Beautiful by day and magical by night, some of the most enjoyable dining locations can be found on Sydney City's doorstep. Explore the restaurants around Cockle Bay, Pyrmont, The Rocks, Walsh Bay and Woolloomooloo Wharf. Dining by Sydney Harbour should not to be missed.
Grand waterfront lunches
In Sydney, a love of all things aquatic and coastal translates to waterside dining that, at its best, is extraordinary. And what better place to start than Bondi Beach?
At the north end, Matt Moran and the gang at North Bondi Fish do perfect beer‐battered fish and chips, swordfish skewers with soy and mustard and prawn tacos, with a very smart wine list. Sean's Panaroma also has postcard views and a great contemporary menu. At the southern end Icebergs Dining Room and Bar is home to a savvy modern Italian menu and one of the best restaurant views in the world.
The Bathers Pavilion, housed in a superb Deco building at Balmoral Beach never fails to thrill. In the restaurant, Serge Dansereau presents steak tartare with smoked dates, lemon verbena and radish flowers, while in the cafe it’s all about the three‐egg omelette with smoked salmon and hash browns.
Many of the inner-city’s best restaurants take full advantage of the stunning harbour. Located in The Rocks, perennial favourite Quay boasts million-dollar views exceeded only by its cuisine, and it’s one of only two Australian restaurants on the prestigious S. Pellegrino World's Top 50 List. On Woolloomooloo’s finger wharf you’ll find inventive modern Italian trailblazer Otto Ristorante where Head Chef, Richard Ptacnik lets the ingredients do the talking.
In Pyrmont, Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar is located on Jones Bay Wharf, surrounded by views of a sparkling Sydney Harbour. Dine on the freshest, sweetest marron or blue-eye trevalla from a highly-seasonal menu. And in the spectacular dining room of Bennelong, in the Sydney Opera House, Chef Peter Gilmore's produce-driven menu provides one of Sydney’s best dining experiences.
The city’s top Italian operators have done a particularly good job with waterfront brilliance. MasterChef favourite Alessandro Pavoni has two eateries at the marina at The Spit in Mosman, his glam fine‐diner Ormeggio, where sea lettuce and salmon roe enliven squid and mussel tagliolini, and Chiosco, an outdoor celebration of the casual and the breezy.
In Sydney's north, Hugos Manly occupies a prime spot on Manly Wharf - the ferry takes you almost to the door. Pavoni’s pal Giovanni Pilu has also been a drawcard at Harbord for many a year, thanks to the warm service and full‐flavoured contemporary Italian food at Pilu at Freshwater.
And former Ormeggio head chef Federico Zanellato has brought the cucina moderna magic to the harbour, combining the traditions of Italy with the flavours of Japan to winning effect at LuMi in Pyrmont. For a cool and casual vibe, tuck into the likes of soft shell crab sliders or mini lobster rolls at the Beach Club at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.