There are a lot of great Italian restaurants in Sydney, but Alberto’s Lounge—which works just as well for a quick cocktail as it does for an all-night date—feels unique. Located between two city laneways, the leather banquette seating and close quarters ooze with ‘70s cool, but what really makes this place special is the Australian-influenced Italian menu. Kingfish crudo might come with fermented tomato, and rainbow trout gets served up with pippies, and it all goes well with a wine list of local and Italian options. The same people are behind a bunch of other buzzing spots around town: underground French spot Restaurant Hubert, Sydney’s OG speakeasy Shady Pines, basement bar The Baxter Inn, and Frankie’s, a late-night pizza joint.
photo credit: Ethan Smart