For a certain kind of person, the best part about birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations is the excuse to splurge at a top-tier restaurant. Even if that's not you, nearly everyone can appreciate the experience of settling around a table to enjoy the company of friends and family for several hours while all your whims are catered for.

These spots do it better than anyone else. In short: you bring the occasion and leave it to the staff to supply the special.

Quay

Peter Gilmore's world-renowned restaurant treads the line between art, high gastronomy, science and downright deliciousness.

Overseas Passenger Terminal The Rocks, Sydney
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Bennelong

Australiana on a plate, with no hint of kitsch. We'd expect nothing less from Peter Gilmore.

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
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LuMi Bar & Dining

Sublime Japanese-Italian courses and a beautiful view. Special indeed.

56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
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Bea

Matt Moran's fine-dining restaurant inside Barangaroo House.

Level 1 35 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

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
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Ester Restaurant & Bar

It's much more lively and relaxed than most places on this list, but it has the food and service to hit that special occasion vibe.

46-52 Meagher Street, Chippendale
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Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

A Sydney classic, thanks to its sweeping views of Bondi and sharp Italian menu.

Restaurant 1 Notts Ave, Bondi
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Sixpenny

Book the private dining room, which seats up to 10 and gives you a view of the chefs preparing creative, hyper-local dishes.

83 Percival Road, Stanmore
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Tetsuya’s

Stunning food beside a zen-like Japanese garden.

529 Kent Street, Sydney
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Catalina

It’s been attracting the glitterati since 1994, including Beyonce and Jay-Z, Madeline Albright and Bono.

Lyne Park, Rose Bay
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Bert's

Caviar, champagne, tanks of live lobsters – there’s a certain swagger to this high-end restaurant in a relaxed waterside locale.

The Newport 2 Kalinya Street, Newport
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Firedoor

This barbeque restaurant is a world away from fussily presented degustations and white tablecloths. Which is what makes it so special – there's nothing else like it in Sydney.

23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills
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Fred's

A wood-fired oven, an open-flame hearth and some of the country’s best produce and cocktail bar underneath.

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Oscillate Wildly

Book well in advance. This intimate 28-seat space is well-loved.

275 Australia Street, Newtown

Momofuku Seiobo

You'll be eating a full degustation, but that's the only certainty at this dynamic, surprising restaurant.

The Star, Level G 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
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Automata

Clayton Wells's fun, energetic and unpredictable take on fine dining.

5 Kensington Street, Chippendale
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The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

Got an oyster fan in your life? Take them here, where there's an entire menu dedicated to the briny bivalves.

123 Ferry Rd, Glebe
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Pilu at Freshwater

Beautiful Sardinian food by the ocean.

Moore Road, Freshwater
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Mr Wong

A dumpling den with 1930s Shanghai effect.

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Approachable fine dining that won't scare off fussy eaters.

66 Hunter Street, Sydney
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Est

French-accented food in a dramatic, column-lined dining room.

Level 1, Establishment 252 George Street, Sydney
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Bentley Restaurant & Bar

A tasting menu and 1000 wines to go with it. Yep.

27 O'Connell Street, Sydney

Monopole

Another spot where the wine list is as big an attraction as the food.

71a Macleay street, Potts Point

Saint Peter

No one else in Sydney does seafood like this.

362 Oxford Street, Paddington

Cirrus

... except maybe this restaurant, another winner from the team behind Bentley and Monopole.

10/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney

Cottage Point Inn

Drive for an hour to dine beside a bird-filled national park.

2 Anderson Place, Cottage Point
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Restaurant Hubert

Celebrate with French classics at this hidden underground parlour.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney

Aria

For the sweet tooth in your life. The desserts here are killer.

1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay

Jonah's

Enjoy a celebratory dinner, then stay the night.

69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach
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