Ah, Sydney – golden shores lapped at by the crystal waters of the Pacific Ocean. Life in Sydney is inextricably linked to the water. The city abounds in beautiful views. Watching the sun rise and set by the ocean is beautiful and relaxing – can it get any better than that? Well, a cup of coffee, a few drinks or a nice meal could make the experience even more pleasurable. Luckily, Sydney boasts literally thousands of cafes, pubs and restaurants by the shore. But, that presents a whole different problem! How on earth do you choose? Fret not, we are here to help you! Here are some of the best places to unwind with refreshments on Sydney’s Pacific coast.
The Bather’s Pavilion, Balmoral
Bather’s Pavilion is located on Balmoral, one of the city’s most popular beaches. The beach has more of a family vibe, with gentle waters and plenty of activities, but the restaurant is all class. The carefully created menu contains modern European cuisine and a huge selection of wines. The locale is equally impressive – the restaurant is set in a striking heritage building, right on the beach.
A bit off the beaten track, this gem is situated on Freshwater beach. A few kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas, Freshwater is an exquisite surfers’ paradise. Pilu is well worth a visit too. They offer Sardinian food with a modern twist, in a beautiful space, with floor to ceiling windows so the guests can enjoy the view. Sitting outside on the balcony in the warmer months is a must. The excellent food and service make up for the fact Pilu is on the pricier side. For those too busy lounging on the beach to get dressed and come inside, Pilu has a panini kiosk outside.
The Blackbird Cafe and Bar, Darling Harbour
Located smack-dab in Darling Harbour, the Blackbird has a coveted position. Surely one of the most fabulous waterfront cafes in Sydney, a funky, vibrant cafe and eatery serving modern Australian cuisine made with the freshest of ingredients. The prices are reasonable, and they have a happy hour for drinks every afternoon. The restaurant and balcony offer a sprawling view of the Harbour – which is particularly impressive at night. If you happen to visit Sydney during the Vivid Light festival, there is no better place to watch the display from.
Museum of Contemporary Art Cafe, The Rocks
Recommending the cafe of a museum sounds strange, to say the least. Museum cafes are usually the place where you go to rest your feet and grab a dry, overpriced sandwich and a watery coffee – because that is your only option. The MCA Cafe and Sculpture Terrace is a different story. The relatively simple menu offers fresh and delicious food. And with the tasty food and drinks – wine and beer are available – come unparalleled views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The partly covered terrace with sculptures is sleek, modern and impressive.
Icebergs Dining Room, Bondi Beach
You could call Iceberg’s a Sydney institution. It’s not difficult to see why this Bondi restaurant has been a long time favorite of both Sydneysiders and tourists. Set on the iconic Bondi Beach, Icebergs offers amazing panoramic views of the crashing waves. They serve excellent seafood and Italian cuisine, with fresh, seasonal ingredients. They are also famous for their breakfast.
This is just a tiny sample of Sydney’s booming waterfront cafe and restaurant scene. Try walking along the shore, for random picks of the thousands of other options. Some real gems are hidden there, so hurry up and discover them.