Sydney Waterside Restaurants
The best table in the house is one by the water, so it makes sense that the best restaurants follow the same rule. Sydney is surrounded by water and boasts an amazing number of venues overlooking glittering expanses of the harbour, sandy beaches and calm bays. Whether you want fresh local seafood, international cuisine or modern Australian cooking, Sydney serves it up in a waterside setting.
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Quay showcase Sydney Harbour in all its breathtaking beauty and it helps that the food frequently wins international awards. For another perspective try, Cafe Sydney. Perched on the roof of Customs House, it overlooks the harbour from a high vantage point.
A more casual option is buzzy Opera Bar, where you can enjoy a drink and a dozen oysters right under the Sydney Opera House. Across the harbour, Aqua Dining in Milsons Point is set practically underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. L'Heritage is an idyllic French bistro housed in a historic building overlooking Chowder Bay.
In Barangaroo, a row of stylish restaurants lines the waterfront including seafood at Cirrus, tapas at Born by Tapvino and Turkish at Anason and Banksii. Crown Sydney is the newest luxury development in the area, bosting 11 culinary offerings including Nobu for Japanese, a'Mare for fine dining Italian and Woodcut for wood-fired deliciousness. Nearby Pyrmont is home to LuMi, the Japanese/Italian fine diner with glass walls for views of twinkling harbour lights.
When the Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf was built in 1915, it was the largest wooden structure in the world. It’s now lined with excellent al fresco restaurants, including Otto, China Doll, Manta and Kingsleys. Catalina in Rose Bay has a large outdoor area jutting out over the water and has been a Sydney favourite for 25 years.
Another longstanding restaurant is at nearby Watsons Bay, where the original Doyleshas been serving up fresh fish and more since 1885. Fill up on local seafood then join the party at the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. You can't talk about seaside dining in Sydney and not talk about Bondi. Grab a table across from Sydney’s most famous beach at North Bondi Fish or head to the other side of the beach and sit by the windows at Icebergs Dining Room for views out over the iconic pool.
Drive over the bridge and explore the food offerings of the Northern Beaches. Tuck into contemporary seafood at Ormeggio at The Spit overlooking the marina, make the most of the Sardinian specialties at Pilu at Freshwater or enjoy pizza while overlooking Pittwater at The Newport.
Make a day of it with lunch or dinner at one of the city’s more remote waterside restaurants, which you can get to by car, boat or seaplane. Jonah’s looks over the golden sands of Whale Beach, while Cottage Point Inn and Berowra Waters Inn are tucked in the gentle waterways of the Hawkesbury River.