Sydney’s vibrant dining scene boasts an unassailable advantage in the form of our harbour, and thankfully for us, the city’s savvy restaurateurs know exactly how to capitalise on it. We’ve found the establishments that have best exploited their proximity to our beloved waters and we recommend you pay each of them a visit.
Inventive dishes with a modern take on the culinary traditions of Hong Kong, Japan and South-East Asia, China Doll is a firm waterside favourite. China Doll covers all the classics including steamed prawn dumplings, duck pancakes and Penang slow braised wagyu beef shin curry. Banquet menus offer mouth-watering share plates, including steamed scallops, crispy pork belly and corn and zucchini cakes.
4/6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
Enjoy one of the most scenic views of Sydney Harbour from the comfort of dining destination Empire Lounge. With its Hamptons style fit-out, beautiful views and delicious cuisine set near the iconic Rose Bay Wharf, the Empire Lounge provides the perfect space for a ladies long lunch. Encompassing floor to ceiling glass windows showcasing the breathtaking view of Sydney’s glistening harbour, sink into the relaxing ambience as you enjoy a cocktail or three on a balmy afternoon.
Lyne Park, Rose Bay
Sitting pretty on Sydney’s picturesque Hickson Road, The Gantry is a sophisticated establishment. The sleek bar is a tempting spot to pull up a stool for a cocktail before heading over to the dining room. A blend of contemporary chic and classically heritage design, the refined ambience is impossible to ignore, you’ll likely decide that settling in for one of their tasting menus is the right choice.
11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Another Bondi classic, there are few oceanfront views more iconic than this. Perfectly placed to take advantage of Bondi’s delicious sea air, the Dining Room offers an evolving menu based on regional Italian cuisine. Seasonal cured meats are available alongside antipasti, and the kangaroo agnolotti. The Icebergs tasting menu is a safe option if missing out just isn’t going to work for you.
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach
Italian with an elevating Japanese twist, LuMi overlooks the water of Pyrmont Bay. With only ten or fourteen course tasting menus available, commitment to the meal is mandatory – and honestly, this is a relationship anyone would be desperate to merry into.
56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Elegantly positioned beside Middle Harbour, Chiosco invites customers to spritz their way through a long lunch, which is focused on the diverse cuisine across the Italian coastline. The Chef’s sharing feast takes patrons through a series of flavoursome dishes from calamari to pork belly. An a la carte menu also offers pasta dishes and if you’re feeling hungry the slow-roasted whole lamb shoulder for two is the perfect leisurely eat.
The Jetty, D’Albora Marina The Spit, Spit Road, Mosman
With waterfront views and open-air seating on its deck, Foy’s contemporary Australian cuisine make for an enjoyable evening by the water. While basking in the views tuck into the fried baby squid and vego tacos. The barramundi schnitzel is a favourite while you have to make sure to try the blue swimmer crab linguine.
76 McDougall Street, Kirribilli
Perched on the waters of glimmering Rose Bay, Catalina has been serving impeccable cuisine to the well-to-do since 1994. An extensive (and awarded) wine list is teamed expertly alongside a healthy smattering of cocktails while freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters keep the seafood obsessed happy.
Lyne Park, Rose Bay
Loved our pick of the best waterside restaurants in Sydney and looking for more dining inspo? Head straight to our Eat & Drink section for the latest and greatest restaurants, bars and cafés you need to check out.