Populated by sun-seeking families and those who love that chilled out seaside atmosphere, Manly is way more than just a beautiful beach full of beautiful people. The increase of awesome bars and eateries has turned this beachside suburb into a must-visit destination. With some of the best restaurants, bars and shopping in Sydney, you'll never be stuck for things to do in Manly.
In Manly's well-loved Beach House lives The Pantry and their veritable feast of fresh bread and tasty delicacies. With a mind-bogglingly vast menu, it can be hard to choose, so the safest option is to bring a group of friends and try as much as possible before enjoying some of their fantastic and fresh seafood!
Showbox Coffee Roasters
With coffee beans from Reuben Hills and Mecca, you're guaranteed a good brew from these fellows. Instead of the usual Manly seaside theme, Showbox Coffee Roasters looks more like a converted warehouse, which is a nice change. They've taken fatty staples such as the 3am kebab and turned it into a healthy breakfast treat with pumpkin and pearl barley. No morning after guilt here!
Fika Swedish Kitchen
The Swedes can make a lot more than good furniture, and the proof is definitely in the pudding… Or in this case, Grandma Elly's Apple Pie. After devouring the Swedish meatballs and mash with lingonberry jam and pickled cucumber, the aforementioned home made apple pie is a must. Our tip – Get in early for dinner as Fika is very popular with the locals!
As opposed to your bog-standard chain of coffee shops, Three Beans steps it up a notch and delivers delicious drinks and fresh food for every taste. That's right, all you gluten-free folk, vegetarians and weight watchers – Three Beans has something tasty on the menu for you! Almost everything is sourced from local growers and for those on the run, these guys can pump out a cappuccino and breakfast wrap in under 5 minutes before the sprint to the ferry!
Meats, meats and more meats. Papi Chulo head chefs Christopher Hogarth and Patrick Friesen have mastered the art of slow roasting– American Deep South style. Be sure to order a platter of BBQ goodness that's perfect for sharing over a luxurious lunch or slightly raucous dinner. The ocean views and clean, open space exude the Manly vibe and provides a relaxed spot for cocktails and seafood or party place for beers and a meat-fest– the choice is yours.
If you haven't been to Hemingway's yet, it's probably because you're not a local. Located right on the beach (the view is amazing), the folks behind the bar won't bat an eyelid when you ask for 'Grandad's Plums' or for something 'Tarted Up'. It's cheeky, warm and full of decadent cocktails - your only problem here will be deciding which curiously named cocktail you'll order next.
Manly Wine is certainly a hot spot for those who enjoy a good wine. And really, who doesn't? With a menu divided into 'Fresh' 'Unpronounceable' and 'Opulent' whites and 'Slurpable', 'Mysterious' and 'Big and Bold' reds, it's clear these guys are having a bit of fun but are also serious about their wines. There's almost too much to choose from, so you could close your eyes and pick whatever your finger lands on or just ask one of the friendly staff. Either way, you're going to get something good.
4 Pines Brewing Company
With dedication to the art of craftsmanship and tradition in the beer-making process, 4 Pines Brewing Company has brought the backyard Sunday arvo homebrew to Manly. Award winning kolsch, pale ale, Hefeweizen, bitter, Stout and cider are all on offer, along with food to match. For groups, grab the Ploughman's Platter, or if you're feeling particularly hungry, fill up with the Manly Mega Burger and a pint on the side. Cheers!
Given that Hugos Manly won "Best Pizza in the World" at the New York Pizza challenge, it's fair to say that you should grab a bite to eat while having a few drinks. You could stick with traditional cocktails or be a little adventurous and try the Sunset Geisha (with vodka and lychee liqueur) or Bananarama (with rum and Cointreau). Yum!
McLean And Page
Spice up your wardrobe with some new threads from locally made and internationally loved labels like Camilla & Marc, Kirrily Johnston, Lover and Shakuhachi – all in the one place! McLean and Page in Manly's Rialto Square has sourced the best of the best to give you an all-in-one shop with that perfect outfit for Friday night alongside that neat little jacket you've been searching for all season. These girls are practically redefining fabulousness.
Mr And Mrs Smith
With everything from skirts, candles, rugs, art and jewellery, Mr and Mrs Smith is an eclectic collection of boutique items sourced from all over the world. There are goodies for the kids and everything you could need to make your living room look akin to a French Vogue spread. The knick knacks and one-off finds alone in this great little store on Wentworth Street will keep you coming back!
Bow & Arrow
If Etsy had a store, it would look like the interior of Bow & Arrow on Whistler Street. Former stylist Natasha Ianni is the cool kid at the helm of this Manly wonderland, and she has a simple goal – bring the people something they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. With dresses, candles and art sourced from across the globe, almost every item is unique and tells its own story.
Image credit: Fika Swedish Kitchen, Manly Wine