The Best Restaurants on the Northern Beaches for a Fresh Feed
From Manly to Palmy, we're rounding up the best restaurants on the Northern Beaches.
While every pocket within the Northern Beaches has its own unique style and flair, the Beaches have become somewhat of a foodie destination in recent years – and for good reason. Not only does the area boast some of Sydney's finest beaches, but when it comes to exceptional cuisine, the Northern Beaches more than delivers.
From mouthwatering Mexican, and authentic Italian to modern Australian and everything in between, here are the best restaurants on the Northern Beaches for the next time you want a fabulous feed with fresh ocean air to boot.
The intimate yet lively eatery is all about authenticity, from the terrazzo flooring and Pugliese ceramics to the vintage Campari posters and retro glassware. The menu is filled with classic dishes that have delightful, modern twists like the kale-infused spaghetti and burrata served with charred mandarin and salmon roe. Working closely with Winona Wine - Manly's natural wine bottleshop - the drinks list is filled with beautiful organic drops and boasts a delicious sgroppino that is theatrically mixed tableside (check it out on Instagram).
10 Pittwater Road, Manly
When it comes to out-of-the-box pizzas that are not only hilariously named but next-level yum, Pocket Pizza knows how to bring it. With three cool and intimate venues on the Beaches, they serve as the ideal spot for a romantic date night or a casual catch-up with friends. Be sure to order the Can You Pig It and finish your meal with a serving of their ridiculously good tiramisu.
Manly, Brookvale, Avalon
A Manly icon, a long lunch at Hugos is a must. Situated smack bang on the wharf and overlooking the harbour-side of town, you can watch the sunset as you sip on your margarita and tuck into your pizza. A favourite among local and international celebrities alike, the atmosphere and buzz at Hugos - especially on a stunning summer's day - is electric. The menu is brimming with fresh, Italian cuisine (Sydney rock oysters, burrata, king prawns) that's perfect for sharing.
Manly Wharf, 1 East Esplanade, Manly
With dim lighting, little nooks and breathtaking ocean views, Saké scores top points for its intimate dining setting. The chic designer interior sets the tone for the beautifully presented dishes to come and the Japanese cuisine leaves you feeling satisfied yet light. The signature dishes from the menu like popcorn shrimp and hiramasa kingfish are perfect for sharing, and the extensive saké list is way too inviting not to indulge.
Manly Wharf, Manly
Dunes Palm Beach
Bringing a touch of the Mediterranean to the iconic Palm Beach, Dunes is surrounded by beautiful parklands that open out onto that famous stretch of sand. This alfresco-style restaurant more than capitalise on its idyllic location - making it the perfect destination for a long lunch.
With a minimalist white-washed aesthetic and laid-back, beach-friendly take on informal all-day dining (shoes optional) and concertina windows opening onto a decked terrace it's relaxed fine dining at its best. With a seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired menu drawing on the freshest produce and a focus on seafood, you can be assured you're in good hands.
Governor Phillip Park, 1193 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach
Pilu at Freshwater
As the only authentic Sardinian restaurant in Sydney, Pilu at Freshwater certainly has a reputation to uphold, and Chef Giovanni Pilu and his wife Marilyn Annecchinni, never disappoint. Aside from the mouth-watering menu, which includes degustations and an impressive wine list, Pilu’s panoramic view of Freshwater Beach alone is worth booking a table for. The pasta - perfection. The menu is regularly on the move but you can look forward to the likes of Sardinian ravioli filled with potato, Pecorino and mint with burnt butter and sage.
On the beach, Moore Road, Freshwater
For those keen to venture further up the beaches to Avalon, Alma (the OG location of Freshwater's St Alma offering), dishes up a flavoursome Mexican fare in a cosy and inviting space. With a seasonal menu that highlights locally sourced seafood and produce, Alma creates zesty, modern takes on traditional Mexican street cuisine. Standouts include the prawn taco with coleslaw and peanut macha aioli, agave grilled halloumi with honey glaze and salsa macha and the hiramasa kingfish al pastor. Round it out with a coconut caramel flan for dessert — and a margi (or two) of course!)
47 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon
It was a very good day indeed when the team behind, Alma, opened a sister venue down the beaches in nearby Freshwater. With beachside charm, casual fine dining and Mexican dishes with a modern twist, St. Alma hosts visiting chefs from Mexico and features a range of share plates and a seasonal cocktail menu. Our top pick? The agave short ribs with beef ribs covered in an agave glaze served with an heirloom tomato salad, pickled red onions, fresh herbs and handmade corn tortillas.
20 Albert Street, Freshwater
Balsa knows how to bring it on every single front. Good vibes? Tick. Gorgeous location just a stone's throw from Freshwater Beach? Tick. An amazing tasting menu for $59 per person that's ideal for groups? You guessed it... big tick.
Located within the newly revamped Hardbord Hilton Hotel, Blasa has fast become one of the best restaurants on the Northern beaches. After your meal (our top picks include the Balsa lobster roll with salt and vinegar chips, the lemon and paprika rotisserie chicken with wood-fired baby carrots and rosemary gravy and the miso eggplant with lemon yogurt, summer leaf and sesame), you can mosey down to the pub's courtyard which is always popping off.
29 Moore Road, Freshwater
Bert's Bar & Brasserie
Housed on the grounds of Merivale’s The Newport, Bert's Bar & Brasserie is an upscale and tranquil bar and brasserie. The premium wine list and European-inspired menu pay homage to the opulent hotel dining of the 1930s. With beautiful views of Pittwater and grand vintage-styled interiors, Bert’s is the perfect buzzy spot for a long lunch.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
A part of the Merivale Group, The Collaroy has long been known as the local watering hole of choice. Drawing inspiration from the coastal scenery, The Collaroy is a multi-level venue fitted out with floor-to-ceiling windows, nostalgic seaside artwork across the walls and wooden furnishings.
Head to the top floor for the best view while you indulge in the modern Australian menu that covers all bases (think fresh oysters, grilled octopus, pizza and pub classics like burgers, schnitty and nachos).
1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
Opening in late 2022, Rosa brings chill Mexican vibes to Mona Vale with their modern take on Mexican classics and chic interiors. Brought to you by the team behind Palm Beach icon, Dunes, the focus is on fresh produce, packed full of flavour.
The tequila pasta with tomato & chilli cream is an unexpected but delightful take on the viral vodka pasta, the jungle kingfish ceviche with fermented pineapple, cucumber and herbs is light and bright but the whole BBQ snapper verdeand roja salsa is a real showstopper. Or if you can't decide because the entire menu looks too darn delicious, book in on Saturdays for their Margs with Friends where you'll get bottomless margaritas and a set menu of some of their favourite dishes for just $99.
18 Barrenjoey Road, Mona Vale
It’s pure indulgence at this luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant. Jonah’s is all that is beautiful about the northern end of the peninsula, and boasts some of the best views going around. Less than two hours from the CBD, don’t snack too much on the drive, as you’ll want to enjoy the fine dining restaurant’s fresh, mostly seafood dishes. We're eyeing off the grilled king prawns, the ocean trout fillet and the Eastern rock lobster for two (might need a second stomach, to be honest).
69 Bynya Road, Palm Beach
Sitting pretty on Dee Why's The Strand, Corretto is the beachside cocktail bar-slash-eatery locals can't get enough of. With cool blue interiors and a relaxed and laid-back vibe, it serves up amazing cocktails, with a killer food menu (standouts include baked parmesan scallops, homemade gnocchi and fish and chips) to match. Pop in for a shared-style lunch or make a night of it with a cheeky sundowner – you won't be disappointed.
1/24 The Strand, Dee Why
Perched on Manly Wharf, Merivale's Queen Chow reigns supreme on the Chinese cuisine front. Elegant yet casual and drenched in natural light, the dining space fuses deep green timbers, dark woods and marble, to create a warm and contemporary feel. Fusing modern Australian with local, Chinese dining, classic Cantonese dishes are reimagined with a quirky Australian twist. Tuck into pillowy pockets of dim sum, fresh seafood, or for a taste of decadence, try their mud crab, steamed with white soy, ginger and shallots.
22-23 Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Manly
Finished eating your way through the best restaurants on the Northern Beaches and after more north-side inspo? Check out our edit of the best restaurants on the North Shore. After that, have a look at our round-up of the best beauty salons on the Northern Beaches for a luxe pamper.