There’s no doubt about it — Sydney is filled with breathtaking views. Nothing takes food to the next level like an amazing view. Whether you’re visiting Sydney for a short while or you’re a local, here are the very best water view restaurants Sydney has to offer.
The restaurant: Born from the creative vision of famous Australian chef Matt Moran, Aria is widely renowned as one of Australia’s finest restaurants. With its enviable harbourside location in a stunning, art-filled space, Aria offers the best seasonal produce and a world-class wine list alongside sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The view: Bask in a glorious view of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Australian Opera House.
The atmosphere: Aria boasts a warm, welcoming atmosphere — refined but not over the top, with extraordinary service and impeccable attention to detail. This is one fine dining experience that truly warrants its price tag.
The food: The stunning seasonal menu, designed by Executive Chef Joel Bickford, famously showcases unique and native Australian ingredients. The taste and presentation are wonderful, even surreal in execution, with taste, texture, complexity and visuals combining to create a stellar experience.
Menu recommendations: The chef’s tasting menu is highly recommended with the wine pairings. The meat here is so tender it is a religious experience in and of itself. Try the Australian Wagyu rump, oysters, truffled mashed potatoes and lamb, served simply with artichoke, white beans and garlic veloute.
The restaurant: Situated in the iconic Sydney Opera House complex with magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour, Bennelong Restaurant and Bar offers a modern Australian menu showcasing the best in local food and wine.
The view: This is without a doubt one of the best views in Sydney.
The atmosphere: The ambience is classy but inviting and comfortable. The restaurant carries the iconic architecture of Sydney Opera House into the interior of the restaurant.
The food: The cuisine is robust, simple and wonderfully presented, allowing the exquisite flavours of the ingredients to sing. The menu was crafted in partnership with farmers, fishermen, breeders and providores across Australia, with all ingredients sourced locally from within Australia. The whimsical dessert menu is based on traditional Australian sweets, while the wine list features the best boutique wines from all around Australia.
Menu recommendations: Don’t miss the desserts, especially the cherry jam lamington and pavlova. For main courses, the wild-caught barramundi is a favourite, as are the Hawkesbury confit duck and roasted Arkady lamb loin.
The restaurant: Capturing the essence of Sydney from its stunning rooftop location, Cafe Sydney is the perfect place to head for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
The view: This cafe offers spectacular harbour views from the rooftop of Customs House, with an outdoor terrace and cocktail lounge. The impressive views stretch out over the water toward the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
The atmosphere: Cafe Sydney’s relaxed, contemporary interior and friendly service make it the perfect destination for a relaxing brunch.
The food: The cafe serves up classic modern Australian cuisine. Serving sizes are generous and good value, and pair nicely with the selection of wines and cocktails on offer.
Menu recommendations: Be sure to leave room for dessert even if you’re not usually a sweet tooth because there’s plenty to enjoy, from the divine dessert platters to the fantastic vegan sorbet desserts.
The restaurant: This stunning converted boatshed looks over the magnificent Blackwattle Bay. A paradise for seafood lovers, the restaurant offers some of the freshest fish you can find in Sydney.
The view: Enjoy magical views across the beautiful Blackwattle Bay, overlooking Sydney’s spectacular skyline, the Anzac Bridge and Sydney Fish Market. Arrive just before sunset to watch the sky fill with beautiful shades of rose and orange over the water.
The atmosphere: The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay feels warm and welcoming from the moment you step inside. Come here if you want a friendly and private atmosphere.
The food: The Boathouse is well-known among Sydney locals for offering some of Australia’s best local fish and seafood, freshly caught every day.
Menu recommendations: Feast on freshly shucked oysters, the signature snapper pie with its creamy buttery sauce, and grilled prawns.
The restaurant: Perched at the end of Kurraba Point wharf, Celsius Coffee Co.’s expansive water views and laid back vibes make this cafe a winner. This hidden gem, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of central Sydney, is well-worth the trip.
The view: There aren’t many cafes anywhere that boast more spectacular views than this Kirribilli café. The eastern view extends from Lady Macquarie’s Chair all the way to Rose Bay.
The atmosphere: The cafe is cozy and peaceful, offering prompt and friendly service. Because it’s such a small space, it’s ideal as an intimate brunch spot on weekends. Word of warning: it’s usually very busy on weekends, so head there early (before 10am) to avoid a queue and snatch up a waterside table.
The food: The food is delicious, wholesome and healthy.
Menu recommendations: You can’t go wrong with a Celsius breakfast. Try the famous signature Celsius waffle with berries or their fabulous breakfast poke bowl.
The restaurant: The Gantry Restaurant specialises in locally sourced produce and delicious cocktails, offered in a chic waterside location.
The view: This harbourside spot is understated but lovely. The deck outside is the perfect place for a long weekend lunch in the sun.
The atmosphere: The atmosphere is mellow with quietly impressive service.
The food: The Gantry has a fantastic selection of pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan options with both tasting menus and a la carte available. The food is both creative and delicious. If you’re looking for a great way to relax and try a variety of dishes, try the tasting menu. The wine list is simple but perfectly pairs with the food.
Menu recommendations: Enjoy a feast of Western Australia Honey Bugs, raw kingfish or kangaroo dishes. The vegan tasting menu is very creative with fantastic flavours. The wagyu is tender and flavourful.
The restaurant: Known for its innovative Italian food, Ormeggio’s food is made with locally sourced produce. Enjoy modern Australian-Italian in a stylish locale.
The view: The seaside deck offers a calm and relaxing view of the marina. Book a table for around sunset to bask in the glorious, rosy views of the harbour.
The atmosphere: This is a classy yet laid back restaurant with an intimate feel.
The food: Each dish features tantalising Italian flavours and creative, fun presentation. Ormeggio is renowned for its degustation menus, which allow guests to try many smaller dishes to make up a balanced meal.
Menu recommendations: Try the 7-course ‘Trip through Italy’ degustation menu to taste regional Italian dishes with a modern Australian twist. We highly recommend the pasta with Moreton bugs and prawns. Oh, and order extra truffle!
The restaurant: Right by McMahons Point wharf, this gorgeous boutique restaurant offers airy harbourside views with modern local, seasonal cuisine and superb wine.
The view: Sails on Lavender Bay boasts postcard views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, making it the perfect venue for people wanting to experience the quintessential beauty of Sydney’s harbour. Ask for a waterside table for an amazing view of Sydney’s skyline at water level. At night, enjoy a breathtaking view of Luna Park Sydney’s glittering lights and watch the iconic ferries dock in and out.
The atmosphere: This is intimate fine dining. The atmosphere here is classy but not pretentious, in a bright, clean and spacious space. Staff are friendly, courteous and knowledgeable about the menu.
The food: The degustation menu with wine pairing is a treat for the senses, featuring interesting flavour combinations and fresh local produce with gorgeous presentation. The portion sizes are generous and the wine list is extensive.
Menu recommendations: To enjoy a sample of some of Australia’s best dishes, treat yourself to the Degustation menu. From the Black Angus Sirloin to the freshly shucked oysters, seared scallops or mushroom pie with seasonal mushrooms, celeriac, onion lyonnaise and mushroom tea, you can’t go wrong here.
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