The New Year parties are winding down and we're heading into that commitment-free part of summer where you can take time to yourself. Beach trips are essential for these salad-roll days and all that swimming and book reading is likely to work up an appetite and thirst. Here's a few of Sydney's top bars and cafes where you can cool down after a dip or take in ocean views with a glass of something cold and white.
1108 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach, 02 9974 4001
This old Barrenjoey bolthole received a luxe makeover from new owners Pip and Andrew Goldsmith (The Boathouse Group) in December. The bar has expanded to provide more space for a sunset spritz and day-trippers can expect easy-going dishes such as yellowfin tuna spaghetti and scallops topped with salmon roe. Grab an outdoor table and ring your friends.
Neapolitan ice-cream at Bonnie's. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Bonnie's Wine & Food
150 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach, 02 8090 6972
Maurice Terzini's slick Bondi Beach Public Bar has been the No.1 place to let your hair down in the east since it launched 12 months ago, but gee it can be hard to jag a seat on weekends. Praise be to Bonnie's, then, the new trattoria within BBPB where you can reserve a table for an evening of chilled Australian pinot and one of the smoothest scoops of neapolitan ice-cream around. Dishes are friendly for both kids and wallets.
1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy, 02 9114 7366
Breakfast at the pub no longer means bacon greasier than a used car salesman on commission – at least not at any of the pubs owned by Merivale's Justin Hemmes who spruced up this Northern Beaches old girl in 2018. You can still grab a schooner and schnitzel to accompany the ocean view but now there's smoked trout in the morning and freshness such as watermelon sharpened with halloumi for lunch.
North Bondi Fish featuring whole snapper. Photo: Supplied
North Bondi Fish
120 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi, 02 9130 2155
Hooking into a prawn sandwich with still-wet swimmers and sand between your toes is one of summer's great pleasures and there's few better places to do it than this nouveau kiosk a tennis ball's throw from the surf. Chef Jesse McTavish fills his prawn sangers with Yamba shellfish and beach mustard mayo while whole baby snapper with papaya salad is on hand to share.
Rosenbaum & Fuller
13 O'Brien Street, Bondi Beach
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more on-trend breakfast item in 2019 than the strawberry kombucha ice-block this new smart-casual bar and restaurant. Award-winning bartender Lee Potter Cavanagh (ex Victoria Room) opened Rosenbaum & Fuller in December and the all-day venue can also lower your core temperature with green pea hummus and icy local beers.
173-179 Bronte Road, Waverley
The hotter and brighter the day, the more refreshing a Dark and Stormy becomes. The ginger beer-based cocktail is brought to life with espresso instead of rum at this Bronte-bordering institution, making it way more suitable to order before noon. Ruby's healthy, fragrant curries are for all time and an affogato made with Serendipity ice cream is available to pick you up and cool you down.
Sushi and water views at Sake Manly. Photo: Christopher Pearce
Level 1, Manly Wharf, West Esplanade, Manly, 02 8099 7076
Sushi by the water, yes please. Rockpool Group cut ribbon at the Manly outpost of its mod-Japanese bar and restaurant brand in November and it's a beaut place for radiant raw tuna and cocktails singing with fizz and fresh fruit.
Sydney's best beach-friendly takeaway
Tables are all well and good, but a Sydney summer also means beetroot-stained board shorts and fingers glistening with chip grease and chicken salt. Out of the Blue (2/272 Clovelly Rd, Coogee) creates well deserved queues for its fish burger licked with house-made mayonnaise while two-hatted chef Josh Niland sets a fish-and-chip gold standard at Fish Butchery (388 Oxford Street, Paddington). Niland uses vodka in his batter to create a light crust that will stay crisp for the drive to Bondi.
Muffaletta sandwich at A1 Canteen in Chippendale, Sydney. Photo: Christopher Pearce
Paul's Famous Burgers (12 Princes Highway, Sylvania) has supplied Sydney with hot chips and pineapple crush since 1957. Pick up a works burger heavy with egg, bacon, cheese, pineapple and onion and jet over to Cronulla to scoff it beachside. A note here to discerning adults: Paul's pineapple crush is even more refreshing with mint and a splash of white rum if you care to grab a two-litre bottle to take home.
While burgers and battered fish are excellent beachside eating, the king of summer takeaway is still the salad roll. No deep fryer needed – just grated carrot, lettuce, cheese, beetroot and a tumble of raw onion. Salad rolls can be found at almost every beach kiosk in Sydney and A1 Canteen (2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale) now serves a modern take on the classic featuring potato bread, spiced carrots and salad cream dressing. A1's other sambos are crackers, too, particularly the instantly Instagram-famous muffuletta constructed to hold its own on any adventure.