There's just something about eating in front of a view. It could be the sense of place and occasion that a good view grants; a sweeping vista also has a way of enhancing the taste of every bite, in a strange way. Restaurants with a view can even draw focus and absorb silence. And can do most of the heavy conversational 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 eating surrounded by natural beauty. That's why most of the restaurants in this guide look out to the water. The rest rely on the city's glistening skyline.

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Coffee by the Sea
Best Special Occasion Restaurants in Sydney

Cafe Sydney

A Sydney dining institution that serves a menu that’s (almost) as spectacular as the view.

Customs House 31 Alfred Street, Sydney
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Caviar bumps, vintage booze, barbequed abalone – Mimi’s might just be Merivale’s magnum opus.

169 Dolphin Street, Coogee


Views of the city and Harbour Bridge, from inside the Opera House.

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
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Ormeggio at the Spit

Classic Italian flavours are given a contemporary makeover at this waterside Sydney favourite.

D'Albora Marinas The Spit Spit Road, Mosman

Mosman Rowers

Stand-up paddleboarding, jugs of cocktails, rosé on tap and views for days.

3 Centenary Drive, Mosman


Luxurious dining with prime views.

Overseas Passenger Terminal The Rocks, Sydney
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The Gantry

Don't overlook this view because of the lack of landmark, it's still postcard pretty.

11 Hickson Road, Sydney
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Barrenjoey House

This century-old beachside diner has a new lease on life. Head there for a long seafood lunch – and the dedicated flatbread list.

1108 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach

Bathers' Pavilion

This heritage-listed waterfront venue serves up French bistro classics.

4 The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach
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A Bondi classic.

270 Campbell Parade, Bondi

Queen Chow Manly Wharf

Waterside Cantonese with a live seafood tank, oyster bar and dim sum.

22-23 Manly Wharf East Esplanade, Manly

Chiosco by Ormeggio

Chiosco is on a jetty – this is as close to your view as you can get.

The Jetty, The Spit Marina, Spit Road, Mosman
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Panoramas over Rose Bay.

Lyne Park, Rose Bay


Come dine at the restaurant for the views or take it one step further and book one of the eleven rooms for the night.

69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

One of Australia's most recognisable restaurant views, and rightly so.

Restaurant 1 Notts Ave, Bondi
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Public Dining Room

A Balmoral favourite.

2A The Esplanade, Balmoral
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LuMi Bar & Dining

One of Sydney's best degustations with the surrounds to match.

56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

Pilu at Freshwater

A laid-back Freshwater classic.

Moore Road, Freshwater
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Cottage Point Inn

This secluded spot has been around since the 1950s.

2 Anderson Place, Cottage Point
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The Butler

One of Sydney's best outlooks.

123 Victoria Street, Potts Point

The East Village

Come here for pub classics in a spectacular rooftop setting.

234 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
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North Bondi Fish

Views over Bondi Beach and elevated fish and chips.

120 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi
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Nola Smokehouse and Bar

The specialty here is the slow-cooked brisket; an appropriate counterpoint to the nearby Cirrus.

Level 1 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo South

Otto Ristorante

Al fresco dining along Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf.

Area 8 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo


Face the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge? It's such a tough choice.

1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay


A light-filled seafood restaurant with a harbour view.

10/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney

The Newport

The Coogee Pavilion of the north.

2 Kalinya Street, Newport