Australia is a land of diverse climates. Whether we live on the coast, in the bush, a house or inner-city apartment, there’s one element we all share – a love of being outside. Especially if it’s paired with dining and drinking.

Australian restaurants have noticed. When once the classic Aussie eatery might have thrown a few grotty, plastic, modular chairs about a courtyard there are now sprawling, manicured gardens, smart courtyards and grand outdoor dining areas for the home.

Here’s a guide to some of the best restaurants, cafes and bars around the country with excellent outdoor spaces.

Brae, Melbourne

Two hours south-west of Melbourne, fine-dining restaurant (and hotel) Brae overlooks some of the rural Birregurra’s most spectacular landscape. Six Degrees Architects designed the space with a focus on recycled bricks, Australian Blackbutt timber paneling, brass fittings and marble bench tops. Set on 30 acres of farmland, Brae manages to both stand out and be artfully sympathetic to its surrounding environment.


Market Lane Coffee, Melbourne

The outdoor space at Market Lane Coffee is in the centre of Melbourne’s CBD. Understated and elegant, the cafe’s outdoor area features navy-blue, stainless-steel furniture from local designers Tait. – from its Tidal collection – facing the tree-lined boulevard of Collins Street. It’s a private, Parisian-style oasis in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD.

Market Lane Coffee

Otto, Brisbane

This al fresco eatery and bar is on the fourth floor atrium of a new Queen Street building. The venue by John Fink opened in June this year and takes fresh cues from its original Sydney restaurant. It features an elegant design that is calming and luxurious. A palette of white, blue and bright yellow with blond wood, naval brass and Marblo resin, Otto is a fine backdrop to ordering a Sicilian Daiquiri to go with a Mediterranean-focused menu inspired by the south of Italy.


The Winery, Sydney

This bar on Crown Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills provides several serene outdoor sections to escape to. Choose from a selection of 30 wines while relaxing on the balcony strewn with wrought-iron furniture, among chandeliers, pot plants and colourful flowers. There’s also a beautiful garden where at night the space glows with fairy lights in the trees.

The Winery

The Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Perth

A jewel in Perth’s beach-dining culture is the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, right on the water’s edge. The grand building’s popular outdoor pavilion features a stylish lounge with potted plants; grey-and-white-striped umbrellas; and brightly coloured furniture that directs the focus to the surrounding natural environment.

The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Mister Sunshine’s, Adelaide

This Thebarton cafe features retro touches inside and out – think formica tables and grandma’s brown plates – but it’s the outdoor section – along the footpath, hemmed in by giant yuccas and a leafy gum tree – that is the main attraction. The menu includes all your brunch favourites; poached eggs, French toast and a popular pulled-pork burger.

Mister Sunshine’s

Update: The Lily Tray Table is now available to purchase from Tait showrooms and online

This article presented in partnership with the Mercedes-Benz Design Award by Broadsheet.