A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published March 8th 2017
Scenic sipping at these top coffee shops
Two cappuccino, no sugar, and views please. I want to ogle the outlook, soak up the scene, and be entranced by the surrounding natural beauty. So my photographs show the view from my favourite coffee shops on Sydney's northern peninsula. None have a busy road or carpark between my seat and the object of my affection; I'm just a hop, skip and jump from a lake, the ocean, or beautiful Pittwater. All are wheelchair accessible and all have indoor and outdoor seating. Check their individual websites for opening hours as some have seasonal changes e.g. during winter, and all have ample street parking nearby.
Gusto On The Beach, South Curl Curl - at 52/54 Carrington Parade, Curl Curl, this coffee shop sits within the surf-club building. Sit and watch the surfers tackle the big waves of this southerly aspect and enjoy fantastic views all the way up the beach to North Curl Curl. There's healthy options on their menu of breakfast and lunch, plus great coffee and cold-pressed nectar juices. Phone: 02-9939 5689
Open: 6.30am - 2.30pm 7 days Top Tip: very dog-friendly and a wide footpath leads around the headland for endless views over the ocean.
The Beach Shed, south Dee Why Beach - no need to dress up or even put on shoes when you visit this little 'shack'. It's in a cracker of a position on the promenade between Dee Why shops on The Strand and Dee Why pool. Take in the views north all the way to Long Reef, or settle back and watch the passing parade, kiddies having fun in the sand, or the surfers tackling some tubes.
White Rock Café, Long Reef Golf Club - you don't have to be a golfer to enjoy this unique vantage point overlooking Fisherman's Beach and Long Reef Headland. This secluded nook of ocean frontage is pristine marine-park, and the views north reach as far as Palm Beach headland. Positioned at the end of Anzac Ave., Collaroy, the club also has the capacity for functions, and offers a dinner menu. Phone: 02-9971 8113
Open: 8am Saturdays and Sundays, 9am Monday - Friday Top Tip: It can get busy with golfers so if there's a group of you, reservations are recommended. There's also a wide footpath up to Long Reef headland for endless views over the Pacific.
Hit Café, North Narrabeen Surf Club - you're right on top of the sand on Hit's large outdoor seating area. Windy days won't spoil the view because huge picture windows give you a bird's-eye vantage point over the ocean and the mouth of the lagoon. The menu has a good range of food and drinks, some with a Brazilian twist, and the surf club walls are filled with some interesting memorabilia. Phone: 0428 275 909
Open: 6.30am - 2.30pm 7 days
Top Tip: How can you resist a dip in the ocean or rockpool, take a stroll along the Pelican Path that traces the shores of Narrabeen lake, or visit the Beaches Markets every Friday morning in Pittwater Rugby Park.
H2O Café, Narrabeen - sitting so close to Narrabeen Lake, you can almost dip your toes in the water. This restaurant/café at 1431 Pittwater Road is perfectly positioned to admire glorious sunsets over Narrabeen Lagoon, or find a spot under the shady umbrellas near the silky oaks and be transported a world away. H2O is fully licensed and can cater for functions.
Phone: 02-9913 1360
Open: 7.30am - 5pm 7 days
Top Tip: a great shared pathway caters to littlies on their trikes, and the nearby Berry Reserve Markets are held on the third Sunday of the month.
The Boatshed Café & Bar, Narrabeen - another great location for views of the lake and the chance to have water lapping mere metres from your feet. On the lower level of 11 Narrabeen Street, Narrabeen (Limani Seafood Restaurant is upstairs), The Boatshed has a great children's menu, is dog-friendly, and the resident family of ducks usually have a family of ducklings to keep you entertained.
Phone: 02-9913 8938
Open: 8am - 4pm 7 days
Top Tip: right next door is Prokayaks which hire out stand-up paddle-boards, paddle boats and kayaks.
The Waterfront Store & Café, Church Point - arrive by boat if you like, the jetty is right at the front door of this spectacular venue. A humble, historic façade hides the world-class view that awaits patrons inside. The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is just across the water and you could be forgiven for thinking you'd been time-warped to some northern Italian Lakes hideaway. A newly renovated wine-bar and live music makes it a great venue for functions, or casual enough for afternoon tea.
Phone: 02-9979 6633
Open: 6.30am every day, various closing times
Top Tip: take a ferry ride around Pittwater to visit Scotland Island, or stay at the Youth Hostel on the western foreshores.
Bronze Kiosk, Mona Vale - the umbrellas and open-air dining deck facing the dunes of Mona Vale Beach is packed up today because of rain, but heavy plastic drops keep you warm while still being close enough to hear the surf and smell the salty air. The style is simple beach-kiosk - again no shoes required, and very dog-friendly atmosphere is a hit with the locals who make it their daily pit-stop. Their position at 1 Surfview Road, Mona Vale, fantastic fish and chips and friendly staff all add up to a winning combination.
Phone: 02-8411 1224
Open:6.30am - 4pm 7 days
Top Tip: Over the road is Apex Park, with kiddies playground and trike path.
The Avalon on the Beach, Avalon - walk straight from the surf and grab some breakfast, lunch and coffee from the kiosk on the ground level, or head upstairs to the relaxed-vibe restaurant with world-class views. Catering to every whim, from burgers to oysters, plus vegetarian and gluten-free options, it's no wonder the Baywatch crew headed to this classic crescent-shaped beach.
Phone: 1300 339 093
Open: kiosk 7am-3pm, restaurant 9am - 3pm Mon-Wed, til 9pm Wed-Sat
Top Tip: if you're not in the mood for a dip, nearby Avalon shopping precinct has a range of boutiques, cinema & bookshops.
Zubi's at Billy's, Bilgola Beach - seems I couldn't win with the weather this week, and the moody-looking photograph doesn't really do justice to another absolute 'on-the-sand' beach kiosk. Tucked away off the 'bends' section of Barrenjoey Road between Newport and Avalon, Zubi's can get pretty packed on weekends, but steal down here on a weekday and you can almost have the place to yourself.
Phone: 02-9973 1988
Open: 6.30am - 2pm 7 days
Top Tip: take cash, as there are no ATM's.
Milk & Soda, Whale Beach - so close to the sand the kiosk was closed due to inclement weather, but positioned at 24 The Strand, Whale Beach, the friendly vibe is obvious by the pile of children's toys available for general use while mum and dad get their caffeine hit. The beach is lined with massive pines so there are plenty of shady spots to laze the day away, and the friendly, fast service I experienced on a busy weekend morning will keep me coming back.
Phone: 0488 085 865
Open: 7 days during summer holidays, other times 8am - 3pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays through the cooler months.
Top Tip: a nice grassy area out the front and in shade, plus a rockpool at the south end of the beach for a dip.