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Top 10 Cafes on Sydney's Northern Beaches

Home > Sydney > Beaches | Cafes | Escape the City | Food and Wine | Restaurants | Lists
by Ivana Katz (subscribe)
Ivana is passionate about travel, writing, photography and website design. She enjoys helping people start a new business and turn their hobby into a profitable venture. Visit Ivana at
Published May 26th 2012
What makes one café stand out from the rest? In my opinion it is not only the coffee and food they serve, but also the location, atmosphere and service. Whilst some of the following are more than cafes, they offer great coffee and dining experience for different reasons.

The Deck
1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy

This café is located next to Surf Rock Hotel, right on Collaroy Beach with amazing beach views. Open daily from 8.30am – 3pm, enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or coffee. Offering modern Australian cuisine and seafood, this spot has everything you could need for a relaxing dining experience. Their menu also includes children's meals, making it a great place for families with even young children.

The Deck, Collaroy Beach
The Deck, Collaroy Beach

The Boathouse
Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach

The Boathouse is located right on the water at Station Beach. With stunning water views, this café has a great beachside setting and serves fresh modern Australian cuisine. It offers a bit of everything – fresh market flowers, bread and deli style foods including cheese and snacks. It is open for breakfast and lunch and coffee in between. Food is delicious and atmosphere is relaxed and easygoing. This is a very popular café, so get there early to make sure you secure the best table.

Visit the Boathouse website here.

The Boathouse, Palm Beach
The Boathouse, Palm Beach

The Sandbar Café
Shelly Beach, Manly

Located next door to Le Kiosk Restaurant, The Sandbar Café overlooks the stunning Shelly Beach. Stroll in straight off the beach and grab an ice cream, coffee or fish and chips or dine on the deck while enjoying the stunning view. Children can play on the sand or collect shells, while you sit back and relax. In summer, take a dip in between coffees and enjoy a laid back atmosphere of this great spot.

Visit the Le Kiosk Restaurant website here.

The Sandbar, Shelly Beach
The Sandbar, Shelly Beach

Alfresco Emporium
1021 Pittwater Road, Collaroy

Part of a home decorating shop, this café has personality plus. Tastefully and warmly decorated, it offers not only great coffee, but also delicious sandwiches, salads, cakes and their fruit & nut loaf is to die for. And when you are done with your breakfast or lunch, enjoy some retail therapy - beautiful fresh flowers, exclusive kitchen and homewares as well as pasta, jams and codiments.

Visit the Alfresco Emporium website here.

Alfresco Emporium
Alfresco Emporium

Café Splat
68a Queenscliff Road, Queenscliff

Café Splat is a well hidden gem that locals like to keep to themselves. Its atmosphere is casual and relaxed with stunning views of Manly Beach. The café offers great service and good sense of humour. A warning on their website says it all – "this café may contain traces of nuts – they own it!" They also have a "Lost & Found" section on their website, daily listing forgotten items.

Visit the Café Splat website here.

Cafe Splat
View from Cafe Splat

Flying Fox
2 Mona Street, Mona Vale NSW 2103

Flying Fox is a favourite among parents. After a busy week, this is a great place to escape with the kids. Offering an enclosed playground right next door, parents can relax, even read a newspaper, knowing their children will be amused for hours in a newly refurbished playground. Set in a stunning location, with incredible views, this café is perfect for the whole family. Great menu, not only for adults, but also for the kids. And if you have older children, they can ride their scooters or bikes on a track near the café.

Visit the Flying Fox website here.

Flying Fox Cafe
Flying Fox Cafe

Pronto Café
1095 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach

This small café located right on the main road offers some of the most delicious home made meals. I have travelled for over 40 minutes to enjoy their incredible chicken sandwiches. Its cosy atmosphere adds to the experience. The café is popular among locals and their opening hours are 8.30am to 3pm during the week and 8am to 4pm on the weekend.

Cafe Pronto
Cafe Pronto

Newport Arms
2 Kalinya Street, Newport

Newport Arms is so much more than a place to enjoy coffee or a snack. It is also a great restaurant and function venue. The reason it is included in this top 10 list is because of its stunning location, small playground for children and incredible views. On a sunny warm day enjoy your coffee outdoors, while the kids play. There is plenty of space to move around and lots of different meals to choose from. The portions are huge and food delicious.

Visit the Newport Arms website here.

Newport Arms
Newport Arms

Little Manly Beach Kiosk
Stuart Street, Manly

This café is a well kept secret. It is a family friendly spot just a stroll from the busy Manly and offers great coffee, light meals with incredible harbour views. During summer, you can enjoy a swim before lunch and if you have kids, watch them swim and play, while you take it easy. This café has limited seating and is quickly becoming very popular, so you may want to book ahead.

Visit the Little Manly Beach Kiosk website here.

Little Manly Beach Kiosk
Little Manly Beach Kiosk

24 The Strand, Dee Why

Aubergine is a new kid on 'The Strand' block. Serving delicious Mediterranean and European cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this is definitely a place worth checking out. If you need to get some work done, bring a laptop and enjoy a quiet coffee and connect to the free internet connection, which is provided for most Dee Why cafes and restaurants. Prices are very affordable and service is also excellent. The décor and ambience are smart casual and view of Dee Why Beach is superb.

Visit the Aubergine website here.

View from Aubergine
View from Aubergine
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Why? Best Cafes On Northern Beaches
When: All year round
Where: Manly, Palm Beach, Collaroy, Dee Why, Newport, Mona Vale, Queenscliff
Your Comment
Add Echos on the Marina under the Roseville Bridge if you want a real hidden gem and without the noise that most of the beachfront cafes get. Very hard to find and dreadful parking but such a great spot once you're there.
by john5 (score: 2|164) 3478 days ago
Great article for people wanting to find 'that' special coffee shop, Ivana...
by Lexa T (score: 3|1070) 3478 days ago
What about South of the bridge??
by melis101 (score: 0|6) 3466 days ago
I am glad that you missed out some of the other best cafe's in the Northern Beaches because I can write about them. The Boathouse is a must of course. Andrew has done a great job and stfaf are so friendly. Food very good but becoming a mite expensive, apart from breakfast. View and location are awesome. Of course the location is special "Summer Bay.
by Mark Horton (score: 1|33) 3455 days ago
This hidden gem between Busy Bondi and Bronte: Cafe @ Tamarama Beach open daily 9-5.30pm bfast/lunch. Cash only. Park on Pacific Ave if u can find a spot.
by Jackie C (score: 1|39) 3478 days ago
Went to Flying fox in Mona vale today I must say it was nothing special, The staff were friendly but unattentive they didn't come to take our order, the food was average, limited Menu,never cleed our plates away wouldn't bother going back
by ilike (score: 0|4) 2924 days ago
Anything not on the northern beaches?
by barba26 (score: 1|21) 3478 days ago
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