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Opera Bar during Vivid
Photograph: Samantha Rose

Where to eat and drink at Vivid Sydney 2024

This year's epic light festival welcomes back Vivid Food – here's a guide to all the hot food events and where to dine

Avril Treasure
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Avril Treasure
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It’s nearly the (second) most wonderful time of the year, with Vivid Sydney kicking off on Friday, May 24 until Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Here are all the key things you need to know.) Sydney's epic festival will be lighting up the Emerald City once again for three weeks with dazzling displays, live music performances, gigs and parties and loads of fun, free and cheap things to do

Good news for the greedy souls amongst us: this year’s line-up sees the triumphant return of Vivid Food, featuring chef collaborations of your dreams, cooking demonstrations from the best in the biz, fancy dinners at fancy restaurants and more.

Below, we’ve rounded up all the hottest events happening for Vivid Food. And because we know you’ll work up an appetite with all that walking and snapping, if you keep on scrolling you can check out where to eat and drink during Vivid, including good-value offers. There’s lots of exciting and tasty things happening this year, so rug up, head outside and happy eating, Sydney.

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RECOMMENDED READS:

These are the best bars and restaurants to see the Vivid lights from.

Hungry? We are too. Here are Sydney's best restaurants that you can book right now

Vivid Food 2024

Vivid Residence

Manoella Buffara, Latin America's Best Female Chef 2022, will be taking over waterfront Greek diner Ploós for an exciting two-week residency during Vivid. Renowned for her passion for sustainability and boundary-pushing Brazilian fare, in Sydney, Buffara will be spotlighting the best NSW produce with a Brazilian twist, all surrounded by the dazzling lights of Vivid. Read more here.

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This year, Vivid Fire Kitchen will have a new home along Vivid Sydney Light Walk. Come on down and see the world’s most talented chefs and pitmasters cook with roaring flames using the best Aussie produce (and taste the fruits of their labour, of course). Enjoy delicious food cooked by fire, like slow-cooked brisket, charred veggies and First Nations dishes. It’s not just the food that’s hot, but the line-up, too. Vivid Fire Kitchen will feature Californian-star Shalamar Lane, Aussie culinary legend Christine Manfield, First Nations chef and restaurateur Mindy Woods, Firedoor’s Lennox Hastie, Texas-based Aussie barbecue cook Jess Pryles, Australian hospo gun John McFadden, and the Apollo Group’s Oscar Solomon. You can learn the art of cooking over fire with the live cooking demonstrations and there will be a fleet of food and drink trucks there. Read more here.

Culinary Canvas by Danielle Alvarez

Culinary goddess, former Fred’s head chef and cookbook author Danielle Alvarez will be hosting two delicious dinners under the white sails this Vivid. Held at the Opera House in the Yallamundi Rooms, Culinary Canvas will celebrate the best Australian produce, winemaking and music, with a live performance by the award-winning artist Katie Noonan. Enjoy a three-course seasonal meal curated by Alvarez paired with top-notch vino against the beautiful backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Culinary Canvas will take place on Friday June 7 and June 14 and costs $269 per person. Read more here.

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Warakirri Dining Experience

The Warakirri Dining Experience is special First Nations dinner that will be taking place across two evenings, May 31 and June 1, at Carriageworks as part of Vivid Food. Deep-dive into Australia’s gorgeous native foods, botanics, culture and ritual with a dinner presented by Ngemba Weilwan woman Sharon Winsor. Learn more about the world's oldest continuous living culture and about the foods we should be eating more of today. Read more here.

Taste, See, Connect

Taste, see, connect. Sounds good, doesn’t it? As part of Vivid Food, House Canteen at the Sydney Opera House will be throwing a series of dinners designed for light-admirers to step outside of their comfort zone, make new connections and have fun. Play Jenga with your neighbour, get thrown into the deep end (conversation wise) with prompt cards, and enjoy a yum meal featuring sushi, share plates, dumplings and desserts, all with Vivid as your background. Book here.

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Coyoacán Social at Carriageworks

Carriageworks is teaming up with the social enterprise Plate It Forward to bring you tasty eats during Vivid while giving back to those in need. As part of the Vivid Food program, Plate It Forward’s Coyoacán Social will be popping up at Carriageworks, serving authentic and delicious Mexican street food – think slow-cooked beef tacos and more. Plus, for every taco purchased, a meal will be donated to a local community kitchen. Stop by before heading to Vivid or a show. Now that’s what we’re tacoing about! Read more here.

A Night with Nelly Robinson

Sydney Harbour, a dazzling skyline, a hot superyacht, free-flowing sparkling and a fabulous dinner cooked by top chef Nelly Robinson of Nel. Sounds good? We think so too. This year, Robinson will be preparing a colourful feast on board The Jackson for one night only as part of Vivid Food. Enjoy the lights and colours of Vivid from one of the best seats in town during a fun four-hour cruise. The experience includes a six-course meal, free-flowing sparkling for the first hour and live entertainment for $325 per person. 'A Night with Nelly Robinson' for Vivid Sydney 2024 is happening on Saturday, May 25. Read more here.

Vivid 2024 food and drink

  • Restaurants
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

Always wanted to go to Aria but haven’t had the coin? Well, Vivid is the time to as the waterfront fine diner is hosting its very own snack bar. For $150 per person, you can saunter on in to Aria and enjoy a gamut of delicious snacks (hello, Wagyu cheeseburger), a cocktail and a glass of wine. Oh! And the killer views of Vivid. Book here.

Bar Subterranean by The Midnight Special

Newtown’s The Midnight Special will once again be popping up in the Opera House for Vivid, transforming the Concert Hall’s Northern Foyer into Bar Subterranean. Swing on by for cocktails by Archie Rose and an immersive space inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. Entry is free. Find out more here.

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  • Bars
  • The Rocks
  • price 1 of 4

A lot of fuss gets made over The Glenmore’s unbelievable harbour views, taking in the majesty of the Harbour Bridge and hooking around past the Opera House sails to the glittering CBD. To capitalise on these incredible views this Vivid, the rooftop pub will be running cocktail specials made with Talisker whisky. There's a Salted Caramel Apple Old Fashioned with your name on it. Read more here.

  • Bars
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

In terms of views and vibes this Vivid, it probably doesn't get much better than Opera Bar. And with live music, front-row seats to the lights and free entry, we reckon the harbour bar is going to go off. Plus, the team will be shaking three limited-edition colourful Vivid cocktails, including one called Emerald Mirage (Three Cuts vodka, pomme verte liqueur, melon liqueur, pineapple, citrus soda) which sounds like a fun time indeed. Read more here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Circular Quay

Found right in Circular Quay and featuring views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and harbour, Bar Patrón is prime real estate this Vivid. It's not all about the views, however – the Mexican restaurant is putting on a show, too, offering a three-course set menu for $49 per person, available between 5-6pm. Think guacamole, tacos and tostadas. Muy bien. Book here.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • The Rocks

Modern Asian restaurant Luna Lu is situated along the sandstone Campbells Cove in The Rocks. In terms of quintessential Sydney views, this is as good as it gets. This Vivid, Luna Lu is serving colourful dynasty dumplings. Views and plump dumps? We love it. Book here.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Australian
  • The Rocks

Sydney is brimming with restaurants and hotels with divine views. But there’s nothing quite like the vista you have from the Dining Room by James Viles, at the low-rise Park Hyatt hotel. The flash diner is putting on a two- or three-course meal for Vivid. Try the ‘Crimson Spin’ dessert, which was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter drawings and features berries, pineapple sorbet and delicate crimson sheet drapes. Book here.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • The Rocks

This Vivid, Hickson House is transforming into Hickson Vivid House, complete with neon lights and glow-in-the-dark cocktails. Conveniently located right in the Rocks, pop in to Hickson House for a drink or three before you explore the city at night. You’ll be able to get your hands on these bespoke cocktails on Friday and Saturday evenings in Hickson House’s mezzanine High and Dry Bar, from 6-11pm. Book here

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  • Hotels
  • Luxury hotels
  • Sydney

Take in Vivid from the sky at Aster, The InterContinental Sydney's rooftop bar found on level 32. Guests can sip on Vivid-themed cocktails alongside a seasonal two-course menu, and take it all in. Two seatings are available: 6 and 8pm, and it costs $169 per person. You will need to book for this one, which you can do here.

  • Restaurants
  • Indigenous Australian
  • Sydney

Indigenous restaurant Midden by Mark Olive, located in the Sydney Opera House, is putting on specials during Vivid. Pop in for zingy lemon myrtle teriyaki chicken skewers with lemon myrtle ponzu paired with a fruity Rosella Gimlet (rosella-infused Archie Rose signature dry gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, agave and lemon myrtle syrup) and stay for the views. Book here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steak house
  • Woolloomooloo

Kingsleys Woolloomooloo, a steak and seafood restaurant located right on the wharf at Woolloomooloo, has created some fun and fruity drinks just for Vivid. There's the Passionfruit Cove with Grey Goose vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur, agave syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and passionfruit pulp; and the Yuzu-Yindi with Grey Goose vodka, Granny Smith apple liqueur, fresh lemon juice, apple juice and yuzu puree. Head there early for top cocktails, oysters and some of the world’s best steak, before going to Vivid. Book here.

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