Sathsara Radaliyagoda
18 Best Circular Quay Restaurants | Man of Many
Our list of the best restaurants near Circular Quay offers some of the most picturesque dining locations in Sydney. Home to the Sydney Opera House, these restaurants offer unspoilt views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Kirribilli, and is a melting pot for some of the best restaurants in Sydney. We’ve been lucky enough to sample food (and special menus) from all of the restaurants on this list, often thanks to our friends in the industry. And while our round-up includes some fine-dining options that’ll blow you away in both flavours and price-point, we’ve also done our best to include some value-for-money options for date night.
How Man of Many Chose the Best Circular Quay Restaurants
Our list of the best Circular Quay restaurants goes like this.
Best Circular Quay Restaurants at a Glance
Located in the heart of The Rocks and with a spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Quay Restaurant’s executive chef Peter Gilmore re-invigorated cooking and dining experiences in Australia when he opened Quay. The ocean-decorated floor couples with Gilmore’s adoration for nature, inspiring his dishes and giving notice of his attention to detail with a six-course set menu ($280pp) to challenge any in the harbour city.
1. Quay Restaurant
Bennelong put Sydney’s dining scene on the world stage when it hit its strides in the 1980s with its famous roast trolley. Today, the dining fair has transformed thanks to Gilmore’s Fink restaurant group, but the location remains just as special in the shell of the Opera House. You’re spoiled for choice here between having a casual drink/quick bite before a show or getting immersed in a culinary experience.
2. Bennelong
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, while executive chef Tom Gorringe crafts a seasonal menu that is designed for the enjoyment of the whole table.
Also one of the best new restaurants in Sydney, Oborozuki opened its 120-seat restaurant in late 2022 and is home to one of our favourite Japanese fine-dining fusion kaiseki and teppanyaki menus in the city. The restaurant regularly plays host to exclusive events hosted by world-renowned chefs who specialise in Japanese cuisine, think celebrity sushi masters such as Takayoshi Watanabe and Hirotoshi Ogawa.
4. Oborozuki
One of our favourite steak restaurants in Sydney also makes the cut as one of the best near Circular Quay. Of course, it’s hard enough to go past the 50-seat location that feels like it’s underneath Sydney CBD, but the Bistecca alla Fiorentina on offer here is the best in the city.
One of the most famous restaurants near Circular Quay, you’ll struggle to find a foodie in Sydney that hasn’t dined at Mr. Wongs and/ or tried their classic fried ice cream. A part of the Merivale company, Mr. Wong offers modern Cantonese-style food that has us coming back time and time again. We also love their BBQ Duck, while the stir-fried garlic prawns are also a big hit.
6. Mr. Wong
Cafe Sydney has been a pillar of excellence for more than 20 years and understandably so. Often hailed as one of the best restaurants in Circular Quay, let alone the world, its impressive menu is filled with delicate meats and seafood, truly encapsulating the essence of Sydney, but we can’t discount their breathtaking views of the harbour. Located on the rooftop of Customs House, Cafe Sydney is iconic and quintessentially Australian.
7. Cafe Sydney
With salsa, tacos and tequila, Bar Patrón has it all and more! It became one of our favourite Circular Quay establishments again when it reopened its doors in 2022 after a three-year hiatus and we’re pleased to say the restaurant is back serving the same authentic Mexican cuisine for Sydneysiders. 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.
8. Bar Patrón
Mode Kitchen & Bar defines modern Australian dining, offering classics with a modern twist. Making a name for itself as one of Circular Key’s best restaurants by perfectly balancing business and casual diners with fine dining and bistro. Located in the atrium of the Four Seasons hotel, this venue has delicious, mind-blowing flavours and the friendliest staff.
9. Mode Kitchen & Bar
Saké restaurant is probably the best place to find contemporary Japanese cuisine in The Rocks. Each dish is made from fresh ingredients with a unique twist, and guests can enjoy an innovative culinary experience as the team combines modern Japanese flavours with classic ones in a quest to delight your tastebuds. Sake’s classic menu has everything you need, from their Himachi 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.
10. Saké Restaurant
Pony Dining at The Rocks gives you locally sourced produce and beautiful meat and seafood dishes that 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.
11. Pony Dining The Rocks
Located in the Shangri-La Hotel, this Circular Quay restaurant has arguably the best view of the city. ‘Dine in the sky’ is their motto and with a 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 and aren’t opposed to a view, this recently two-hatted restaurant is for you.
12. Altitude Restaurant
Kid Kyoto is non-traditional in the best way, they serve up dishes that have native Australian ingredients paired with Japanese flavours that will have your tastebuds soaring. Downing this with one of their Japanese whiskeys or signature cocktails will make your night even better. This modern take on Japanese flavours is what brings Rhys Watson-Lamb’s cooking to the next level.
13. Kid Kyoto
A list of the best Circular Quay restaurants would not be complete without Opera Bar. One of the most memorable restaurants this is 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. If you’re looking for a restaurant during the annual Vivid festival, we recommend getting in early.
14. Opera Bar
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 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.
15. 6HEAD
The site of Whalebridge might look familiar, however, the elegance and atmosphere are fresh, and vibrant, and speaks to the return of Circular Quay dining like no other. Directed by Executive Chef Will Elliott – formerly of Melbourne’s Cumulus Inc., ST JOHN, London, and most recently Restaurant Hubert in Sydney, this new venture from Sydney Collective is making a splash. This Circular Quay restaurant boasts a deliciously French-inspired menu where guests should expect to find traditional takes on fresh local seafood, including bouillabaisse de Marseille and lobster thermidor. Mains like stuffed zucchini, duck confit and steak or mussel frittes will have you salivating from the moment you walk in.
16. Whalebridge
The Meat & Wine Co Circular Quay is found in the InterContinental Hotel and it’s one spot you don’t want to miss. 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 and 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.
17. The Meat & Wine Co Circular Quay
IPPUDO has become a staple of the Sydney food scene, and if you’re looking for the best Ramen near Circular Quay, look no further. We’d go as far as to say this has become the global standard of Tonkotsu Ramen, and while we wouldn’t go as far to say it’s the best in the city, the combination of creamy tonkotsu broth, signature secret dashi, thin straight noodles, pork loin chashu, bean sprouts, flavoured black fungus, and spring onions just hits the spot. Of course, a few Pulled Pork Buns are a great alternative to ramen.
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