Few cities anywhere in the world are defined by their relationship with water as much as Australia’s very own harbor city. With the rolling sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the jagged inlets of the Hawkesbury River to the north, the Nepean River to the west and of course, stunning Sydney Harbour and its world class landmarks cutting a line straight through its geographical centre, Sydney does glamorous beaches and the waterfront lifestyle better than most! Given its abundance of physical blessings, which also includes a sunny year-round climate, Sydneysiders are known to flock to the many beachside bars and restaurants their home town offers. Here’s just a few top spots that have caught True Local’s eye:
61 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW
Sitting pretty on the second floor of Circular Quay’s infamous ‘”toaster” building (Bennelong Apartments) with sweeping views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Hacienda is a Latin-infused bar serving up vintage 1950’s-inspired cocktails and Cuban-style meals to well-heeled Sydneysiders. Meal options range from simple Shoe String Fries for $12 to filling Grilled Haloumi Burgers for $24, whilst cocktail options include the Fading Light (vodka, pomengranate liquer, blood orange shrub, lime juice & vanilla sugar) for $19 and Pera Sabrosa (sailor jerry spiced rum, pear shrub, apple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup, mint & ginger beer) for $22 to name just a few examples.
“I stopped in here for a cocktail after dinner down on the water. This place has an awesome view of the quay and a pretty good drinks. It was very busy when we were there, so if you are after a table I would book, however, you can also grab a standing place by the bar. The costs here are what you expect along the water but is definitely worth a visit. I am keen to head back and grab a table to spend some more time there” – CB&D
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach NSW
As iconic as the world famous beach it overlooks, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar is a Sydney institution, a place where hardy souls come for their early morning swim in this beachfront club’s invigorating salt pool, followed by a refreshing drink and filling meal in its spacious upstairs quarters. Popular items on the menu include Porter House Steak for $30, Fish & Chips for $26, Vanilla Ice Cream (3 Scoops) for a surprisingly low $4, whilst drinking options range from a Cosmopolitan at $14 up to $22 for a jug of Pimms.
“You would be hard pressed to find a more iconic or great view than the one from Icebergs. The whole interior of the Dining Room and Bar compliments the view too as they have opted for a very clean, white finish and colourings which makes the blue ocean stand out even more. The food is great as are the cocktails and the service. It is pretty pricey but you get what you pay for” – Miss Forster
1 Athol Wharf Road, Mosman NSW
Billed as “bringing the European beach club experience exclusively to Sydney”, The Island is the “world’s first floating beach club” anchored in Sydney Harbour, off the shores of exclusive Mosman. Featuring stunning views across the water towards the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Island also functions as a posh event space – with upcoming functions including an Australia Day party.
“The Island is basically a giant party boat that is docked in the harbour for summer – it’s open for parties on the weekend (pre book tickets on their website) and private functions (which is how I found out about it). It’s a rather large venue with a full bar and adequate amenities on site. Absolutely beautiful view over the harbour on a nice day and sunset” – Livvie
3 Centenary Drive, Mosman NSW
Overlooking the narrow silver of water that is Mosman Bay, Mosman Rowers is one of Sydney’s prime waterfront clubs, just a short ferry ride from the heart of the hustle and bustle in Circular Quay. Operating a Member’s Bar on the ground floor that’s open for lunch and dinner daily, Mosman Rowers also doubles as a super classy function space and is also open to members of the general public (as long as you sign a guestbook first). Popular items on their menu include $16 Burgers, $18 Pizza’s and a range of delicious Cocktails.
“I popped in to Mosman rowers Club last Sunday afternoon – a real hidden gem. The place isn’t pretentious, the staff knew what they were doing. I tried the craft beers they had on tap and me and my mate shared a tasting plate – It was a good size for two and the variety was awesome. It was like 5 different tasty meals in one” – Andy
1 Military Road, Watsons Bay NSW
Nestled at the southern entrance to Sydney Harbour, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel takes its title from the ritzy neighborhood of the same name and includes all the mod cons you’d expect from a waterside venue catering to the city’s A-list. Chief amongst its attractions include stunning views over the Harbour towards Sydney CBD from a generous outdoor deck, dedicated wedding and conference space and of course a delectable series of set menus covering Weekend Brunch ($45) to Grand Feast/Dinner ($125).
“Gets very busy – so get there early! The ambience is perfect for a relaxing summer drink with mates. The food – simply amazing, especially if you get seafood. I had the roasted salmon, and it melted in my mouth. The cauliflower and chick pea salad that accompanied the salmon was average. Had too much turmeric” – Missyarya