Want to catch the best lights at VIVID this year and have a great meal to go with it?
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite restaurants to visit during VIVID for unbeatable Harbour Bridge and Opera House views – guaranteed to be an experience to remember.
The Dining Room, located in Park Hyatt Hotel, is renowned for their unrivalled Opera House views, and exceptional culinary experience helmed by Australian chef James Viles. You’ll get (practically) a front-row seat to all the stunning Opera House art displays, as well as enjoying their bespoke menu ‘The Vivid Series’, featuring a delicious seafood platter for two and potted mussels. Plus, you can also book into a guaranteed window seat so your night goes uninterrupted. Find out more here.
Sit back and soak up the breathtaking views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House at Luna Lu, all whilst enjoying their bespoke degustation menus. Their VIVID partnership with Penfolds unveils an out-of-this-world wine dinner, with a 5-course degustation menu paired with a selection of premium Penfolds wine. Experience all of this in Luna Lu’s signature Dining Dome, great for snapping photos and creating unforgettable memories. Find out more there.
Ploós is another residency in the Campell’s Cove promenade, complemented by the sparkling backdrop of Sydney Harbour and offering an authentic menu with influences of Cyprus, Crete and the surrounding Middle East. Throughout the VIVID month, you can take a seat at Ploós and enjoy their exclusive Sydney Meze Menu and delicious cocktails. Chef Peter Conistis has created a $70 Mezze Menu with the option of a cheeky $5 Ouzo addition, dry anise-flavoured aperitif in case of a chilly night.
The restaurant is also hosting an exclusive Arts Series’ Dinner on May 31st in honour of the late Australian artist, John Olsen (in celebration of his iconic works beamed over the Sydney Opera House). For one night only, enjoy a special dinner with the artist’s family and friends for a moving tribute. Find out more here.
Formerly a heritage warehouse, Hickson House Distilling Co is only a stone’s throw away from the harbour and a short walk from all the stunning VIVID views. Step inside and notice the distillery sills and barrels sitting alongside the bar, as well as over 600 bottles of spirits from around the globe. For two nights only during VIVID, you can sit at the “Distiller’s Table” and enjoy an exclusive dinner created by celebrity chef Sean Connolly. Hickson House Distilling Co will take you through an in-depth gin and whisky masterclass all whilst you enjoy a delicious three-course menu with a drink on arrival and cocktails to match each course. Find out more here.
Opened by celebrated Irish chef Clare Smyth (the first and only British female to have a 3 Michelin star restaurant, Core, to her name), Oncore is Clare’s first restaurant outside of the United Kingdom in Crown Sydney. Oncore offers an unparalleled fine dining experience like no other, boasting the best harbour views from Level 26. The menu at Oncore features a selection of Core’s classic dishes, as well as new dishes inspired by Sydney, the harbour and its surrounds. Opt for a 3-course a la carte menu or a 7-course tasting menu as you enjoy the spectacular view of the light shows below you. Find out more here.
83 floors above Sydney CBD lies Bar 83, with a vibrant nod to retro decor. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you can get a 260-degree glimpse of Sydney’s stunning cityscape and all the VIVID activations from one birds-eye angle. The 70’s inspired cocktail lounge has a seasonal cocktail menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients. Relax, order a drink and unwind as the bar rotates you through all the sights.
Located on the harbour foreshore in Balmain East, The Fenwick offers amazing harbour bridge views and a great vantage point to watch all the VIVID lights away from the hustle and bustle. Dinner seatings are from 6pm, with local and seasonal produce being used so you always get the best flavours. The restaurant is also hosting an Opening Night Dinner with an immersive evening and front row seats across Barangaroo. Treat yourself to an indulgent 5-course degustation menu and make it a night to remember with a classic or premium wine pairing. Find out more here.
It’s everyone’s favourite harbourside Mexican eatery and the world’s only dining and drinks destination to partner with Patrón Tequila, infusing it throughout every Margarita and cocktail on the drinks list. Soak up the best of VIVID from Bar Patrón’s window-side marble bar, offering magnificent views of the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay. If you’re seeking a casual no-fuss dining experience, the team have put together a colourfully flavourful VIVID Set Menu, with 4-courses of delicious Mexican cuisine for only $49pp, and it’s available every day during the festival. Find out more here.
Quay, The Rocks
Nestled within the dress circle of the harbour, Quay is home to Sydney’s most breathtaking views, spanning from the Opera House to the Harbour Bridge. The restaurant is also one of the country’s most celebrated restaurants, earning dozens of awards and accolades for their modern Australian seafood fare. What better way to kill two birds with one stone than by booking a table at Quay during VIVID, with unparalleled views from the glowing Sydney Harbour Bridge to the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails. The restaurant is also opening for additional dinner services on select Wednesday nights during VIVID, running their signature 6 or 8 course menu. Find out more here.
Bennelong, Sydney Opera House
There’s dining for a brilliant VIVID view, then there’s dining right inside a VIVID view. Bennelong sits right inside the Sydney Opera House, spotlighting the best of Australian produce and wine. If you’re heading to a Vivid LIVE performance at the Sydney Opera House, the Bennelong Bar is the perfect spot for a pre-show snack and cocktail. Otherwise, head to the restaurant for dinner and watch the magic unfold from your table. Find out more here.
Aria sits right next to the Opera House, with floor-to-ceiling windows reflecting the waters and VIVID’s light shows. It’s the finest dining experience with unrivalled harbour views, plating up modern Australian food through a degustation menu or a la carte. You can join them every day for dinner, with front-row views to the lighting shows and projections across Sydney Harbour. Sip your way through their specially curated menu and finish your evening with sweet desserts by Executive Chef Tom Gorringe. Find out more here.
Soak up the best views of VIVID at the open-air Opera Bar, located just outside the steps of Sydney Opera House. Opera Bar offers an unrivalled vantage point of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and beyond, which makes it the ultimate spot to sit and watch the light shows from outdoors. This year, Executive Chef Fernando Sanchez has created an exclusive menu celebrating Sydney’s natural beauty, with dishes inspired by the Harbour and the Royal Botanic Garden. Plus, there’s live entertainment every night featuring local talent. Find out more here.
Hyde Hacienda, Circular Quay
Hyde Hacienda is Sydney’s favourite pastel playground, sitting on top of Pullman Quay Grand. From their ceiling foliage, to blush pink chairs and neon signs, it’s hard to not have a good time at this oasis. Festivities kick off from day 1, with four exclusive VIVID Drinks, including a Vivid Sour, Hacienda Sour, Vivid Spritz and Hacienda Spritz, all of which use bright ingredients (to match the theme of course), like Butterfly Pea, Crème De Mure and Blue Curacao. Sip on a drink as you look at the views below, then go out for a stroll along Circular Quay to enjoy the rest of VIVID’s installations. Find out more here.
Set to the spectacular backdrop of Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour Bridge, Oborozuki and Oborozuki Bar sit side-by-side over two soaring, glass-encased levels, seamlessly fitting into Circular Quay’s iconic, high-end harbourside strip. Considered one of the world’s finest Japanese culinary experiences, Oborozuki’s Kaiseki is presented as a multi-course menu consisting of a sequence of cold to hot. Kick back on a cosy curved sofa, soak up the dazzling lights of VIVID, and immerse yourself in Oborozuki’s menu or cocktails from the bar. Find out more here.