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Darling Harbour Is the Next CBD Precinct to Get the Al Fresco Dining Treatment

Twenty-two venues are participating in the outdoor dining pilot across Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay.
By Marissa Ciampi
November 17, 2020
By Marissa Ciampi
November 17, 2020

Thanks to a plan to turn Sydney into a 24-hour city, its laneways, streets and car parks are being transformed into al fresco dining havens. Following the City of Sydney's announcement of this outdoor dining scheme, precincts around the CBD have begun spilling out onto the streets. First up was The Rocks, and now Darling Harbour has been given the al fresco treatment.

This community recovery plan aims to reactivate the CBD and other local precincts by making it easier than ever for venues to offer outdoor dining, late-night trading and live music.

A whopping 22 venues are participating in the al fresco dining pilot across Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. Those include fan favourites like craft brew bar Bucket Boys, soba specialists Iiko Mazesoba, Shanghainese restaurant Lilong, ramen joint Hakata-Maru, the longstanding Pumphouse, Korean fried chicken shop Arisun and sushi spot Umi.

The much-loved Dopa by Devon is getting in on the action, too, offering up half-priced dessert specials alongside its outdoor dining (weekdays 3–5pm, second dessert only). Then, over at The Gardens by Lotus, there is bottomless yum cha every weekend for $69 each.

Lilong by Dallas Kilponen

A few of the restaurants have also set up summery activations in their newly expanded outdoor spaces. At Planar, there's a picnic-style dining area, complete with a floral swing installation, cushioned bench seating and $10 pomegranate spritzes during happy hour (3–6pm daily). Cyren Bar Grill Seafood has its own summer-themed space, and Braza Churrascaria has reinstated its Brazilian dancers for outdoor entertainment.

Even more live entertainment is on the docket across Cockle Bay, Darling Quarter and along the Harbour, with acts on every Thursday through Sunday from 5–9pm.

To achieve this al fresco goal CBD-wide, the government bodies are working together to cut red tape for businesses to easily reclaim outdoor space. Soon enough, you'll begin to see many more parking spots, traffic lanes and footpaths turned into outdoor dining — with activations across Pitt, Barrack and Crown streets, and Tankstream Way and Wilmot Lane all currently in the works.

For more information about the al fresco dining plan, head to the Darling Harbour website

Published on November 17, 2020 by Marissa Ciampi


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