The Sydney Restaurants That Are Hardest to Get a Booking For

Bar Copains exclusive restaurants Sydney

It’s not uncommon these days to book a dinner at some of Sydney’s best restaurants months in advance. Whatever the reason for the restaurant’s exclusivity, the journey to get there lends itself to the anticipation of the meal and in many cases, makes it taste that much better.

Sydney restaurant Firedoor famously books out months in advance and if you’ve ever tried some of chef and owner Lennox Hastie’s fire-cooked meats and veggies, you’d understand why. Hastie says the restaurants’ exclusivity fuels the team to innovate and craft something special.

“We are aware that many people have waited a long time to spend an evening with us and may have chosen us to celebrate a special occasion,” Hastie says. “The energy in the room is palpable. The guests are excited to be in the room, creating an incredible vibe that further motivates the team to create a memorable experience.”

Ahead, we’re sharing some of the Sydney venues that are the hardest to get into — from a six-seater Japanese omakase, to a pizza place that doesn’t take reservations.

Café Paci, Newtown

Acclaimed Australian-American chef Danielle Alvarez says Café Paci is one of her favourite restaurants in Sydney. The 45-seater restaurant opened in 2019. Though it’s tricky to find a table here on Friday or Saturday nights, fortunately, the restaurant is also open Mondays to Thursdays and Saturday lunchtime, when you may have better luck.

Matkim, CBD

Matkim is a Korean omakase restaurant in the Sydney Place dining precinct that seats just eight people. The restaurant’s cooking techniques involve elements of air and fire, with locally sourced ingredients and bits imported from Korea, like gamtae seaweed and jeju mandarins. Open Tuesdays to Sundays with 6pm seatings, the restaurant serves only a set omakase menu.

Bar Copains, Surry Hills

Though it’s not easy to get a dinner reservation at Bar Copains on Fridays and Saturdays, the corner café-turned-wine bar is open seven days a week, so there are many other time slots when you might have more luck. The venue opened on Albion Street in 2022, as a “bar for friends”, hence the name. Snacks like chicken liver parfait, raw diced tuna and leeks cooked in a bag are on the menu.

Firedoor, Surry Hills

Firedoor’s chef and owner Lennox Hastie has long been fascinated with fire. He opened the Surry Hills venue in 2015, with the restaurant’s kitchen entirely powered by wood and everything cooked to order. The restaurant seats up to 44 diners at a time. Bookings for reservations in three months’ time open on the first Wednesday of the month at 12pm.

Pellegrino 2000

Taylor Swift visiting Pellegrino 2000 on her Eras Tour in February this year would not have helped everyday folks’ chances of getting a booking. Most tables at the Surry Hills neighbourhood trattoria on Friday and Saturday dinners are booked months in advance. Fortunately, the restaurant is open seven days a week so if you play around with the dates and times, you should be able to make something work.

The Gidley, CBD

The Gidley in the CBD is one of Sydney’s most popular steakhouses, though you’re unlikely to see photos of it on Instagram – the restaurant doesn’t allow phones in its main dining area. The restaurant seats up to 120 diners all up. If you’re keen for a dinner reservation, book ahead – you can book up 30 days in advance with new availability released daily at 7am.

My Mother’s Cousin, Bexley North

My Mother’s Cousin in Bexley North calls itself a fancy takeaway shop. Like a takeaway shop, it doesn’t take reservations, but unlike a shop, it does allow seated dining. Styled as a New York-style pizza parlour, it serves pies with classic toppings, fried chicken wings and sides like porcini and truffle arancini, friends with gravy and bocconcini balls.

Restaurant Hubert, CBD

Good luck scoring a dinner booking at Restaurant Hubert on upcoming Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays — the basement French restaurant books out on these nights well in advance. Though, if you’re keen to dine here soon, you could try walk-in and hope to fill a last-minute cancellation. The restaurant is open seven days a week, with reservations all a two-hour seating time.

Yoshii’s Omakase, Barangaroo

Yoshii’s Omakase is a 10-seat restaurant at the entrance to Nobu in Crown Sydney. The restaurant serves only a ten-course omakase menu with two seating times available, 6pm and 8:45pm. Reservations are released online on the first day of every month. The restaurant is open for dinner only Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Sushi Oe, Cammeray

Sushi Oe is a Japanese-style omakase sushi bar that seats only six diners at a time. Each diner gets a front-row show to Chef Toshihiko Oe preparing each dish. Follow Sushi Oe on Facebook (@sushi-oe-鮨おおえ-100063757112817) or Instagram (@sushioe) to stay up-to-date with when reservations are released.

Related: 10 Sydney Restaurants to Take Out-of-Town Guests

Related: How Restaurants Are Making It Worth Your While to Dine In

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