14 of Sydney’s Best Outdoor Dining Spots, Now That the Summer Is in Full Swing

best outdoor dining sydney

The sun is out, the birds are chirping and Sydneysiders are awakening from a winter slumber. Life is good again. With the days getting longer, we no longer feel the need to rush home from work. A cheeky after-work spritz or dinner is back on the cards, and Sydney’s outdoor dining spots are ready for us.

So, to help you make the most of the warmer, brighter months, we’ve compiled a list of Sydney’s best outdoor restaurants, from rooftop perches to harborside beach clubs that will make you feel like you’re in Positano.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Natasha Bazika

Deux Frères, CBD

Although there is a cosy indoor seating situation at Deux Frères, you would be amiss if you didn’t snap up an alfresco table when the weather is balmy. This pintxos and tapas bar brings the best of the Basque country to the laneways of Sydney, including the love for vermut. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend a summer than here, tucking into little plates of thinly sliced serrano jamón, gildas, and heirloom tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese. We haven’t even mentioned the cocktail yet, including a biarritz colada, or get a pichet of house-made sangria. Before you know it a few hours have passed as if you were dining on a cobblestone street of San Sebastián.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Gildas

Gildas, Surry Hills

In the winter, Gildas is a moody basque wine bar and restaurant, but this summer, they’ve introduced a handful of outdoor tables, so diners can soak in the sun, while gnawing on gildas and sipping wine. You’ll have to be quick to nab a seat, but it’s worth fussing over. As for the food, it’s Lennox Hastie, so you know it’s going to be good.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Rafi

Rafi, North Sydney

Crossing the bridge is near impossible for some Sydneysiders, but trust us, you’ll want to make the jaunt across for this European-inspired restaurant. Rafi is a multidimensional venue, offering a semi-alfresco glass house named The Arbor, which wraps around an outdoor tree-lined terrace. The inside is dressed in fresh pastels, marble mosaics, and terracotta tiles. But it’s the menu that has us coming back for more. Think Australian, with a Mediterranean twist, such as fresh tuna tossed in a simple tahini and fragrant chilli oil. Everything is fresh and light, perfect for those balmy summer days. The bar menu plays with native Australian ingredients and wines.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Ricos Tacos

Ricos Tacos, Redfern

After years of being a roving taco cart, Ricos Tacos has a permanent sunny spot in Redfern and it’s already drawing crowds. On the weekend, this yellow-walled venue is packed with locals, making their way through Ricos biggest menu yet. If you’ve had Ricos you know what all the fuss is about. If you haven’t, this is the perfect opportunity to try it. Be sure to grab a spot outside. Sometimes, they have lechon BBQ in the courtyard.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Martinez

Martinez, CBD

You might not be in the south of France, but at Martinez, at least you can pretend. This breezy rooftop bar is the ideal place to kick back with a spritz and fresh seafood. There is a restaurant inside, which brings the outside in with plants and a skylight, but for a more alfresco option, be sure to tick, terrace on the booking. From here, you can see the Harbour Bridge, but most importantly, gorge yourself on delicious Mediterranean dishes. It’s the kind of place you want to spend hours on the weekend, with good company — of course.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Shell House

Shell House Dining Room and Terrace, CBD

Shell House is known for its swanky decor, moody indoor bars, and elegant digs, but did you know there’s an outdoor terrace, too? It’s also elegant, clad in white and neutrals to channel the Mediterranean, with potted plants. The summer menu is packed with seafood, including a tuna cotoletta, a take on the chicken cotoletta in Italy and lots of pastas — cavatelli, casarecce, gigli, agnolotti and more. The drinks list is much longer.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Ploós

Ploós, The Rocks

Picture this: sizzling saganaki bathing in honey by the water with a direct sightline to the Sydney Opera House. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, it’s exactly what you get at Ploos, a Peter Conistis venue. Serving specifically South Aegean and Modern Greek, diners can expect to feats Greek style by the famous harbour scene. On the menu, expect everything from Abrolhos octopus to spanakopita filled manti, and pressed lamb shoulder. All dishes are designed to be shared, so invite the family or a group of friends and make a day of it.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Ezra

Ezra, Potts Point

Want a taste of the Middle East but set within a leafy, shaded terrace? Ezra serves a slice of Tel Aviv in the heart of Potts Point. The menu is packed with flavoursome dishes, including their addictive Jewish bagels best consumed dipped in hazelnut muhammara with pomegranate for a pop of sweetness. The menu is designed to be shared, so gather the group. The cocktails are unique or a spin on a classic like a white negroni and the Tel Aviv Batida.

best outdoor dining sydney

Beau, Surry Hills

The team behind NOMAD works the same magic at Beau. Though the narrow bar and restaurant are predominately inside and tucked in a laneway, if you get lucky enough to nab the outside tables, you’re in for a treat, especially on a balmy day. The wine list is seriously impressive, as are the cocktails. The menu is seasonal, but you can expect to see beef tartare, roasted artichokes, and flatbreads with dip.

best outdoor dining sydney

6HEAD, The Rocks

Sitting on the same strip as Ploós is 6HEAD, Sydney’s premier destination for the best steak. Ask anyone who’s been there, and you will get the same, if not similar, response. Pull up a chair outside and enjoy the sun and views, or take shade inside with the same iconic views. As for the menu, steak is the name of the game, and they’re the masters of it. Choose your preferred steak, add some sides, and a glass of wine. You can’t go wrong with a dining experience at 6HEAD.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: Opera Bar

Opera Bar, Circular Quay

Is there any other spot in Sydney more iconic than Opera Bar? Perhaps the Sydney Opera House itself? As soon as the weather starts warming up, locals flock to the tables of Opera Bar for sunset aperols, live music and a seasonal menu. Graze on cheese, or tuck into a pizza, or there’s always a seafood platter.

best outdoor dining sydney
Photo: St Siandra

St Siandra, Mosman

Soak up the sunny weekends with brunch or lunch at St Siandra, a Mediterranean-inspired waterfront restaurant and bar plopped on a private strip of beach. We told you it has Amalfi vibes. The food has a heavy focus on seafood, but meat lovers will find everything from short rib skewers to smoked spatchcock. There are plenty of veggies on the menu and some sweet treats, including ricotta fritters dusted in cinnamon sugar. The cocktails are named after yachts.

best outdoor dining sydney

Barangaroo House, Barangaroo

Whether you’re grabbing a cocktail at House Bar or nipping at an omakase experience with chopsticks at Rekodo, you’ll always find Barangaroo House buzzing in the summertime. On the first level, nab a table on the balcony for water views. You can still order the omakase menu or choose your own adventure with a la carte.

best outdoor dining sydney

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay

Spend your weekend at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel for lively parties by the harbour and beach, live music, and views of Sydney’s iconic landmarks. The Beach Club has striped sun umbrellas, a bar serving frozen margaritas and rose wine, and delicious food like fish burgers and seafood platters.

Related: 34 of the Best New Bars and Restaurants in Sydney

Related: The Best Late-Night Desserts in Sydney, According to a Serial Sweet Tooth

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