Vivid Sydney: The Venues with a View
For three weeks, Sydney lights up for Vivid Sydney. Now in its tenth year, the festival just keeps outdoing itself and people come in droves to see the installations. To get the best vantage point and avoid the crowds, we have rounded up the best places to enjoy a meal while taking in some of the finest views of Vivid Sydney.
Arguably Sydney’s most popular tourist dining destination, when it comes to harbour views, it really doesn’t get much better than Opera Bar. Offering a wide range of eats and libations, the alfresco area is perfect for large groups. If you are after the perfect bridge shot or want to get up-close and personal with the Opera House projection, get there for sunset and stay for the Vivid lights.
Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Situated at The Rocks, the MCA rooftop terrace on level 4 will play host to the Bombay Sapphire Pop-Up bar throughout Vivid. On Wednesdays to Saturdays between 5pm-9pm guests will be invited to admire the harbour lights and Jonny Niesche’s MCA light projection, all while sipping on luminescent gin-infused creations. It is free to visit but be sure to check available dates.
140 George Street, The Rocks
This Cuban-style bar boasts unparalleled views over Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge, making it the perfect place to watch the lights during Vivid. Offering a selection of Caribbean-inspired dishes, a curated cocktail list and ample choices of dark liquors, Hacienda spoils diners with an authentic Cuban experience. Make sure to get their early to secure your window seat!
61 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Matt Moran’s famed and awarded harbourside eatery is perfect for fine-diners looking to soak up the Vivid ambience. From the main dining room, diners are spoilt with views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, both centrepieces for the Vivid lights. The local produce-driven menu with wintery staples and extensive wine list will sustain you for a night of Vivid exploration.
1 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Overlooking Circular Quay, Bar Patron is one of the best places to kick off a night at Vivid. Guests can dine à la carte or from a four-course Vivid set menu available from the early opening time of 5pm. Added to the mix is a special drink for Vivid called the G&T&T; think grapefruit, tequila, tonic and fresh lime. We will take two, please!
2 Phillip Street, Circular Quay
Boasting a rooftop set above The Rocks skyline, The Glenmore’s uninterrupted views are popular with Sydneysiders looking to get a birds-eye view of Vivid. The delicious pub fare and range of beers on tap provide the perfect casual setting for a Vivid dinner. The Glenmore rooftop is alfresco, so be sure to rug up!
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Located on the fourth and fifth floors of Hotel Palisade, Henry Deane takes in 180-degree views of Sydney Harbour. The floor to ceiling windows surrounding the bar will ensure that you can see the harbour lights while staying warm. The beautifully styled interiors are an insta-worthy dream, the cocktails are on point and the food is soul-warming. All the makings of a great Vivid night out.
35 Bettington Street, Millers Point
For a contemporary Italian experience, head to Aqua Dining Room for authentic fare and sweeping harbour views. Each night, diners will be able to watch the lights switch on and see the changing colours of the bridge and Opera House. On the opening night from 6pm, book in for the five-course Vivid meal with matching wines to kick off the 22-day festival!
Corner of Paul and Northcliffe Street, Milsons Point