With the sand or stone beneath your feet, and plenty to catch your eye between jaw dropping vistas and ravishing revellers, Beach Clubs and Bars are a highlight of the Med and Riviera. And now, Australia is catching on with our own version of waterfront social settings to savour this summer – in fact, all year round thanks to our incredible climate.
Whether you own a yacht or not, dining by the water offers the pinnacle in sensory experiences – salt-soaked air, superb cuisine and ever-changing scenery.
Pulling up in your tender or securing a berth at the marina, beats competing for parking and coping with traffic.
Here are just some of the breathtaking venues that boat owners and charter guests can experience for fine food and fabulous memories.
The Rocks, Sydney
Embraced by postcard views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Circular Quay and Sydney’s sandstone terraces, The Rocks is ripe with restaurants, bars and bistros, as well as bakeries, pizzerias and cafes specialising in home-baked fare.
Dock at The Rocks and amble among laneways and tenements, now boutique shopping and galleries.
Pony Dining specialises in Argentinean wood fire grill, while The Living Room at Park Hyatt Sydney has instagrammable views that are described as “quintessentially Sydney”.
Vying for the title of “Sydney’s most picturesque spot to celebrate both life’s big things and little moments”, award-winning Opera Bar is set against a backdrop of Sydney Harbour on the waters edge near the iconic Opera House with menus featuring Australia’s best produce in seafood, snacks and a wide-ranging choice of mains, accompanied by live entertainment.
Darling Harbour, King St Wharf, Barangaroo
This dynamic and diverse entertainment precinct has something for every palate and preference, from 5-star dining to take-away catering from restaurants that will deliver to your vessel.
Stand out dining venues include a’Mare at Crown Sydney. Run by celebrated Chef and Restaurateur, Alessandro Pavoni, a’Mare has been awarded two Chef Hats in the Good Food Guide Awards. With an elegant ambience, a’Mare pays tribute to Pavoni’s memories of Italy with dishes that celebrate the simplicity of quality ingredients and seasonal specialties.
Barangaroo Outdoor Cinema
From 12 January to 14 April, Harbour Park in the heart of Barangaroo will be transformed into a beach club-style cinema adorned with palm trees, beach bar and restaurant. Audiences can enjoy the latest blockbusters like Wonka, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Anyone But You, Dune Part Two, and selected classic films.
Mov’in Bed has brought in 280 tonnes of white sand and 150 plush queen-size cloud- beds, with pillows and blankets, for movie buffs to enjoy the largest outdoor screen in Australia. All the details and screening times here.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA)
Home of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is situated on the bay at Darling Point.
Enjoy drinks by the water, order breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack at the bistro and soak in the atmosphere on the waterfront seating.
The Sydney Hobart Bar offers numerous dining options, while Coasters Retreat on the upper level of the CYCA is an area exclusive to members and their guests with views over the marina and Rushcutters Bay towards the Sydney skyline.
Royal Motor Yacht Club Point Piper
Located at Point Piper, the RMYC offers a deepwater marina with casual berths, marina restaurant and catering. Neptunes restaurant features renowned head chef Kazu Iketani’s delectable cuisine with views over Sydney’s magnificent Rose Bay.
Woolloomoo Wharf is home to a number of fine dining restaurants including Otto Ristorante, China Doll, Kingsley’s, Manta, Il Pontile and Alibi within the Ovolo hotel.
The famous pie cart, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, is a Sydney landmark, while Flour and Stone serves up classic bakery delights, including coffee, pastries, cakes, and savoury sausage rolls and pies. The Tilbury Hotel’s outdoor courtyard makes for a sunny spot to enjoy bistro-style meals.
Watsons Bay Hotel
This is the venue if you’re seeking chilled afternoons over cocktails and seafood platters. A boutique hotel with restaurant, bar and picturesque beach, Watsons, as it’s known, specialises in “endless summers, postcard panoramas and unhurried happiness”.
Doyles on the Beach, Watsons Bay
A Sydney institution since 1885, the original restaurant is located on the beach at Watsons Bay, with a classic menu of fish and chips, seafood platters, snapper pie, prawn cocktail, oysters and barbecued lobster.
Catalina Rose Bay
Owned and operated for 29 years by the McMahon family, Catalina has built an enviable reputation for effortless luxury. With sweeping views of Sydney Harbour, Catalina is a name synonymous with Sydney’s eastern suburbs and chic coastal style.
Menus change daily with the focus on seasonal local produce and sustainably sourced with an award-winning wine list and some of the country’s best views.
Ormeggio at The Spit
Specialising in seafood, great cocktails, a tempting dessert menu and unrivalled water views, Ormeggio is a celebration of home-made Italian cuisine. The restaurant is conveniently located at d’Albora Marina on Middle Harbour, with its beaches and onshore picnic areas that make it ideal for boating.
Bathers Pavilion, Balmoral
Set on Sydney’s Balmoral Beach, the historic Bathers’ Pavilion combines laid-back beachside hospitality with a 1920s Art Deco aesthetic and Mediterranean charm. Serving the best of Australian coastal cuisine, from fish and chips to fine dining, across a variety of different spaces within the grand heritage building, all with spectacular views.
Jonah’s, Whale Beach
Up the coast from Sydney on the Northern Beaches, Jonah’s offers restaurant and accommodation, with panoramic views from every room and table. Renowned for its luxury, privacy and comfort, Jonah’s has hosted celebrities from entertainment, politics, business and royalty over its 90-year history.
Located among clifftop gardens, overlooking Whale Beach, Jonah’s showcases exceptional Australian and international produce and an extensive wine list of more than 1,600 wines drawn from a cellar containing over 11,000 bottles of vintage Australian and international wines.
Cottage Point Inn
Located in the Kuringai Chase National Park, Cottage Point Inn began life as a holiday apartment in the 1950s for adventurous boaties and bushwalkers. With the opening of road access in the 70s, the Inn evolved into a restaurant and over several decades, has transformed from a pleasant bistro into a respected fine dining restaurant that matches its marvellous riverside setting. Arrive by seaplane, water taxi or book a pontoon and settle in for a delectable 5 or 8 course tasting menu.
Berowra Waters Inn
A favourite with boaties for its picturesque bushland location and ease of anchorage, Berowra Waters Inn has been a landmark since the 1920s.
Described by its architect as “a veranda by the water”, the inn is constructed of corrugated tin and glass louvre windows. Since its inception, it has been run by esteemed Chefs who have kept it in the ranks of the country’s best restaurants. There are three moorings for vessels which can be booked when you make a restaurant reservation.
La Luna Beach Club, Marina Mirage
Australia’s first floating Beach Club, La Luna blends the allure of Mykonos with the laid-back luxury of the Gold Coast. Surrounded by yachts on the marina, it’s the ideal waterfront destination for long lunches, sunset cocktails and intimate dinners. Guests can book a cabana by the pool to take full advantage of this sophisticated and glamorous venue.
Glass Dining, Marina Mirage
Glass is renowned for its elegant, yet relaxed ambience, with panoramic water views that make it ideal for every occasion: celebrations, sunset cocktails, romantic interludes or corporate events.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Beach
Beachfront at Burleigh, Rick Shores is a temple of Pan Asian delights, including its legendary fried bug rolls. Booked weeks in advance, this superlative Gold Coast locale brings the scent and sound of the ocean to every table.
Set on the River with a backdrop of the Surfers Paradise skyline, Surfers Pavilion is a vibrant waterfront venue boasting an extensive menu and refreshing cocktails.
In the heart of Surfers Paradise, Hyde Paradiso offers an escape redolent of European summers. Mornings offer scenic views with continental buffet and à la carte breakfast. Moving into lunch, the venues specialises in handcrafted cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired tapas. Every weekend, the resident DJs create the ambience for good vibes and delectable menus.
Southport Yacht Club
The Main Beach Clubhouse is home to the only open-air waterfront north-facing restaurant and bar with views over the 300-berth marina. Live entertainment and a calendar of yachting events throughout the year make SYC a vibrant and welcoming venue for locals and visitors alike.
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club
Located next to the landmark Elephant Rock in Currumbin, the surf club boasts a marvellous blend of bistro favourites and contemporary Australian cuisine, with live music magnificent views of the Gold Coast skyline. Dolphins frequently frolic in the surf below, and surfers ply the waves.
Kokomo’s Kitchen + Bar
Conveniently situated within The Boat Works marina and shipyard at Coomera, Kokomo’s is known for its tropical vibe and pleasant riverfront aspect. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating options with impressive views of the superyachts lined up in the marina.
Edgewater, Isle of Capri
Located in the heart of the bustling Capri on Via Roma on Isle of Capri with marina berths on the periphery, Edgewater Dining is a fantastic place to see and be seen. Featuring modern Australian cuisine with a twist, paired with an extensive cocktail list, it’s one of the Gold Coast’s most popular waterfront dining destinations.
Set among championship golf courses, waterfront homes, a vibrant Marina Village and world-class marina, Sanctuary Cove is a haven of hospitality. This masterplanned community comprises a range of restaurants, bars and cafes, and the lavish InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort complete with a tranquil Lagoon pool and restaurant with a distinctly Mediterranean vibe.
Langham Hotel, Surfers Paradise
For a good time, and a short time, the Langham, Gold Coast has paired with Champagne Maison, Veuve Clicquot to elevate the concept of the summer soiree. Throughout January 2024, the beachfront hotel will welcome guests to a retro-chic oasis at its Pool Bar overlooking the ocean and decorated in the brand’s yellow and white stripes. On offer is a gourmet lobster burger, crafted by Chef, Matthew Woolford, paired with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label during a daily Happy Hour, from 4pm to 5 pm.