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People sitting outside at the Rocks
Photograph: Anna Kucera

These 19 inner-city venues are transforming streets into outdoor dining zones this summer

Sydney's transformation into a 24-hour city is beginning at the Rocks

Divya Venkataraman

In October, as Sydney kicked off its plans to transform into a 24-hour city, a host of bars and eateries in the Rocks were given the green light to embrace the warmer weather and set up outdoor dining tables and seating in the area's famous harbourside streets. 

Sydneysiders will be able to sit, dine and drink into the long summer evenings, at venues like the ever-popular Glenmore Hotel on Cumberland Street, inventive cocktail bar Maybe Sammy, and local pub the Orient Hotel. Plus, Middle Eastern eatery Tayim has opened a pop-up gin garden along the cobblestoned Nurses Walk laneway and whiskey haven the Doss House has expanded its outdoor area in Unwin's Courtyard. Other drinking holes that have opened up for outdoor business? The likes of El Camino Cantina, Endeavour Tap Rooms, Fortune of War Hotel, Phillip's Foote, the Australian Heritage Hotel, and the Mercantile. Feeling peckish? Sit down for a meal in the fresh air at Sergeant Lok, Caminetto, Zia Pina Pizzeria, the Tea Cosy, the Fine Food Store, the Rocks Café, Appetito or Bakers Oven

It's all part of the NSW Government's plans to reinvigorate the city after what's been an undeniably challenging year for the hospitality industry, and make it easier than ever for venues to allow outdoor dining, late-night trading and live music. Speaking of, there'll be good tunes playing on the streets every Thursday through to Sunday (11am–9pm) around the precinct's streets and laneways, including George Street, Jack Mundey Place, Nurses Walk and First Fleet Park. When you're at the latter, check out the cute circles drawn on the grass to promote social distancing. 

Bit early for a drink? Check out the best market breakfasts in Sydney.  

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