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When you've got nowhere to be, there's no better way to wile away the day than with a long lunch.
Sydney, with its harbourside views, beachside spots, great food and beautiful weather, is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world for a long lunch. Location is everything when leisure lunching, and Sydney is never short of a great location restaurant.
Here are a few not-to-be-missed lunch locations to try.
Pilu at Freshwater has to be the perfect example of what a long lunch should be. The view of the beach and the board riders is stunning, the service is faultless, and the degustation menu with matching wines is sensational.
Pilu is set within a grand, beautiful old weatherboard and from the moment you arrive you'll feel like you've stepped into a friend's beach house. The arched windows frame point-blank views of Freshwater Beach and depending on the season, make for excellent whale watching.
Pilu's Sardinian-inspired menu is just as good, featuring dishes like crumbed smoked eel balls, cured salmon with sweet green friggitello peppers, and lovingly hand-made ravioli filled with lemon, anchovy and potato.
Operating from a beautiful sandstone building that dates back to the 1830s, Banjo Paterson Cottage Restaurant is a National Trust location restaurant like no other in Australia. A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson lived here as a young man with his grandmother, and the spectacular setting pays homage to the brilliant bush poet.
Banjo Paterson Cottage Restaurant is set within 5 acres of parkland and beautifully landscaped gardens. It's old-world charm is highlighted by several open fireplaces. The views from the two spacious, fully enclosed verandahs are breathtaking, overlooking the Parramatta River. As for the food, it's modern Australian dining at its best, with a touch of Italian thrown in.
Manta's superb setting screams long lunch and celebration dining. Located on Sydney's premier dining strip – the Woolloomooloo Wharf, it's a spectacular harbour dining experience that should never be rushed.
Take in the views of the marina and skyline, choose a bottle of wine from the long wine list, and enjoy 100% grass fed beef grown on the family farm and sustainably caught seafood.
Manta is committed to showcasing the best of Australian produce, and is a renowned leader in the farm-to-table philosophy. And with a choice of private dining room, outdoor waterside dining, inside a-la-carte or bar-side dining, you can have a long lunch here no matter the outdoor temperature.
Chiosco by Ormeggio is a real Italian trattoria with killer views straight up Middle Harbour. BYO-friendly, this casual dining space is perfect for a leisurely lunch with friends. Located right next door to Ormeggio at the Spit, the venue is surrounded by the luxurious bobbing boats of the marina.
Alessandro Pavoni heads the kitchen, while Bill Drakopoulos makes sure you are comfortable out front. Bill independently owns Aqua Dining and Ripples, so knows a thing or two about running a great restaurant.
The setting is fully weatherproof with misting fans, shade and waterproof blinds.
Whitewater Restaurant is a popular Sydney hangout and it's easy to see why – great food, great service, and gorgeous water views. It offers a chic beach house atmosphere that's ideal for a casual lunch.
Seeing as you're planning a leisurely day, why not choose the degustation lunch? Made up of five of the restaurant's most popular dishes, you can choose to have it with or without matching wines. If you're really in for the long haul, top the experience off with a dessert tasting plate too.
Angel Restaurant is a small, intimate dining space in a winning location overlooking Freshwater Beach. It offers modern Australian cuisine in a charming heritage cottage and the staff are super friendly and welcoming.
A collection of local artist's work hang the walls, which you can purchase if you wish. Angel Restaurant is the perfect lunch spot when you wish to combine your outing with a long morning walk.
If you haven't yet made the trek to Berowra Waters, it's high time you did. The Hawkesbury location is nothing short of breathtaking, and as the water laps and sucks at the stones beneath the louvred restaurant windows, you'll feel totally at peace.
Intimate and private, Berowra Waters Inn is only accessible by boat or plane. Surrounded by idyllic Australian bushland, it really is an experience to remember. Head Chef and Owner Brian Geraghty cares for you well, and serves up contemporary European cuisine degustation style.
Relaxed yet sophisticated, Sotto Sopra is an Italian wood-fired, multi-level trattoria on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Another venue by Alessandro Pavoni, it's more relaxed than his Ormeggio offerings, but just as tasty and well-respected.
Sotto Sopra's menu includes Italian-inspired, produce-driven dishes in a simple, yet exciting style. Think handmade pasta, eggplant parmigiana, slow cooked lamb shoulder and lots of fresh seafood. Many dishes are designed for sharing, just as the Italians do. This makes Sotto Sopra a great long lunch destination with friends.
Boasting what has to be the most enviable position in Sydney, Opera Bar is an iconic location you can't go past. Located on the lower concourse level of the Sydney Opera House, all the wonders of the city sit at its feet.
If a champagne or 'boozy' lunch is your idea of fun, Opera Bar is the place for you. Described as the 'best beer garden in the world' it won't let you down. The sun, the water, the buzz, the comings and goings of a working harbour, the well-stocked bar – it all makes for magic.
Harbour Bar and Kitchen is one of Sydney's first authentic barbeque experiences. City skyline and water views paired with a luxe outdoor bar scene, anyone who's anyone is found having lunch at Harbour Bar and Kitchen.
HBK's menu offers the finest rotisserie meats, seafood and vegetables, as well as contemporary share plates and lunch specials like woodfired pulled pork sandwich, chicken and mushroom risotto, and Indian vegan burgers. Lunch specials range from $16 to $22.
Gather the friends, your colleagues, your partner, or simply take a day for yourself and check out one of these great long lunch spots. These places are so good you might just stay for dinner.