The best bars and restaurants to see the Vivid lights from

Catch a glimpse of the colourful projections over a glass of wine and some snacks

Photograph: Destination NSW

Vivid lights up all throughout Sydney – the sails of the Opera House, on the water in Darling Harbour, the new addition of Barangaroo, throughout the malls of Chatswood and even Taronga Zoo. Want to catch the lights from the comforts of a bar or restaurant? Here's your hitlist. 

Want more killer views? Check out these waterfront dining destinations. Don't mind about the view as long as the food is ace? Try one of Sydney's 50 best restaurants.

The best places to see Vivid Lights


Hacienda Bar Sydney

Throughout Vivid this new-look Cuban-inspired cocktail lounge at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour will be a hot spot. The glassed in box jutting out over the concourse has excellent views of the harbour from every seat and they will also be shaking up two special Vivid cocktails. 

Circular Quay

Overseas Passenger Terminal

Sydney’s best food trucks and street food purveyors will all be on site at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Grab a hand held snack then peruse the projections onto the MCA and the surrounds.

The Rocks

Taronga Zoo

Now it’s time for dinner at the zoo, which is a new experience being offered as part of Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo. From May 26 to June 17, Taronga’s the View Restaurant will be transformed into an underwater haven with incredible oceanic light projections, marine sounds and marine-inspired lighting. You’ll be overlooking the zoo’s new light installations – the Port Jackson shark and the floating stingray – as you choose from the special two-course menu. 

By: Aobh O'Brien-Moody

MCA Café and Sculpture Terrace

From May 26 May–June 17 the MCA Cafe will stay open 'til 9pm every Wednesday through Sunday. It's got some of the best views of the Opera House so nab a spot and watch the projections roll out from the rooftop.

The Rocks

GPO Grand

GPO Grand fronts onto Martin Place meaning you can see the all the action of the precinct before heading in for a meal. Enjoy a glass of wine and dinner at one of the venues many restaurants including Prime, Intermezzo Ristorante, Postales Restaurant, GPO Cheese and Wine Room, Coach Bar and Crystal Bar.



Located right beneath the Opera House's famous sails, Portside Sydney offers panoramic views of the harbour and beyond, meaning it's prime Vivid viewing territory. They are dishing out a set menu designed by head chef Lauren Murdoch for $55. 


Lux Populi Pop-up

Underneath Vivid's 'tree of light’ projections onto the CTA building you'll find Lux Populi. It will showcase some of Sydney's best chefs and restaurants including Porteno, LP's Quality Meats and Stanbuli. They'll be dishing out Vivid Sydney-inspired specials and cooking over coal and wood fires. James Squire, Archie Rose Gin and Vodka, Cattleyard Brewing Co. Beer and Azure Wines will be propping up the bar.


Q Dining

Located within the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Hotel, Q Dining (formerly known as the Quadrant Restaurant) boasts floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the harbour. They'll be serving up a Vivid inspired menu and a special Vivid kids menu, meaning the whole family can enjoy.


Cafe Ananas

Every night throughout Vivid this French bistro will swing open its doors from 5pm. You'll at the foot of all the action and you'll also be able to see great views of the Harbour Bridge. 

Circular Quay
Show more

Need a bite before a Vivid Live gig?

Where to eat and drink near the Sydney Opera House

Get your glad rags on and head down to Circular Quay with plenty of time to spare before curtain up for an early dinner, or even just a pre-threatre tipple at these restaurants and bars located near the Sydney Opera House. 

By: Time Out editors

Heading to Chatswood?

Chatswood area guide

Check out the Vivid lights from the station right through to the Concourse, then hit up one of Chatswood's great food halls or restaurants for a feed after.

Want more Vivid?

15 reasons to get excited about this year’s Vivid festival

Vivid Sydney has announced its colourful program for 2017, which will include 23 days of light, music and ideas events taking place around the city. As always, there’ll be light projections to admire around the CBD, as well as Australian-exclusive performances inside Sydney Opera House. It’s a heady program – so we’ve picked out 15 highlights to help you decide how to spend that pocket money during the festival, from May 26 to June 17. 

By: Emma Joyce