Fine-dining in Sydney is an experience, made better by eating with a view. If you’re looking for finesse, elegance and quality in your food, then checking out the best Circular Quay restaurants is an absolute must. To stretch things down a historical route, the twisting and turning pathways may take you to nearby suburb The Rocks, another staple for foodies in Sydney. The journey through some of the world’s finest restaurants begins on the steps of Sydney Opera House, taking you down the garden path of stunning scenery only the top Circular Quay restaurants can offer.
Here is a list of the best restaurants Circular Quay and The Rocks have to offer.
1. Quay Restaurant
Located in the heart of Sydney, with a spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Quay Restaurant’s executive chef Peter Gilmore’s innovative cooking and dining experience pay homage to Australia. The ocean decorated floor couples with his adoration for nature, inspiring his dishes, giving notice to his attention to detail. This three hatted restaurant transports you to a world filled with exquisite textures, colours and flavours and is truly one of the best restaurants Circular Quay has to offer. With a choice between an eight or six-course menu, you can treat yourself into experiencing the tastes of the sea paired with an indulgent wine. Their desserts are fresh and light, leaving you feeling a sense of pure bliss as you soak in the scenery before you.
Address: Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
Contact: 02 9251 5600
Hours: Sat & Sun (Lunch): 12pm — 1:30pm, Thurs to Sun (Lunch): 6pm — 8:45pm (Booking required)
2. Bennelong Restaurant and Bar
Bennelong Restaurant and Bar is the definition of a Sydney Harbour staple. Located in the shell of the Opera House, the Circular Quay restaurant is home to true artistry, all because of you guessed it, executive chef Peter Gilmore. This venue and bar is a part of Gilmore’s Fink restaurant group and its excellence is up to standard. You’re spoiled for choice here between having a casual drink/quick bite or getting immersed into a culinary experience. The Cured & Cultured part of the restaurant is more relaxed, while The Circle is suited towards private dining. The Table lets you remain amongst the buzz and excitement of the restaurant, or you can go straight to The Bar for a drink or snack. All the dishes centre around shellfish, a tribute to the historical use of the land.
Address: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney, NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9240 8000
Hours: Mon to Thurs: 5:30pm —10pm, Fri to Sun: Noon — 2pm, 5:30pm — 10pm
With two hats and the background of the harbour, ARIA owners Matt Moran and Bruce Solomon have created one of those Circular Quay restaurants you have to see to believe. Prioritising Australian produce revitalises the Aussie spirit of every guest, with a seasonal menu, you’ll be coming back for more. The flavours are delicate, precise and are perfectly balanced, allowing you to have an authentic fine-dining experience. Located at the cusp of the Opera House, ARIA gives you some of the best food you will ever taste.
Address: 1 Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW, 2000
Contact:02 9240 2255 or [email protected]
Hours: Mon to Fri: Noon – 2:15pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat: Noon – 1:30pm, 5pm – 11pm, Sun: Noon – 1:45pm, 5:30pm – 10pm
4. The Meat and Wine Co, Circular Quay
The Meat and Wine Co is found in the InterContinental Hotel and is one spot you don’t want to miss out on. Wood, leather and a misty ambience don’t begin to describe the experience you’ll have here. It’s self-proclaimed ‘Afro-centric’ dining, paired with being described as having ‘Sydney’s favourite steak’, this Circular Quay restaurant gives you everything a meat-lover needs. Sophisticated presentation, flavour and an innovative wine list are what you can expect. The atmosphere is dark, mysterious with affordable, high-quality food. What more could you want? Their extensive menu caters for a range of eaters, and they provide every cut of Australian farmed steak.
Address: Shop 12, Lobby, InterContinental Sydney 117 Macquarie Street corner of Bridge Street &, Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9252 7888
Hours: Sun to Thurs: 12pm – 10pm, Fri to Sat: 12pm – 11pm
Located in the Gateway Building – a bustling hub known for some of the best restaurants in Circular Quay, Bekya takes you on a Middle Eastern flavour journey. Freshly made flatbread, slow-cooked meats and handmade falafel are on the cards here. They embody the ‘sharing is caring’ philosophy, as their food, all made from local and fresh Australian produce, is catered for a shared experience, letting you indulge in their family recipes infused with Egyptian spice. Take a gander at their joint and jump into their world.
Address: Shop G-01, Gateway Sydney, Alfred St, Circular Quay NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9247 9098 or [email protected]
Hours: Mon to Sun: 10am – 4pm
6. Bar Patrón
Salsa, tacos and tequila, Bar Patrón has it all and more! Authentic Mexican food can be hard to come by in Sydney, but there’s no need to worry, head chef Axell Torres has you covered. A part of the famous Sydney restaurant collective Rockpool Dining Group and Patrón brand, this restaurant and bar is one that strives for excellence with every dish. Their fine-dining experience has that Mexican flare where each fresh ingredient pays tribute to traditional and contemporary recipes. From their empanadas to their Al pastor & pineapple tacos, you’ll be begging to go back. If you want a quick bite you’re in luck, they have a happy hour special from 4pm – 6pm with their $12 Margaritas and totopos. As of the moment, the venue is yet to reopen following the COVID closure, but keep an eye out for an update.
Address: 2 Phillip Street, Circular Quay NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9259 5624
Hours: Sun to Thurs: 12pm — 10pm, Fri to Sat: 12pm — 11pm
7. Cafe Sydney
Cafe Sydney has been a pillar of excellence for 20 years and understandably, it has been hailed as one of the best restaurants in Circular Quay and The Rocks. Its impressive menu filled with delicate meats and seafood truly encapsulates the essence of Sydney, but we can’t discount their breath-taking views of the harbour. Located on the rooftop of Customs House, Cafe Sydney is iconic and quintessentially Australian.
Address: Sydney Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Sydney
Contact: 02 9251 8683
Hours: Wed & Sun: From Noon (Lunch Only), Thurs – Sat: Noon – 10pm
8. Mode Kitchen and Bar
Mode Kitchen and Bar defines contemporary cuisine, offering classics with a modern twist. The Circular Quay restaurant perfects the balance of business and casual with their options of fine-dining or their bistro. Located in the atrium of the Four Seasons hotel, this venue has delicious, mind-blowing flavours and the friendliest staff. You’ll get transported back in time with their warm lighting, leather seats and mahogany tables. If you want something rich you can go for their signature 1kg T-Bone or if you want something light, their grilled calamari salad with fresh artichokes is the way to go. Everything you taste at Mode Kitchen and Bar is locally produced, their hand-crafted stoneware plates are made in Melbourne, and their signature cocktails plus beautiful desserts will make you want to never leave.
Address: Ground Floor, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, 199 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9250 3160
Hours: Sat & Sun (Breakfast): 6.30am – 11am, Mon to Sun: 12pm – 3pm (Lunch), 5:30pm – 10pm.
9. Saké Restaurant
Saké restaurant is probably the best place to find contemporary Japenese cuisine in The Rocks, as each dish is made from fresh ingredients with a unique twist. Enjoy an innovative culinary experience as the team combines Japanese flavours with classic ones which will delight your tastebuds. Sake’s classic menu has everything you need, from their Hiramasa Kingfish with coriander infused ponzu or their raspberry jelly goma. Fall in love with each bite and drink all the saké you want with their long beverage list.
Address: 12 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Contact: 02 9259 5656
Hours: Wed: 6pm — 9pm, Thurs to Sat: 12pm — 3pm, 5:30pm — 10pm, Sun: 12pm — 3pm, 5pm — 9pm
10. Pony Dining The Rocks
Pony Dining at The Rocks gives you locally sourced produce, beautiful meat and seafood dishes which you can down with Australian wine or their signature cocktails. Executive chef Neil Nolan’s passion for cooking is definitely translated in his dishes, where every meal is cooked to perfection. The brick walls and earthy tones set the scene as you enjoy small plates of delicious food. They even offer brunch, so that you can enjoy a fine-dining experience at any time.
Address: Cnr Argyle Street and Kendall Lane, The Rocks
Contact: 02 9252 7797
Hours: Fri to Sun (Lunch): 12pm — 3pm, Thurs to Fri (Dinner): 6pm — 10pm, Sat (Dinner): 5:30 — 10pm.
11. Altitude Restaurant
Located in the Shangri-La Hotel, this Sydney Harbour restaurant has the most spectacular view of the city. ‘Dine in the sky’ is their motto and with their glass jewel private box you really will – it ‘floats’ 36 levels above the water, giving you views you’ve never seen before. Serving contemporary Australian cuisine, Altitude offers every meal from breakfast to dinner to high tea, paired with an excellent wine list. You can try their signature dishes, like the butter-poached WA marron with herbs with a sliced fennel salad or their pana cotta. If you are after one of the best restaurants in Circular Quay aren’t opposed to a view, this recently two-hatted restaurant is for you.
Address: Shangri-La Hotel, 36, 176 Cumberland Street, Sydney
Contact: 02 9250 6000
Hours: Mon to Sun, 7.30am – 10.30pm,
12. Mr. Wong
A part of the Merivale company, Mr. Wong offers modern Cantonese-style food which you will definitely come back for. One of the best restaurants in The Rocks, executive chef Dan Hong puts all his energy and passion into each one of their 80 dishes. Their intimate fine-dining experience is complemented by soft jazz and dimmed lights which will have you and your guests transported back to the 20s. Their crowd favourite is their BBQ Duck (a must-try) as well as their stir-fried garlic prawns.
Address: 3 Bridge Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9114 7317
Hours: Fri: 12pm — 3pm, 5:30pm — 11pm, Mon, Wed & Sun: 12:pm — 3pm, 5:30 pm – 9pm, Thurs to Sat: 12pm — 3pm, 5:30pm — 11pm
13. Kid Koyoto
Kid Koyoto is non-traditional in the best way, they serve up dishes that have native Australian ingredients paired with Japenese flavours that will have your tastebuds soaring. Downing this with one of their Japanese whiskey’s or signature cocktails will make your night even better. This modern take on Japenese flavours is what brings Rhys Watson-Lamb’s cooking to the next level.
Address: 17-19 Bridge St, Entry via Bridge Ln, Sydney 2000
Contact: 02 9241 1991 0r [email protected]
Hours: Wed to Sat: Noon – 10pm
14. Opera Bar
Our list would not be complete without Opera Bar. While it might not be the best restaurant in Circular Quay, it certainly is the most memorable. The perfect go-to before or after a show, or even just to enjoy the harbourside views, Opera Bar’s signature Sangria jugs and their extensive wine and beer lists will make for the perfect night out. The venue offers a range of meals from cheese plates, sit down dishes and desserts. Opera Bar is a must for any tourists or non-Sydneysider, the instagrammable views will make your followers green with envy, while you enjoy the run and sea salt breezes.
Address: Sydney Opera House, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 8587 5900
Hours: Sun to Thurs: 11:30am — 10pm, Fri & Sat: 11:30am — 12am
A premium waterfront steak restaurant in one of Australia’s most picturesque locations, it doesn’t get much better than that. 6HEAD is one of those venues you simply can’t go past. With a focus on local produce and meat sourced from respected local purveyors, the Circular Quay restaurant has emerged as a favourite in the Harbour City. Throw in the hand-selected wine list and an assortment of spectacular desserts and you’ve got a recipe for a good night out.
Address: Bay 10 & 11, Campbell’s Stores, 7-27 Circular Quay W, The Rocks NSW 2000
Contact: 02 8629 8866
Hours: Wed: 5pm — 10pm, Thurs: 12pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat: 12pm — 11pm, Sun: 12pm – 10pm
What's the easiest way of getting to Circular Quay?
Depending on where you are coming from determines the easiest way to get to Circular Quay. The most common way is via Central Station by catching a City Circle train to Circular Quay. You can also catch a train through Museum which also goes to Circular Quay.
What is the best restaurant in Circular Quay?
Quay Restaurant, Bennelong Restaurant and Bar, ARIA and Opera Bar just to name a few.
Are there any hatted restaurants in Circular Quay?
Yes, Quay Restaurant and ARIA.