If you are wondering where to take your spouse, partner or friend for a date on Valentine's Day, on an anniversary, or simply on any day you'd like to be a little bit different and a little bit more special, here are the 8 best dates you can have in Sydney:
1 Fancy Restaurant with 360-degree Views
Take your loved one not just in any other fancy restaurant, but in one which affords you a fantastic panoramic view of Sydney. Offhand, there are two contenders in mind: the O Bar and Dining, which is 47 floors above street level, and the Sydney Tower restaurants, where you get a choice between buffet and bar dining both with a stunning 360-degree view of the city. O Bar and Dining is located in Australia Square at 264 George Street, where a 2-course dinner is set at $56 per person. On the other hand, there are two revolving restaurants in Sydney Tower: the Sydney Tower Buffet and 360 Bar and Dining. Buffet starts from $55, while dining at 360 Bar costs $50 per person for a 2-course meal with a glass of house wine.
View from the O Bar and Dining, photo from the restaurant website.
If panoramic views and revolving restaurants are too fancy for you and you'd wish to cut back a little bit on the budget, head on to The Glenmore at the Rocks, 96 Cumberland St., The Rocks. A meal starts at $18.50, and the rooftop gives you a 180-degree view of Sydney Harbour and the CBD.
View of the Sydney Opera House at night from The Glenmore, photo from restaurant website.
3 Fancy Restaurant with Harbour Views
We've got to admit that the Sydney Harbour with its iconic Harbour Bridge and the Opera House makes a good backdrop for a meal with a special someone. There are many great (and expensive) restaurants near the Harbour that gives you the ambience, but Aria is quite popular. Entree starts at $36 while mains start at $46.
View from Aria, photo from the restaurant website.
Restaurants in and around the Circular Quay and near the Opera House are quite expensive. There is, however, an alternative that won't break the wallet yet offer perhaps an even better view of the Harbour. From The Rocks, walk across the Harbour Bridge. Take the walk as an opportunity to start a great conversation, and you can stop midway to admire the amazing view of the Opera House, the Circular Quay and the city. You also have the option to climb up Pylon Lookout, which is 200 steps and 87 metres above sea level. Access to the lookout is through the pedestrian pathway on the eastern side of the bridge from the city side, and there is an admission fee of $13 per person.
The Sydney Opera House as seen from the Harbour Bridge
Once across the bridge, proceed to the Vibe Hotel North Sydney at 88 Alfred Street, Milsons Point. It's difficult to miss it. Located in its ground floor is the Curve Bar which promotes the best of Australian flavours. Entree starts from $13 and mains from $22.
Enjoy a romantic dinner with your special someone on board one of the many dining cruises at the Sydney Harbour. Some of the well-known providers are Captain Cook, where a dinner cruise starts at $89 per person, and Magistic Cruises which offers a dinner cruise for $55 per person.
6 Dinner After Cruise
If a Harbour cruise will unnecessarily stretch the budget, a good alternative is to take the ferry from the Circular Quay to Manly. Yes, it's public transportation, but you'll get up close and personal views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The trip won't ever be dull, and a good conversation will make it seem just like a breeze. Once in Manly, get seated at one of the restaurants nearby. If you fancy Chinese food, there is Manly Phoenix which is popular for its yum cha. It is located at 75 The Corso. Otherwise, Hugo's at Manly Wharf has superb waterfront views and great food. It more than compensates for the budget cruise that was the ferry. Entree starts at $18 and mains start at $20.
If you have the money to spend and you want to impress, fly and dine at Jonah's. This service is offered by Sydney Seaplanes, which takes you in a mid-afternoon seaplane flight (yes, take off and land on water!) from Rose Bay to a private tasting of a bottle of 'Ruinart' Champagne with antipasto plate at Jonah's, followed by a 3-course dinner a la carte. You also get a chauffeur-driven car transfer back to the city after dinner. This high-rolling experience, however, comes with a $510 per person price tag and is the most expensive option in this list.
Hop on a sea plane, get a stunning aerial view of Sydney, and end up pampered at Jonah's, photo from Sydney Seaplane website.
8 Drive and Dine
If you are afraid of heights and flying in a small plane, or you just don't want to spend so much on a dinner date, you still have the option of dining out at Jonah's less the sea plane. You can go there by public transportation, or if you are not planning to drink alcohol, you can simply drive. Jonah's is located at 69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach, and is a 50-minute drive from the city. It is one of the most stunning ocean retreats in Australia, which has both a restaurant and a boutique hotel. Set dinner starts from $79 for a 2-course meal.
View from Jonah at Whale Beach, photo from the restaurant website.