Food / Wellbeing

Our favourite alfresco dining spots around Australia for enjoying your summer aperitivo outside

Our favourite alfresco dining spots around Australia for enjoying your summer aperitivo outside

One of the great joys in life is sipping on a cocktail in the open air while feeling the summer breeze waft through your hair. I don't know what you've got planned for the summer but I think I'll exclusively be outdoor dining. Dining al fresco feels inherently European and, for those of us remaining Australia-bound this summer, we can almost imagine we've been transported to a beachside Greek Taverna or Italian deli with some of these breezy dining options.

Whether you're looking for a rooftop bar, or a seaside fine dining escape – below we bring you a list of the best outdoor dining experiences across Australia for you to visit this summer.


New South Wales

1. Kouzina (Byron Bay)


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Tucked away in Byron Bay's Industrial Estate, Kouzina emerges. One of Byron's favourite authentic Greek restaurants, adorned with blue chequered dining cloths delicious food, and a gorgeous outdoor seating area.

Kouzina is a love letter to Greek dining. Inspired by the family-owned Tavernas and Kafenios of the traditional Greek villages, Kouzina delivers an extremely authentic Greek setting for the community to feast and gather. Kouzina offers a set menu that changes from service to service. They offer a three-course shared banquet and are BYO. Make sure to book ahead for this coveted option.


2.  The Newport (Newport)

If the Newport gives off the feel of a classic German Biergarten, that's because it once was one. Now, the Northern Beaches venue offers its patrons a sprawling dining experience that boasts one of the liveliest venues around. When there aren't people sipping on beers and enjoying a pizza or a burger, the daytime heralds in cafegoers who are there for the coffees, and pastries or visiting the seafood market. If there's a good time to go, that would be 4pm to 6pm on weekdays when happy hour is set to the tune of live music and local DJs.


3. Three Blue Ducks (Sydney)


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The three blue ducks is an outdoor dining staple in Sydney. You have multiple options, the deck or the garden. The Deck is suited to a more intimate group, whereas the garden is a more festive feeling experience, with twinkling lights and a fragrant herb garden. Situated in Rosebury, the restaurant is one of Sydney's ultimate outdoor dining experiences. The food is always on point as are the vibes. There's also a Byron Bay venue if you happen to be passing through.


4. Shell House Dining (Sydney)


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Their Instagram handle reads, 'the centre of gravity for hospitality in the CBD' and with three levels of indoor and outdoor dining options, we'd have to agree. We love a rooftop, and Shell House comes through with a bird's eye view of the building's iconic clock tower. You'll be in good hands with the restaurant being helmed by Joel Bickford and Aaron Ward. Definitely worth dropping in for an outdoor dining experience to remember!


5. Paper Daisy (Cabarita)


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Situated in the luxurious Halcyon House, Paper Daisy is open for guests as well as walk-ins. With one hat and helmed by the inimitable chef Jason Barratt, this venue is a must for a drop-in for your next brunch, cocktail or lunch. If you have time, stay the whole night in this incredible venue.



1. Alimentari (Melbourne)

Alimentari is a superb upscale deli experience. Their cocktails, salads and fresh sandwich options draw in the crowd who lounge on the sunny tables under the stipes of the European blue and white striped awnings. The Italian-style bistro was inspired by the founder's travels overseas. On any given day you can see various salads piled high behind the counter. There's always a twist though, whether it be the unexpected harissa-roasted carrots or zucchini flowers with stracciatella. The Smith Street Alimentari (there's also one in Collingwood) invites guests to dine outdoors in their sunny rear courtyard and makes it easy to fantasise about sipping spritzes in the warm embrace of Italian summers.


2. Arbory Afloat (Melbourne)


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Afloat in Melbourne's Yarra River is Arbory Afloat, a double-storey pontoon hosting lunch and dinner seven days a week. Afloat is a seasonal spot – only popping up for a the spring and summer season, before shuttering for six months. This year season Afloat is Mexican themed – with a delicious menu and curated entertainment lineup to match.


3. HER (Melbourne)

One of Melbourne's newest and most exciting wining and dining destinations is the multi-level HER, located in the city. Stocked top to bottom with a myriad of impeccably outfitted dining spots, the rooftop is the perfect place for a night cap cocktail as the sun sets, before heading downstairs to their lounge and vinyl bar, Music Room.


4. Runner Up Rooftop Bar & Garden (Collingwood)

Easily one of Melbourne's coolest alfresco spots is Runner Up Rooftop in Collingwood. From Wednesday through Sunday, enjoy a casual drink, a light snack and some curated tunes from one of their rotating lineup of DJs.



1. Howard Smith Wharves (Brisbane)

Located beneath the Story Bridge in Brisbane, this foodie haven is the place to be if you want to eat in the open air. You won't be disappointed by any of the 13 restaurant options the precinct has to offer – from the Greek banquets at Greca to the sprawling brewery at Felons. From fine dining to cafes, this hub mixes artefacts from Brisbane's history with a modern take on the dining experience.


2. Hellenika (Brisbane)


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When we think of al fresco dining, one place, in particular, comes to mind, and that is Hellenika, the Greek restaurant situated in the breathtaking Calile hotel. The gorgeous poolside dining option brings the already excellent food to the next level. Sip on a cocktail before you dip your toes in the pool or just lounge! With excellent Greek options to satiate your palette, soak in all the Summer vibes this outdoor dining experience has to offer.


3. Burleigh Pavilion (Gold Coast)


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The Burleigh Pav is something of an institution these days, jutting out from the sand at the bustling mecca of Burleigh Beach, its the boozy epicentre of what is otherwise a pretty quiet beach town at the southern end of the Gold Coast. Unobstructed ocean views and a second-to-none selection of food and drinks make for the perfect summer dining option.


Western Australia

1. Cottesloe Beach Hotel (Perth)

Perth is big on outdoor dining culture and the Cottesloe hotel is the crowned jewel, sitting right on the water's edge. Whether you choose to sit on the verandah bar or the outdoor pavilion, you'll be getting pristine beach views and a natural ambience.


2. Gage Roads Brewery (Perth)


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Last year, the beloved brewers at Gage Roads opened its first brewpub in Fremantle’s historic Victoria Quay, occupying a sprawling 1926-built, 1500-person venue encompassing a brewery, restaurant and bar. Sink a pint of one of their classic beers, or enjoy something off of their crafted, beer-friendly menu while watching the ships come in.


South Australia

1. Sôl Rooftop (Adelaide)


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Day to night, Sôl is a rooftop bar in Adelaide's CBD that seamlessly transitions indoor and outdoor dining. With sweeping views across the hills and out to the coast, you'll be able to enjoy a beverage concoted by one of their in-house mixologists, or find a selection of wines on offer from Sôl's award-winning head Sommelier.


2. Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room (Adelaide) 

Fugazzi's New York Italo-American-style menu is second perhaps only to its enchanting interiors, which feature baby-blue booths and a shiny red bar. If it's full inside? Sit outside in the sunshine with your aperitivo?


Northern Territory

1. Sounds of Silence (Uluru)


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It doesn't get more immersive than the renowned Sounds of Silence at the Red Centre. Four magical hours of dining under the outback stars, enjoy canapes and sparkling wine before digging into an unforgettable dining experience overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.


2. Pee Wee's at the Point (East Point )

Set in beautiful East Point Reserve, overlooking Fannie Bay, Pee Wee's has been going since 2002. The restaurant's menu reflects the produce, climate and multiculuturalism inherent in the NT, sourcing some of the regions best and freshest produce, and an award-winning wine list.




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1. Telegraph Hotel Rooftop (Hobart)


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Head upstairs at the Telegraph Hotel to find yourself on their Rooftop Terrace, a contemporary setting that looks out across a gorgeous view of Sullivan's Cove. It's cosy (there are rooftop fireplaces) and casual.



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