• Coffee on a table at The Boathouse, Shelly Beach Manly

Best cafes on the Northern Beaches.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Stretching all the way from Manly to Palm Beach, the Northern Beaches have plenty to brag about. While each coastal town has its own character, the love for sun, surf and sand reigns supreme, and the food comes with a side of sparkling sea views. Whether you’re on a health kick or keen to indulge, there’s a café that’ll tickle your tastebuds.

When the weekend rolls around, do as the locals do and make a beeline for these cafes.

Busy day with every table full at The Boathouse in ManlyThe Boathouse, Shelly Beach Manly


At COOH, almost everything is made in-house, from the baked goodies and raw treats to the rich coffee blends. The team aims to make healthy eating delicious with a menu full of wholesome, organic dishes, and they crush that goal every day. While soaking up the café’s rustic charm, feast on the buckwheat pancakes or zucchini buckwheat fritters. Don’t forget to grab a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans on your way out.

17/64-68 Pitt Road, North Curl Curl

Albert & Moore

On any given day, fit foodies spill out onto the footpath of this bright and airy Freshwater café. The menu is nutritious and artfully presented, with many paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. If you’re fuelling up post-workout, try the smoked salmon frittata or Protein Stack. Otherwise, the Healing Bowl with coconut scrambled eggs, black beans, asparagus and enoki mushrooms is amazing.

2D/2 Moore Road, Freshwater

Fika Swedish Kitchen

Fika is a ritual that involves taking a break for coffee and a bite, while catching up with family and friends. Something that we all happily live by. Moments from the beach, Fika Swedish Kitchen serves up Nordic delights for breakfast and lunch, like ‘Scando Granola’, meatball bagels, prawn toast and kladkakka, a traditional chocolate cake. Pair your meal with a Glow-J juice or a glass of O’Boy(Swedish chocolate milk), and admire the Scandinavian fit-out.

5B Market Lane, Manly

COOH cafe in Curl Curl on a busy dayCOOH, North Curl Curl

Dolce Terra

For feel-good food, make your way to Dolce Terra in Manly. A bustling neighbourhood haunt, the café is best known for its nutrient-dense smoothies and salads, which are packed with superfoods, ancient grains, seeds, nuts and veggies. They’re ready for pick-up at 8am – just in time for the commute – and you can mix and match up to three different types for a filling lunch that won’t break the bank.

5-7 Raglan Street, Manly

The Boathouse

At each of its three venues, The Boathouse follows the same formula that made the brand such an Instagram sensation [link to Instagram stars post]: a nautical-chic décor, fresh flowers, and a seasonal menu that matches its seaside setting. On a sunny day, the deck is in demand, so arrive early to score a table. Sip on a coffee while tucking into the green eggs and ham with tomatoes and basil pesto.

Palm Beach, Manly and Balmoral

The Flying Fox

When you have the kids in tow, treat them (and yourself!) to lunch at The Flying Fox. With toys, activities, undercover seating, a ‘Cubs Club’ menu, and a fenced-in playground, it’s one of the most family-friendly cafes in the Northern Beaches. While the kids play in the park, catch up with friends over a juicy beef burger, or the prawn, avocado, mango and tomato salsa on sourdough.

Winnererremy Bay Park, 2 Mona Street, Mona Vale

Two men having coffee inside Girdlers cafe in Dee WhyGirdlers, Dee Why


Girdlers is made for long, lazy brunches. It’s also a health lover’s haven that’s known for its acai bowls, and its sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes. Get one loaded with smoked salmon, toasted almonds, avocado and a drizzle of cauliflower sauce, or start your day with the ‘cacao split’, filled with banana and healthy Nutella. The coffee’s excellent, and there are a few flavours of kombucha on tap.

Dee Why, Manly and Warringah Mall

Flower Child

The ultimate pitstop for shoppers, Flower Child is a garden oasis in Westfield. With lush greenery, vibrant flowers, whitewashed timber, water features, and a sunlit outdoor space, it’s (bloomin’) beautiful. The food is just as Instagram-worthy as the design. Go for the Acai bowl, Flower Child Porridge or the decadent Flower Child French Toast, and wash it down with a coffee courtesy of The Grounds roasters.

Westfield Warringah Mall, Cnr Condamine Street & Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale

For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.