A comprehensive guide to the best Italian restaurants in Darling Harbour
There’s a reason why Italian cuisine is the most popular in the world - when it’s done right, it’s utterly delicious. Think woodfired pizza, dripping with mozzarella, perfectly cooked pasta, slathered in moreish tomato sauce, and, of course, an Italian vino or two.
To help you find the good stuff, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best Italian restaurants in Darling Harbour, Sydney.
In Italy, the best cuisine is found inside homes, served with wine and conversation around the family table. Fratelli Fresh have taken that concept and wrapped a restaurant around it, cooking traditional cuisine and in a friendly, convivial atmosphere.
The Darling Harbour branch is as a ‘dining emporium’ with a communal dining area and several stalls specialising in everything from woodfired pizzas, to handmade pastas, cocktails, tap beers and wines.
How much pizza do you think you could eat in a single sitting? How about three metres? Criniti's is Darling Harbour’s southern Italian restaurant, famous for their massive three metre long wood fired pizzas (which also come in two metre, one metre, half metre and regular sizes).
The menu also includes a long list of modern Italian and Australian favourites, from healthy bowls and salads, to pasta, burgers, bruschetta and risotto. All this in a modern but welcoming venue with a massive harbourside terrace in the heart of Sydney.
In Italy an Osteria is a casual restaurant serving simple but delicious wine and food in a warm welcoming atmosphere. That describes this Darling Square restaurant to a tee.
If you visit in the morning try Osteria Gia's ricotta pancakes with nutella, banana, and strawberries - they’re guaranteed to start your day off right. If you go in the evening you’re spoilt for choice but you have to try the rich, warming beef cheek linguine with pecorino cheese at least once.
Our advice? Skip your lunch and go for dinner so that you can try everything.
Often, the best restaurants serve just one thing and serve it right. That’s the idea behind Spago, a modern Italian restaurant in Darling Square that only serves pasta - made fresh, and delicious every day.
Feeling fussy? No worries, you can build your own bowl. Choose from a list of pasta types, house made sauces and yum toppings then match it all with an Italian wine or beer. Delicioso!
Need a delicious pastry and a coffee for brekky? How about a pizza pasta feast and a beer to wind down after work? Vesta Italian is your best bet.
This modern Italian restaurant in the heart of Darling Quarter is open from early in the morning every day, and closes late at night from Thursday to Saturday. Vesta is always busy, with good reason - the restaurant boasts park views, alfresco dining, authentic pizzas and an extensive drinks list.
Casa Ristorante Italiano
Best views in Darling Harbour ✓
Delicious authentic Italian menu ✓
Full list of cocktails, wines and beers ✓
Sunny alfresco dining area ✓
We could keep going but you get the picture - Casa Ristorante ticks all the boxes, whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a night out in the city. Their pizza, cooked in an authentic brick wood fired oven, may just be the best in Darling Harbour.
Olivo Harbourside serves up a perfectly executed menu of Italian classics made with fresh Australian ingredients. And the best part? It’s got a large alfresco dining area, right on the water’s edge of beautiful Darling Harbour.
Our favourites on the menu include the delicate but delicious zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta, the Moreton Bay Bug ravioli and the surprisingly spicy Fettuccine Gamberi with chilli and prawns. Hungry yet?
Planar describes itself as a Modern Australian restaurant, but it wears its heavy Italian influences on its sleeves.
The view from their terrace is positively meditaranean, taking in a bustling harbour and a busy square, while their menu has touches of Italy including moreish pumpkin arancini and a stunning duck ravioli. Despite all that deliciousness our favorite item on the menu is on the drinks list - a G&T served with Malfy con arancia - a zesty gin made using blood oranges in Southern Italy.
Blackbird Cafe has the best view in Darling Harbour - a stunning 180 degree panorama, taking in the surrounding sea and city. But what really stands out about this place is the food.
We love the Modern Australian menu and its heavy Italian influences. Particularly the phenomenal wood-fired pizzas, and authentic pastas.