Dive in to Darling Harbour's fab food scene

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SYDNEY: Darling Harbour is no longer just a playground for young families and snap happy tourists. With the addition of Darling Quarter and the explosion of new eateries at nearby Barangaroo, this waterside destination has really come into its own.

Vibe Darling Harbour - think Sydney smarts meets Manhattan cool - is a destination in itself. So, if you don’t want to stray too far you could start just downstairs at The Sussex Store, Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour’s stylish, casual dining space.   Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, a long lunch or an evening meal, The Sussex Store beckons with great coffee, an extensive drinks list and a tasty menu of modern Australian dishes with a zesty Asian-inspired twist. And the rooftop Above 319 lets you combine colourful cocktails with a cooling dip in the pool

Nearby, the new Darling Square precinct is set to rival Sydney’s established dining strips with a bunch of epic venues (currently 12 and growing!) housed in ‘The Exchange’, the striking ‘birds nest’ looking construct that takes centre stage in the Square.  Highlights include the hawker-style food from the streets of Colombo at Hopper Kadé; a new twist on traditional pasta a Pasta Wafu who offer miso bolognese, amongst other creations; and Boque by Tapavino, for tasty tapas and charcuterie over a glass of wine.

Stroll further into the heart of Darling Harbour for uninterrupted views overlooking Cockle Bay and King Street from Planar Restaurant, situated adjacent to the International Convention Centre.  This harbourside dining spot has both indoor and outdoor seating to make the most of Sydney’s long summer days and lingering winter sun.  Surprisingly laid back considering its central vantage point with a steady flow of commuters, tourists and local office workers passing by.

Neighbouring Chinatown is a favourite for lazy yum cha brunches. Marigold and East Ocean take pride of place as staple favourites in traditional yum cha faire and offer a bustling expansive space with fast paced but friendly trolley service.  If you venture further around the harbour to the Sydney Fish Markets in Pyrmont Bay, you’ll find an equally hectic ambience – unless you escape upstairs to Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant.  If there is such a thing as ‘relaxed yum cha’ then this place has it!

An exciting new addition on the Pyrmont dining scene is Chuuka – offering a unique Chinese-Japanese fusion menu, reflected in its name which means “Chinese” in Japanese.  Take a seat at the raw bar and enjoy some sushi with a side of Harbour Bridge views; head upstairs and soak up the panoramic vistas or if you love to watch the kitchen at work there’s a large chef’s table next to the pass.  Casual dining can also be enjoyed on the waterfront bar deck.

Also in Pyrmont, you’ll find a unique serve of Italian with a Japanese twist (yes it does exist!) at LuMi Dining.  Located on Wharf 10, near the National Maritime Museum, LuMi is described as a ‘casual fine dining experience’. Million-dollar, absolute waterfront views combine with a degustation style menu that ensures you experience the best from the kitchen.

Speaking of waterfront – Sydney’s evolving waterside jewel, Barangaroo, is continually emerging with new dining venues as the precinct develops.  If being by the water inspires a desire for seafood, Barangaroo serves up a catch of the best including Cirrus Dining, a high-end option for seafood lovers, and Love.Fish, a great spot for the family or large groups. 

For contemporary Australian cuisine at its best, Matt Moran’s Bea restaurant in Barangaroo House offers exquisite food in a spectacular venue – impressive for both its slick operation and its superb panoramic views across Darling Harbour.  Among the outstanding waterfront dining options at Barangaroo, Banskii offers a welcoming casual dining experience – perfect for a late lunch with tasty share plates and a stellar drinks menu specialising in vermouth.

We'll drink to that!

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*Activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions.

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