6 of the best waterfront restaurants in Sydney

Whether it’s world class dining with a view of Sydney Harbour or delicious food on the Northern beaches, these are the best waterside restaurants in the city.

A restaurant dining room overlooking the water.
  • Alexandra Carlton
  • December 2019

For the residents of Australia’s scenic city, eating out is an unofficial sport. And with the sparkling harbour at its doorstep, waterfront dining is something that no one should miss in Sydney. The hardest part? Choosing which fabulous waterside location to go to, whether it’s a dining experience on the harbour, at a chic beachside pub or a classic restaurant on the river.

Best for Instagram: Bathers’ Pavilion, North Shore

Newly reopened, with fresh interiors that blend coastal blue and whites, Bathers’ is one of those shimmering Sydney experiences everyone must have once, whether it’s for fish and chips from the bistro, champagne and a half dozen oysters at the terrace bar or just grabbing an ice block from the kiosk. In the evenings, you may see owner (something of a local legend) Serge Dansereau mingling with guests enjoying his bouillabaisse or steak tartare on the main restaurant floor.

Bathers’ Pavilion, 4 The Esplanade, Mosman, +61 (0)2 9969 5050, batherspavilion.com.au opens in new window

Best for Italian: Angelo’s Cabarita, Inner West

Australia meets Italy in this polished waterfront eatery on the foreshore. Share snacks like Sydney rock oysters at the bar or choose relaxed fine dining in the main restaurant where floor-to-ceiling windows let the harbour views in. Feast on crowd-pleasing Italian dishes including burrata with heirloom tomatoes and Wagyu osso buco with pappardelle.

Prince Edward Park, Phillips Street, Cabarita, +61 (0)2 9743 2225, angeloscabarita.com.au opens in new window

A bowl of scallops next to a glass of wine.
Angelo's offers an authentic Italian menu in a scenic corner of Sydney.

Best for special occasions: Manta, Woolloomooloo

Join the glam crowd at the bustling Woolloomooloo wharf to feast on sustainably sourced seafood; the menu honours provenance, down to the name of the fisherman who supplies the fresh catch of the day (it’s Chris from Queensland, in case you’re wondering)! The interiors are stylish, with nautical nods, but you do want to nab a table outside to people-watch and take in the views while you nibble on Sydney rock oysters and a lip-smacking seafood risotto.

6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo, +61 (0)2 9332 3822, mantarestaurant.com.au opens in new window

Tables at Manta restaurant overlooking boats on the harbour
Manta serves up stellar seafood in an elegant setting.

Best for lunch: Regatta Rose Bay, Eastern Suburbs

With its views of millionaires’ yachts, it’s easy to imagine you’re one of the city’s elite as you dine on stracciatella with shaved pear and hazelnuts or grilled Fremantle octopus. For the same top-shelf vistas but something more low-key, head downstairs for a coffee and bacon and egg roll at the tucked-away Tide Café.

594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay, +61 (0)2 9327 6561, regattarosebay.com opens in new window

A family dining at Regatta restaurant in Rose Bay.
The views complement the gourmet menu at Regatta.

Best for pizza: The Collaroy, Northern Beaches

The quintessential beachfront bar, restaurant and pub rolled into one, The Collaroy, in the Northern Beaches suburb of the same name, is a dream spot to grab a beer and a pizza on a lazy afternoon after a day on the sand. Health-conscious locals love the all-day fresh salad bowls and non-alcoholic Seedlip cocktails.

1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy, +61 (0)2 9114 7366, merivale.com/venues/thecollaroy opens in new window

A restaurant dining room overlooking the sea.
Grab a relaxed bite while taking in the stunning sea views at this Northern Beaches restaurant.

Best for families: The Newport, Northern Beaches

This family- and dog-friendly venue on the Pittwater is something of a Northern Beaches institution. Stop by for a coffee and baked treat in the morning or tuck into wood-fired pizzas and fresh seafood at lunch – everyone will leave happy. On weekends, there are special activities for kids and you can enjoy live music and sundowners on the deck.

2 Kalinya Street, Newport, +61 2 9114 7337, merivale.com/venues/thenewport opens in new window