Fancy a drink with a view? Soak up the season at these top-rated waterside pubs and bars in Sydney!
Whether it’s summer or not, there’s always a reason to visit a waterfront bar. These venues are the perfect destination to soak in the very thing that makes Sydney standout: it’s stunning harbourside location.
Of course, the excitement doesn’t stop there. With charismatic cocktails, live entertainment and mouthwatering eats, it’s the ultimate concoction for a fabulous day or night out. So, to help you spend more time soaking up the season, we’ve curated a list of all of the top beach bars and waterside pubs.
Including everything from the CBD to the Northern Beaches, get ready to sip through the season with our list of Sydney’s best waterfront bars and pubs of 2024:
With two areas to choose from – the Ground Floor and the Rooftop – Coogee Pavilion is the ultimate destination for waterside drinks. Sitting just beyond the esplanade wall of Coogee Beach, come sunset and Coogee Pavilion is the perfect spot to soak in mesmerising views whilst sipping on a drink or two. Led by Merivale, guests are guaranteed a delicious assortment of snacks, meals and cocktails to devour. And, with four indoor and outdoor bars, a huge wrap-around balcony, a wood-fire pizza oven, and an overall family-friendly vibe, the hardest decision will be picking a spot to embrace the best sea views around.
The Glenmore Hotel
Built in 1921, this heritage-listed pub in The Rocks boasts the best of Sydney – both old and new. Enjoy a sun-lit Aperol and a Prawn Roll ($26) on the rooftop terrace, with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. Still thirsty? Visit the 1920’s Hollywood themed cocktail bar tucked away on the middle level or, get your Gatsby on with a Razzle Dazzle ($20). Whatever you’re after, The Glenmore is the perfect place to enjoy the excitement of a night out, without the crowds. One of the best pubs in Sydney!
Looking for a stunning rooftop bar in Sydney with the best views of Sydney Harbour? Look no further than Henry Deane. With undisturbed views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding mesmerising city skyline, Henry Deane is located inside the Hotel Palisade. Here, visitors will be welcomed to the enclosed rooftop space featuring an extended open-air verandah. Or, if you wish to take the party inside, guests will still have the best seat in the house with Henry Deane’s floor-to-ceiling windows. One of the best cocktail bars Sydney has to offer!
If you’re looking for one of the best waterside bars in Sydney, look no further than the floating pontoon, The Island. As Australia’s first and only floating beach club, The Island promises five-star service that truly brings their open-air space to life. Reminiscent of a European beach club, The Island features private cabanas, a raging dance floor, splash pool and, even a private 48-seat water taxi and courtesy boats to take you to and from The Island. Unlike other waterfront bars on this list, The Island is a ticketed venue only so see website for more details on upcoming events.
Originally known as Newport Arms, the now Merivale owned The Newport, is still a famed local watering hole for Sydney’s Northern Beaches community. Overlooking Pittwater harbour, after recent renovations, The Newport has now transformed into an all-inclusive venue – something that Merivale venues are famed for. Here you can expect an in-venue gymnasium, live entertainment on the deck and, plenty of food outlets to pick and choose from – whether that be freshly baked goods from the Kiosk or classic bites from The Shack. With something for everyone, The Newport makes for the perfect family day out or late-night destination with friends.
No list of the best waterfront bars in Sydney would be complete without mention of Opera Bar. Found on the concourse of the Sydney Opera House, Opera Bar, famed for being one of Australia’s most iconic bars, is a hot spot year-round thanks to its waterside location and, most importantly, front-row views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With live music, plenty of food and drink options and even a seagull patrol dog, Opera Bar is the ultimate destination for after work drinks or lazy Sunday grazing.
Despite not being in the heart of the CBD, Pasadena Sydney is still one of the best waterside bars in Sydney, and for a good reason. Just under an hours drive north, Pasadena Sydney brings the true charm of thriving waterfront bar and restaurant without the large crowds. Tucked away in Church Point, Pasadena Sydney specialises in private events (you can get married here), refreshingly delicious seafood cuisine and, most importantly, sweeping Pittwater views all thanks to their world-class, prime waterfront location. Better yet, make your visit worth the travel by staying overnight in one of their 14 guest rooms.
Led by Australian super chef and restaurateur Matt Moran, the waterside venue, Smoke Bar, sits elegantly atop of Barangaroo House in the heart of Sydney’s newest drinking and dining precinct. Overlooking Darling Harbour, Barangaroo’s best rooftop bar, Smoke, encapsulates everything Matt Moran is renowned for all under the one open-air rooftop. With unsurpassed harbour views, table service and delectable eats, Smoke is best enjoyed both day and night thanks to their scrumptious classy cocktails and an exceptionally creative bar menu. Thank us later.
The Squire's Landing
Located in the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, The Squire’s Landing is quite possibly one of the best waterside pubs in Sydney. With a beer garden, indoor restaurant and brewhouse, there are plenty of reasons to continue coming back. Maybe it’s the classic pub fare? Or maybe the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto Sydney Harbour? How about the beer tasting paddles? Or is it their Supper Menu that’s available exclusively after 10pm for a late-night feed? Whatever it is, The Squire’s Landing is great for a friendly catchup, afterwork drinks or a casual date night in the city.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
When we think of waterside pubs and bars in Sydney, we think of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Known for their iconic blue and white striped sunshades, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is all about embodying a beachy lifestyle. Think a sandy shoreline, an unhurried attitude, seafood, cocktails and sweeping city views. Of course, if you love to party, why not just stay the night in one of their elegant, 32 rooms and suites. Be sure to try one of their WA Lobster Rolls, the Watermelon Salad or one of their wood-fire pizzas. A must visit in 2024!