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Sean's Panaroma
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best long lunch spots in Sydney

For those days when good food and wine is the only thing on the agenda

By Time Out editors
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In a city like Sydney, with its kilometres of waterfront, truly great restaurants and consistenly gorgeous weather, long lunches should be on your regular to-do list. Whether you're overlooking the Harbour, sitting by the beach or in the depths of the city, here's our list of where to spend lazy, sunny days sipping, eating and lounging around in good company. 

Is it ticking over to dinner time already? Check out one of Sydney's best restaurants with a view.

RECOMMENDED: The absolute best bars in Sydney right now.

The best places for a Sydney long lunch

Sean's Panaroma
Sean's Panaroma
Photograph: Anna Kucera

1. Sean's

Restaurants Bondi Beach

This little beachfront restaurant looks like a coastal café but has the heart of a fine diner, and for over 25 years it has been setting the standard for thoughtful modern Australian cooking. These guys were all about the local produce long before it was cool, and with views out over Bondi Beach it's the best place to spend a chunk of your weekend on memorable food and great wine.

Pro tip: Right now they're doing a three-course set menu with two choice per course, bred and appetisers for $100 a head.

Tablelay at Lumi, Pyrmont
Tablelay at Lumi, Pyrmont
Photograph: Anna Kucera

2. LuMi

Restaurants Darling Harbour

Because of its positioning and extensive glass walls, it feels as if you’re almost floating on the harbour, surrounded as you are by water. The design of the space is mid-century-Italian-mod – lime green and purple textiles versus timber and concrete furnishings, and the food is a similar fusion of ideas, most simply described as Italian-Japanese.

Pro tip: If you can't make a lunch opt for the late sitting to fully luxuriate in the tasting menu here.

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View at Pilu at Freshwater
View at Pilu at Freshwater
Photograph: Supplied

3. Pilu at Freshwater

Restaurants Freshwater

It can be easy to overlook the old guard in favour of the new, but we can't think of many better wasy to spend an afternoon than gazing at Freshwater Beach, pretendign you're in Sardinia and eating Giovanni Pilu's superlative Italian food.

Pro tip: Freshwater is a short Uber from Manly, which means you can add a ferry trip to double down on waterfront views. 

Saint Peter interior overview
Saint Peter interior overview
Photograph: Supplied/Saint Peter

4. Saint Peter

Restaurants Seafood Paddington

When you sit down at the beautiful marble topped counter that runs the length of the new-look Paddington eatery it’s not a simple matter of ‘what do you want to eat?’, but rather, ‘what can you not afford to miss?’ at the restaurant that has transformed expectations of seafood dining in Sydney.

Pro tip: Go hard on the starters – the seafood charcuterie is unlike anything else you can eat in Sydney, maybe Australia.

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Table of food at Lankan Filling Station
Table of food at Lankan Filling Station
Photograph: Anna Kucera

5. Lankan Filling Station

Restaurants Sri Lankan Darlinghurst

It only happens once a month, so plan ahead and book early for the monthly crab curries at Lankan Filling Station. It's a Sunday set menu where your tiny table is so laden with flavours, spices and colours that it’s like dining inside a kaleidoscope.

Pro tip: Buy some of the house-made curry powders and sambols to take home and tide you over until next month's lunch.

Bright interiors of Mimi's
Bright interiors of Mimi's
Photograph: Daniel Boud

6. Mimi's

Restaurants Modern Australian Coogee

Mimi's is something of a chip off the old block (Merivale's Bert's did fancy coastal bistro first), but it's also its own fancy beast and with prime position right on Coogee Beach it's worth making it a day trip for the views out those huge, arched windows. Dress for the occasion and make the most of it – if there was ever a time to order bumps of caviar and vodka, it's now.

Pro tip: Merivale pretty much specialise in long lunch venues, so take your pick from Bert's, Totti's, or Fred's.

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A shot of assorted dumpling insdie a steamer at Mr Wong
A shot of assorted dumpling insdie a steamer at Mr Wong
Photograph: Daniel Boud

7. Mr Wong

Restaurants Chinese Sydney

Roast ducks, whole crabs and seafood centrepieces might hog the limelight at Mr Wong, but smart players know to mke it a lunchtime occasion, because it's only during hte daylight hours that they have their dim sum menu available, and it's some of the fanciest dumpling work in town.

Pro tip: You can still get the big ticket proteins at lunch time so it's a win all round.

Bolognaise at Fratelli Paradiso
Bolognaise at Fratelli Paradiso
Photograph: Anna Kucera

8. Fratelli Paradiso

Restaurants Potts Point

We might be a city of shifting dining whims, but our love of scampi, split and grilled in their shells, next to a tangle of spaghetti wearing vermillion tomato sugo and chopped parsley like edible couture never falters. That’s why it’s always a roll of the dice for how hard it’s going to be to get a table at Fratelli Paradiso for lunch on a weekend. This simple dining room with a giant chalkboard on one wall stands staunch in its consistency in the face of a dining scene fixated on the hot new trend.

Pro tip: The wines by the glass are a good time, but by the bottle the range opens out to something a whole lot more fun and diverse.

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Food at Bennelong
Food at Bennelong
Photograph: Anna Kucera

9. Bennelong

Restaurants Sydney

If you're treating yourself to lunch at Bennelong in Summer 2021, make it a Sunday when they're running the Live at Bennelong' concert series on a Sunday afternoon. An extra $30 concert fee on top of your set menu will ensure your repast is paired with live ragtime, blues and tango from curator Phillip Johnston (Microscopic Septet, Wordless!) and friends.

Pro tip: A walk around the Botanic Gardens is socially distant, beautiful and a great way to finish your love affair with the city.

People sitting outside restaurant at Ciccia Bella
People sitting outside restaurant at Ciccia Bella
Photograph: Anna Kucera

10. CicciaBella

Restaurants Italian Bondi Beach

Another from Maurice Terzini and the Icebergs family, CicciaBella is launching their own take on a long – or eternal –lunch. The plates at CicciaBella are naturally skewed towards snacking and sharing – think olives, prosciutto, burrata and seafood fregola, the Terzini salad, ripe tomatoes and torn basil. The Pranzo Eterno set menu throws a bottomless component into the mix too, with two hours of wine, beer and a Spritz on arrival for $99.

Pro tip: If you're going rogue and ordering a la carte, make sure to tack on CicciaBella’s famous tiramisu for a sweet finish (it's already included if you opt for the set menu).  

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Interior at Prince of York
Interior at Prince of York
Photograph: Katje Ford

11. Prince of York

Bars Cocktail bars Sydney

Prince of York isn't afraid of a little party atmosphere. The sprawling, low-lit warehouse of a space with metres of exposed brick and geometric prints is the setting for a indulgent, generous shared lunch menu full of full-flavoured, hearty plates: oysters topped with Bloody Mary granita,  four-cheese porcini arancini and a crab club sandwich with truffle hot sauce are on the line-up. Finish up your meal with a boozy tiramisu – if you can handle it after the two hours of bottomless Margaritas, rosé Spritzes, house wines and tap beers, that is. Plus, it's all for $89. 

Pro tip: Book in for a later-than-usual lunch, so you can make the seamless transition to dancing the evening away under the disco ball at Pamela's downstairs.

Tablelay at The Acre, Camperdown Commons
Tablelay at The Acre, Camperdown Commons
Photograph: Anna Kucera

12. Acre Eatery

Restaurants Camperdown

When it comes to a long lunch, location is everything. While the CBD is a prime location for a weekday lunch, there are also a bunch of places rocking the suburbs for a midday meal, and top of the list in the Inner West is the Acre, the restaurant set up inside an urban farm where the Camperdown Bowling Club used to be. Someone has tilled the earth where the bowling greens once lay and built a spacious, breezy restaurant in the middle.

Pro-tip: Parties up to nine adults can order from the à la carte menu, and larger than that you'll need to dine on the set menu (which has vegan and veggo offerings). 

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13. Chiswick

Restaurants Woollahra

Overlooking Chiswick's lush gardens with a glass of rosé in one hand and a spoonful of delicious food in the other is pretty much Sydney-heaven. Plus there are loads of big tables if there's a big group involved (respecting CovidSafe rules of course), and it's the perfect window to order the famous Moran family lamb.

Pro-tip: If you've got a group of four or more opt for the set four-course menu, which includes plenty of tasty bits from the garden, along with shareable plates of kingfish sashimi, fried spatchcock and barramundi. 

Food at Otto Wooloomooloo
Food at Otto Wooloomooloo
Photograph: Anna Kucera

14. Otto Ristorante Sydney

Restaurants Italian Woolloomooloo

This glitzy Woolloomooloo institution is known for being a wharfside runway for stars and a go-to for long lunches. With its postcard-worthy location and crowded tables, Otto isn’t short on buzz and for a modern Italian restaurant to be making one of the best vegan menus in town, they're not short on talent either.

Pro-tip: In tandem with a specialty vegan menu Otto offers a dedicated vegetarian menu, too.

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At Bondi Icebergs Dining
At Bondi Icebergs Dining
Photograph: Anna Kucera

15. Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

Restaurants Bondi Beach

Dining fashions may come and go, but drinking Spritzes with ocean views and a corps of Sydney’s most beautiful people at neighbouring tables will never go out of style. Even if the water is so cold you can’t feel your face, we still like to be near it, which is what makes Icebergs such a good-times triple threat.

Pro tip: Do the turn by heading through to the bar afterwards for more drinks and maybe even a fashionable (chair) boogie.

Rooftop
Rooftop
Photograph: Supplied/Applejack Hospitality

16. SoCal

Bars Neutral Bay

While we were cocooned away in isolation, this Neutral Bay rooftop got a whole new fitout. Befitting the sun-splashed murals and light, share-plate centric fare, the terrace is adorned with palm trees, dangling outdoor lights and a bright palette of breezy, coastal pastel colours. Settle in for a long lunch fuelled by bottomless rosé and rosé sangria for $65 per person – you'll have more than enough food to go around too, with truffle mushroom and chickpea fritters, achiote chicken quesadillas, tacos, and salmon tiradito, a kind of Peruvian-influenced halfway point between sashimi and ceviche. 

Pro tip: Ask for a table outside – rosé just tastes that much better in the sun. 

Dining as a group?

A birds eye shot of a table setting full of many food dishes at
A birds eye shot of a table setting full of many food dishes at
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best restaurants for big groups in Sydney

Restaurants Barbecue

Need to find somewhere to feed the hungry hordes? Planning a get-together with your extended family, a birthday bash or just a booze-up with your buddies? It can be hard to know where to go, but don't worry, we got you.

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