The Best Things to Eat and Drink at Vivid Sydney

Our guide to where to eat and drink at Vivid Sydney is designed to help you find the best dining options if you are heading to the city to see the Vivid lights. Every bit as captivating as the lights themselves, you’ll want to try as many of these creative eats and cocktails as you can.

Vivid runs from 24 May-15 June 2024

Along with all the official Vivid food events, there are a number of other Vivid-exclusive bar and dining offers that are perhaps a little more accessible. We have shared our top picks below.

We all know things get very busy on the weekends during VIVID Sydney, so for the best chance of nabbing a table:

  1. Consider Friday or Sunday for weekend dining. Last year, Saturdays were the busiest dining day – try one of these alternate weekend days for more dining choices. 
  2. Book at 5pm or 8pm for increased restaurant availability. In 2023, 6pm and 7pm were the most popular sittings – an off-peak time can increase your chances of snagging your desired table. 

We always suggest the non football-loving book to attend on the State of Origin nights!

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Creative Cocktails & Vivid Bar Events

Zephyr & Jackalberry

Perfectly positioned along the VIVID light walk in Darling Harbour, Zephyr offers a new vantage point to view the light show and a fantastic spot to take in the light show at Cockle Bay.

The Hyatt Regency’s two bars, Zephyr Sky Bar and Jackalberry, will be serving limited-edition cocktails inspired by VIVID. You can expect a lively ambience at both venues with neon signs, funky coasters and glassware, glow-in-the-dark drinks. both venues. To make things even more exciting your cocktails will be created table side on a mobile cocktail trolley.

At Zephyr choose from:

  • Shiraz Breeze | Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, lime, sugar, mint, topped with soda.
  • Strawberry Blush | Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, lime, sugar, mint, topped with soda.
  • Yuzu Glow Sour | Four Pillars Fresh Yuzu Gin, Marionette Blue Curacao, lemon juice, sugar.
  • Rare Harmony | Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, Rubi Mistelle, Marionette Bitter Curacao, pineapple juice and lime juice.
Some of the colourful options at Zephyr,

At Jackalberry choose from:

  • Jackalberry G&T | Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Cucumber, Edible Flowers and Fever-tree Elderflower Tonic. Served in a Light-bulb glass.
  • Peach Yuzu Fizz | Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, Choya Yuzu Liqueur, Massenez Peche shaken with Lemon Juice and Sugar Syrup. Topped with Fever-tree Soda Water. Served in a High-Ball glass.
  • Bramble Berry Sour | Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz, Massenez Crème de Mure, Lemon Juice and Sugar Syrup. Served in a Rocks glass.

The four cocktails will be available from May 24th to June 15th.

Bar Blu on 36 at the Shangri La Hotel

Bar Blu’s Sydney Harbour views are legendary and during Vivid this is one of the best places in the city to get an overview of all the colour.

The harbour view from Bar Blu

This year you can enjoy a tasting Tapas menu and 3 very special Vivid cocktails.

Indulge in a Chef’s tasting tapas menu featuring five courses bursting with vibrant flavours. From toothfish, Kangaroo and striploin to a dessert extravaganza including blue apple pie macaroon and raspberry cookie choux.

Choose from:

  • Elysian Empyrean Elixir – plenty of drama here with a combination of bloody shiraz gin, rosemary, apricot, Campari and mango vermouth in a mesmerising smoked cloche. 
  • Luminary Libation – Grey Goose vodka, pink peppercorn, blackberry, salted grapefruit soda, peach liqueur and gold glitter.
  • Pandora Potion – a masterpiece of Glenfiddich 15-year whiskey infused with apple, cinnamon, liquorice, and Maraschino liqueur, served with an enchanting LED light coaster.

Cocktails are priced at $39. The tapas menu can be enjoyed for $149 per person for the main dining room, or $199 for a window table.

Where: 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
When: 24 May to 15 June, 5:30pm-9pm. Check the menu here

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Grain Bar

For Vivid 2024, this fantastic bar will unveil a range of cocktails expertly crafted to ‘electrify the senses’, including the adventurous, gin-based “Pot Aau Feu,” which touts flavours of Wagyu Beef.

Where: 199 George Street Sydney 
When: Monday-Thursday 4-11pm; Friday-Saturday 4pm-12am throughout Vivid.

Humanity Sips at Planar

Embracing 2024’s Humanity theme, Planar Bar will offer ‘humanity sips’ that represent their take on the essence of four human spirits: serenity, compassion, harmony and resilience.

Humanity Sips at Planar Credit: Planar Restaurant

Where: Planar Bar & Dining. Ground Floor, International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour.
When: 12pm till late, daily during Vivid.
Price: $49 for 4 sips 9 ($25 to upgrade to cocktails).

Vivid at the Pullman

The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park will be dishing up a menu of colour for Vivid 2024. Colourful drinks on offer include: the Vivid Paradise, Pink Gin Fizz and the Green Lantern cocktails and the Sydney Sunset Cocktail.

The edible lineup includes barbequed pulled pork or vegan jack fruit sliders with a side of crispy chips, truffle mushroom arancini balls, Mexican beef empanadas with capsicum onion jam and lamb kebabs with pomegranate and mint yoghurt.

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Cocktails at QT

Gowings’ Vivid 2024 ‘Kaleidosips’ cocktail collection is inspired by Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow which will beam from Sydney Tower. On offer are the following three cocktails ($22-$25).

Twilight Hibiscus – representing the colours blue, indigo and violet, is an exotic elixir reminiscent of the night sky. It comprises a mix of white rum, ginger, Blue Curaçao, pineapple, and hibiscus. 

Blushing Gin Mule – representing pink and green, takes a classic combination of with refreshing spiced ginger beer, fresh lime and Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin and adds a bubble-gum twist.

Golden Glow – representing yellow and arriving in a delicate ice shell. This sweet kick is made with Aqvait, Midori, banana liqueur and fresh lemon.

Twilight Hibiscus – Gowings Credit: QT Sydney

Where: 1/49 Market St, Sydney 
When: Gowings is open Monday to Saturday, for opening hours please check here.

Bar Subterranean by The Midnight Special

The creative visionaries behind Newtown’s The Midnight Special will triumphantly return to the Opera House as the Concert Hall Northern Foyer undergoes an electrifying transformation into Bar Subterranean.

Inspired by the legendary Bob Dylan anthem, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, the immersive pop-up will serve cocktails curated by Archie Rose and is a must-visit along the Vivid Sydney journey.

Where: Entry via the western external steps of the Opera House
When: Nightly from 6pm till late, 24th May to 2nd June (excluding 27 May).
Cost: Entry is free, and tickets are not required.

Through the Kaleidoscope – Opera Bar

Opera Bar presents ‘Through the Kaleidoscope’, a captivating, immersive dining experience that will see the iconic venue transform into a scope of shapes and colour.

Accompanied by live music and intricate frosted kaleidoscopes and lights, Opera Bar will offer three unique and colourful cocktails inspired by Vivid Sydney’s vibrant and colourful atmosphere.

Where: Opera Bar
When: 24th May – 15th June 2024.
Cost: Entry is free. Booking is not required. Vivid cocktails from $22-$24.

Three Bottle Man

Make your way to Bulletin Place for a cocktail and sweet treat at Three Bottle Man in the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel. Perfectly positioned just behind Customs House it’s a great spot for when your feet need a bit of a rest.

Three Bottle Man’s Vivid 2024 festivities promise an abundance of Instagram-worthy moments with Bulletin Laneway lit up for the occasion and glowing fairy floss on offer.

The special feature this year is the ‘Spin to Win Cocktail Wheel’, inspired by the vivid 2024 theme of ‘humanity’. On offer as prizes include a complimentary Vivid-exclusive cocktail (based on the concepts of love, kindness, compassion and creativity) and automatic entry to draw for overnight stays at Sydney Harbour Marriott.

When: 4-11pm, 24th May to 15th June 2024.
Where: 1 Bulletin Place Sydney

Hello Auntie at Darling Square

#payyourauntieavisit this month! You will not be disappointed. Much loved Vietnamese eatery Hello Auntie will offer two light up Vivid cocktails.

Choose from:

  • The Firework (shiraz gin, gin, strawberry and St. Germain elderflower);
  • The Auroras (umeshu, sloe sin, Aperol and sparkling wine).

Where: Shop 2/16 Nicolle Walk, Darling Square

Vivid Lights Secret Bar Crawl

Back for its third year, Local Sauce Tours is hosting a special Vivid lights edition of one of their popular Drink & Discover Secret Bar Crawl. Two tour routes are available, each curated to showcase Vivid 2024 installations on the way to three “hidden” bars.

The tour package includes the guided walk by a local expert, reservations at each bar, a beer or wine to get you started, and a shared snack to soak up the drinks. Guests will also receive a map with Local Sauce Tours’ bar recommendations at the end of the tour.

Where: Tour starts at the southern end of the QVB building on Tuesdays and at the “Obelisk of Distances” in Macquarie Place Park on Thursdays.
When: 6:30pm Tuesday 28 May, 4 & 11 June for the CBD and Darling Harbour tour; 6:30pm Thursday 30 May, 6 & 13 June for Circular Quay and the Rocks tour;
Cost: $60 per person, find more information and book here.

Vivid Special Dining Deals

Dynasty Dumplings at Luna LU

Luna Lu’s culinary artists have specially crafted Vivid dumplings. Using natural ingredients to create vibrant colours, there are five mouthwatering options available.

  • King Prawn and Spanner Crab Dumpling: A succulent combination of king prawns and spanner crab.
  • Slow-Cooked Duck with Chinese Five Spice and Hoisin Sauce Dumpling: Slow-cooked duck, infused with Chinese five spice and enhanced with a hint of hoisin sauce.
  • Hokkaido Scallops and King Prawns Dumpling: Hokkaido scallops and king prawns, expertly combined to create a symphony of flavors.
  • Shiitake, Carrots, Bok Choy, and Wakame Dumpling: An earthy and vibrant vegetable medley of shiitake, carrots, bok choy and wakame
  • King Oyster Mushroom and Swiss Brown Mushroom Dumpling: Experience the unique textures and rich umami flavors of the king oyster and Swiss brown mushrooms, prepared to perfection.

Brown Forman x Luna Lu Vivid Cocktails

Luna Lu have also collaborated with Brown Forman to create 5 stunning Vivid cocktails. They include:

  • Jasmina Negroni: Ford Gin, Campari, Dry Vermouth, Jasmine Syrup & Peychauds.
  • Coconut Margarita: Herradura Reposado, Coconut cream, Lime juice & Clement by martinique.
  • Miss Midori: Diplomatico Planas, Midori, Lime juice & Lemonade.
  • Kentucky Dream: Woodford Reserve, Chestnut Liquor & Walnut bitters.
  • Apple Saketini: Herradura Legend, Apple Liquor, Sake, sugar syrup, citrus acid & gold dust.

Atelier by Sofitel – A Culinary Connection

The team at Atelier by Sofitel have pulled out all the stops this year for their Vivid Special. A ticket will seat you at one of only 20 window-side tables with a view of the Vivid Sydney Light Walk.

While taking in the lights, you’ll indelibly enjoy the four-course French-inspired menu they’ve put forth. Invoking this year’s theme of human connection, each dish has been crafted to tell a story about the producers, artisans and chefs who made your meal possible. Accompanying the meal is a small book which explains the story behind each course, a message from the chef and a full recipe so you can recreate it at home.

Where: Atelier at the Sofitel Sydney, Darling Harbour.
When: 24th May – 15th June from 5:30pm.
Cost: from $130. You can find more information about the menu and booking here.

Aria Snack Bar BY ARIA

Vivid 2024 presents a rare opportunity to experience Aria in a unique and relaxed setting at more budget-friendly prices at the pop-up Aria Snack Bar. Guests will enjoy an indulgent snacking menu, a glass of wine and a Patrón cocktail.

Menu highlights include: gilda featuring Moran Family Farm pork; crab croustade with trout roe and kombu; a wagyu cheeseburger to share; and BBQ Clarence River prawns with black lime and fermented chilli. For dessert, each person will receive three dishes: canelles; Pedro Ximenez ice cream sundae; and pineapple and tajin jellies.

Where: Aria Snack Bar is housed within the Wharf Room overlooking Circular Quay.
When: 6pm Monday – Saturday from 24 May – 15 June 2024.
Cost: $150 per person. Booking information can be found here.

A Culinary Canvas

The iconic Yallamundi Rooms will host Danielle Alvarez’s ‘A Culinary Canvas, a celebration of women in Australian gastronomy, winemaking and music.

The Yallamundi Rooms have a fantastic view of the Harbour Bridge

Guests will experience Danielle’s culinary creations paired with wines from female winemakers selected by sommelier Louella Mathews. Between courses, guests will be treated to two 30-minute musical performances by Katie Noonan.

Where: Yallamundi Rooms, Sydney Opera House.
When: Friday 7 & 14 June from 6:30pm. Bookings are essential.
Cost: $269 (plus $8.95 booking fee). A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to Vivid Sydney’s 2024 charity partner Médecins Sans Frontières.

VIVID TOKYO BIRD COCKTAIL & RIB EYE AT BLACKBIRD CAFE

Blackbird Cafe has a Vivid special meal offer which includes 350g Rib Eye on the Bone and their custom Vivid cocktail, the Tokyo Bird, for $63. The Tokyo Bird Cocktail is inspired by Hika Rokuyo’s water show at Cockle Bay Wharf and is presented in a festive light-up martini glass. Reservations are advisable but not required. Find more information here.

Three-Course Vivid Menu at Mode Kitchen

Mode Kitchen – For a Vivid dinner treat, talented Executive Chef Francesco and his amazing team have created an exciting Vivid menu that is available every evening, offering you a three-course feast for just $75 per person. Find booking and reservations information here.

Vivid Fire Kitchen 2024

Calling all street food lovers. This year the Good’s Line near Central Station will be the home of Vivid’s Fire Kitchen.

Explore a global array of fire-cooked dishes, from Tandoor to teppanyaki, First Nations cuisine to hearty sausages. Delight in live demonstrations by leading chefs, sharing the art of fire cooking.

Vivid Fire Kitchen Credit: Destination NSW

Fire Kitchen will be cooking up a storm every night from 6pm to 11pm.

More Vivid Foodie Fun

Vivid-Inspired Opera House Cake

The iconic Opera House Cake at Bottega Coco has been given a makeover for the occasion. Expertly crafted by head pastry Chef, Valentina Mora, the edible icon is coconut sponge, berry coulis and dark chocolate mousse on a wattleseed biscuit base. While the dessert will set you back a cool $25, you’ll enjoy every bite.

Food Trucks on the Forecourt

A range of food trucks will set up under the Opera House sails from 5pm. Vivid visitors looking for something smaller or more budget-friendly can find small plates, sides and snacks here, with vegan and vegetarian options available. More information about food trucks expected will be provided when available.

Our Shared Humanity

Presents a series of exclusive dinners at Refettorio Oz Harvest. Everynight of the series will see the state’s best chefs, including Christine Manfield, Darren Robertson, Mitch Orrand more plate up their unique take on a three-course vegetarian menu, made using rescued NSW produce.•

Plates with Purpose: A Taste of Ukraine.

Kyiv Social will host a special 10-course degustation created by Head chef Borys Chernyk  featuring the abundance of a Ukrainian family table.

This one-night-only event (June 4) will pay it forward with meals for Ukrainian individuals in need, both in Sydney and the Ukraine.

Vivid Place Food Trail

Hidden laneways you likely don’t know the name will host a lively night food markets.

Make your way to Ah Toy Lane, Sai Ying Lane, Underwood Street and Bulletin Place and you’ll find a pedestrianised culinary hub with cocktails and culinary choices from around the world produced by some of Australia’s finest chefs and bartenders as well as internationally acclaimed and Michelin starred chefs from abroad.

If that doesn’t catch your eye, note also that the food trail is open late, does not require tickets or bookings in advance, and features its own light installations.

Lots of new venues to discover along the food trail Credit: Vivid Sydney

We recommend the infamous Mi Goreng toastie (it’s sooo good) or a highball cocktail in a small underground Japanese Whiskey Bar.

If you have not planned your visit yet, check out all our tips for enjoying your night at Vivid Sydney.

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