Manly remains one of Sydney's favourite fair-weather destinations. And with good reason – its sun, surf and sand is up there with the city's best. But these days Manly isn't simply cashing in on its good looks. Instead, the suburb is becoming a hub for stylish cafes, restaurants and shops. The same goes for bars. Long known for boozy beer barns, Manly now boasts an assortment of sophisticated watering holes, giving you a good reason to stay on after the hordes have left for the day. Here are five of the best bars in Manly.
Located just north of the ferry wharf, Miss Marley's has been doing its thing for a while now. And its thing is tequila cocktails and Latin-inspired drinking snacks served up in an inviting, cosy room. Plonk yourself down on one of the big plush sofas and flick through the cocktail menu and you'll find things like Margaritas, Palomas and Rattlesnakes, all made seriously well, and plenty strong to boot. McLaren Vale beer and a serviceable wine list are on offer as well. Food-wise, munch on empanadas, ceviche and slow-roasted pork belly bites.
Donny's 7 Market Lane
Image courtesy Donny's Facebook profile
Donny's brings a bit of New York style to Manly's back streets. Inside, it's all stripped-back chic and shiny metal, with exposed brick walls, concrete floors and brass surfaces. The drinks list includes local brews like 4 Pines and Murray's, a wine selection featuring drops from vineyards in the Hunter and Central West, and a cocktail menu split evenly between classics and more experimental numbers. For eats, bar snacks like dumplings sit alongside heartier fare like crispy skin Tasmanian salmon and Mediterranean lamb cutlets.
Hemingway's is another beachfront bar putting good times on the agenda. The old man adorns the sign out front, while inside the large room boasts a library spread along one wall, a compact bar area, and reading nook out the back. At the bar, smash cheap tinnies of Reschs and Tecate or longnecks of Coopers and Little Creatures. They have weird mixes, like tequila and Passiona, or gin and Mountain Dew, and also offer a snazzy cocktail list loaded with esoteric concoctions like the snap crackle pop, which has vodka, amaretto, cherry heering, lemon, bitters and pop rocks.
4 Pines Brewing have been making their tasty ales for five years now, and have recently expanded to a sparkling new brewery in Brookvale. Their Manly bar and microbrewery was where it all started though, and it's still an awfully pleasant place for a brew, what with its views over the harbour and laidback vibe. At the bar, you can choose from Pale Ale, Kolsch, Hefeweizen, Extra Special Bitter, Stout and the limited-release Keller Door beers. There's plenty of hearty fare on offer from the bar's kitchen too.
Manly Wine 8-13 South Steyne
Image courtesy Manly Wine Facebook profile
Long a reliable beachfront meeting spot, Manly Wine is set just across from the surf and offers over 100 types of wines. But they aren't snooty about it: the list is divided up into fun sub-headings like 'big and bold reds' and 'opulent whites'. There's also a long list of beer and cider, and a cocktail list packed full of fruity drinks ideal for beachside imbibing. Inside, the décor is a mix of lush greenery, pretty sparkling objects and a few plastic flamingos. Nab a seat upfront and chances are, you won't be going anywhere for a while.