Sydney Best Outdoor Dining Spots Where You Can Have a Long Lunch for 2024

Thanks to a City of Sydney initiative, these eateries have even more outdoor seating than before.
Jordan Kretchmer
Published on May 01, 2023

As we transition back to the office, it's time to make the most of what Sydney's thriving, creative and vibrant working hubs have to offer. One of the biggest benefits of working in neighbourhoods in and around the city is the excellent dining options, from coffee boltholes to airy rooftop bars.

Now, thanks to a City of Sydney initiative, some of Sydney's best outdoor restaurants and cafes have even more relaxed outdoor dining spaces. And, we're blessed with a couple of new openings, too. So, while we still have warmer days, set a date for a working lunch at one of these nine eateries in the inner city.


Recommended reads:
The Best Cafes in Sydney
The Best Restaurants in Sydney
The Best Bottomless Brunches in Sydney
The Best Bars in Sydney


Kimberley Low


Bill Granger's daytime diner has earned itself global repute for delivering simple, but superb, cafe fare. This Sydney mainstay isn't just a breakfast spot, it's also an excellent choice for a midweek lunch. You can still order those ricotta pancakes and corn fritters, but from midday Bills serves up Japanese- and Korean-influenced bowls and plates, like crispy chicken with gochujang, peanuts, brown rice, gem lettuce and miso buttermilk sauce, or avocado and tuna poke atop brown rice, samphire and cherry tomatoes. Find a spot of sunshine and order a white peach bellini or spiced bloody mary while you await your lunch.



This multifaceted pub has become a mini epicentre of Surry Hills since swinging open its refurbished doors in 2016. With its Crown Street corner position, and new al fresco seating, The Dolphin is a top spot to be in come 1pm. Savour a pizza while people watching or catching up on your work agenda with colleagues. Executive chef Tom Walton and head chef Josh Carrick turn out northern Italian-style pizzas, and sommelier James Hird looks after the natural-leaning wine list, so you're in good hands. Grab a seat at this Sydney pub with a great outdoor dining area and settle in for a long lunch with mates or colleagues.


Petrina Tinslay


Head chef Jacqui Challinor may have had a tumultuous 2019/20 with a kitchen fire, restaurant relocation and a pandemic to battle, but you wouldn't know it stepping into the calm and cool Nomad today. Here, you can order excellently made charcuterie with charred flatbread; smoked mussels with toum and a golden hash brown; and just-shucked oysters with house-made worcestershire sauce. As you're here for a long lunch, dive in to the menu of wood-grilled meats, seafood and veggies, all while enjoying the outdoor seating and Surry Hills buzz.


Trent van der Jagt


This Japanese mainstay is best known for its well-priced, extensive menu. Nab an outdoor seat — there are heaps of additional tables now — and order tempura veggies, edamame and chicken karaage to start. For a feast, the family sushi platter comes with a mix of rolls and plenty of fresh salmon, prawn and tuna, plus your choice of mini rolls. If you don't feel like sharing, the set menus are also great value; you'll have a choice of main with 13 different options, including teriyaki salmon and chicken katsu curry, served with rice, miso soup and salad. Sushi on Stanley is an easy addition to this list of the best outdoor dining spots in Sydney where you can enjoy a fab long lunch.



This swish Italian diner in Surry Hills is the perfect spot to watch passersby as you enjoy a relaxed feed. It takes reservations, making Bartolo ideal for a midweek group lunch. The expanded outdoor dining section spills onto Crown Street, from which you can enjoy bucatini with spanner crab, salsa verde, green chilli and pangrattato or pork cutlet milanese with chipotle butter, kohlrabi and green apple, all while sitting underneath sprawling striped umbrellas.



This CBD coffee hotspot is also an easy-going space to stop in for a midday meal. Its range of flatbreads, wraps and sandwiches are serious hunger-busters, and picks include the poached chicken and avocado wrap; the reuben bagel; and the truffle mushroom toastie. Outside, you'll find petite black tables and umbrellas lining Pitt Street, where you can kick back and enjoy an iced latte made with The Little Marionette beans.


Jes Lindsay


This cornerside pub spreads out across four levels, and it's often packed come 5pm with office workers looking for a casual pub feed at the end of the day. At street level or up on the rooftop, you can take a pew in the open air and order some schnitties with a bunch of mates. Or, come on Friday and Saturday nights for rooftop DJ sessions — perfect for when long lunches turn into long nights out.


Patrons enjoying breakfast at laneway cafe Room 10 in Potts Point.

Destination NSW


Though not part of the City of Sydney's latest outdoor dining initiative, we also love this new one from the crew behind Room Ten. They have opened another unstoppable cafe taking the classic Sydney brunch and lunch menu to lofty new heights. At sister venue Piña, you can order a plate of thick-cut seeded toast, crowned with braised greens, pine nuts, raisins and stracciatella, and you can also opt to add on anchovies (which is always a good idea). Or, try its signature hunger-busting bacon and egg roll with hash brown and perfectly crisp bacon. Whatever you choose, it's made all the better by eating outdoors in the vibrant surrounds of Llankelly Place in Potts Point.



This Angel Place gem is another ideal lunch spot in the city when you want to bring out the big guns. Swift-of-foot, attentive waiters will guide you through the elegant Italian-influenced menu created by notable chefs Federico Zanellato, of Pyrmont's Lumi Bar and Dining, and Karl Firla, formerly of Newtown's Oscillate Wildly. The skilled chefs dish up seriously elegant plates of pasta, from glossy tubes of maccheroncini with hunks of champagne lobster in a shellfish bisque to rich pork loin puttanesca. Linger here a little longer to enjoy a cooling serve of tiramisu or panna cotta afterwards. It's not part of the City's outdoor dining initiative, but an excellent spot to have on your radar all the same.

Top image: Bartolo

Published on May 01, 2023 by Jordan Kretchmer
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x