We love uncovering great new Beaches cafes and restaurants, and in this foodie paradise there’s always an exciting new eatery to try. Here are a few that opened recently to check out if you haven’t already, and we’ll keep adding to the list!
Miami Rice, Manly
With a spring makeover to their rooftop space (formerly The Glasshouse), The Steyne’s latest offering, Miami Rice, opened its doors just last month.
“After many months of preparation, the team at Hotel Steyne, led by executive chef John Pye, are ready to open its doors. Thursday through Sunday from midday, we’re bringing an Asian-inspired share menu, banquets and curated cocktails, plus live entertainment and a pretty great view.”
The interior is eye-catching as well with beautiful blooms strewn across the ceiling. The space is vast and you can opt for cafe-style tables, comfy booths, cushy nooks or terrace tables with the incredible view. There’s also lots of room for celebratory functions.
There’s an expansive cocktail list to kick-start the dining experience, and the kitsch names will bring a smile to your face as well. There’s the Lucy Liu, the Ying to My Yang, the Geisha, the Tokyo Tart and the Chop Suey, among others.
The menu is share plates/banquet style and has all the Asian favourites. Standouts include the Beef Brisket Spring Rolls (they’re huge!), the Twice Cooked Pork Belly Bao Buns, and the Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib. For those steamy summer nights, there’s a Yuzu Sorbet on the dessert menu too. You can click through to the full menu here.
Between the fit-out, fabulous cocktails and the food it’s a lovely fresh offering from our oldest Pub. We love the history of The Steyne too, which is great to reflect on as you sit looking out at that same beautiful view customers shared over 150 years ago (although it’s comforting to know there’s little chance of being washed outside by the swell..!)
A Fascinating History of The Steyne “Back in 1859 a man named Henry Gilbert Smith takes a punt and builds a hotel right on the beachfront at Manly, Long before the area became a dream home for residents and a dream venue for tourists. There was no sea wall in those days, and shortly after the Hotel Steyne opened a huge swell swept around nearby Fairy Bower point, washed across the sand, and swept the drinkers out into the Corso. And imagine this…Just four years later, in 1863, most of the 200-odd people who lived in Manly drank in the Steyne…not a good thing for the other publicans…so a mysterious fire destroyed the pub. Bravely, good old Henry Smith called on his colonial architect mate Edmund Blacket to design another hotel, which opened on the same site in January 1864. Then, for the second time, a mysterious fire struck in 1923. Not a problem, up went another pub…same place…same name…more bars…more accommodation. That building stands to this day.” (via https://hotelsteyne.com.au/about-hotel-steyne/)
Where: 75 The Corso, Manly
Lola Cocina Spanish Restaurant, Narrabeen
Say hola to Narrabeen’s newest Spanish culinary gem, Lola Cocina. Renowned for its three popular establishments in Crows Nest, Parramatta, and Potts Point, Lola Cocina is expanding its family with the opening of a fourth restaurant on Pittwater Road this month.
Since 2015, Lola Cocina delighted diners with its warm hospitality, vibrant atmosphere. authentic paella, bold tapas and Flamenco dance. You can expect a similar Spanish and Mediterranean menu at the Narrabeen restaurant, starting with small plates like fresh ceviche, pinchos del gia (cold cuts on skewers), ad pan de ajo (garlic bread topped with Manchego cheese).
The vibrant tapas offer a taste of Spain’s rich culinary heritage and are split between the land, the sea and the garden. Highlights include empanadillas de carne (empanadas with slow cooked beef and pork), txistorra (famous pork sausge from Basque grilled with sherry and herbs), croquetas de bacalo (salted cod fish croquettes), sardinas firtas (fresh grilled sardines), tortilla espanola (potato and onion omelette) and patatas bravas (crispy fried potatoes).
Lola Cocina is best known for its made-to-order paella including Paella de Marisco with fresh seafood, Paella Serrana with chicken and pork chorizo, or the more adventurous Paella Arroz Negra with black squid ink rice, black pudding, seafood, chorizo and mushrooms. These are ideal for sharing alongside their deli boards, which feature high quality cured meats, Manchego cheese and bread, or sharing platters, including a range of seafood, meat or mixed tapas.
Save room for dessert, as Lola Cocina will tempt you with crème catalana (Spanish-style crème brulee), warm churros with chocolate sauce, and frixuelos de asturias (Northern Spanish style home made crepes), just to name a few.
As for drinks, expect Sangria jugs, smooth Spanish beers, a lengthy offering of European drops, Spanish sherry and signature Spanish cocktails.
Where: 1304 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen NSW 2101
I Gladiatori Osteria Romana, Freshwater
It’s the new ”’Roman” restaurant on everyone’s lips! Bringing the Beaches their signature ”pinsa” (Rome’s version of pizza) and made-on-site pasta, I Gladiatori Osteria Romana opened late last year and is already booked out days in advance.
“Pinsa is derived from the term “pinsere” which means “push the dough by hand” in Latin,” according to I Gladiatori’s website – and it’s the dough that they claim makes the difference. “The ancestor to today’s classic pizza, La Pinsa Romana as it’s known classically, is curated using ancient and wholemeal flour bases, that lightly combine to create a rustic flavour and digestibility.”
It’s also apparently better for you! “Our Pinsa is slowly proofed for 72 hours, creating an easily digestible dough. Made of an 80% water to flour ratio, instead of a 55-60% in a traditional pizza dough, Pinsa results in a lower calorie and lighter dough.”
The local foodie crowd is certainly loving it, and they may have already recognised some familiar faces behind the business. I Gladiatori is owned and run by the same people behind Gelato by Matteo which has long-running venues at Freshwater and Collaroy and has been serving up authentic Italian Gelato.
Some stand out pasta items on the menu (although it all looks amazing!) are the Gnocchi Ragu: “homemade pillows of soft potato gnocchi coated in our signature beef ragu”; the Eggplant Parmigiana: “oven-baked with tomato, parmesan, mozzarella and basil”; and the Conchiglie Alla Papalina: “it marries flavours of mushrooms, pork sausage, peas, cream, parmesan & black pepper served with homemade shell pasta”.
On the Pinsa must-try menu, is the Broccolo Pinsa “it will become your new favourite slice. Featuring sautéed broccoli greens, Italian sausage, garlic, chilli, mozzarella, basil & pecorino- this one is a flavour sensation”; the Diavola: “featuring tomato, finocchiona, chilli, mozzarella & olives. This pinsa provides a little kick & so much flavour”, and theCapresotta: “featuring fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella, oregano & basil. This simple yet delicious slice will have you addicted.”
There’s also a great selection of antipasti including arancini, enticing antipasto plates, meatballs and more. The kids’ menu features pizza, pasta and good ol’ chicken tenders, and the dessert menu involves pinsa in various ways with Nutella!
Quite a few Northern Beaches Living members have already been and rate I Gladiatori highly. “It’s amazing!” commented Francesca Piovesan, “as an Italian I can tell you that the food is the closest to what you can have in Rome!”
Just make sure you bring an appetite – and book ahead!
I Gladiatori Osteria Romana
Address: Shop 5, 1/3 Moore Road, Freshwater
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri & Sat: 5pm – 10pm; Tuesday: Closed; Sun: 12pm – 3pm & 5pm – 10pm
Facebook: click here
Image credit: I Gladiatori Facebook Page
Lantern Fish, Manly
This new Manly restaurant with a famed chef takes Asian food taken to a whole new level! Whether you want to smash a quick bowl of noodles, enjoy a post-work drink or indulge in a family banquet, Lantern Fish has it all.
“As the new kid in the neighbourhood, we have a fresh vibe and a unique character which add different colours to Manly’s vibrant dining scene,” says owner and restaurant manager, Carly Jin.
Head chef, Kevin Un (ex-Restaurant Hubert and Lotus Dining) reimagines traditional family recipes and plates them in harmony with Australia’s great produce and history.
“Kevin curates touching stories using flavours resembling his hometown, his memories and experiences in Asia,” Carly explains. “He enjoys pushing the boundaries by experimenting with different textures and elements drawn from his inspirations. He builds depth into each of his dishes and then leads diners on a small journey of discovery with the unexpectedly delightful flavours.”
Like every Chinese family meal, the menu is designed for sharing. Signature starters include their kingfish ceviche, jumbo popcorn chicken and crispy-skin duck pancakes. There’s also an array of steamed dumplings to choose from, or the Dumpling Platter if you’d like to sample them all.
Diners can then move on to Lantern Fish specials, like the Singapore-style chilli crab (please order with 24 hours notice); the exclusive menu items such as the premium grade tsui wan fish which is very rare in Sydney, and other enticing dishes such as the Sort-of san choy bow with Five-spiced tofu, zucchini, pine nuts, cos, and the Twelve-hour beef ribs.
Lantern Fish offers a full bar service with beers, cocktails and fresh juices, however, they also offer BYO from Tuesdays to Thursdays. This provides a chance for locals to try the food and experience the casual, contemporary boutique dining setting.
“We were looking for a strong community to reside where people care about their local businesses and most importantly appreciate good quality food and good service,” Carly says. “Manly was the right place to be… We can really see ourselves growing long-term in this community and in return, we can focus on running a good business for the people.”
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 12-3pm + 5-9pm, Friday to Saturday: 12-3pm + 5-10pm
Where: Shop 5/2-3 Darley Road, Manly
Masala Kitchen, Dee Why
Intense, intoxicating and unapologetically authentic, Masala Kitchen is Dee Why’s newest purveyor of modern Indian food. Be prepared for the rock star of Indian restaurants, with already established and well-loved locations in Moore Park, Lane Cove, Penrith, Ed SQ and the CBD.
“Masala Kitchen is a brand that believes in community connections,” says co-founder Lucky Rajput. “When we looked at Northern beaches expansion, we found that Dee Why had that plus it had a bigger catchment of surrounding suburbs.”
Masala’s bright pink interiors are your first hint of the vibrant and imaginative food being cooked up within. The menu is both snackable and shareable with fiery tandoori tiger garlic prawns, bang-bang barramundi tacos and crispy Dahi puri (fried, stuffed pastry balls). Abide by co-founder Lucky Rajput’s recommendation and have a “must try” dosa (crepe) or a classic butter chicken, which is also available vegan.
If visiting for lunch, Lucky suggests Masala’s signature Thali meal that comes with three curries, rice, naan, raita, poppadums, salad and dessert. All the bread and desserts are made fresh at their in-house bakery.
Masala Kitchen is not only challenging and re-imagining Indian cuisine with its food but has a full gin bar boasting over 100 gins. Signature cocktails get a fresh, modern twist and are designed to complement the flavours of your meal, including their masala spiced G&T or ‘The Beautiful’.
It’s exotic, it’s spicy, it’s colourful, and it can all be enjoyed from Masala Kitchen’s new restaurant with 360-degree beach views. Keep your eye on their socials too as they keep the surprises coming!
Where: Shop 1/4 The Strand, Dee Why, 2099
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 10pm and Sunday – Monday 11am – 9pm
Phone: 02 9971 0890
Lox in a Box, Manly
Bagel lovers rejoice! Lox in a Box is expanding from the backstreets of Bondi Beach where they’re an absolute institution. Their fresh pillowy bagels and perfectly smoked lox will soon be available from two new outposts in Coogee and Manly.
The Coogee store is set to open on Friday the 12th of August with the Manly site to follow soon after. They secured the Manly location pre-market and it’s a larger space than their Bondi store meaning that people can dine in with their coffees and brekkie bagels.
All the favourites will feature on the menu, including the classic lox, LP’s Pastrami Reuben and halloumi schnitzel bagels.
Building your own bagel at home is also possible thanks to their Jewish deli provisions. Choose from plain or gluten-free bagels then add on schmears, pickles, brisket and of course, their signature smoked lox (sustainably caught at Aoraki Mount Cook in New Zealand).
Keep your eyes peeled for the official opening date via their socials…
St. Alma, Freshwater
Northern beaches locals are no strangers to Alma – Avalon’s relaxed, beachside eatery loved for its classy cocktails and contemporary Mexican fare. What locals may not know is that Alma’s little sister, St. Alma, opened in Freshwater earlier this year and has transformed the old Bendigo bank into a must-visit dining destination.
St. Alma marries villagey beach charm and casual fine dining to deliver mouth-watering Mexican dishes with a modern twist. The seasonal menu focuses on fresh, locally sourced seafood and plays with exciting techniques like week-long dry aging and curing to highlight the depths of flavour Australian seafood has to offer.
Menu Highlights include:
- Prawn Aguachile – prawns lightly cured in chile de arbol, habaneros, pickled onion, hazelnuts, cucumber, coriander
- Agave Short Ribs – beef ribs with an agave glaze, grilled cos lettuce, pickled Dutch carrots, handmade corn tortillas
- Whole Deboned Tikin Xic Snapper – whole baby snapper cooked in a banana leaf, achiote and oregano base, guacachile, pickled red onions, chopped greens
- Los Coconut Churros – House made churros, coconut ice cream churned daily, crushed nut salsa, ancho chili choc drizzle
Both the cocktail and mocktail menu also changes seasonally and marries ingredients native to both Australia and Mexico – St. Alma’s Coconut Margarita – Blanco Tequila, White Chocolate Liqueur, Toasted Coconut, and Lime is just one example.
Northern Beaches locals and owners, Jack Leary and Tim Christensen, could think of no better location for their latest offering
“Having lived in the Freshwater area for years, it has always been a suburb we wanted to contribute to…,” Leary shares. “You can’t beat the location for its beach vibe and sense of community.”
As for why the pair love being a part of our community, Leary says it’s that “villagey charm and the proximity to picture perfect coast that reflects on those living here… The laid-back nature and pace of life is something you don’t get south of the bridge (in my opinion, don’t tell them that though).”
Address: 20 Albert Street, Freshwater, 2096
Opening Hours: Dinner – Tue-Sun, 5pm-late and Lunch – Fri-Sun, 12pm-4pm
Rise and shine this summer with the best acai bowls on the Northern Beaches. ACAI.SYD is the brainchild of Nick Theodorou, a breakfast lover who started selling acai and coconut bowls, soft serves, and smoothies out of his small food truck. Fast forward to today, ACAI.SYD has just opened its first corner store on Marine Parade in Manly.
“Our goal was to bring a fast and efficient method of producing açai bowls to more food markets and special events,” explains Nick. “This journey has led us to our first store opening in the Northern Beaches two weeks ago. When we came across our location in Manly, I knew immediately that it fit our concept to a ‘tee’.”
The menu is simple but satisfying and is gluten-free and vegan friendly.
“Our must-try has to be the classic açai bowl served with gluten-free granola and fresh fruit, finished off with a dollop of smooth Pic’s peanut butter,” Nick says. “We also offer a soft serve coconut bowl for something a bit lighter and refreshing.”
These bowls are the perfect excuse to add countless toppings including peanut butter, Nutella, honey, cocoa nibs, passionfruit, and chia seeds. All are as good for your body as they are for your taste buds.
ACAI.SYD is not only passionate about serving nourishing and energising bowls to the Beaches but is doing so in the most sustainable way possible.
“We feed our food scraps to a friend’s goats and chickens,” Nick explains. “We also practise recycling and encourage customers to take a seat on the Bowers wall or on the rocks with a dine-in bowl that they can return and save the use of plastic. We also encourage keep bowls if people choose.”
With summer fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to go get your acai fix.
“The best thing about opening post lockdown and with summer fast approaching is we can have our chairs and tables outside where customers can enjoy their bowls with the world’s best view,” Nick says.
ACAI.SYD is open from 7:30am, 7 days a week at 5 Marine Parade and you can also find their food truck at the Ramsgate Food Market on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. Nick is so happy to be a part of the Northern Beaches community and looks forward to bringing his food truck to future community festivals and events.
Address: 5 Marine Parade, Manly
Golly Gosh Cafe and Golly Gosh After Dark Dessert Bar, Mona Vale
Tamara and James opened up Golly Gosh Cafe in Mona Vale in March of this year with a “a strong emphasis on great customer service, incredible meals and amazing coffee. We love to push the boundaries and be creative with the menu from time to time and we hope to see the new name ring true to your experience of our little cafe,” they announced at the time. It wasn’t long before they backed that up with their brekkie and lunch menus drawing crowds and creating queues out the door.
It was their creativity, great sense of humour and going the extra mile with service that also won hearts (and stomachs), with menu items like the ”big breakfast” for example that comes with a complimentary wheelchair service back to your car (and yes, it really is that big). Pups are also welcome and receive a free ”puppycino” with any human coffee, and the kids are well taken care of with unicorn toasties and to-die-for Belgian waffles.
The waffles soon became incredibly popular with kids and adults alike. And then the Snickers, Nutella & Peanut Butter Brownies started running out the door. And then the Freak Shakes were causing a buzz. And before long the desire for Golly Gosh’s sweet treats sparked a new idea – a Golly Gosh After Dark Dessert Bar!
“Of an evening we transform into a fully fledged dessert bar with an exclusive menu that consists of exciting new combinations that you cannot get your hands on during daylight hours!: New waffle flavour combinations Butter Boy Ice cream Cookies New Extreme Freak Shakes Fondue Sets Evening entertainment and much more!
They’ve currently opened for a soft launch Wed-Sun 6pm-9pm for takeaway during restrictions, and have already made news headlines. Here’s a taste of the menu:
Where: 2/1761 Pittwater Road Mona Vale
Super Okay, Brookvale
If you’re looking for the ultimate new Beaches cafe, Super Okay is a hidden coffee oasis! Located in a Brookvale warehouse, this super hip cafe is famous for its jaffles, relaxed atmosphere and of course its beans – freshly roasted by Okay Coffee – a collaboration between Aaron and Bo, a roaster and a brewer who have a commitment to ethical supply. The jaffles are anything but ordinary, they’re stacked with gourmet ingredients such as truffled mushroom and grated ricotta or smoked ham and bourbon relish. And if you think this cafe is a bit of alright, you can even buy the Super Okay t-shirt.
Where: 11 Mitchell Road, Brookvale
Bringing you as close to an Italian holiday as possible right now, Marina swung open its doors in April bringing authentic Mediterranean cuisine to the Beaches. Inspired by simple European coastal life, expect the freshest seafood, including octopus, mussels, salmon and oysters, before settling into handmade pasta and a range of delicious mains. We hear the grilled octopus with chilli and tzatziki is the proverbial catch of the day. And if it’s a warm evening it would be hard not to start with a refreshing Aperol Spritz.
Where: 996 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
Three Seagulls, Freshwater
It’s three cheers for this charming new Beaches cafe in Freshwater. Part diner, part gourmet corner store, Three Seagulls swooped in late last year with plans to expand to Mona Vale next month (watch this space). Locals are loving the “Freshie Eggs,” buttery soft scrambled eggs on Berkelo sourdough and they’re lining up down the street for the Single O coffee. We hear the salted-caramel and Snickers slices are a real treat, too. And if you think they couldn’t get any sweeter, they donate 5c from every coffee to the Freshwater Surf Life saving Club.
Where: 87 Harbord Rd, Freshwater
Orchard St Wellness Café Manly
This is Orchard Street’s third Elixir Bar in Sydney and the first to open on the Beaches. The beautiful new space is focused on wellness, ethereal art, crystals and potent plant remedies for whatever ails you! Expect organic juices, plant medicines and high vibe edibles, available to eat in or takeaway, alongside a consciously curated selection of lifestyle products and the opportunity to collect Juice Cleanses in store three times a week. If you’d just prefer a kombucha and a chat with one of the friendly naturopaths behind the bar you can do that too.
Where: Ground Floor Shop, 42 Market Lane Manly
Little L Mona Vale
Little L has spread its feathered wings to Mona Vale. The cult burger joint which hatched in Bondi many moons ago is famous for its juicy chicken burgers (you can choose from eight!), but as they say, Little L is for that little bit of love we all have for good old-fashioned, quality chicken. They do combo meals, kids’ meals and family deals, plus wings, wraps and loaded fries. Serving up at Pittwater Place, this will be the place to grab a takeaway and head to the beach.
Where: Shop 21/10 Park St, Mona Vale
Little Shop of Waffles, Manly
Hong Kong’s famous Bubble Waffles have landed in Manly! This is Sydney’s first bubble waffle café and if you don’t know what they are, you need to make tracks to the Corso now. Made using flour, eggs, evaporated milk and sugar, they are poured into moulds to get their bubbly shape. These waffles have been given an Aussie twist with flavours like Pavlova, (Pavlova gelato with fresh fruit and meringue inside an original waffle), and decadent offerings like the ChocBerry – choc-cookie gelato, fresh strawberries, Oreos and a Kit Kat finger in an original waffle that’s then drizzled in chocolate sauce. Make sure you try the latest flavour, Banana-Carma, with $1 from each purchase going to the Northern Beaches Women Shelter. Waffle they think of next?
Where: 7/7-9 The Corso, Manly
For more local foodie adventures, read about degustation kings Coya Cromer by clicking here, or famed family Vietnamese restaurant Bau Truong by clicking here.