The city of Hobart is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including awe-inspiring views of the port and the profusion of islands. The Harbour Bridge and Opera House are iconic structures that dominate the skyline, while beyond we have lovely beaches, bays, and twin necks that open out into the vast Tasman Sea.
It makes sense, then, that we would want to spend as much of our time as possible gazing out into the blue abyss and finding a great vantage point to take in our ocean vistas is one of the greatest things you can do in this city. It’s not only deep and forbidding, but it’s also frequently teeming with breathtaking sailboats, hypnotizing surfers, and famous ferries. And when whales visit the town at certain times of the year, they come right up to our doorstep. Not a bad spot to be!
Every time we see a restaurant with ocean views, it goes up a notch in our preference. Food tastes better when you’ve got a magnificent panoramic view to think about. The greatest waterfront restaurants in Sydney have been gathered together for you here.
Sean’s Panorama (Bondi)
Sean’s is certainly one of our top restaurants, so you’d expect to find it on the list. The views across the road from the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club are spectacular; they don’t get much better than this—but the cuisine here is also outstanding.
The Eastern Beaches’ most delicious meals are served in this historic cottage with stunning views of Sydney harbour. Sean Moran, the head chef and owner, grows his own fruit on his 20-acre farm in the Blue Mountains and serves it to a great company in the middle of the Eastern Beaches. The menu is based on what’s available from local companies and the surrounding area farms. This usually translates to fantastic seafood, exactly what you want when looking out across Sydney Harbour.
Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant (The Rocks)
It’s all about the beautiful waterfront location. Campbells Cove in The Rocks is your new go-to for spectacular water views and large seafood platters, having opened in mid-2019. Consider Balmain bugs with remoulade, Abrolhos octopus carpaccio with salsa verde, cured scallops with chilli, lime and coriander, Appellation Sydney rock oysters, and Humpty Doo Barramundi with caramelised lemon dressing. It’s a bottomless drink and oyster party on Saturdays and Sundays, with free-flowing Moët & Chandon and a dozen freshly shucked oysters, or, if you’re hungry, a seafood lunch with unlimited bubbles instead.
Aria (Circular Quay)
Despite the fact that it’s in an excellent location, the glory of Aria doesn’t quite come across—though it is one of its many delicious features. Despite the view of the Opera House forecourt, Circular Quay, and the bridge, it will be the food and wine at this renowned fine restaurant that will keep your attention. Matt Moran and Bruce Solomon recently hired Thomas Gorringe (Bentley Restaurant and Bar, The Gantry) as head chef, who appears to be planning to continue on with Roberts’ legacy of exquisite dishes created with high-quality Australian suppliers. Highlights include glazed Maremma ducks, nectarines, salsify, and chicory; torched bonito with Tasmanian wasabi, green strawberries, and kombu; and Moreton Bay bugs with tamarind XO. This is complemented by one of the country’s most-enduring wine lists. Simply said, Aria is a must-do in your lifetime.
Catalina (Rose Bay)
As one of Sydney’s oldest “special occasion” dining destinations, Catalina boasts stunning views of sparkling Rose Bay. In fact, Catalina is one of a select group of restaurants in Sydney that have endured the test of time and attracted well-heeled locals and celebrities (such as Beyonce and Jay Z) since opening in 1994. The bright white, minimalist room is completed with pages of champagne and wine to select from, as well as arguably some of the city’s best Sydney Rock oysters. Soy-cured king salmon and crispy skin saltwater barramundi are two of the most popular dishes on the menu. With that beautiful ocean view and exceptional service? The must-do Sydney activity is Catalina.
Empire Lounge (Rosebay)
The Empire Lounge, the restaurant linked to Sydney Seaplanes, was formerly the first location you’d visit when landing in our city. Yes, our first airport was a water facility. Empire Lounge serves breathtaking views of Rose Bay where you may “sit right on the water and watch the seaplanes as you sip on rose or bubbles,” Mackenzie from Empire Lounge tells us. Chef Faheem Noor serves up “contemporary Australian,” which for him means heaps of fresh sashimi, coconut barramundi, or green tea soba noodles with ocean trout. An opulent afternoon snack.