Best Restaurants With a View in Sydney

Updated 1 week ago

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There's just something about dinner with a view. It could be the sense of romance and occasion that a sweeping outlook grants. Restaurants with a view can even draw focus and absorb silence – and do plenty of heavy lifting on a date, catch-up or special occasion.

Luckily, we're in Sydney and if there's one thing Sydney can lay claim to, it's restaurants surrounded by natural beauty. That's why most of the spots in this guide look out to the water. The rest rely on the city's glistening skyline.

  • This elevated vantage of Bondi’s sloshing surf is one of Australia’s great views – one a less conscientious restaurateur might easily lean on. Not Maurice Terzini, who’s been pushing his resplendent Italian diner to greater and greater heights since 2002.

  • The standard-setter for fine dining in Sydney. Executive chef Peter Gilmore’s theatrical tasting menus show off his tireless pursuit of what’s interesting, new and Australian. And it’s bolstered by one of the best harbour views money can buy.

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  • Views of the city and Harbour Bridge from inside the Opera House? Second only to Quay, Bennelong’s stunning outlook is a tough one to beat. But it gets bonus points for being the only place in the Opera House from which you can see the inside of the sails completely.

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  • This is the show-stopping star of Matt Moran’s culinary empire. The artfully-plated dishes warrant the lofty price-tags, but those generous harbour views do a lot to offset the sting. This is one of Sydney’s great try-before-you-die restaurants – a pillar of modern Australian dining.

  • A ritzy institution on the Customs House rooftop. The menu is a masterclass in modern Australian cuisine that spans surf, turf and vegan dishes. An appropriate focus on seafood works a treat, given the jaw-dropping views of Sydney Harbour. Book ahead for the window seats.

  • Caviar bumps, vintage booze, barbequed abalone – Mimi's might just be Merivale's magnum opus. Not to mention the fantastic views of Coogee Beach. Thanks to its prime seaside location and huge windows, almost every table in the house is worthwhile.

  • There’s nowhere else quite like chef-restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni’s waterside institution. While the trifecta of seafood, crisp Italian wines and house-made gelato mostly succeeds in capturing the essence of a coastal Italian diner, those Middle Harbour views from Ormeggio’s breezy dining room make for a quintessential Sydney experience.

  • The long-awaited Sydney outpost for the beloved Japanese dining empire landed in Barangaroo with its signature miso cod, spicy salmon tacos and melt-in-your-mouth nigiri. But the thing that will always set it apart from its global siblings is that unmistakable Sydney vista.

  • Artful, seafood-centric plates are the calling cards of this sophisticated diner at Pier One wharf. The moodily lit dining room is a beautiful place to dine – but it's the outdoor experience that shouldn’t be overlooked. A table right on Walsh Bay is the ideal setting for a long, elegant lunch when the sun is shining.

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  • Located on a heritage-listed waterfront, Bathers’ Pavilion serves up French bistro-inspired dishes, with an appropriately big focus on seafood. When you’re dining this close to the water, the experience feels like a little splash of The French Riviera right here in Sydney.

  • Part of the appeal of a meal at Sean's is inarguably the breathtaking views out over Bondi Beach. But, if you can, tear your eyes away from the vista and towards your plate for a moment. Chef Sean Moran's beautiful dishes are laser-focused on what's Australian and in season.

  • Merivale’s lively Cantonese joint ticks all the boxes, with a live seafood tank, oyster bar and plenty of Australian-Chinese classics. A dim sum platter with some good wine and a backdrop of rolling waves sounds like a very good way to spend a weekend.

  • This diner has been attracting celebs since 1994, including Beyonce and Jay-Z, Madeline Albright and Bono. And we can’t blame them for stopping by. The Mediterranean flavours continue to shine, and the romantic views out over Rose Bay never get old.

  • Whale Beach’s own elegant fine diner and hotel lives inside a wartime-era coach house. The menu has an Italian edge, with wild-caught fish and a couple pastas starring. If that's not enough to lure you in, the dining room has priceless ocean views to match the superlative food.

  • Casual fine dining with a killer view is the remit at this Balmoral favourite. The picture perfect view out over the historic baths (which date back to 1898) is just part of the winning formula here. It doesn't even matter what the weather’s doing.

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  • From its large and leafy terrace, the outlook at this Potts Point oasis is truly of the breathtaking variety. Sip on an espresso Martini with some South American-inspired snacks and watch the sun dip behind the city skyline.

  • An ultra-luxe fine diner specialising in two of Japan’s great culinary traditions. The multi-course menus highlight premium produce, from lobster to Wagyu and abalone. But you can’t put a price on those stellar harbour views.

  • In the hands of Federico Zanellato, the fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisines makes so much sense, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t doing it. Settle in for an ambitious degustation with matched wines, and the serene views of Pyrmont Bay will keep you occupied between courses.

  • Masquerading as a beach house, Pilu does Sardinian-inspired fare including pasta shapes unique to the Italian region. It’s a place of long lunches and refined dinners, with sea views that can’t be beaten on a cracking Sydney day.

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  • This underrated fine diner has been going strong since the 1950s. It sits on the edge of Cowan Creek, one of several waterways feeding directly into the Hawkesbury River near Mooney Mooney. Expect elegant waterside dining at its best, with beautifully-plated European dishes and a progressive wine list.

  • Another Sydney institution on the Finger Wharf in Woollomooloo. Visit for exemplary pan-Asian dishes and one of the most quintessential al fresco dining experiences in the city.

  • It’s named for the cloud-like apartment building it resides beneath, but this fine diner by the Bentley team is concerned with all things below sea level. Come for elegant seafood dishes matched with a white-heavy wine list in a handsome harbour-side setting.

  • Elevated fish and chips is just one of the hooks at Matt Moran's Bondi institution. The other is its unique vantage point beneath Bondi RSL, which offers a rather delightful view over the beach from the laid-back dining room.

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  • The al fresco dining along Woolloomooloo’s Finger wharf is such an iconic scene. To experience it for yourself is a Sydney must-do, and Otto’s modern Italian fare is the perfect excuse.

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  • This century-old beachside diner is an essential pitstop if you’re heading up to Palm Beach. Long seafood lunches are a serious vibe here – and the dedicated flatbread list is a highlight. Add in some great views of water, and you're in for a corker of time.

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  • Split between a beach club and a dining room proper, this twin-hitter is the perfect place to eat Med-inspired dishes and watch the waves roll in with a spritz in hand.