Tucked away from the main sprawl of Manly's Corso is Cridas. A cafe and boutique bar inspired by its nineteen-year-old owner's time in Europe, particularly France.
Opening a venue like this one at nineteen is no mere feat but Chris Hayward has managed to pack a lot into the small space at 19 Pittwater Road. After spending six months travelling around Europe, wining and dining at a slower pace than the "in-out nature of restaurants in Australia," he wanted to replicate that vibe in his home country. Demonstrating his will to open a cafe, his capability, and his business credentials, by turning around his previous boss' business in just six months, Manly is now gifted with Cridas' presence.
Fresh produce, friendly staff, and local Tiempo coffee is key to Cridas' philosophy - serving "coffee with soul". Edison-style lightbulbs, brick walls, artwork for sale, and plenty of foliage add charm to the place, along with a well-edited playlist. Being able to see into the kitchen has always added a sense of trust in any eatery I've visited, and that trust is well-placed here. My indecisiveness was met with menu recommendations and the ability to tweak orders to my taste.
A mix of healthy and hearty breakfasts are placed next to each other on the menu, and additional ingredients put an interesting twist on classics. My avocado on Sonoma Bakery sourdough was topped with sprouts and tomato chutney. There's smoothies, milkshakes (even facilitating vegans with their vegan chocolate thick shake), iced drinks, and of course coffee, to whet your morning appetite.
My poached eggs were legitimately spot on, and the large food boards were a nice presentation technique. Other options on the winter menu included: "super bircher," huevas rancheros, toasties, and the beloved acai bowl.
Come the weekend this place also opens up for one-of-a-kind cocktails, all unique to Cridas, and delectable tapas. The malteaser cocktail is of particular repute.
Hours to head down are 6am until 3pm every day, plus 5pm 'til midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.