Food with a view

Food with a view


Girt by sea, Newcastle’s sparkling coastline and bustling harbour are the perfect backdrop for sinking a cold ale or tucking into contemporary fare.

Here’s where to sip and sup by the water:

Harbour Vistas

Built on a former ferry terminal, this Newcastle institution has been serving up fresh seafood with water views for more than three decades. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open out onto the bustling working harbour at Scratchleys on the Wharf. Here diners tuck into tiered hot and cold seafood platters overflowing with everything from Balmain bugs, Sydney oysters through to tempura prawns. Other favourites include the salt and pepper calamari, duck spring rolls and seared scallops. If money’s tight, grab fish and chips from the takeaway window.


Take an alfresco seat on the terrace at Nagisa where elevated Japanese fare is served with a theatrical twist. This award-winning harbourside diner was one of the first eateries to open at Newcastle’s Honeysuckle precinct and retains a strong local following. Be sure and try the smoked salmon carpaccio, Nagisa’s own award winning “Amato” gin or a Japanese whisky or sake. Don’t leave without trying the banoffee gyoza with fried banana, custard and miso caramel sauce.

*While you’re there take a stroll to Musuem Park behind Newcastle’s Visitor Information Centre and see street art from the inaugural Big Picture Fest including Fintan Magee’s large-scale Shadow.


The Signal Box, housed in an historic working railway signal box a stone’s throw from Newcastle’s working harbour. It's minimalist steel and concrete dining pavilion pays homage to its industrial past. The contemporary menu by co-owner and head chef George Mirosevich roams from sambal chilli scrambled eggs through to crispy Pukara Estate lamb ribs best paired with a Hunter Valley rose. Afterwards climb the steel spiral staircase to the rooftop for expansive harbour vistas. You can also see the old signalling and lever gear.

Pacific Ocean Views

They say avoid restaurants with spectacular views (more often than not being a tourist trap) however Merewether Surfhouse proves the exception to the rule. Food once took a back seat to the phenomenal vistas where both surfers and dolphins frolic in the rolling waves. Executive chef Ryan Baird and head chef Bryce Harling deliver a thoroughly modern Italian menu with dishes like parmesan crumbed pork cutlet with green apple radicchio and kohlrabi or avocado and crab cannelloni. Wash it down with a David Hook Pinot Grigio and all is right with the world.

*While you’re there grab an Insta-snap of the ‘Amazing Merewether Aquarium’, a colourful pop-art underwater world by local artist Trevor Dickinson.

Mediterranean flavours and North African spices come together at this fine diner overlooking the rolling waves of Newcastle Beach. The menu at Rustica ranges from tapas to shared plates like the slow braised lamb shoulder with oregano potatoes backed up by a wine list featuring some of the Hunter Valley’s best drops. Hand crafted artisan pieces feature in the Dion Ackland-designed interiors however nothing can detract from those show stopping ocean vistas.

Waterside Drinking Holes

Breathe in the salty air and take in ocean or harbour views at these waterside drinking holes.

Watch sailors return from offshore racing and fishing trawlers head out to sea as you enjoy a sundowner at either the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club or The Wickham Boat Shed. Both offering a prime waterfront possie overlooking the marina.


Back towards the CBD, The Dockyard, MoneyPenny, Honeysuckle Hotel and the Landing Bar and Kitchen are the ideal spot to park yourself at sunset. Take in all the action on Newcastle’s working harbour from these waterfront bars found strung along Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Precinct.