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Restaurants with a View of Sydney Harbour

If dining with views of Sydney Harbour is on your wish list, then we have you covered. These restaurants offer amazing views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge AND great food. We have listed options at various price points, so no one misses out.

Special Occasion Restaurants with a Harbour Bridge or Opera House View

If you are looking for a restaurant to celebrate a proposal, anniversary, special birthday or another memorable occasion it would be hard to go past these local favourites. Along with spectacular views, they offer 5-star service and food to match.

Price guide

  • $$ – mains approx $20-25
  • $$$ – mains $25-35
  • $$$$ – mains $35-45
  • $$$$$ – degustations over $150 or $50 mains

Bennelong Restaurant Sydney Opera House

Bennelong’s location inside one of the iconic shells is the perfect place for a memorable meal or celebratory drinks. The architecture shines and glimpses of the harbour through the glass sail as your dine enhances the experience immensely.

We celebrated our last wedding anniversary here, and it certainly lived up to the hype for us. Bennelong’s Executive Chef is Peter Gilmore, who’s Quay restaurant which sits directly across the harbour, has held a spot in the worlds best restaurant lists.

The menu focuses on Australia produce and includes some vegetarian options. The desserts are a standout, so if you have to stick to two courses, be sure to include dessert. The cherry jam lamington and the very stunning pavlova below are among the signature dishes here.

The Bennelong Pavlova is delicious as it is pretty

This is a fine dining experience where the view and atmosphere are every bit as special as the food. Some people might find the serving sizes small but if this is a concern, ask your waiter for some recommendations of the more substantial meals.

Where: Sydney Opera House
When: Lunch from Thurs- Sun 12pm – 2:15pm Dinner service from 5:30-9pm, Reservations needed: Recommended – more details on the website.
Approx cost: $$$$ 7 course tasting menu $210

 

Aria

Aria’s sits on East Circular Quay with views over the harbour and amazing Opera House views from most of the dining room. We have not always had a great view, but if you book in advance, you should be fine.

Arai dinner by harbour
The menu at Arai features the best local produce

They have pre-theatre (from 5pm) and post-theatre (from 10pm) 2 and 3-course menus. There are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other special dietary menus available and are happy to work with your needs. Just mention it when booking.

Where: 1 Macquarie St, Sydney 
When: Weekdays & Sun. 12pm-2:15pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm Sat 12pm-1:30pm & 5pm-11pm
Reservations needed: best to book in advance, especially for a window table.
Approx cost: $$$$ 2-course lunch $90, 2-course à la carte pre-dinner menu 90, three-course $150, tasting menu $210 (various prices with matching drinks)

Quay

Quay has appeared on the list of 50 Best Restaurant in the World and awarded 3 Hats in the Australia Best lists for more than 15 years. It was recently renovated and has opened with a new menu which I must admit I have not yet tried.

Quay Restaurant Sydney Harbour
Quay, in the Overseas Passenger Terminal and has spectacular Opera House views.

The restaurant sits at the end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal directly opposite the Opera House and has amazing views. These can sometimes be obscured at lunchtime with ships in port; you can check the port schedule here.

Where: Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney
When: Lunch – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12-1.30pm or Dinner Daily 6- 9pm
Reservations needed: Highly recommended – book online.
Approx cost: $$$$ 10-course tasting menu $295, 6-course $240 – drink packages available.

 

Cafe Sydney

I have had many a long lunch on the balcony at Cafe Sydney, which feels very much like sitting in the dress circle of Sydney Harbour. If you would like to be seated on the terrace, you really do need to make a reservation in advance.

Cafe Sydney is on the top floor of Custom’s House and looks out over Circular Quay

I find the serving sizes are more generous here than at the previous restaurants, so if you have a hearty appetite, you might be happier here.

Where: 5th Floor, Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay
When: Mon-Sat 12 noon- late, Sun 12 noon for lunch only
Reservations needed: Recommended, especially for the balcony. Book here.
Approx cost: $$$ al-la-carte entrees $30ish main dishes $40ish

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

What could be better than enjoying gorgeous fresh local seafood with this view

Sydney Rock Oysters to Lobster and prawns served with this view

You would think with the location that the food might slip a bit but honestly, this place has never let us down. It’s equally popular with locals and visitors because the seafood is always excellent. Generally, they try to keep you to a 90-minute visit but if you are ordering a large platter you will not be rushed.

Where: No.1 East Circular Quay, Sydney 2000
When: 11am till late 7 days
Reservations needed: Recommended, especially during holiday periods.
Approx cost: $$$ al-la-carte entrees $30ish main dishes $40ish

 

Altitude

Altitude Restaurant in the Shangri La Hotel has what I consider the best indoor view of the harbour in the city. This award-winning restaurant is also home to arguably the cities best pastry chef, Anna Polyviou.

Alittude Restaurant Sydney View

The modern Australian menu features locally sourced seafood quality meats but the vegetarian options seemed limited to me so I would enquire first if this is important to you.

On our last visit, we enjoyed the 2-course lunch menu for $65 for an extra $45 you could pair it with the Sommelier wine suggestion. I like lunch here because you get to make the most of the view. If you do choose dinner try to time it for sunset.

Alitude Restaurant salmon main

Don’t miss Anna’s Mess, a mascarpone and vanilla mousse, with raspberry curd, and crackling crunch, pop-rocks.

Where: 176 Cumberland St, Sydney NSW 2000
When: 11am till late 7 days
Reservations needed: Often possible the last minute for lunch
Approx cost: Lunch – $65 2-Course | 3-Course $80 Dinner – $125 2-Course* | 3-Course $145 (dinner special available Sunday to Thursday only) See the full menu here

Mid-priced Harbour View Restaurants

Opera Bar

Opera Bar is another great casual option – with live music in the afternoon and most evenings and a varied menu that will suit most diners. This is the perfect spot for a lazy late lunch or early dinner. Often touted as the “best beer garden in the world” it offers lots more than just beer!

Dining at Opera Bar in Sydney
Indoor and outdoor seating for diners at Opera Bar

The menu features shared platters, pizzas, seafood and salads. There are not very many vegetarian options, but I do really love the cauliflower dish. Oh, and the coconut pannacotta is delicious!

Where: Concourse Sydney Opera House
When: Mon to Thur 10am – 12am, Friday & Sat 10am-1am Sun 9am-12am
Reservations: breakfast and weekday lunch – other times not taken
Approx cost: $$-$$$ Check the menu here

Opera Kitchen

Opera Kitchen sits right next to Opera Bar and but offers a different style of menu more in line with an Aussie pub menu. This is the type of food you will find in most suburban pubs.

The view from Opera Bar and kitchen
The view from Opera Kitchen.

The breakfast menu is excellent – if you have not tried smashed avo on toast now is your chance. They also have a great range of salads, burgers, Asian bowls and popular casual Australian style main courses.

Where: Lower Concourse Sydney Opera House
When: 7 days, 7:30am-11am Breakfast,
Reservations needed: No
Approx cost: $$-$$$ Check the menu here

 

Ripples North Sydney

Ripples North Sydney is located almost underneath the Harbour Bridge at North Sydney. With indoor and outdoor seating, you will likely have a view wherever you are seated.

The food is Italian inspired, and the servings are large. Sometimes service slips when they are busy, but you have such a beautiful outlook this has never really bothered us.

Have a wander in Wendy’s Secret Garden, explore old fashioned fun at Coney Island and try a preswim lunch at North Sydney Pool

Where: 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point NSW
When: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – check the website for exact times
Reservations needed: recommended – can have dessert and coffee only after 9pm
Approx cost: $$ (breakfast) -$$$ (lunch and dinner)

Affordable and Budget Options

MCA Rooftop Cafe

The menu at the MCA rooftop cafe changes regularly and the food to complement the current exhibitions.

MCA Cafe view
The view from the terrace at the MCA Cafe

There is a range of salads, main courses, and some great house drinks.

MCA Cafe Salad

This is a great casual spot, and its likely everyone in your group could find something to suit their taste and budget. You can also just go for coffee or a drink.

Where: 4/140 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000
When: Daily 10am-5pm, Wednesdays: 10am–9pm (last orders 8.30pm)
Reservations needed: Not taken
Approx cost: $ (breakfast) -$$ (lunch and dinner) – see menu

Glenmore Hotel

The Glenmore is an old school Aussie pub with a lovely rooftop view over the harbour. There is limited seating on the roof, so arrive early or make a booking on the website.

Roof top bar with a view Glenmore Hotel The Rocks
The Rooftop dining area at the Glenmore Hotel

They offer daily specials including a Monday steak chips and salad for under $15 all day.

Where: 96 Cumberland St, The Rocks
When: Mon-Thur- 11am-Midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-Midnight
Reservations needed: Not taken for the rooftop
Approx cost: $ (breakfast) -$$ (lunch and dinner) – see menu

Bella Vista Manly

Located at South Head just near Manly the Bella Vista Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and offers an Italian menu featuring both traditional and modern Italian dishes.

Breakfast with all the usual Aussie favourites is served until 11.30am. Lunch options include pasta, risotto, meat and chicken mains and salads.

Where: 203/33 North Head Scenic Drive Manly,
When: Open 7 days / Weekdays 9am – 4pm, Weekends 8am – 5pm
Reservations: via the Fork or walk in
Approx cost: $ (breakfast) -$$ (lunch) – see menu

How to save money on Sydney restaurants

  • The Fork – The Fork is a Tripadvisor company that offers 50% off some of the city’s most popular restaurants.
  • First Table – If you don’t mind dining early, you can pay a $10 booking fee per table to get 50% off your meal for 2 or 4 diners.
  • Entertainment Book – This book is actually an app and lets you save between 25-50% off per meal – The app costs $70. So two or three meals and you have your money back. It also covers tourist attractions. If you purchase an Entertainment Book a small portion of your purchase price will be donated to Sydney Greeters.

Note- most restaurants charge fees on Sundays, and on all Public Holidays a 12-15% surcharge applies

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5 thoughts on “Restaurants with a View of Sydney Harbour”

  1. There are also 2 restaurants with the harbour views for new years called Eastbank Cafe and Searock Grill!

    Reply
  2. Everything looks absolutely amazing, from the views the the tasty cuisine. What a bucket list experience even ONE of these places would be for this Kansas City-based girl!

    Reply
  3. I love Sydney and its choice of places with views. ‘Anna’s mess’ sounds yummy! Belle Vista Manly and Sydney Cove Oyster bar views are stunning! 🙂

    Reply
  4. So you had me at that pavlova haha. I’ve never done a 7 course meal before but i feel like it would be kind of cool to experience! Small serving sizes is good to since there’s seven plates coming! What a great guide!

    Reply
  5. Where was this list last time we were in Sydney? We were looking for somewhere affordable to eat with a view of the harbour. I am saving this for our next visit, which will have to be a bit longer than the last, so we have time to eat at a few of these places.

    Reply

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