Italian is unofficially but rightly described as Sydney's second cuisine, rivalled only by the culinary might of Thailand. From the most upmarket eateries to the humblest of pizzerias, Italy's food has made its mark all over the city and continues to thrive and evolve as part of Sydney's vibrant dining scene. Although there are dozens, if not hundreds, of genuinely appealing options to choose from, we've highlighted five of our current favourites to help you cut through the chatter and find some incredible Italian in no time.
Little Italy Allawah
One for the pasta lovers, this little Italian haven has heavenly helpings of Boscaiola, Bolognese, Marinara, Napoletana and Sicilliana to name but a few of the regular favourites. While Allawah's Little Italy can serve you a slice of pizza that you won't forget in a hurry, its selection of fresh pasta and risotto are the stars of the show. If you have room afterwards, don't neglect to try their tiramisu, as it's made in house and is a true taste of Italian decadence.
Bondi Pizza – Brighton Le Sands
Two tiny words of advice: go hungry. Even if you have an appetite for perfect pizza, the sides and starters are just too tempting to ignore, so prepare yourself for an all-out Italian flavour assault. Playful starters like the Salt and Pepper Calamari or Risotto Balls fried with fontina cheese and tomato, herbs and feta will set things off to a good start, before Bondi Pizza brings out the big guns with its signature pizzas.
Prepared with as much care and attention as the classics, the signatures bring just a little extra Bondi character to your plate. The Smokey BBQ Pulled Pork pizza is a revelation, as the rich, meaty flavours are given a little extra zest thanks to the coriander, lemon and balsamic onions. However, it's the Marinated Chargrilled Lamb that sits proudly at the top of the menu, inviting all-comers to enjoy deliciously tender back strip fillets of marinated lamb complete with feta, balsamic onions, roma tomatoes, rocket, sweet potato crisps and creamy Caesar sauce.
Beaches and ice cream are an undeniably appealing combination and Gelatissimo at Cronulla treats this winning formula with all due respect by serving up over 30 flavours of freshly made gelato, including truly tempting salted caramel, peanut butter fudge and macadamia nut. Alongside the superb scoops, there are also plenty of incredible eat-in dessert options like their heavenly gelato doughnuts.
Picture the traditional Italian village where time moves slowly and meals are a special event for gathering and sharing great food, rather than just refuelling – that's essentially the mood that Andiamo aims to capture with its dishes and their delivery. Expect the full range of classic antipasti and insalate, all made with the freshest ingredients and the utmost care that would make a true Italian nonna proud. Southern stonebaked pizza, all-time favourite pasta combinations and some indulgent dolci (sweets) complete the menu and make the trattoria a place you want to try again and again and again. .
Pizza Da Noi
A quintessential vision of the friendly family-run Italian restaurant, Pizza Da Noi gives diners all of the traditional favourites from Americana to Capricciosa while also adding plenty of gourmet options into the mix, such as their eggplant, prosciutto, bocconcini and caramelised onion Melanzana and the ever popular folding favourite – their spinach and ricotta Calzone.