined Middle Eastern dining experience. Their elegant menu that features raw dishes, mezze, mains and sides aims to bring forgotten ingredients from the Middle East and North Africa back to the forefront. Each dish has been carefully crafted to represent a particular region, or specific era of Arabic culture. The restaurant has been hailed for it’s exceptional menu, large indoor and outdoor seating section and excellent service.
📍 25 Martin Pl, Sydney
2. Rafi, North Sydney
Rafi has quickly become one of the hottest new entries to the dining scene in Sydney. From the team behind heavyweights like SoCal, Forrester’s and The Butler, this swanky new space comes with stunning interiors, a cocktail bar, alfresco dining spaces and a world-class menu to dive into with a focus on seafood. The expansive venue also features an outdoor terrace, a lush glass house and private dining rooms.
📍 99 Mount St, North Sydney
3. Pellegrino 2000, Surry Hills
This Italian restaurant has been making waves since its opening earlier this year. With its dimly lit interiors, retro dining areas, candle-lit tables and a classic Italian menu, it’s quickly become a force to reckon with. Menu highlights feature pastas, mains, bellinis, wines and more. The offering has come to town courtesy of chefs Dan Pepperell and Michael Clift and wine master Andy Tyson.
4. Bar Louise, Enmore
This Spanish-inspired tapas and wine bar is a peppy entry on the scene both located in and inspired by Enmore’s old Marie-Louise hair salon. The salon’s vibrant pink and purple facade remains firmly intact. Menu highlights include 15 varieties of sherry, cocktails, charcoal-grilled eggplant and capsicum, fried pork belly and heaps more.
📍 135 Enmore Rd, Enmore
5. Senpai Ramen, Chatswood
Chase Kojima, Sokyo executive chef and owner of popular sashimi diner Simulation Senpai raised the bar this year with Senpai Ramen. The neon-lit 20-seat space is a one-stop shop for ramen lovers and offers a seven-course omakase. A variety of interesting dishes are on offer. Think wagyu cooked over charcoal and 12-hour simmered abalone. If you’re a ramen lover, this needs to be high up on your list.
📍 88 Archer St, Chatswood
6. Kiln, Surry Hills
We love our rooftop bars in Sydney. Kiln is a welcome addition to the thriving sky-high watering holes with its retractable ceilings, glass walls and a well-lit, sunny fit-out. Menu highlights include vegetarian dishes and seafood like smoked butter and anchovy, oyster mushroom served with fermented onion glaze, grilled Abrolhos Island scallops and more.
📍 53 Foy Ln, Sydney
7. Oncore by Clare Smyth, Barangaroo
Oncore by British chef Clare Smyth is a culinary experience for the books. The fine dining spot offers sensational food along with spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour. It also features Australian produce with a special focus on sustainability. On the menu is ‘Potato and Roe’ — a slow-cooked Charlotte potato topped
with smoked trout and herring roe and served with beurre blanc, Wagonga oysters and elegant wines.
📍 Crown Sydney, Level 26/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
8. Porkfat, Haymarket
Porkfat has been around for just a few months and have already earned rave reviews from chefs, critics and foodies alike. The 30-seater helmed by owner-chef Narin “Jack” Kulasai features dozens of punchy Thai dishes from deep-fried barramundi with mango salad, crab and egg fried rice squeezed with fresh lime, coconut ice-cream with roasted peanuts and much more. Most of the dishes and cooked in pork lard, hence the name.
📍 739 George St, Haymarket
9. The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar, CBD
Art deco elegance and luxe ambience are what sets The Charles apart. There’s a roaming dessert trolley plus caviar service at this decadent dining spot in the heart of the CBD. Menu items include a mish-mash of Spanish, Austrian and Italian influences along with a selection of cakes, petit fours and sweet treats.
📍 66 King St, Sydney
10. Whalebridge, Circular Quay
Perched between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, this French restaurant packs a punch. With outdoor seating serving up glittering views of everything Sydney is famous for along with excellent drink options and a menu boasting French flair, this is one to add to your list for the warmer months.
📍 8 & 10 East, Sydney
11. Fontana, Redfern
Sydney just can’t seem to get enough of Italian cuisine as is evidenced by the numerous new openings around town. What sets Fontana apart is its focus on excellent comfort eats featuring Italian classics with a contemporary twist and a laidback atmosphere. They describe themselves as a “good times restaurant” and anyone who’s dined there would probably attest to the same.
📍 133A Redfern St, Redfern
12. Loulou Bistro, Milsons Point
Loulou is a French bistro as well as a traiteur (or delicatessen) and boulangerie (bakery). It’s quickly become a favourite amongst locals and boasts a variety of French fare including all the classics like steak frites, mille-feuille and champagne along with lighter hors d’oeuvres, chicken liver parfait with warm brioche and more. There’s also caviar service and a stacked wine list.
📍 61 Lavender St, Milsons Point