Best Sydney Waterfront Restaurants With A View

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8 minutes Jul 5th, 2021
beautiful waterfront view from a restaurant

When catching up with friends, family or celebrating a special event, it’s not just the food that makes the moment special but also the surrounding view. Sydney is home to a large selection of waterside restaurants that offer amazing iconic views such as Bondi Beach and of one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world; the Sydney Harbour.

But with so many choices available, how do you know which Sydney waterfront restaurant is the best? Well, your search is over as we’ve searched far and wide to list the top waterfront restaurants in Sydney that you absolutely have to check out!

Ormeggio at The Spit, Mosman

people enjoying a drink with a waterfront viewThe Spit is a popular destination for anglers, boating enthusiasts and those who have a love affair with seafood. It offers beautiful views of surrounding boatyards, docks and the connecting bays that stretch into the distance. It is also home to our first top Sydney waterfront restaurant: Ormeggio at The Spit.

With an impressive list of awards, this hatted restaurant has enjoyed immense success since first opening in 2009. They relaunched in 2020 with a new menu that showcases sustainable seafood and Ormeggio’s new look and relaxed feel, including their new cocktail and gelato bar in the centre of the restaurant!

If you’re wanting to finish your weekend while relaxing along the waterfront, Ormeggio has their Stressless Sunday dinner each Sunday night from 4:30pm onwards. It’s a chef’s choice four course menu for $89 per person and is the ultimate way to fully unwind before starting the new week.

Address: D’Albora Marinas, Spit Rd, Mosman NSW 2088

6Head, The Rocks

view of the sydney harbour bridge & opera houseStrolling through the historic laneways of The Rocks will eventually lead you to the waterside of Darling Harbour – and 6HEAD Steakhouse. With rooftops views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Harbour, it ticks all the boxes for anyone searching for the best waterfront restaurants.

Their head chef has curated their modern Australian menu to highlight the quality of their premium cuts of Australian steaks such as their 1.5kg dry-aged tomahawk, rolled lamb belly, t-bone and rib-eye.

But a waterside restaurant without seafood? Not here. 6HEAD Steakhouse offers diners an incredible selection of seafood such as kingfish topped with garlic crème fraîche, whole Sydney Rock lobster bathed in garlic butter and seared Bluefin tuna with oyster emulsion – just to name a few!

Address: 7-27 Circular Quay W, The Rocks NSW 2000

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Bondi Beach

people swimming in a pool with the ocean in the backgroundAs one of the world’s most iconic beaches, Bondi Beach needs no introduction – and nor does our next pick; Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. First opened in 2002, this relaxed yet elegant waterfront restaurant has cemented itself as the must-go-to destination when in Bondi.

When it comes to the best beach restaurants in Sydney, this is it. Their modern Italian menu reflects the quality of the available local produce while demonstrating their head chef’s skill of mastering the balance of Italian flavours. Enjoy a laid back lunch by the water with a menu that features dishes including freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, charcoal-roasted Arcadia spatchcock and a tasting menu if you’re dining with a full table.

As it is nestled on top of the Bondi Icebergs Pool, their rooftop terrace also provides the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends over a few drinks while taking in the panoramic view of people doing laps in the pool as the ocean disappears over the horizon.

Address: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Cirrus Dining, Barangaroo

the view of Sydney CBD at nightLocated on the edge of the central business district is Barangaroo, a picturesque spot along the foreshore of Darling Harbour. Surrounded by views of towering skyscrapers against the backdrop of small waves rippling through the water is Cirrus Dining.

Their sophisticated modern Australian menu will delight your taste buds with dishes such as appellation oysters (the best quality of oysters hand-selected by the farmer), rainbow trout drizzled with trout roe butter sauce and an à la carte menu.

Offering dining areas both inside and outside, Cirrus Dining allows you to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding wharves while enjoying some of the best freshly caught seafood you can find in Sydney.

Address: 23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000

Harbour Bar & Restaurant, Circular Quay Wharf 6

boats sailing along Sydney harbourFor the best waterfront view, why not dine on the water instead? If having dinner in a floating restaurant as it sails down Darling Harbour sounds like a great way to have the best views possible, you wouldn’t be wrong, and the Harbour Bar & Restaurant offers just that.

Catering to a range of occasions, they offer a Sunset Dinner Cruise for those looking for a romantic way to spend their evening, a Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise with a 6-course degustation fine dining menu, a Top Deck Lunch Cruise with a 3-course à la carte menu and more.

Whether you want to get your sea legs or enjoy incredibly delicious food as the sights of Sydney Harbour slowly drift by, the Harbour Bar & Restaurant is hard to pass up!

Address: Circular Quay Wharf 6, Sydney NSW 2000

Ripples Chowder Bay, Mosman

a delicious cheese platter with the water in the backgroundFormally an important strategic point of defence in the 1890s for protecting Sydney Harbour from potential attacks, Chowder Bay now serves as a popular destination for hungry diners searching for an incredible waterfront view. And nestled along the stunning Mosman shoreline is Ripples Chowder Bay.

Dining on their outside deck area provides one of the most stunning views of Chowder Bay. During the day, you can enjoy a delicious waterfront lunch while gazing upon the intense aqua blue waters of the surrounding bay. During the night, you can enjoy the best waterfront dining under the stars as the Sydney skyline twinkles into the distance.

Every Sunday evening, Ripples Chowder Bay offers their mouthwatering Ripples Roast, with your choice of roast beef and horseradish or roast pork belly and onion stuffing! If you’re a fan of truffles (and who isn’t), you can also enjoy their Truffle Dinner Series. It offers a four course menu designed by their head chef to showcase the hero ingredient of winter – the truffle!

Address: Building 7 C, Chowder Bay Rd, Mosman NSW 2088

Waterfront Grill, Darling Harbour

boats docked in the Sydney harbourStanding out from other restaurants on the Sydney Harbour waterfront is the Waterfront Grill. Just a stone throw away from the harbourside, it offers a front-row seat to sites such as the notes
and the CBD. As Darling Harbour’s premier steakhouse, you can expect a menu offering the most succulent and mouth-watering steaks and burgers.

Who said breakfast was too early for steak? The Waterfront Grill’s breakfast menu features their “it’s steak time” breakfast, with a plump 150 gram grilled sirloin steak served with eggs, bacon, hash browns, tomato and mushrooms.

In the mood for a last-minute waterfront lunch when exploring the city? No problem. Their lunch menu has options such as slow-cooked pulled pork burgers, braised lamb shank and roast chicken basted in their signature housemade spicy sauce!

Address: 289 Harbourside Promenade, Darling Harbour, NSW 2000

Sails On Lavender Bay, McMahons Point

the Sydney harbour bridge as the sun setsThe harbourside suburb of McMahons Point is a great place to discover amazing waterfront restaurants with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House when enjoying the company of friends and family.

Having some of the most beautiful views that look like they belong on a postcard, the lunch and dinner menu at Sails On Lavender Bay showcases their modern interpretation of classic French cooking techniques. Woodside goats curd cannoli, Grimaud duck breast with macadamia cream and honey and lavender crème brûlée with pistachio ice cream are just some of the mouth-watering dishes available!

Of course, a meal is not complete without a matching wine, and Sails On Lavender Bay boasts an extensive award-winning wine list, complete with a selection of vintage wines sourced around Europe and Australia.

Address: 2 Henry Lawson Ave, McMahons Point NSW 2060

The Pantry Manly

view of bondi beach as the sun sets in the distanceIf it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then the beachfront view from The Pantry Manly is absolutely priceless. Although it may sound corny, it in no way undervalues just how hypnotic watching the setting sun disappear behind the distant waves can be while knocking back a drink or two.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the perfect spot to take in the majestic views of the ocean breaking along the shoreline while surfers glide through the waves. Manly Beach has always been known for its great surfing conditions, and in fact, it was where the first World Surfboard Championship was held back in 1964.

Fully utilising fresh, local and seasonal produce, The Pantry Manly offers a menu filled with flavoursome dishes such as crispy skin Atlantic salmon, succulent venison wellington and black truffle and mushroom risotto. If you’re wanting to enjoy breakfast by the water while watching the sunrise, then their eggs benedict served on toasted sourdough with roasted cherry tomatoes is seriously on another level!

Address: Ocean Promenade, North Steyne, Manly Sydney, NSW, 2095

Cafe Sydney, Sydney CBD

yachts sailing on the sydney harbour at night and it's beautifulNot only is Cafe Sydney known as an iconic dining experience, but it is also usually the first name on anyone’s lips when wanting to enjoy delicious food with a breathtaking view of the Sydney CBD bustling away in the background.

Referred to as the “jewel in the crown of the Customs House”, Cafe Sydney offers the most spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Harbour from its rooftop location in the Customs House. With stunning views this good, the food has to equally match – and their executive chef pulls out all the stops.

Seafood lovers will be in heaven with dishes such as South Coast flathead with Jerusalem artichoke cream, Mirror Dory with shaved fennel drizzled with lemon herb butter, and Tandoori-roasted salmon with mint yogurt and onion potato bhaji. There is also a full vegan menu, which makes Cafe Sydney the perfect spot to enjoy the company of friends as you take in some of the most iconic views the world has to offer.

Address: 5 Sydney Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000

Catalina, Rose Bay

a fancy dining setting at a waterfront restaurant in sydney

Catalina has been a staple in Sydney for over 27 years, offering amazing food and wine with a superb waterfront location to match. Catalina caters for all occasions, perfect for a special romantic dinner, large celebration or afternoon sampling fine wines.

The scenery offers panoramic windows that look over the water at passing yachts and ferries and a seal or dolphin if you are lucky! We recommend the terrace on sunny days to really soak in all that Sydney Harbour offers while you indulge in Executive Chef Mark Axisa, and Head Chef Alan O’Keeffe’s creations.

Catalina’s menu offers some of the best seafood in Sydney, especially their Sydney Rock Oysters, fresh poached Australian Marron and Soy Cured King Salmon. The Pan Fried Snapper is also particularly popular, but you can’t go wrong with the expertly prepared dishes that have the freshest ingredients around.

Address: Lyne Park, New South Head Rd, Rose Bay NSW 2029

The Boathouse

an outdoor waterfront restaurant setting in sydney at the boathouse restaurant

The Boathouse is the perfect place for both a swanky lunch or a quick bite after a day in Manly. Only accessible by foot, this Shelly Beach venue toggles the perfect line between cafe and restaurant, making it great for all occasions.

From smoothies to a bottle of wine and a long Sunday lunch, you’ll find plenty of great beachside food and drinks here. There’s a kiosk for beachside takeaways, and above all, the atmosphere is perfect for s sunny day by the water.

Swing on down between 2-4pm daily to enjoy $12 Margaritas and $12 Aperol Spritz, along with loads of other drink specials for happy hour!

Address: Shelly Beach, 1 Marine Parade, Manly NSW 2095

Empire Lounge

a waitress holding two plates of oysters at empire lounge restaurantThe Empire Lounge always seems to have a happy hour deal or special event, keeping the spot busy while you enjoy views over the glistening waters of Rose Bay.

The Friday Happy Hour is the perfect way to enjoy after-work drinks from 4-6 pm, and on weekends, you can enjoy a huge spread as part of the Empire Breakfast & Brunch.

The focus, however, is the Oyster special, which is available all day every day, featuring oysters from over 60 farms on Australia’s Oyster Coast; you’ll score 12 oysters and a couple of glasses of Moet Champagne for just $85.

Address: Lyne Park, Rose Bay NSW 2029

Our bustling city is home to many great restaurants on the water that all offer a wide selection of incredibly delicious food that feature flavours from across the globe. Whether it’s a waterfront breakfast, lunch or dinner you’re after, these are our top picks for where to find the best Sydney waterfront restaurants with a view.

If you’re more in the mood for something a little fancier, like a fine dining experience like no other, then check out where you can find Sydney’s most Michelin star-worthy restaurants.