- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Grab an outdoor table by the harbor or beach—in an elegant restaurant or beachside burger shack—and savor all that Sydney has to offer; dining alfresco is the Aussie version of heaven!
Two Sydney Harbour areas are chock-full of outstanding outdoor dining spots: the Overseas Passenger Terminal where cruise ships dock, and East Circular Quay on the concourse leading from the ferry terminal to the Opera House. They're almost smack opposite each other and are packed with indoor-outdoor upscale eateries. For a cheap snack and an amazing view, stop by the Boathouse Café and Restaurant in Nielsen Park.
Another favorite option is one of the many casual cafés around Bondi and Manly Beach. The Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf has several alfresco restaurants, the most popular—and a celebrity haunt—being Otto.
The Middle Harbor beach of Balmoral has some lovely cafés and restaurants with great views out to the Sydney Heads.
Glenmore Hotel. Everyone loves The Rocks on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Check out the sensational harbor views from the rooftop bar of the Glenmore Hotel. The stairs to the roof are a bit ricketty. 96 Cumberland St., The Rocks, Sydney, NSW, 2000. 02/9247–4794. www.glenmorerooftophotel.com.au.
Manly Wharf Hotel. Manly Wharf Hotel has four bars with the Jetty Bar is perched right on the water with superb views. Outside heaters make it perfect even for winter drinks. Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Sydney, NSW. 02/9977–1266.
Watsons Bay Hotel. Watsons Bay Hotel has a huge outdoor drinking area with brilliant views, indoor bars, and several dining venues. 1 Military Rd, Corner of Cliff Street, Watsons Bay, Sydney, NSW. 02/9337-5444.
Aquarium Bistro & Bar. The view and the price are just right at this popular casual bistro and bar at Coogee Beach. Housed in the heritage-listed Beach Palace Hotel, the bistro draws a younger crowd with the sensational views of Coogee beach, as well as the burgers, king prawn chili spaghetti, and an array of sharing plates, known as boards. 169 Dolphin St., Coogee, Sydney, NSW, 2034. 02/9664-2900. www.beachpalacehotel.com.au. Closed Mon, Tue and Thurs.
Nielsen Park Restaurant and Café. A favorite local hangout, this is a great place to laze, picnic in the park, or swim year round in the roped-off harbor pool. The café and restaurant are housed in a heritage 1914 sandstone building. The herb and parmesan crusted king prawn cutlets make a tasty starter, followed by the spanner crab linguine with chilli, garlic and white wine. Nielsen Park, Greycliffe Ave., Vaucluse, Sydney, NSW, 2030. 02/9337–7333. www.nielsenpark.com.au. No dinner in the café or restaurant; restaurant closed Mon.– Friday. Cafe open Mon-Sunday.
Pellegrini's Seafood Restaurant. Location, location, location are the draw at this quaint Italian restaurant. Perched right on the harbor at west Balmain you'll have a unique view of Cockatoo Island and all the comings and goings of water traffic. Its laid back café style and million dollar views. Barramundi fillets are a popular choice, as are salt and pepper squid and soft-shell crab. 107 Elliot St., Balmain, Sydney, NSW, 2041. 02/9810–4551. www.pellegrinis.com.au. Closed Mon.–Tues., no dinner Sun.
Pilu at Freshwater. If you love traditional Italian food, and enjoy dining right on the beach (at Freshwater Beach about a mile north of Manly) then this is the place. Chef Giovanni Pilu's specialty is Sardinian fare and his signature dish is a feast that takes several hours to slow-cook—oven-roasted roasted suckling pig, served on the bone with traditional farm house suckling pig sausages and condiments. On The Beach, Moore Rd., Harbord, Sydney, NSW, 2096. 02/9938–3331. www.piluatfreshwater.com.au.
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