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.

The Gardens By Lotus

Restaurant

Visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship for artisan tea and food by an acclaimed Singaporean-Chinese chef. And the most beautiful place in Sydney to eat dumplings.

Chinese Garden of Friendship Pier Street, Darling Harbour
Book a Table

Quay

Restaurant

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

Overseas Passenger Terminal The Rocks, Sydney
Book a Table

Bennelong

Restaurant

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

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Book a Table

LuMi Bar & Dining

Restaurant

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

56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

Bea

Restaurant

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

Level 1 35 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

Ormeggio at the Spit

Restaurant

In 2020, this waterside Sydney favourite changed its menu to focus exclusively on seafood. And it's all the better for it. The views out over Middle Harbour, combined with the fantastic seafood, make this one of Sydney's best – and most serene – dining experiences.

D'Albora Marinas The Spit Spit Road, Mosman

Ester Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant

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

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

Restaurant

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

Restaurant 1 Notts Ave, Bondi
Book a TableOrder on Providoor

Botanic House

Restaurant

This restaurant surrounded by lush gardens is serving a modern-Asian menu inspired by Luke Nguyen’s heritage.

Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney
Book a Table

Sixpenny

Restaurant

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

Tetsuya’s

Restaurant

Stunning food beside a zen-like Japanese garden.

529 Kent Street, Sydney

Catalina

Restaurant

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

Lyne Park, Rose Bay

Bert’s

Restaurant

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

Firedoor

Restaurant

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
Book a Table

Fred’s

Restaurant

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

380 Oxford Street, Paddington

Automata

Restaurant

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

5 Kensington Street, Chippendale

Pilu at Freshwater

Restaurant

Beautiful Sardinian food by the ocean.

Moore Road, Freshwater
Book a Table

Mr Wong

Restaurant

Moody jazz, heavy wooden beams and a bank of barbeque ducks in the old Tank nightclub space. A modern Shanghai-style dumpling den from Dan Hong and Merivale.

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Restaurant

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

66 Hunter Street, Sydney
Book a TableOrder on Providoor

Hartsyard

Restaurant

Vegetables and seafood dominate the menu at this refined but down-to-earth spot.

33 Enmore Road, Newtown
Book a Table

Bentley Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant

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

27 O'Connell Street, Sydney
Book a TableOrder on Providoor

Monopole

Restaurant

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

16-20 Curtin Place, Sydney
Book a TableOrder on Providoor

Saint Peter

Restaurant

No one else in Sydney does seafood like this.

362 Oxford Street, Paddington

Cirrus

Restaurant

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

10/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney
Order on Providoor

Cottage Point Inn

Restaurant

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

2 Anderson Place, Cottage Point
Book a Table

Restaurant Hubert

Restaurant

Celebrate with French classics at this hidden underground parlour.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney
Order on Providoor

Aria

Restaurant

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

1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay

Jonah’s

Restaurant

Enjoy a celebratory dinner, then stay the night.

69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach

Ursula’s

Restaurant

At his first solo restaurant, acclaimed chef Phil Wood explores and expands Australian cuisine with a produce-driven menu combining classic European cooking with local ingredients. There are nods to Aboriginal history, too, plus a fresh take on the classic peach Melba dessert.

92 Hargrave Street, Paddington