Sydney’s Best Waterside Restaurants

Eat / December 17, 2021

From Palm Beach to Woolloomooloo, there are dozens of waterside restaurants to choose from in Sydney and here is a guide to our favourites.

Sydneysiders are blessed with an incredible array of seaside views. For the times when the sun is out, the water is glistening and a long, lavish meal is calling your name, look no further than our guide to Sydney’s best waterside restaurants.


Il Pontile, Woolloomooloo

This place took us right back to dining on the Amalfi coast with waterfront views, friendly Italian hospitality and authentic Italian flavours. Il Pontile, meaning ‘the pier’ in Italian, is nestled on the Finger Wharf, Sydney’s most adored waterside dining precinct. Diners can choose from charming alfresco or indoor seating. Mario Percuoco brings four generations of Italian culinary techniques to the table. Find out more here.


Bar Tropic, Manly

Wharf Bar has been given new life after a major renovation, menu revamp and the addition of a new Mediterranean restaurant, Bar Tropic. The new restaurant/bar pays homage to its sister venue on the Gold Coast, Burleigh Pavilion. Expect a Mediterranean-inspired menu boasting incredible Australian seafood. Pick your seat between the high terrazzo tables inside or amongst the spacious wharf deck overlooking the sparkling harbour water. Find out more here.

Cirrus Dining, Barangaroo

Barangaroo is now home to a raft of incredible waterside restaurants including Cirrus Dining. Here, Head Chef Brent Savage and Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt favour fresh, sustainably sourced seafood, with the fruits of the sea influencing the menu. In between freshly shucked rock oysters, mud crab and grilled rock lobster, be sure to catch a glimpse of the stunning views across the northern end of Darling Harbour to Pyrmont and Goat Island.

Best Waterfront Dining Spots Sydney
Bea, Barangaroo

Marking the flagship restaurant of the architecturally striking Barangaroo House, Bea strikes a fine balance between fine dining and casual restaurant and bar. Make the most of Barangaroo’s waterside views with an outdoor table, and fall in love with Executive Chef Cory Campbell’s masterfully created menu.


Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater Beach

Retaining its two hat status since 2004, Head Chef Giovanni Pilu and his team are certainly doing a thing or two right on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Maybe it’s the impeccable Sardinian menu. Or perhaps the waves crashing before you on Freshwater beach. Whatever the reason, if you haven’t yet dined at Pilu, put it on your foodie bucket list.

Berowra Waters Inn

With sweeping views of the Hawkesbury River, it’s easy to forget you’re only an hour away from the bustle of Sydney’s CBD at Berowra Waters Inn. Glenn Murcutt, the man responsible for the sandstone building’s redesign in the 1970s described it as a “veranda by the water” – a place to sit, dine and watch the world drift by. He wasn’t wrong. Find out more here.

6Head, The Rocks

Taking over the beautiful heritage sandstone dining precinct Campbell’s Stores built-in 1839, 6HEAD is Sydney’s newest waterfront steakhouse by The Seagrass Hospitality group (Butcher & Farmer, Hunter & Barrel). Although 6HEAD serves six signature cuts of steak (all dry-aged onsite). you don’t need to love steak to dine here. They have a wide range of fresh, raw seafood including ceviche, tuna tartare, a seafood platter and premium beluga caviar. Find out more here.

waterside restaurants icebergs
Iceberg’s Dining Room and Bar

Could this be Sydney’s most Instagrammable location? Hoards of tourists and locals pop up in Bondi to capture a snap of Bondi Icebergs Club pools and the adjoining ocean. Who can blame them? Make the most of this oceanside view at Iceberg’s Dining Room where the Italian menu has everything from cured meats to seafood and handmade pasta available.


Ormeggio at The Spit

Tucked away behind an inconspicuous boating dock (stay with us) is another restaurant that has been hatted since it first opened back in 2009. At the helm of Ormeggio is Executive Chef Alessandro Pavoni, who alongside his team produce incredible contemporary Italian and Spanish cuisine. As the sun glistens over Middle Harbour, sip on a Vermentino or a Pinot Grigio teamed with Ormeggio’s signature degustation menu.

waterside restaurants
Quay

Not only is Quay one of the best restaurant’s in Australia, but it also comes with some of the best waterside views of Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge encompassing you. Head Chef Peter Gilmore delivers a unique dining experience, exploring harmonies of flavours and contrasts in textures.

waterside restaurants ripples
Ripples Chowder Bay

Once reserved for secret military operations to defend Sydney Harbour, Ripples Chowder Bay is situated on a particularly historic site. It’s also one of those beautiful waterside restaurants made for a long boozy lunch. With a contemporary Australian-inspired menu and BYO option, Ripples is certainly worth a visit.

waterside restaurant
North Bondi Fish

A few short strides from the iconic Bondi Beach is the relaxed eatery, North Bondi Fish. It is the perfect spot for dressing up and lavish long lunches or keeping it casual with a post-swim bite. Fresh seafood teamed with steaks, salads, sliders and more are on offer. Listen to the waves crashing in the background in between sips of your rosé and bites from your seafood platter.

waterside restaurants
Catalina, Rose Bay

Situated in Rose Bay, Catalina is a Sydney dining institution. Panoramic views of the Harbour? Tick. Top-notch service? Tick. Luxurious seafood menu? Triple tick. Catalina has been a Sydney icon for the past 25 years with Michael and Judy at the helm. Judy, James and Kate continue to run Catalina, keeping Michael’s vision alive. With a cocktail in hand, watch as the seaplanes glide across the water.


The Nielsen, Vaucluse

This waterside restaurant opened its doors in July 2016, making it fairly new to the waterfront restaurants scene. Set on the beautiful grounds of Nielsen Park in Vaucluse, on any given sunny weekend you’ll find it bustling with picnics, birthdays, people sunbaking and giant inflatable toys. Not a frown in sight, this Harbour beach is an absolute gem. Find out more here.

waterside restaurants otto
Otto Ristorante, Woolloomooloo 

You’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to waterfront restaurants at Woolloomooloo wharf. Situated about halfway along the wharf is one of Sydney’s most established restaurants. With a focus on contemporary Italian cuisine, Otto offers not only an a la carte menu, but a full vegan and vegetarian menu as well. Keeping your veggo and vegan friends happy has never been easier.


Bathers Pavilion, Mosman

Refined elegance meets relaxed beachside hangout at Bathers Pavilion. On any given sun-soaked weekend, you’ll struggle to find a spare table, so make sure you book in advance. For $90pp, take your pick from the two-course menu, or for $110pp, enjoy the full three-course experience.


The Collaroy

After much anticipation, Merivale’s The Collaroy has opened its doors. Providing a laid-back and relaxed hangout, The Collaroy takes much of its inspiration from its striking locale. In the words of Executive Chef Jordan Toft, the food is “simple, yet elegant food for a community that loves the sun, surf and sand”.

Think you’ve got one that should be on the list? Email us at newsletter@eatdrinkplay.com

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