The Best American Restaurants Sydney has to Offer
What exactly typifies American cuisine, you ask? Be it Creole, Cajun, SoCal style or the classic diner cheeseburger, there is something particularly enamouring about those stereotypically American dishes. Luckily for us, the addictive crunch of deep fried chicken, the humble hotdog or the comforting mac ‘n’ cheese side dishes have crept into the Sydney scene and aren’t showing any sign of leaving. Below are the diners, smokehouses and BBQ restaurants offering the best in Americana vibes and cuisine in Sydney.
Paradise Road Diner
Nailing the throwback to 1950s American diner-dining, Paradise Road Diner does eatery classics to a tee. From onion rings ($10) and fried chicken with franks ($18) to the house favourite Paradise Burger ($12.50) you’ll be in diner heaven. The Southern Fried Chicken burger ($15) with cheese, pickled onions, house made chipotle ranch dressing, hot-sauce, tomato and lettuce is a hunger quencher. A side of shaved potato hash brown ($4) and chilli cheese fries ($9) are a must and go down a treat with a caramel or vanilla malt shake ($6).
296 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
With a Southern Cali spin on Americana style, The Eathouse pulls bold flavours and high quality produce together for a refreshing take on diner eats. Think less burgers, more trendy salad, with beetroot fattoush ($16) and roasted eggplant ($18) making way for mains of Southern fried chicken pieces ($19) and the baby quid and chorizo gumbo with green chilli, rice and a spicy tomato sauce ($19). The banana split ($14) with banana ice cream, dulce de leche, chocolate ganache and peanut crumble will stifle any hunger that rears its head.
306 Chalmers Street, Redfern
Barbecue. Burgers. Beer. From the Western saloon styling of Smokey’s Cabin to their array of stacked fries, Surly’s takes Americana to the next level. The buffalo hot wings ($16) with carrot and celery sticks and the nacho salad ($15) are completely moreish, and the American Barbecue offering does slow cooked and smoked cuts to perfection. They also come with a side of cornbread, naturally. The Philly Cheesesteak sandwich ($19) takes flank steak, grilled pepper, onions, and is topped with melted provolone cheese while the smoked Reuben ($19) with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and Gruyere cheese gives Katz’ Deli a run for its money.
182 Campbell Street, Darlinghurst
Staying true to the US diner opening hours, you can drop in for a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Grab a cup of joe (don’t worry the coffee is to Sydney’s standard) or a full three-course dinner. The share plates are a tempting option for the indecisive punter, with crispy fish or pork belly tacos ($12), Southern style fried wings ($15), and Mexican street corn ($12) with manchego, hot sauce and fresh chilli, while the burgers served with your choice of fries or slaw offer an enticing alternative – the Double Phat ($23) with coated fried chicken breast, double smoked bacon, jalapeno, lettuce, lime aioli and hot sauce. The Pimp Fried with truffle and manchego cheese ($11) are just on the heavy side of indulgent and you’d be well advised to finish with the New York baked cheesecake ($15).
410-412 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill
From its pastel hues that pop against checked floor tiles to the pinup uniforms, Doughbox Diner does the 1950’s diner better than anywhere else in Sydney. With several quintessentially American burgers on offer – the Sloppy Joe ($16.99) and the Chilli Cheeseburger ($16.99) are a safe place to start, while the cheese and bacon fries ($14.99) or onion rings ($12.99) will help you mop up any burger sauce left on your plate. The Crepe Cones are the houses’ signature dish, and are available with both sweet and savoury fillings. Add a soda float or sundae to your order and you’ll quickly feel the urge to start responding to questions in Grease lyrics.
137 Enmore Road, Enmore
This haunt is a favourite for locals with a taste for the more refined flavours hailing from the land of Stars and Stripes. A sophisticated approach to share meals, the ‘Seed’ and ‘Feed’ options provide plenty of temptation; the buffalo style chicken skin with buttermilk ranch and dilly beans ($16) and fried oysters with Old Bay mayo ($26) leads into a hearty serve of poutine with beef shin, spring onion and beer cheese ($28). The smoked lamb ribs with sweet pickled peppers will be difficult to resist, and if deciding between dishes proves too trying, the $68 chef’s selection is safe territory.
33 Enmore Road, Newtown
Texas Style barbecue done Sydney style, smoked over Australian Iron Bark Wood until it’s just right; the succulent texture is no longer captive to The States. Served in 100gram increments ($9), the chopped pork, chicken, pork rib, pulled lamb, hot link and delectable beef short ribs have been smoked for up to 12 hours in a hand-built smoker and just melt in the mouth. If choosing between a rib and brisket is just too tough, the two-person Meat Plate ($60) with three choices of meat is the answer. The Bovine & Swine sandwiches with brisket, chopped pork, chicken or pulled lamb with slaw ($14) are unexpectedly decadent and team effortlessly with a side of brisket beans ($5) and pickles ($5).
92 Enmore Road, Newtown
Nola Smokehouse & Bar brings the best of Cajun and Creole cuisine to this thriving harbourside precinct. With a strong focus on smoked meats, and lovingly cooked cuts in the southern-style pit roaster. The restaurant’s impeccable design by Luchetti Krelle sets the scene perfectly, so you can focus on devouring a serve of the dry rubbed and smoked Rangers Valley black onyx brisket ($31) or the impressive bourbon cured and dry aged ‘Zombie’ Rangers Valley prime rib with boubognon dressing and black cabbage ($179/kg) – you’ll probably need a battalion of support for that one. The mac ‘n’ cheese with maple bacon and pretzels ($14) and the fire-blackened carrots ($13) are mandatory accompaniments
If outrageous burgers done in that drool-worthy American style are just what the doctor ordered, get your order in stat. With Down ‘N Out, it’s all about add-ons. The deep-fried cheese patty ($5) or the jalapeno poppers ($2) are all but obligatory on one of the signature house wagyu burgers ($12) packed with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and secret sauce. The Chick’n burger ($13) with Southern fried chicken thigh, shredded lettuce and house ranch dressing will transport you straight to New Orleans and with a side of popcorn chicken ($8) and tiger fries ($6) you’re all set.
557 George Street, Sydney
Hotdogs…hear us out. The guys at dogma know how to deliver dogs to a discerning Sydney palate. Operating under the ‘Dogs with Principle’ philosophy, Dogma does preservative and gluten free artisan sausages that are jam packed with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The rotating Meatless Monday specials are a vegetarian’s dream, while the meat laden Texan or Aussie hot dogs are there to keep the carnivores grinning. With an impressive offering of cocktails and desserts available, you’ll likely find a few reasons to come back.
98 Cronulla Street, Cronulla