There’s no denying that a drink just tastes better if you’re having it at a bar with a great view.
And since the weather is heating up as we approach spring, there’s no better time to grab a drink at a bar near the water, whether it’s beachside, harbourside or lakeside.
Trouble is, people flock to the big waterside hotspots, and sometimes the last thing you want to do is battle crowds for a spot.
Thankfully there are a number of less well-known, quieter venues around Sydney that still have a killer view.
Here are ten of the best quiet waterfront bars in Sydney away from the crowds.
Plonk Beach Cafe, Mosman
Not just a cafe, Plonk serves a wide range of wines and cocktails every Thursday to Sunday.
If you’re in the mood to explore the area after your drinks, you can step down from the deck straight onto the sand, and take a walk around the water’s edge where there are no waves.
83 Parriwi Rd
Mosman NSW 2088
02 9960 1007
Mojo’s Tapas Bar, Bondi
Mojo’s is located down the touristy end at south Bondi, but is nowhere near as busy as some of the more well-known bars in the middle and at the north end.
The drinks at Mojo’s are very creative, and the kiwi caipiroska is famous among locals.
Happy hour is on from 4pm to 6pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when tapas and cocktails are only $8 each.
32 Campbell Parade
Bondi NSW 2026
02 9130 1322
Loft Bar, CBD
Cargo Bar and Bungalow 8 are the large, flashy bars of King Street Wharf, but for something a little quieter, head up the stairs to the Loft.
Enjoy a delicious cocktail like their take on the negroni called a “negroski” with pear infused Tanqueray gin, Campari, Aperol, sweet vermouth, and coffee beans, with a bunch of their small tapas plates.
On Friday and Saturday nights they play RnB party music so it gets a little busier, and on Sundays they put on a great high tea.
3 Lime St
Sydney NSW 2000
02 8322 2006
Cabana Beach Kiosk, Narrabeen
Blink and you’ll miss it. A part of one of three surf life saving clubs dotted along expansive Narrabeen beach, Cabana is a haven for those after a drink along a picturesque beach that not many people know about.
They serve a range of wines, beers and fancy cocktails with tapas, burgers, fish and chips and some healthier options like grilled barramundi with mojo sauce, grilled potatoes and salad.
South Narrabeen SLSC
1200 Pittwater Road
0432 506 218
Deck Bar & Dining, Dee Why
Dee Why is a hidden gem of the northern beaches. Large developments are being built around the area, but for now the beachside bars of Dee Why remain a quiet pocket away from bustling Pittwater Road.
Head upstairs and grab a stool on the deck to check out beautiful Dee Why Beach from the perfect angle.
23 The Strand
Dee Why NSW 2099
02 9971 0744
The Bay Hotel & Diner, Maroubra
What was once a rough area has become gentrified with the influx of well-to-do millennials, Gen-Xers and young Sydney families due to the recent bargain property prices of this beachside suburb.
To appeal to the newcomers, the old Bay Hotel has had a funky makeover and menu refresh, and the wine list is more comprehensive than you would think.
Pair a glass with one of their gourmet schnitzels, burgers, salads or something from the chargrill menu like the barbecue pork ribs or the half-chicken with Mexican spices, fries, coleslaw, barbecue corn and ranch sauce.
182 Marine Parade
Maroubra NSW 2035
02 8970 5868
Clovelly Bowling Club, Clovelly
Give busy Bondi and Coogee a miss and head to Clovelly which is high up on the cliff, in between both.
If you’re on a budget, drinks and food are cheap.
And if you’re a dab hand at barefoot bowls, you can enjoy your waterside drink with a game for $15.
1 Ocean Street
Clovelly NSW 2031
02 9665 1507
The Beach Club, Collaroy
Merivale’s new buzzing 2-level The Collaroy pub is right next door, but head into the RSL entrance of the Beach Club to the right.
Here you can enjoy a quieter waterfront experience with the same beautiful views, but with less screaming children.
The Beach Club Collaroy
(Collaroy Services Beach Club)
1058 Pittwater Road,
Collaroy NSW 2097
02 9971 5355
Vela Dining and Bar, Cabarita
Worth the trip, Vela Dining and Bar is right on the shores of the Parramatta RIver.
You’re spoilt for choice with a long wine and cocktail list, and plenty of different food options.
Pick a cocktail like the Golden Beautiful with Jose Cuervo Tequila, Campari, fresh lime juice, vanilla and passionfruit syrup, and try it with some tapas plates, an antipasto platter or go all out with the seafood plate for two or the 48-hour braised lamb shoulder with roasted rosemary potatoes, seasonal vegetables, dressed in its own minted braising jus.
138 Cabarita Rd
Cabarita NSW 2137
02 8759 7604
Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich
With food specials every day like Monday $14 steak night, pot pie Wednesdays and Sunday acoustic sessions from 1pm, the Pier hotel is a choice place to grab a drink by the water without battling the crowds.
Grab a spot in the inner courtyard lawn which looks just like your nan’s backyard, complete with ornate white garden chairs, fake grass and a tall tree providing shade on those hot spring and summer days.
2 Gale Street
Woolwich NSW 2110
02 9817 2204