Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Nicholas Fonseca
August 19, 2014

One of the perks of visiting a city like Sydney is that it’s not the least bit difficult to find a table where you can eat a fantastic meal, enjoy the temperate east coast air, and savor some of the world’s most stunning views—all at once. Whether you’re dining in one of the leafy suburbs just north of the bridge, beachside at Bondi, or at one of the premier restaurants perched on Circular Quay with the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House standing proud in the distance, you’re liable to go home with memories of a literal visual feast. These scenic restaurants are ideal spots to pop the question, celebrate your travels, and take in wildly stellar vistas of Australia’s big city and its surrounding natural beauty. This list could ostensibly contain dozens of great restaurants, but here are the five that are likely to offer you the best panoramas in town.

Café Sydney

A beloved local joint frequented by locals and visitors in equal measure, Café Sydney sits on the rooftop of Customs House facing the whole of Circular Quay, meaning you get views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, fast-walking pedestrians, meandering ferries, and everything in between. And the food? Divine.

Icebergs

It ain’t cheap, but when the food’s this succulent and the view’s this good, who’s to carp with a slightly higher credit card balance? For years, Icebergs has been drawing in locals, visitors, and more than a few celebrities (Oprah!) who want the chance to sit at one of the windows and look out on the crashing surf of Bondi Beach below. It’s a classy joint, dishing up classy food, for classy people. Wear your nicest outfit and get ready to treat yourself right.

Opera Bar

The vibe is always festive at Opera Bar, located along the concourse just below the Opera House. It has indoor tables if it’s raining, but you’re going to want to grab a seat at one of the communal drinking tables or, better yet, along the expansive perimeter just along the edge of Sydney Harbour. Order a bottle of wine and a bowl of onion rings (served with paprika aioli) and start taking some jealousy-making snapshots featuring you and the stunning Harbour Bridge in the background.

Altitude Restaurant

A swanky gathering spot for corner-office types and tourists who want a view to a thrill, Altitude stands 36 stories above Sydney atop the celebrity-studded Shangri-La Hotel. It serves modern Australian cuisine (Riverina lamb; swordfish; snapper; or kingfish) and on weekends, it offers a four-course prix-fixe menu.

Quay

A frequent visitor to those Best Restaurants in the World lists, Australia’s most decorated dining experience puts you center stage on Circular Quay, with amazing views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The food’s incredible, too: chef Peter Gilmore’s exciting creations keep Quay at the top of the local food chain. 

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