Under The Sydney Sun | The 50 Best Spots To Eat Outdoors

By Jessica Best
25th Feb 2017

Ocean views, fairy lights, jungle gardens, and sprawling greenery all sound pretty good to us. Throw in some Hampton-themed rooftop bars, city skylines, and ocean views— that’s just the start of dining outdoors in Sydney. Let’s just say, if you’re keen to al fresco, you’ve come to the right city friends.

If kickass eats in the open air are on the menu, look no further. Here are the best places to eat outdoors in Sydney.

  1. Coogee Pavilion serves Mediterranean fare over three floors, but we all know the greatest level is the rooftop. Everyone deserve to indulge in a seafood banquet with the views of Coogee Beach below.
  2. If delicious cocktails and an urban garden equipped with fairy lights sounds like your type of jam, you’ll want to hit up The Winery.
  3. There’s nothing like sharing a tasty cocktail jug between you and your squad at Opera Bar with views to boot.
  4. Get your carb-ilicious feed on at the The Beresford Hotel with wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas, all enjoyed in the leafy cobblestone courtyard.
  5. Order up a delicious sambo (the smoked wagyu beef with gruyere kind) or a handful of baked goods from Store Espresso and head on out for a picnic.
  6. Get those sailing feels at Manly Wharf Hotel (minus the seasickness). Yep, there’s nothing better than digging into a bucket of King prawns on the wharf to bring back a bit of childhood nostalgia.
  7. The Oaks garden pavilion is a pretty magical setup, cue eating their famous tomahawk steak under a green canopy and a net of fairylights. Amen to that.
  8. Eating at the canteen style Three Blue Ducks Rosebery means consuming all the housemade sourdough and focaccia possible on their farmyard patio.
  9. Pack your picnic basket with the ultimate al fresco feed from Cornersmith Annandale and go for a picnic in the park. You’ll score pickled goods, preserves, chilli jam, fermented sodas and herbal wines #drool.
  10. The beer garden at The Sheaf offers up relaxed vibes in an open courtyard, meaning you can kickback and devour an entire plate of their prawn linguine.
  11.  Bringing you the ultimate Aussie tuckshop, the feeds at Tuckshop Glenhaven were made to be eaten outside with eats like the blood orange gelato chiller, rissole roll and almighty Chiko roll all perfect to munch on in their canteen seating.
  12. The outdoor atmosphere at Watsons Bay Hotel is like no other. Hanging out at the Beach Club means sushi boats, fish and chips and charcuterie plates with a priceless view of Sydney Harbour.
  13. The Newport is your go-to for enjoying a delicious meal alongside the stunning shores of Pittwater. You’ll get sprawling grounds perfect for an arvo of feasting after you’ve hit up the beach.
  14. Because one can never eat at too many beer gardens, Balmain Hotel is your next location for outdoor dining with picnic tables, fairy lights and uninterrupted views of the big blue sky.
  15. Escape the big smoke and hit up some serious holiday vibes at The Boathouse Palm Beach. Complete with beach views, tropical vibes and some seriously good Australian-grub, all sound pretty damn good to us.
  16. Grab an outdoor bite at Sydney’s newest downtown Spice Alley, the bustling foodie precinct where eating inside is a crime (and people watching is a must).
  17. It’s no surprise The Grounds makes this list. Famous for its organic garden, this gem is literally the Queen B of dining outside in a killer greenhouse and cobblestone setup.
  18. Fresh Italian fare and negroni on tap, there’s only one way to enjoy such food at Casoni and that’s in their cute outdoor area.
  19. For a colourful dinner spread or a long lunch, you need to be dining in the sunbathed, leafy terrace at Dead Ringer.
  20. East Village Rooftop is the creme de la creme when it comes to combining drinks and epic skylines. This 1950s-inspired rooftop gem is adorned with plush cushions and striped brollies, making it pretty much THE place to be for sipping margaritas and taking in all Sydney has to offer.
  21. The vegetarian institution Yulli’s gives you those cosy, European feels of Surry Hills in their intimate rooftop wine bottle herb garden.
  22. If you’re still reminiscing about your last European holiday, The Emporium Parramatta is the spot for you; the new alfresco area is seriously the next best thing to actually being in Tuscany.
  23. You’ll be able to take in the sweeping 180-degree views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD from The Glenmore Hotel’s sensational rooftop, plus it has a retractable roof (read: the rooftop is open rain, hail or shine).
  24. The Light Brigade is an art deco pub with chequerboard tiles, leather booths aaaaand a rooftop bar sitting a good 83 metres above sea level (so it boasts a stunning urban outlook).
  25. Vacanza is the perfect little restaurant to hit up for a romantic street dining setup and indulge in some pretty life changing southern, classic Italian-style pizza.
  26. The Royal Hotel Leichhardt means eating all the food on a beautiful wrap around verandah, think of it as “grazing and gazing” on a whole new level.
  27. For some serious modern tree house feels, Woolloomooloo gastropub The Tilbury means open plan dining, picnic tables and the feed of a lifetime.
  28. You’ll feel like you jetted straight to LA when you pay a (rather long) visit to Blackwood Pantry. Cue palm trees, salty air and of course- speciality coffee and artisan food.
  29. Coogee Hotel is one ginormous courtyard to bring the entire squad to, right opposite the beach, and with awesome live music.
  30. The Greens neighbourhood eatery offers up loads of food and drink, a garden, a bowling green (hence the name), views of the harbour (and good ones too) so it basically feels like you’re having an eternal vaycay.
  31. The Henson is the place to eat when you’re looking for a quaint outdoor courtyard with killer vibes.
  32. Girdlers Cafe Dee Why features a minimal setup and beach décor. It’s an institution for all the health conscious foodie souls out there and perhaps your new fav.
  33. The Bucket List Bondi gives you tacos and burgers (so it’s already a win really) and front row seats to watching the beach bods of Bondi Beach walk by, yep this will do just nicely.
  34. Catalina’s waterfront restaurant with an atmosphere so on point, it feels like you’re pretty much living it up on a million-dollar boat #notevenjoking.
  35. SoCal feels like you’re in the midst of a southern California surf trip. With an open plan cantina equipped with colourful flags and a rustic deck, it’s the perfect set up to fall in love with their California roll slider… this should be a staple in everyone’s diet.
  36. For cosy street dining Firefly is churning out seriously delicious share plates and quirky  cocktails, the white chocolate espresso martini is a must.
  37. The seating at Tramsheds newcomer, Butcher and Farmer, is flooded with natural light and even opens onto parkland. Let’s be honest, there’s not really any other way to feast on farm-to-table eats.
  38. There’s no doubt that Hugo’s Manly is a seriously wicked venue, giving us Sydney-siders a top location to witness some incredible sunsets alongside fresh seafood fare and pizzas.
  39. Dining on cured meats (the truffle salami kind) is always a good idea, which is why Chester is a place you need to tick off your list when you’re feeling like all the wine, all the cheese and all the meat.
  40. For an open farmhouse feast (and open fires), swing on by The Commons who are plating up modern European food… and it’s as good as everyone says it is.
  41. Four words: open-air beer garden. And the one at Lady Hampshire trumps all the rest. Oh, and so does their drunk tequila chicken.
  42. El Loco means endless tacos, salads, beer, hotdogs and margaritas served in a colourful late-night hangout under the stars.
  43. Bring on Cafe Sydney with all the food, all the drinks, and all the Sydney views… just everything really.
  44. Clovelly Hotel is the iconic seaside pub that’s lush AF. It has an epic beer garden, as all good pubs do, overlooking Clovelly Beach.
  45. Drop by Hotel Ravesis for an elevated view of Bondi Beach and bring on a food-induced coma with all their eats on the expansive wrap around terraces.
  46. The Courthouse is the staple drinking hole in Newtown with a jungle beer garden everybody is obsessed with (including us!).
  47. You can’t go past the rooftop bar at The Royal Paddington, giving you the best seats in Sydney to sip on a delicious cocktail concoction and take in the Sydney skyline.
  48. The food at Kepos St Kitchen is absolutely incredible (it’s Mediterranean fare with a Middle-eastern twist so we don’t need to say much more). This delicious hub has cute outdoor seating for all those chilled out catch-ups and coffee dates.
  49. Blue Caboose is serving up Mezze everything (and we’re totally ok with that) and not only is the decor absolutely epic, but these guys are stretching the summer vibes to their tropical balcony, the ultimate space to indulge in a cocktail or two.
  50. Bristol Arms is the Hamptons-style rooftop bar that you need to get your squad to… stat. With city skyline views on one side and a King St wharf outlook on the other, there’s no denying this joint should be your go-to for an after work tipple. They also do the best buttermilk-fried chicken burgers around.

Seeing as you love the outdoors we bet you'll love Sydney's Best Coastal Walks.

Coogee Pavilion | Image credit: Merivale

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