PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Wednesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
8° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE IN SYDNEY
By Concrete Playground
January 09, 2019
  shares

The Ten Best Waterside Bars in Sydney

Summer calls for spritzes by Bondi Beach and a few cold ones overlooking the Harbour.
By Concrete Playground
January 09, 2019
  shares

THE TEN BEST WATERSIDE BARS IN SYDNEY

Summer calls for spritzes by Bondi Beach and a few cold ones overlooking the Harbour.

Sydneysiders, summer is in full swing — and you would pity the fool who wasted these glorious days. While in winter we may huddle in dark corners, like underground bars, cradling a mulled wine and some form of hot comfort food, summer nights are about seasides and sunsets, cocktails and cool breezes. Whether you want to sip a spritz next to the beach or get into a bottle of something crisp by the Harbour, these are the best waterside bars to grab a cold one and settle in for a splendid summer afternoon or evening.

  • 10

    Perched on absolute prime cliff frontage at Bondi’s southern end, the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar delivers five-star luxe for both your eyes and mouth. As you soak up those sweeping, multimillion-dollar views, feast on a two-hatted menu, driven by fresh produce inspired by regional Italian cuisine. If you’re lacking the cash for a sit-down meal in the restaurant, settle for a cocktail and snacks in the Icebergs Bar. Here, you can order a bottle of crisp rosé, an amaro spritz and a crispy fish sanga. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to snag a spot on a glass-enclosed balcony and soak up the views.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 9

    Coogee Pavilion is more than a bar or restaurant. Think seaside Grounds of Alexandria. It’s a buzzing beach boardwalk experience welcoming any and every kind of human. Inside, you can grab a coffee from the Will & Co stand, slurp on a superfoods smoothie, settle in for a chewy Neapolitan-style pizza, pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers or just stroll around enjoying the choice overload. And that’s without mentioning the other two floors. If you’re here for the stunning beach views — which we think you may be, reading this article — head straight up to the rooftop. Up on level three you can mop up dukkah-topped hummus with Lebanese flatbread, dig into baby squid and lamb kafta, and pair it with a magnum of something pink or a jug of Pimm’s.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 8

    Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is the hero of old-world seaside charm in the eastern suburbs. Its stripy umbrellas, schoolyard benches and Breton-striped wait staff make it the perfect place to while away a summer afternoon with a drink. The Beach Club has sprawling outdoor seating, a fresh-not-fancy menu and a view so palm-tree perfect it could be on a postcard. And this is where you’ll want to perch yourself if you’ve come to soak up the views. Order a dozen oysters, a bucket of tiger prawns (or a massive $140 seafood platter, if you’ve got the cash to splash) and a frosé, and you’re set.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 7

    Perched on an eastern corner of the Manly Corso, the Hotel Steyne is just a stumble away from the beach. When it comes to dining and drinking at this multifaceted venue, you have a few options. For the most expansive beach views and a healthy dose of sunshine, lodge yourself in Seaside Bistro. Here you’ll find oysters, chicken wings and classic pub meals seven nights a week. Alternatively, you can head upstairs to the bar and live music venue Henry’s Rooftop. The balcony has stunning views of Manly Beach, so it’s the perfect place to perch yourself, dark ‘n’ stormy in hand, and watch the sun go down. If you prefer your spirits clear and mixed with tonic, head over to the Glasshouse. This gin and tonic bar has an extensive list of botanical cocktails, charcuterie boards and G&T happy hours.

    READ MORE
  • 6

    On one side, you’ve got the sparkling Harbour, with views sprawling out across to the Bridge and Luna Park. On the other, the iconic Sydney Opera House. It may just be the best seat in the house when it comes to views in Sydney. As well as its large outdoor area, where you can appreciate these great views, it also has a well-versed wine list, a lineup of fruit-driven cocktails and some decent, reasonably priced food options — including cured meats and cheeses, salt and vinegar calamari, and steaks. It’s the perfect spot to take friends and family visiting from out of town.

    Image: Nikki To

    READ MORE
  • 5

    Recently acquired by hospitality powerhouse Merivale, The Collaroy has reopened with a new look and new menu — but its easy-going, community-friendly atmosphere has remained intact. Just like before, you’ll feel comfortable taking a dip at the beach, before spending the rest of the day (and maybe night) drinking at your leisure. Downstairs, executive chef Jordan Toft has organised a menu that changes throughout the day. In the morning, you’ll find the ultimate post-surf feed: brekkie pizzas. When darkness falls, the kitchen goes into gastropub mode, serving up things like anchovy toasts with pickled shallot and hearty pub meals, which will change daily. Taking care of the drinks menu is a team of bartenders from Merivale’s other venues — look out for plenty of crisp whites, roses and summery cocktails.

    Image: Kopper Finch.

    READ MORE
  • 4

    This haven by the sea has long been famous for buckets of beer and prawns (different buckets) in the sun on Sundays, and chilled pitchers of mojitos, Pimm’s or sangria on Friday and Saturday nights. As it’s only a stone’s throw from the beach, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a dip in the ocean. If you’ve worked up an appetite from all that splashing around in the ocean (or chilling in the shallows), there’s plenty of food to choose from, too, including fish tacos, poké bowls, eggplant parmi burgers and watermelon salads.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 3
    El Camino Cantina Manly

    El Camino has brought some definite party vibes to the Manly Wharf rooftop, with its giant cocktails, lively Tex-Mex fare and sprawling 365-seat dining space and terrace. At the big horseshoe-shaped bar, eight slushie machines signal fun times for the silly season (and beyond) — El Camino’s famed margaritas come in a swag of flavours and multiple sizes, including a group-friendly two-litre tower. Other options include a host of beers from near and far, and a collection of over 100 mezcals and tequilas. To match, the food lineup is equally vibrant. Think fiery buffalo wings, sizzling fajitas, plump burritos, soft shell tacos loaded with punchy flavour combinations and unlimited complimentary corn chips and salsas.

    Images: Tom Ferguson.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 2

    Squire’s Landing, a two-storey mega venue at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, is a collaboration between Mantle Group Hospitality and brewer James Squire. From wherever you sit, the views of the Opera House and Bridge are truly splendiferous. Moreover, the space — which is restaurant, bar and microbrewery — is right next to Campbells Cove, where real-life convict-turned-Australia’s first brewer James Squire arrived on the First Fleet nearly 230 years ago. All nine beers in James Squire’s core range — from the 150 Lashes Pale Ale you see on taps everywhere to the Jack of Spades Porter — are available on-tap. Downstairs serves a casual menu, while upstairs you can linger over beautifully composed dishes, driven by premium produce. Good news is that you can book, so you can guarantee a seat looking over the harbour.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
  • 1

    A landmark property of the Northern Beaches since 1880, the Newport Arms recently reopened as The Newport under Merivale. In classic Merivale-style, there’s multiple, eclectic, themed spaces to drink and dine in (and take in that view), with natural stone paving, locally-made furniture and plenty of marble. It has a strong focus on food, but don’t expect a single service counter or a straightforward menu at this renovated pub. Instead, expect to feel a bit like you’re walking through a permanent food festival. There’s also a cafe filled with Australian meats like smoked brisket, barbecue chicken and hot-smoked salmon, seasonal salads, smoothies, gelato and coffee by Merivale’s favourite Sydney roasters, Will & Co. Given The Newport’s Pittwater location, there’s also a spot dedicated to fish and chips.

     Images: Bodhi Liggett.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE

Top image: Squire’s Landing.

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x