Sydney, New South Wales

Occupying the old site of Noble House restaurant in Bent Street and run by the same people behind the street-level Barrafina upstairs, Contrabando carries on the Latin theme but in a more casual street-food style. Look for the graffiti covered door and slip downstairs to chow on mini chorizo hot dogs and spiced duck and pumpkin empanadas.
Opening Times

General info


21 Bent Street,
Basement Level, Noble House
Sydney CBD NSW 2000


Sydney CBD



Bar snacks, Gluten free available, Latin American, Shared Plates, Tapas

Price Range:

$$$$ ~ $$$$


Fully Licensed (no BYO)

More info


Found along Bent Street in Sydney, Contrabando is ideal for business lunches, and located within walking distance of a number of Sydney’s offerings, including Circular Quay, countless ferries, and a host of other city favourites. Look out for the graffitied walls and black doors, blink and you might miss it.

Contrabando is a unique restaurant in Sydney's CBD, drawing inspiration from the flavours and traditions of Southern California, Texas, Latin America, with a subtle hint from our neighbours in the East. New cooking techniques meet old-school flavours here, combine this with Sydney’s best produce and it’s definitely worth the trip to try the yellowfin tuna ceviche “mini tacos”, the kingfish tostadas with a chilli mint and coriander salad or the mini chorizo “dirty water dog” with habanero mustard and salsa criola. Also expect chargrilled corn with chipotle mayo, suckling pig quesadillas, popcorn prawns and freshly smashed avocado to make wonderfully whipped guacamole.


Executive chef Peter Varvaressos has an uncanny instinct for what Sydneysiders want; from $3 taco Tuesday, slider Monday and a gluten free menu to Contrabando’s approachable wine list, attractive bevvy of wait staff and buzzing vibe. He’s nailed it. You know why I know this? Three words: derrières on pews or rather, bums on seats. From lunch through to dinner, Contrabando is almost a full house and this is by no-means an easy feat given the current hospitality climate but also taking into account the size of the restaurant with space for 130 guests.

The menu is built around a few familiar Mexican signposts like ceviche and taqueria however, “the munchies” and “a little something on the side” garner much of my attention. Wedges of hot suckling pig quesadilla, come with a coriander salsa verde, adding a dash of freshness to an otherwise rich and potentially oily dish. Char grilled corn tastes like it does in Mexico, with gratings of queso (cheese) and a sharp chipotle mayo, however it is slices of richly marbled ocean trout that force me to put my fork down. The perfectly cured ceviche, has a hint of a cinnamon-like sweetness that is perfected contrasted by a slither of a mild jalapeno and a drizzle of the same coriander salsa verde as the quesadilla. While the menu has foundations in Mexican fare, Chef Varvaressos surpasses any deeply rooted traditionalist notions, in a good way. Local ingredients, such as Hawkesbury calamari, are teamed up with a fragrant quinoa salad while paleo-friendly sweet potato fries are served with chipotle aioli.
Anna Lisle

Specials & Events

This restaurant has not scheduled any event.


Please contact the restaurant for further information.
220 pax
Functions and venue hire
Contrabando is a moodily lit and slick modern restaurant. The large, sprawling space fits up to 220 guests standing or 130 seated, ideal for larger-scale events including corporate functions, milestone anniversary celebrations, networking events, and large dinner events. Features include a unique underground space in the heart of Sydney's CBD, state of the art PA music system, custom built stage for live music, controlled lighting, air conditioning, separate bar area and a liquor licence till 12pm.

Contact Contrabando directly on (02) 9231 0049 or email


Late Night Dining
Suitable for Groups of 10
This restaurant does not have any awards.


This restaurant has not being recommended yet.
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