The 15 Best Sydney Restaurants With A View
— 12 April 2024

The 15 Best Sydney Restaurants With A View

— 12 April 2024
Contributor: Randy Lai  | 
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If you want a dining experience that encapsulates the quintessential Sydney lifestyle — in all its sandy, sunlit, coastal glory — then look no further than this: our definitive list of the city’s best restaurants with a view.

From fine diners overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to a beloved Bondi dining room that commands panoramic views of the Pacific Oceans, all of these eateries really embrace a philosophy of offering dinner and a show. Let’s dig in.

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Best Restaurants With A View In Sydney

L’Heritage, Chowder Bay

A kitchen with a dining table

A former 1890s army drill hall has been transformed into a routinely excellent French restaurant with romantic views over the water’s edge. Tasteful interiors and one of Sydney’s most homely private dining rooms help keep the ambience casual while the food speaks for itself. Not only does Chef Julien offer the city’s best bouillabaisse, but I’ve never tasted a dark Belgian chocolate mousse as addictive as the one served here.


Oncore by Clare Smyth, Barangaroo

The pinnacle (metaphorical and otherwise) of Crown Sydney’s high-end hospitality options.

Oncore by Clare Smyth comes from the eponymous Irish chef, best known for her three-Michelin-starred restaurant, CORE, in London.

With such a sterling pedigree in the kitchen, it’s small wonder that Oncore is now widely considered to offer the zenith of tasting menus in Sydney, with massive glass windows that boast eagle-eye views over Sydney Harbour.


Quay, Circular Quay

Chef Peter Gilmore’s legendary Quay has been top dog of Sydney’s culinary scene for over two decades — and this formidable reputation doesn’t look to be going away any time soon.

Directly opposite the Sydney Opera House (and offering suitably immaculate views from a large open-air terrace), Quay continues to live up to its heavily lauded reputation.

Gilmore’s preoccupation with delicious textures remains in full force and the produce — nearly all of it local — is sublime, ensuring diners always leave this institution feeling thoroughly illuminated and satisfied.

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Pilu At Freshwater, Freshwater

Often touted as one of the best views anywhere in Sydney (much less across the bridge) Pilu At Freshwater is one of the Northern Beaches’ most iconic dining destinations.

Despite the bucolic bungalow-type setting, practically on the doorstep of Freshwater Beach, Pilu’s appeal involves much more than just pristine coastal views.

The eponymous Chef Giovanni Pilu builds the restaurant’s menu around the cuisine of his native Sardinia: a region that adapts wonderfully to our Antipodean setting thanks to courses like spaghetti seasoned with bottarga or Murray Cod cooked gently in vernaccia.


Cafe Sydney, Circular Quay

Best Sydney Restaurants Wtih A View

Occupying the rooftop of Customs House, Cafe Sydney is an assured choice if you’re looking for a restaurant able to offer dual views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Talk about being spoiled for choice.

The scenes from the restaurant’s terrace alone are worth the price of admission, but over the years, punters have always had good things to say about the fresh pasta courses here; in addition to seared fish courses like the Barramundi in fennel sauce.


Catalina, Rose Bay

This Rose Bay institution, frequented by well-coiffed denizens of Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is as close to the proverbial water as one can get without going for a dip.

The restaurant’s proximity to the Sydney Seaplane terminal means you can observe a procession of takeoffs and landings (particularly on weekends) while you chow into a fine example of modern Australian cookery.


Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, Bondi Beach

This slick dining room, swathed in a gradient of blues and greens to reflect Bondi’s coastal geography, is still one of Sydney’s most globally recognisable restaurants.

The food & beverage programs (both of which have Maurice Terzini’s stamp on them) are certainly up to snuff, but the real reason to visit Icebergs is its sheer spectacle. On any given weekend, you’ll find the place aflutter with the usual range of incorrigible content creators.

Is it the view, overlooking the iconic Icebergs pool, or the tableside sgroppino that has them in a tizzy? You be the judge.


Aria, Circular Quay

Matt Moran’s signature restaurant is still going strong and maximising its red-carpet-ready harbour views that stretch across Circular Quay.

Being so close to the Sydney Opera House is a clear advantage for this classic fine diner, situating Moran’s well-documented paddock-to-plate philosophy within one of the city’s most iconic locales.


Bennelong, Circular Quay

Bennelong Sydney

While Aria Sydney benefits from direct views of the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong has to make do with views from within the Sydney Opera House. (Cue the tiny violins.)

Childish sarcasm aside, Peter Gilmore’s fine dining destination — named, in Gadigal language, for the tidal rock island where the Opera House now stands — occupies one of the building’s iconic ‘sails’, turning the angular space into an elevated dining room where some of the best produce in the Asia-Pacific comes together with the techniques and presentation of nouvelle cuisine.


Oborozuki, Circular Quay

Formerly an eatery specialising in the traditional Japanese culinary artform of kaiseki, Oborozuki has since undergone something of a transformation: now serving a menu of modernist Franco-Japanese cooking, under the ministrations of Aria veteran, Ms. Daeun Kang.

Thankfully the elliptic view of Circular Quay below remains. Pair that with a fantastically exhaustive list of sake and European wines, and you have the makings of a perfect setting to celebrate anniversaries, promotions, or the mother of all date nights.


Ormeggio At The Spit, Mosman

The jewel in the crown for veteran restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio At The Spit is a no-brainer when you’re after a quality restaurant with spectacular water views.

Looking over Middle Harbour, the kitchen reflects the immediate area’s sparkling surroundings with coastal Italian fare and a (deservedly famous) homemade gelato menu. For a long time, Ormeggio was regarded as the preeminent place to lunch large during the summer — and it’s not hard to see why.


Jonah’s, Whale Beach

Sydney restaurants with a view -

It speaks volume that the best way to reach Jonah’s, the fine dining powerhouse of Whale Beach, is via a 20-minute seaplane journey. Landing on the shaded terrace after you’ve just soared across some of the greatest harbour views Sydney has to offer is part and parcel of the experience.

Then it’s onto the Italian-inspired dining room: where dishes of wild, line-caught fish and rustic pasta courses (freshly made to order) tend to rule the roost.


Sean’s Panorama, Bondi Beach

Sydney restaurants with a view -

Sean’s Panorama is another ‘power lunch’ institution for the denizens of Bondi and the surrounding eastern suburbs. Since 1993, Sean Moran has been plating up some of the suburb’s finest dishes, threaded into a menu that changes constantly with the eponymous chef-founder’s mood and the seasons.

Much of the produce comes from Moran’s own Blue Mountains farmstead, documented extensively and with oh-so-much visual flair on social media. Still, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that ambience is a big part of the equation; the dining room’s, within earshot of Bondi’s crashing waves, exerting a ‘time and place’ magic all its own.


North Bondi Fish, Bondi Beach

Sydney restaurants with a view - North Bondi Fish

North Bondi Fish is another standout in Matt Moran’s hefty profile of Sydney bars & restaurants, benefitting from an enviable location right next to Bondi Beach — the perfect spot to luxuriate in coastal serenity, with a spicy Margarita in hand.

Expect super-fresh oysters and a range of daily catches, worked into a simple menu that allows the produce itself to put its best foot forward.


Mimi’s, Coogee

Sydney restaurants with a view - Catalina.

Overlooking Coogee Beach, Merivale’s buzziest dining destination appears to be almost exclusively powered by good looks, obscenely big caviar bumps, and an (admittedly impressive) reference list of vintage Champagne.

Huge Palladian windows guarantee knockout views to every other table in the space, which is itself located at the top of Coogee Pavilion and serves as the multi-eatery venue’s crowning attraction. At any given time, it’s fair to say we’re probably bigger fans of Una Mas next door, but judged purely upon scale, it’s hard to deny that this is anything other than Merivale’s biggest opening.

RELATED: Review — Mimi’s Coogee Pavilion


Did you find this list helpful? If so, consider checking out some of other dining-related stories:


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