The Surf Deck, Northern Beaches of Sydney
Sandy feet are welcomed – and even encouraged – at the Surf Deck, a stylish little restaurant and pub on the edge of Collaroy Beach. The Surf Deck has more windows than walls. Enjoy a pina-colada, banana daiquiri, and Sydney rock oysters while enjoying swordfish carpaccio, woodfired Pizza, and a view of the ocean.
Armory Wharf Cafe, Western Sydney
The Newington Armory, once the Royal Australian Naval Armament, is now a sprawling parkland with an arts district. The Parramatta River runs along its edge, and the Armory Wharf Cafe is perched right on top. It’s a great place for families to stop and eat after a walk or cycle through the park.
St George Sailing Club – South Sydney
The 125-year-old St George Sailing Club was transformed after a $15-million renovation into South Sydney’s most stylish place. San Souci has a large indoor/outdoor restaurant that can seat 300 people, a raw bar with fresh oysters and salmon sashimi, and a cocktail and wine list.
Mereweather Surfhouse Newcastle
Merewether Surfhouse is the kind of place where you’d happily go back every day. The Merewether Surfhouse is located right next to Newcastle’s best surfing beach. There’s a cafe for breakfast or pre-surf coffee on the ground floor and a rooftop Italian restaurant with panoramic views of the coast and woodfired pizzas.
Little Shack – Port Macquarie
Little Shack, tucked away in the harbor breakwall at Port Macquarie, is beachside cool and casual. Take a picnic table out front to enjoy breakfast tacos, lobster rolls for lunch, and cocktails at sunset.
The Quarterdeck – Narooma
The Quarterdeck in Narooma is a local favorite and has been for nearly 20 years. In 2021, it was Justin Hemmes’s first venue outside Sydney. He now owns three other platforms. The Quarterdeck Narooma is perched on stilts over the Wagonga inlet’s tidal water. It offers a relaxed atmosphere, Mexican-inspired food, and fun cocktails.
Merimbula Aquarium Wharf & Restaurant – Merimbula
Merimbula Aquarium Wharf & Restaurant offers a wide range of seafood, including freshly caught fish and Broadwater Oysters from nearby Pambula. You can dine in a 180-degree view or a 360-degree ocean view. For a special event, choose the seafood platter to extend your lunch.
The Oyster Shed at Wray Street, Batemans Bay
The NSW South Coast has a good reason for being called Australia’s Oyster Coast. Visit the Oyster Shed at Wray Street on the Clyde River in Batemans Bay. It’s not a fancy restaurant with white tablecloths. Instead, it’s a shed and a few tables outside. The oysters are fresh.
Tuross Boatshed, Tuross Lake
Tuross Boatshed is an absolute waterfront restaurant that is laidback and where shellfish are picked straight from the sea. The boatshed offers kayaks for hire for children who don’t wish to wait.
Blacksmith Provedore, Lake Mulwala
Blacksmith Provedore, located on the western shore of Lake Mulwala in the Murray Region, is a masterpiece inspired by Mid-Century Modern architecture. It features white tiles, bold archways, and chic stonework. Under a pink umbrella, enjoy a woodfired pie and an Aperol spritz.
Tweed River House Murwillumbah
Tweed House is a new restaurant with a lawn bar and uninterrupted views of the river, Mount Warning (Wollumbin), from the top of the house. The best Northern Rivers produce, and a Michelin-starred former chef are on the menu at Tweed River House.
Trinity Point – 8 at Trinity
Book a set of deckchairs or a table outside at the eight at Trinity, located on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Enjoy fresh seafood while dining at an outdoor table or deck chair overlooking a lake twice as large as Sydney Harbour.
The River Moruya (Moruya)
The River Moruya chefs combine classic French techniques with modern Australian ones to create a menu of exceptional local seafood. It’s like eating at a friend’s house. At sunset, the Rhubarb Sbagliato is a real treat.
Dovecote – Gerringong
The stunning pavilions of Dovecote are normally only available to guests staying overnight. Book into the new Dine in Design Series. Chef Alex Prichard, head chef at Icebergs, will prepare a mouth-watering degustation menu featuring South Coast produce and local wines.
You can’t get oysters any fresher than those you pick up yourself. Sydney Oyster Farm Tours will lead you on a tour of the Hawkesbury River Oyster Farm, followed by a tasting under a tablecloth in the water. Take a Kayak and Shuck Tour with Navigation Expeditions on the Pambula River on the Sapphire coast. You can paddle through the Beowa National Park and reach Broadwater Oysters to taste their award-winning Sydney Rocks.
The Paddle Tour of Region X in Batemans Bay brings food delivery to an entirely new level. Sam’s Pizza will be delivered to your kayak for dinner under the stars, while the Clyde River and moonlight are all you have for the company.
You can also take a Cruise from the Wharf to the Winery on an old Murray River paddle steamer. You’ll depart from Echuca-Moama and glide down the Murray River to Morrisons Winery, where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch with wine tasting. As you dine, keep an eye out for kangaroos that are grazing along the river.
Sydney Harbour’s grandeur is best appreciated by being immersed in it. Spend a lavish brunch or champagne-filled long lunch at The Jackson. This ultra-luxe vessel feels like a superyacht. You’ll be cruising from King Street Wharf, past iconic landmarks, and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.