With the Rio de Janeiro games just around the corner, what better way to get in the Olympic spirit than to head to one of Sydney’s best South American restaurants. Here, we’ve pulled together our top ten.
Taking up a prime position on Manly Wharf, Papi Chulo’s dining room offers uninterrupted views across the harbour. Start with tequila cocktails and carry on with giant burgers, rich, melt-in-the-mouth briskets, falling-off-the-bone ribs, crispy chicken wings and maybe a side of curly fries.
If rockabilly chefs Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate don't lure you into Porteno, the imaginative share dishes and bespoke meats sizzling over the central fire pit will. Start upstairs at Gardels Bar while waiting for a table (Porteno only accepts reservations for groups of 5 or more), before sampling what is touted as the best South American menu in Sydney.
You’ve probably already seen photos of LP’s on our favourite food blogger’s instagram accounts – their smoked Toulouse sausage and lamb belly are among the most uploaded food items and one visit to this Chippendale restaurant and you’ll understand why. Smoking is their specialty but cured dishes come a close second. Limited reservations for groups of 8–12. Smaller groups are welcome on a walk in basis. A 10% service fee is applicable for groups of 8 or more.
This Surry Hills restaurant is Sydney's favourite tapas joint, where the menu offers a playful mashup of South American and Spanish small plates and everything's served by perfectly quiffed wait staff. This is a place where the bar is taken seriously and worked by bryl-creamed gentlemen. Try something from the killer cocktail list.
At Braza, you may be sitting on the rooftop of Westfield Miranda, but the food will take you somewhere much more exotic - all the way to Brazil. Wait staff carve the meat directly onto your plate and you can go in for as many rounds as you like.
The corporate crowd flock to this Bent Street destination to feast on a mix of Latino-style street food and fancy festive fare. Look for the graffiti covered door and slip downstairs to chow on mini chorizo hot dogs and spiced duck and pumpkin empanadas.
Encompassing the flavours, aromas and presentation of South American cuisine, Boca Argentinean Grill Darlinghurst's answer to all things Argentinean. Laid back and colourful, Boca takes guests on a journey through each region of this eclectic country using its parillo (barbecue). Expect plenty of meat, empanadas and regional salads, all designed to share with a bottle of red from the homeland.
Char & Co is encouraging Double Bay diners to put down their wheatgrass shots and sink their teeth into some real Brazilian churrasco. The South American steakhouse has fire-roasted meat down pat, with 20 different types of skewered protein as well as sausages, poultry and seafood.
This former Sydney car garage has been transformed into a hip, inner city restaurant. Argentine-born chef Oscar Gorosito has created a menu featuring refined South American favourites such as sticky pork ribs and empanadas.
Smack-bang in the heart of Leichhardt's "little Italy", Braza Churrascaria is a meat lover's dream: colossal skewers of meat are ushered from the charcoals direct to the table. Groups large and small feast on plates piled high with scrumptious meats, while the sounds of a live guitar and djembe duo matched by the animated chatter of guests fill the restaurant.