Sydney, New South Wales

2015 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards - 2 Glasses Award
Restaurants like Popolo, in Sydney's Rushcutters Bay, is the reason why Italian cuisine is one of Australian's favourites. Tucked away in an odd position, just around the corner of Neild Avenue on McLachlan Avenue, Popolo is the brainchild of former Fratelli Paradiso manager Flavio Carnevale. The classic Italian menu is inspired by Flavio's childhood favourite dishes with his new head chef’s cheeky modern Italian take on them. The fit out is simple yet sophisticated overlooking a leafy courtyard I note they’ve christened their ‘piazza’ of course.
Opening Times

General info


50 McLachlan Avenue
Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011


Rushcutters Bay



European, Italian, Pizzas

Price Range:

$$$$ ~ $$$$


Fully Licensed (no BYO)

More info


Experience has taught me that if a restaurant bears the title "authentic" in its name or menu, it'll be anything but. At Popolo, there's no mention of it anywhere but the evidence is where it counts – on the plate. The menu is influenced by seasonality, with a pesce dish that changes daily or weekly, depending on what's been caught that morning from the fish markets. The menu delivers regional classics without scaring off your conservative Italian dining companions (you know, those friends who won't order anything but margherita pizza). Inspired by the heritage of owner Flavio’s Southern Italian Basilicata upbringing (Flavio is the son of a reknown organic butcher & salumist in his home region) and an exciting new head chef since 2015, Naomi Lowry, ex head chef Bowral’s Biota Dining & prior to that at Pilu Freshwater – the food has never been better With Flavio’s award winning Southern Italian dominated wine list and an experienced floor team who all seem to display in-depth knowledge of the food and wine they are serving (rare these days) it’s easy to settle in for a long lunch or buzzy dinner.

To start, the swordfish carpaccio, a fleshier and more textural fish, marries well with a dehydrated mandarin peel crumb and toasted almond flakes. If I had to find a fault, the dish could have used a squeeze of lemon that would have taken it to the next level. The squid ink tagliatelle, cooked al dente, involves just a few ingredients, as the best Italian dishes do, with hunks of spanner, king and blue swimmer crab, a handful of sun ripened cherry tomatoes and torn shreds of basil. The fish of the day is a piece of crisp-skinned snapper, served with roasted baby zucchini flowers and cherry tomatoes. Classic flavour combinations, executed perfectly – this dish was a reminder that simple is often the best.

Flavio’s motivation behind Popolo: "We want our guests to be able to close their eyes and be transported to Positano, Puglia, Basilicata and Sardegna with every mouthful." I've got to say, dinner at Popolo was undoubtedly an inexpensive Italian holiday, albeit a little short and it gets even easier to pop in now they are also serving unique weekend Southern Italian breakfast!
Anna Lisle

Specials & Events

This restaurant has not scheduled any event.


Please contact the restaurant for further information.


Award Winning / Hatted
Bar / Wine Bar
Outdoor Dining
Suitable for Families with children
Suitable for Functions
Suitable for Groups of 10
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards - 2015
2 Glasses Award
SMH Good Food Guide Awards - 2014
One Chef Hat


This restaurant has not being recommended yet.
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Italophile - 8/09/2012
I've dined here a couple of times now and I will most definitely be returning. The place buzzes with life and it feels like you are an honoured guest at an Italian house party. There is loads of love in the food, which is simple and delicious. Pastas are all hand made and just the right quantities. Gamberoni are legendary and served with aplomb by waiters who are confident and friendly. Really interesting wines which are all italian and even the cocktails and beers where also all Italian. This is a little adventure. The owners are right there as part of the team and very charming and gracious. No pretense whatsoever. Tiramisu was particularly delicious. I see that they are now open for breakfast on the weekends. Hold that table! I'll be there.