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 www.web4business.com.au
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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