Manly’s drawcards include the incredible beach and spectacular bushlands, but stay a little longer (until you get peckish) and you’ll discover that its food scene – the seafood in particular – is well worth sticking around for. From woodfired crustaceans at Garfish to Japanese sashimi at Sunset Sabi, these are the restaurants in Manly worth booking a table at.
Perched on Manly Wharf, Merivale's Queen Chow reigns supreme on the Chinese cuisine front. Elegant yet casual and drenched in natural light, the dining space fuses deep green timbers, dark woods and marble, to create a warm and contemporary feel. Fusing modern Australian with local, Chinese dining, classic Cantonese dishes are reimagined with a quirky Australian twist. Tuck into pillowy pockets of dim sum, fresh seafood, or for a taste of decadence, try their mud crab, steamed with white soy, ginger and shallots.
22-23 Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Manly
A trendy eatery set in a breezy loft-style space, Sunset Sabi dishes up delicious modern Japanese that’s designed to flow, Izakaya style. The team will encourage you to share within your group and sample a little something from every section of the menu – that way you get to try everything. Order the edamame with truffle, or the cheeseburger-inspired gyoza that comes with wagyu beef, cheese and tangy pickles. For seafood cravings, order the Smoked Trout Taco.
26/28 Pittwater Road, Manly
A local favourite and date night must, this chic bar and restaurant overlooking Manly Beach, serves contemporary Australian plates in a picturesque setting. With gorgeous waterside views, intimate booths and a glass fireplace, you'll find it hard to tear yourself away from this cosy beach house.
35 South Steyne, Manly
Sitting on the old Shore Club site, this sprawling 400-seat venue is one of Manly's newbies, and it’s already being billed as the Northern Beaches’ answer to Coogee Pavilion. On the shores of Manly Beach, it has three distinct levels: all-day dining at the Greenhouse, elevated eats at the Grill, and a bar on the Rooftop. The Grill is due to open in December, but for now, we’re noshing on the squid ink spaghetti and Italian-inspired desserts on the ground floor.
36/38 South Steyne, Manly
A Manly favourite, Chica Bonita is a raucous mingling of Mexican fare and Baja California charm. Rustic and vibrant, this is one of those places where it’s easy to get carried away with the lively atmosphere. The creative menu is a tasty mix of Mexican and Mexi-Cali ingredients from the hands of head chef Alex Wong and the flavoursome dishes regularly have the crowds lining up out the door.
9 The Corso, Manly
For seriously good seafood, head straight to Garfish. Served just the way you want it, grilled, spiced or woodfired, the produce is fresh and dishes are flavoursome. Overlooking Manly Cove, Garfish has a woodfired oven and a cocktail and wine bar, SuGarfish. Another plus, the restaurant is BYO (bottled wine only).
1/39 East Esplanade, Manly
Self-proclaimed “chow down bar”, Daniel San’s delicious menu deserves a look in as much as their impressive drinks list. Sip on the likes of Asahi, Sapporo or Sake while you nibble on modern Japanese-Asian street food. Our pick: order the Miso Glazed Salmon which comes with lettuce cups, brown rice, japanese pickles & wasabi The interiors are Tokyo-meets-Rock ‘n’ Roll, with pink neon lights, arcade games and Jimi Hendrix blasting over the speakers.
55 North Steyne, Manly
Local favourite Manly Wine is a stylish mix of laidback Australian beach culture and Hamptons beach house opulence. Across the road from the iconic Manly Beach, this trendy oasis features wicker furniture, lush printed cushions, white slated walls and mosaic tiled pillars. This is the perfect beachside spot for a romantic dinner for two or an après-beach meal. At the moment, they're serving up ridiculously 'gram worthy Poke Cones, which are filled to the brim with sushi rice, edamame, avo and salmon sashimi.
8/13 South Steyne, Manly