As Sydneysiders, it’s easy to overlook The Rocks and Circular Quay as dining destinations that don’t fall in the ‘overpriced’ and ‘touristy’ categories, but believe me, this area of Sydney has many gems.
Then, let’s not forget about the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows of Circular Quay restaurants, which can only be described as stunning.
Whether you’re booking yourself in for an evening of magic with that special someone, are taking a visitor around to show them the best Sydney has to offer, or are simply after a spot of indulgence, The Rocks and Circular Quay is a great place to be.
The food is undoubtedly exquisite and the hat:restaurant ratio is extraordinarily high. My tip? Wear your best frock and don’t be afraid to whip out your credit card, because these places are worth it.
The Best Restaurants in Circular Quay and The Rocks
- Address: Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
- Opening Hours: Tues to Fri 12pm–2pm (lunch), Daily 6pm–10pm (dinner)
- Phone number: (02) 9251 5600
- What you should know: Bookings at Quay are almost on par with Heston’s Blue Duck. Friday and Saturday night tables are usually booked up 6-months in advance. Quay will start taking table reservations for 2015 from 1st July 2014.
Three stars, three hats, Restaurant of the Year Awards, and more. Quay is one of those restaurants that you have to visit at least once in your life, and their food philosophy is the reason why. Headed by acclaimed chef Peter Gilmore, Quay is all about delivering beautifully crafted food that’s brimming with texture, harmony and balance.
Cooking. It’s not an artform here, it’s way of life.
What to order: Custard Apple Snow Egg. Like you have a choice.
What to wear: Something smart with a dash of casual
Daydreamer Sleeveless Dress from THE ICONIC
At Quay, the attire is smart casual. They want you to feel comfortable. But you've been waiting six months for tonight and you want to look stunning. This'll do the trick.View details
Ryder Chambray LS Shirt from THE ICONIC
Men, even though Quay doesn't enforce a tie and suit onto you, they do expect you to be well dressed. This shirt fits for the event.View details
- Address: 27 Circular Quay, The Rocks
- Opening Hours: Daily 12pm–close
- Phone number: 1300 115 116
- What you should know: Waterfront Restaurant is part of the Citibank Dining program, and offers all members a free bottle of Feet First Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or a Feet First Cabernet Merlot (both Margaret River, WA) with their meal.
The name doesn’t lie, the views from this top restaurant are – quite literally – waterfront. That’s the Opera House AND the Harbour Bridge, in case you’re wondering. It’s a great spot for taking visitors to drink in harbour views, and serves some of the freshest seafood Australian fine dining has to offer.
What to order: Hot and Cold Seafood Platter for Two, because you really shouldn’t deny yourself a taste of everything ($185).
What to wear: Something warm
Zalora Basics - Waterfall Cardigan from THE ICONIC
Something to remember while at The Waterfront restaurant is that you will be on the waterfront. Make sure you bring a stylish cardigan to keep you snug going to and from the venue.View details
Selected Homme Bomber Jacket from Topman
If she's forgotten her jacket, she can always snuggle into yours..View details
- Address: 1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay
- Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 12pm–2:30pm (lunch) and 5:30pm–11pm (dinner), Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun 5:30pm-10pm
- Phone number: (02) 9240 2255
- What you should know: Aria offers a pre-theatre dinner menu from 5:30-7pm, as well as an after-theatre supper menu from 10pm.
Matt Moran’s restaurant needs no introduction. The world-renowned chef balances flavours with an elegant finesse that has seen his restaurants go from strength to strength. The menu changes seasonally, but is always of the highest calibre. Like you’d expect anything else.
What to order: The Chef’s Tasting Menu – seven courses of heaven.
What to wear: Something theatrical
Premium Maxi Dress With All Over Floral Embellishment from ASOS
If you're here for a pre-theatre dinner, then you'll want to wear something suitable for both occasions. This maxi is simple, elegant, and should be paired with some delicate jewellery.View details
River Island - Contrast Trim Slim Suit Jacket from THE ICONIC
A good blazer smartens any outfit. This jacket will top off your next formal outfit in a modern and slim style.View details
- Address: Shop 12, Lobby, InterContinental Sydney, 117 Macquarie St, Sydney
- Opening Hours: Sun to Thur 12pm–10pm, Fri and Sat 12pm–11pm
- Phone number: (02) 9252 7888
- What you should know: Citibank Dining program members also receive a free Feet First Cabernet Merlot or a Feet First Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
The perfect marriage of meat and wine. That’s what these guys are all about. They also cater for all diets – whether you’re a carnivore, a vegetarian, have allergies, require halal, need something less substantial for the kiddies, or are in a super hurry to get back to the office. They can do it all. They also offer tasting plates, for anyone who can’t make up their minds after being graced with so much choice.
What to order: Monte Black Fillet (150D, MB 2+, $49). If you’re here for the meat, then you should get the best.
What to wear: Something comfortable
DIANE von FURSTENBERG Jumpsuit - Purdy Wrap Front from Bloomingdales
Don't over think this one. Sure, it's located inside the Inter Continental and the meat cuts are choice (to put it lightly), but you are eating a hearty meal, so dress casually and have some fun.View details
Grey Wash Stretch Skinny Jeans from Topman
A pair of stretch jeans will never be so loved as they will be tonight after this feast.View details