My criteria to select this list was:
- Good food, nice space, good service
- Well priced
- There is something memorable about it
1. Sahra By the River
Sahra By the River Restaurant, offers incredible service and amazing food! Authentic Mediterranean cuisine on the water. The ambience is relaxing, food beautiful and the staff were attentive. Great traditional and new format selections and offerings. Something for everyone in an upmarket setting. Dining at Sahra is well thought out, staff attentive. The venue works well for two or for a group.
There is wide selection to choose from. The Banquet menus are well thought out and make things work so easily with a group. Lots a la carte to choose from: dip selection with smoky baba ghanoush and soft vine leaves is delicious. traditional meat selections, seafood plates and tender4 kebab selections.
2/76 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2150
2. Ciccia Bella trattoria +Bar
At Parramatta Square precinct CicciaBella Trattoria + Bar is headlined by chef Nic Wong (Cho Cho San, Apollo), and it is a great spot for good, well presented food in a classy venue. Ciccia Bella has a sister restaurant with the same name in Bondi.
CicciaBella offers a new take on Italian classics. The hand-made pasta is core to the offering and does not disappoint.
Wine and beverage list is Italian-focused, leaning towards light, fresh and easy-drinking styles.
CicciaBella is a sister outpost of Maurice Terzini‘s Bondi Beach Italian.
Parramatta Square, T3/01 153 Macquarie St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Lilymu offers new takes on Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes in a bright and modern venue. LILYMU dishes blend the flavours of Thai and Chinese food with different influences from Singapore and Hong Kong.
The dumplings are a standout -as are the skewers, a great way to start your experience. the Tom Yum prawn dumpling soup and miee goreng are favourites. There is a creative list of special cocktails to choose from too.
Parramatta Square, 153 Macquarie St, Parramatta
4. Restaurant 317
Restaurant 317 is Italian cuisine using fresh produce and ingredients. It offers traditional dishes some re-interpreted with fresh tweeks. The restaurant offers that over 90% of its menu is gluten-free, and great perfect for those with coeliac disease or those who avoid gluten for health reasons. They also offer Hallel and vegetarian options.
Restaurant 317 also has wide fish and seafood offering, Desserts are great.
317 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
5. ALEX & Co.
Fresh look with new renovation, Alex & Co remains strong favourite. Relaxed atmosphere. Casual dining, great food and drink. Nothing not to like here.
Alex & Co caters to offer something for everyone, all day dining for coffee, lunch or evening dining. For those wanting a private area there are booths. The outdoor areas at Alex & Co are perfect to catch the river breeze.
330 Church Street, Parramatta NSW
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’
Outdoor furniture is not what it used to be. Long gone are the rickety timber settings and faded plastic chairs. Thanks to innovations in surface development, outdoor furniture and fabrics can now be hard to distinguish from their indoor counterparts. Water, UV and mould resistant, they have been engineered to withstand weather conditions while still maintaining their good looks. With summer almost here, we’ve assembled our best 10 outdoor furniture retailers to ensure that when the sun comes out, you’re ready to enjoy your own great outdoors.
Susan and Gordon Tait started their outdoor furniture business in 1992 with a commitment to Australian designed and made outdoor furniture created to withstand local conditions. Thirty years later, they have an enviable reputation for sustainability, offsetting 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide and diverting almost a tonne of soft plastic from landfill each year, as well as continuing to manufacture out of Melbourne. Oh, and their ranges of steel and timber chairs, tables, benches and accessories have a timeless beauty and durability that makes them incredibly desirable.
Another business committed to sustainable practices, Mamagreen furniture is manufactured using materials that are either recycled or can be recycled. More than 90 percent of the teak Mamagreen uses is sourced from old buildings, with the remaining timber from managed plantations. If you’re looking for that resort feel at home, this is the place to go. In fact, their products can be found in hotels around Australia. We love the circular Begonia lounge, which is perfect for hosting friends while, for shade, you can’t go past the flexible Sombrero shade.
This Australian business headed up by Anthony Spon-Smith has been making great strides with its outdoor furniture ranges in recent years. Perhaps more than any other of the leading brands, the outdoor furniture looks and feels like the indoor equivalent, with upholstered seating (designed to get wet and dry off quickly) and chunky timber or stone-look tables and pedestals. Taking inspo from Mediterranean resorts like the French or Italian Riveras, this is one brand worth staying home for.
Founded in 2008 on an ethos of Live Life Well, Cosh Living offers a comprehensive range of products for outdoor use, from pots, tables and chairs, through to outdoor lighting, rugs, daybeds and more. With leading brands such as Manutti, Tribu, Dedon and Coast at their disposal, the look is one of relaxed sophistication, whether it’s a bean bag poolside or an oversized sofa on the deck. With such an extensive range of products, this is one company where a visit to the showroom is useful, to help coordinate your look.
Equally well known for their range of outdoor building supplies such as pavers, walling and pool surfaces, Eco Outdoor’s selection of outdoor furniture is just as popular, thanks to its focus on European styling and durability. Specifically designed for outdoor living, there’s everything from outdoor dining tables and chairs in teak, wicker or aluminium through to lounges, beanbags and umbrellas. With showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, you can drop in and assess the quality for yourself.
Whatever you need to furnish your outdoor space, chances are Satara has it. From lounge chairs and barstools to outdoor rugs and pot stands, this retailer has everything you need to create a comfortable and stylish outdoor space. With showrooms in most capital cities, you can experience the quality for yourself before making a final purchase. Designs range from classic Australian style through to contemporary Euro.
If it’s flexible outdoor furniture with modern lines you’re after, check out the range of sofas, coffee tables and dining suites from GlobeWest. Materials range from teak and aluminium to woven resin and ceramic in contemporary styles suited to a variety of architectural styles. Available direct to trade, the website also has an easy stockist search option to locate your nearest retailer.
There’s a reason why this legendary outdoor furniture supplier has been in business for more than 40 years. Known for its classic, durable outdoor furniture, Cotswold has longstanding associations with brands such as Vincent Sheppard and Fast Outdoor Lifestyle, as well as Cotswold Teak. While their loyal client base loves the classics, including Lloyd Loom and teak Adirondack chairs, this company has continued to evolve and innovate with contemporary ranges designed to stand the test of time.
It’s hard to go past Ikea for knockabout, versatile outdoor furniture that retains a sense of style. If you have an outdoor space to fill, chances are Ikea has the chair, lounge, outdoor table or accessories to fill it. We particularly love the classic moulded frame of the Skarpo chair (pictured) but could be persuaded by the highback woven Hogsten chair. For smaller spaces, the Torparo is a great shelf or mini table you can attach to the railing or fence.
This largely online furniture retailer initially sought to provide adaptable, compact furniture for the apartment market in Singapore. As it turns out, it’s a great fit for the Australian market too, as backyards and balcony spaces decrease in size. The range of dining and lounge suites is classic, with slimline armrests and legs. Colours are limited to greys and beiges but could easily be brightened up with accent cushions if that’s your style.
How do I choose the right outdoor dining setting for me?
While many of the same principles apply whether you’re dining indoors or out, the big difference is the weather. Outdoor furniture can take a beating if it is exposed to UV and rain for extended periods of time, so your choice will depend on whether your furniture will at least have some covering or will most likely be completely in the elements. Aluminium furniture can be a great option because it is lightweight and easy to move around, while teak ages to silver grey when left in the sun. If space is a factor, folding or stackable chairs can be useful.
What’s the difference between indoor lounge cushions and the ones on outdoor lounges?
Outdoor cushions are specially designed for the weather conditions, with quick dry foam inserts to allow water to drain away relatively fast. They’re also covered with UV, water and mould resistant fabrics specified for outdoor use. Sunbrella is the market leader for outdoor fabrics in Australia and uses solution dyed acrylic to create fabrics that are almost indiscernible from their indoor equivalents. Interior designers have been known to specify high quality outdoor fabrics for use in high traffic indoor spaces, such as family and rumpus rooms.
I have an outdoor space I want to furnish. Should I choose a lounge suite or a dining setting?
It’s really a lifestyle decision here. If you enjoy entertaining friends regularly, a dining setting might be the most useful option. In some homes, outdoor dining might also provide a bit more room to move, making it a great option for hosting bigger groups. However, if you already have an indoor dining setting facing onto the outdoor space, there’s not much point doubling up. An outdoor lounge can create a flexible space for casual relaxation, or somewhere to sit to enjoy coffee or drinks with friends before or after dinner.
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’