It’s no secret that Sydney is a city pretty much teeming with waterfront restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a cocktail with a view, fish and chips by the beach, or you simply live for the sea breeze 24/7—you really are stacked for choice. And if this week’s top-notch summertime sunshine has you Googling “waterfront restaurants”, we’ve got a special spot to add to your must-do list.
Manly Pavilion, the heritage-listed building perched on the western cliff of Manly Cove, is all about ocean views, al fresco vibes, and a friendly Italian-leaning menu recently revived by executive chef Alessio Rago.
Pick a spot on the wide balcony and watch the ferries pass by—trust us, it’ll (almost) replace that trip to Italy that got cancelled in 2020.
Rago has tapped his Florentine heritage and experience at Michelin-starred restaurant Il Mosaico to get the job done. You can expect fluffy house-made focaccia and Tuscan-style French fries served with parmesan, alongside an edit of fresh pastas and lobster mornay.
Standouts on the pasta front include the malloreddus ai gamberi, a baby shell saffron pasta topped with garlic and chilli prawns, and the ravioloni di zucca, a pumpkin and goats cheese ravioli with creamy burnt butter and sage.
Being a waterfront bistro, you’ll also be able to tuck into crowd-pleasers like fresh oysters, calamari fritti, and buckets of fresh prawns with seafood sauce—but all come with a little more polish than your standard seaside fish and chip spot.
For drinks, work your way through a handful of fresh signature cocktails perfect for the seaside summer setting—like the Sex and the City-approved “Mr. Pink Martini”, made with citrus vodka, Chandon rosé, apple, cranberry, ginger, and lychee, or the “Sugar and Splice”, which is a bit like a passionfruit spritz, mixed with orange, passionfruit, Aperol, and Prosecco. If you've brought your mates, quench everyone's thirst with a jug of rosé sangria or southside spritz.
The wine list is a solid mix of Aussie and Italian varietals, with a couple of organic drops from Puglia, Tuscany, and Abruzzo making an appearance.
For more details and opening hours, jump over here.
For now, here's a list of our favourite Sydney spots for a dreamy long lunch.
Image credit: Manly Pavilion