A foodies guide to Manly – from dawn to dusk!
For those who live on the “other side of the bridge”, a trip to Manly is commonly perceived as a journey to the ends of the earth. What few people realise is that a relaxing thirty minute ferry ride from Sydney’s CBD can land you right in the midst of this beautiful beachside suburb.
With summer just around the corner, we can think of nothing better than heading north-side for a day of swimming and sunshine. No day trip to Manly is complete however without a visit to some of the best dining spots around. We have taken all the guess work out, compiling the ultimate foodies guide to Manly, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’re welcome.
The Boathouse group certainly know how to draw a morning crowd, with seaside cafes thriving in Balmoral, Palm Beach and now Shelley beach. And what’s not to love, with direct access to beachside views, daily market flowers, delicious breakfast and lunch options and great coffee. Want to know the best way to do Shelly beach Boathouse? Set your alarm nice and early. Enjoy the 15 minute stroll from South Steyne to Shelly beach. Next, order a large mug of coffee and the avocado and tomato toast ($18). Finally, sit back and slide into people watching mode. Also, don’t be afraid to bring your dog along! Pooches are welcome in the outside courtyard area.
The Boathouse, Shelly Beach, 1 Marine Parade, Manly, 02 9934 9977, Open daily 7.00am – 4:00pm, Breakfast 7.00am-11.30am, Lunch 12.00pm – 3:00pm
This hole-in-the-wall cafe is about as hipster as it gets. Comic prints hang from the rendered concrete walls whilst patrons sip filtered brews in retro-style seating. Waitstaff and baristas are tattoo laden, bearded and totally baben’. You won’t find your generic eggs on toast on this menu. Breakfast items include the Gaucho, which includes Guinness and Ancho pepper beef brisket, chorizo, potato bake, fried egg, jalapeño chimichuri and sourdough ($19.5). You can alternatively keep it healthy with a house made seed loaf served with smashed avocado, lime, habanero oil topped with Persian feta ($14.5).
Showbox Coffee, 19 Whistler St, Manly 2095, 02 9976 5000
This Nordic inspired cafe opened its doors almost three years ago, and has been drawing a crowd of brunch enthusiasts ever since. What you’ll find is that this space unashamedly perpetuates the Swedish stereotype. Most of the staff are blonde haired and blue eyed with thick Swedish accents and warm smiles. A large print of the Swedish flag hangs proudly on the wall, with a more generalised yellow and blue colour palate interwoven into everything from their stools to their mugs and even their egg cups. In terms of the food? The menu offers a well thought out combination of the Aussie go-to bacon and egg roll ($10) and Swedish delights like toast ‘skagen’ ($17), a prawn, dill and lemon mayo mix with avocado, stacked on sourdough. Coffee is also something Fika does exceptionally well, offering the Campos blend daily.
Fika Swedish Kitchen. 5b Market Lane, Manly, Open everyday 7am-5:30pm
These guys need no introduction. Having opened their doors mid September in Manly, these oozy, gooey doughnut creations make for the perfect morning or afternoon tea delight as you mosey down the Corso. Keep it simple with an original glazed, salted caramel or jam and cream or try something a little different with a maple bacon or nerds flavoured creations.
Doughnut Time, Shop 2A, The Corso, Manly, Open Fri & Sat: 8am – midnight, Sun– Thurs: 8am – 11pm
Manly Wharf Hotel has been known to attract massive weekend crowds, especially in those warmer months. And with good reason. Patrons are able to sit by wharf bar with a cleansing ale in hand, soaking up the sunshine and harbour-side scenery. In their latest move, newly appointed head chef Ieti Roma has just added rotisserie to the menu. Roma changes the rotisserie menu daily with a choice of chicken, beef, lamb, pork and seafood. In our opinion, the chicken is the real star of the show. You can choose either a half ($24) or whole ($39) Bannock Burn free range chicken. Your bird is served with chips, house slaw, roasting jus and bread rolls to soak up all that delicious gravy. We recommend teaming your roast with a James Squire 150 lashes Pale Ale for the perfect Sunday lunch.
Manly Wharf Hotel, 9 E Esplanade, Manly, 02 9977 1266, Open Mon-Fri 11:30am – midnight, Sat 11am-1:00am, Sun 11am – midnight
Do you have a dietary intolerance and hate being served cardboard alternatives when dining out? This is the place for you. This health focused cafe does both breakfast and lunch, offering freshly made juices, good coffee, wraps, burgers and plenty more. Each day, patrons can choose from an assortment of fresh-made creations in the salad bar, including lentil patties, quinoa sushi rolls and signature salads. If you’ve ever found yourself in the dilemma of craving breakfast for lunch, Pure Wholefoods also does an all day breakfast. We recommend the ricotta kale cakes served with avocado, corn salsa and baby spinach ($19.50). You can add streaky bacon, haloumi or smoked salmon to the mix for some added indulgence.
Pure Wholefoods, 5/ 10 Darley Road, Manly, 02 8966 9377, open 7 days 7:00am to 5:00pm
Chica Bonita is the taco and margarita bar in Manly, if not Sydney. Walk too quickly and you’ll miss this hole-in-the-wall eatery. That being said, the hoards people constantly spilling out this restaurants front entrance are fairly hard to miss. Be warned, this place is busy, all the time. The good news however is that they are currently undergoing expansion! Swing past for some causal margaritas with guacamole and corn chips, or indulge in a full blown Mexican feast with mates. We love the chimichangas!
Chica Bonita, Shop 9 A/B, 9 The Corso, Manly, 02 9976 5255, Open Tuesday — Friday Lunch-11:30pm —3pm, Saturday — Sunday Lunch 11:30pm-4pm, Dinner-5pm – late
Banana Blossom are living proof that you can make friends with salad. Stroll past this little eatery to find it packed every day of the week with a lunch hungry crowd. Popular menu items include the satay chicken rice noodle salad ($14). This tasty delight comes served with warm chicken breast, pineapple, asian herbs, cucumber and a Malay satay dressing ($14). For the vegos, the Buddhas Delight is a must-try. It comes with tofu, green papaya, pineapple, Chinese cabbage, Thai herbs, crispy egg noodles and a sweet tamarind sauce ($14). If the sun is shining, we recommend getting it to go – there are plenty of beachside spots where you can munch down on your yummy lunch.
Banana Blossom Manly, Shop 2/15 The Corso Manly Beach, 0439795271, Open 10:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday 10:30am to 4:30pm Sat and Sun.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manly’s tourist dense core, take a short 10 minute stroll towards Sunset Sabi on Pittwater road. This place does Japanese cuisine with a really interesting twist. For entree, you can’t go past a bowl of sabimame, a play on the traditionally steamed edamame beans ($7). These ones come coated in white truffle, chilli, orange and salt and are seriously moorish. For mains, you can’t go past the dank roll, filled with crab and scallop, avocado, crunchies, topped with torched mentai mayo and sweet sunset soy ($17.00). From the drinks menu, sample their signature whisky kick, made with fresh apple, whisky, umeshu and nostril cleansing wasabi ($15.00).
Sunset Sabi, 26-28 Pittwater Road, Manly, 02 9977 7461, Open Tuesday — Thursday Dinner & Bar-5:30pm – late, Friday — Sunday Dinner & Bar-5pm – late
Jump on the website to find a clear encapsulation of the Pocket Pizza mission. That is to say, they care to salute to the back lanes of Little Italy in NYC. This little pizza parlour provides some serious nostalgia to late night American pizzerias, with guaranteed good times. Each pizza comes with a title you can’t help but chuckle at, including the Cheesus Christ and Prawnographic. If those don’t take your fancy, the $10 salted caramel espresso martini cocktails certainly will. If you find yourself feeling a little dusty from the night before, the Under the Weather cocktail is the drink for you, made with rye, house smoked mary mix, sea salt, dill pickle, lemon pepper, rosemary, spice and mint. It even comes served with a hipster approved paper bag. Don’t believe us? Check out the menu for yourself.
Pocket Pizza, 2A Whistler Street, Manly, 02 9977 1872, Open Tues-Sun 5pm till late, Lunch Coming Soon – October 1st!
Cured exudes sophistication in all facets, from its clean cut interior to its knowledgable staff and exquisite menu. Look at the food list and you’ll find that it is organised into three sections: cured meats, cheese and terrine. Yep, this really is your ultimate cheese and charcuterie board dinner experience. All boards are served with single origin sourdough, olives and seasoned pickles. Your experience wouldn’t be complete without some wine of course! Sip on a Spanish Tempranillo or perhaps a Shiraz from the Barossa and soon the stresses of the day will feel like a distant memory!
Cured, 42 Market Lane, 02 9976 0698, Open Wednesday to Friday: 4pm – late, Saturday and Sunday: Breakfast 8am – 12pm & Dinner 3pm – late
It’s a big call but these guys do some of the best Thai food in Manly, if not Sydney for that matter. The outside area makes for the perfect dinner spot for barmy summer nights, whilst the inside area offers intimacy with fairy lights, flowers and european inspired furnishing. Yok Thai offer a combination of tapas style dishes and larger mains. Some popular dishes on the menu include the soft shell salt and pepper crab ($13) and the Panang Ocean Trout Curry ($29). That being said, pretty much everything on this menu is totally delicious.
Yok Thai Manly, 11-20 Wentworth St, Manly, 9976 6488