When you’re running or strolling along one of Sydney’s iconic coastal paths, that cafe on the hill – the one that offers strong coffee, ample space to rest your weary legs and a tasty reward for getting this far – is a great place for a breather. Here’s our list of mid-walk cafes where dogs are welcome and sweat pants are practically mandatory.
Bondi to Coogee
Sydney's most well-known stretch of coastline is also one of its best weekend walking spots. There are parks, views, beaches and some quality coffee to fuel you along the way. Cafe Salina on Bronte Road offers a great place at which to reward yourself for getting past the glamorous people at Tamarama and making it up the steps at Marks Park. Salina is located right in the middle of Bondi and Coogee beaches and has plenty of outdoor seating for taking in the view.
“We encourage dogs. In fact, they’re given sausages and bacon for their efforts,” says Cafe Salina owner, Hannah Simmons.
While pups are busy with their breakfast, people are served Single Origin coffee alongside a menu of corn cakes, ricotta hotcakes and the usual lineup of eggs done the way we like them.
Spit Bridge to Manly
Ten kilometres of sea, sand and bush make up this northern walk that begins at Spit Road, snakes around North and Middle Harbours and finishes up at Manly Beach. Clonny’s on the Beach – a kiosk and cafe at Clontarf Beach – is your only mid-walk option. But if you wait until you hit Manly, you won't be sorry you held out. The good folks at Bean Rush won't bat an eyelid at your muddied state. Instead, they'll offer you Campos Coffee, no-fuss sandwiches and some sweet nourishment for the long journey (or short ferry ride) home.
Glebe to the Fish Market
One of Sydney's lesser-known walks, the track around Blackwattle Bay offers a view of the Sydney Fish Market and the ANZAC Bridge. It's an easy walk, traversed by tiny inner-city dogs and their owners, kids on scooters and plenty of people just looking to mosey around. Situated atop a (very small) hill is Blackwattle Cafe – a heritage-listed property which opened as a restaurant in 2010. The views are spectacular and the property still retains much of its 19th- century charm. Only now you can enjoy it with coffee from The Little Marionette.
Harbour Bridge to South Head
Coffee at Nielsen Park Cafe is your prize for making it up New South Head Road and Heartbreak Hill. There's ample space in which to dine, but grabbing a muffin to go and sitting yourself on the beach is what this walk is all about. You could continue on to Clovelly to finish the walk, however we feel 30 kilometres is a little too ambitious for a lazy Sunday.
If you're into bridges and bays then this one's for you. Start at Pirrama Park before making your way over the old Pyrmont Bridge, around King Street Wharf and down the “Hungry Mile" to Millers Point for coffee and a spot of lunch at Fratelli Fresh. Despite the flashy postcode, this eatery is surprisingly casual, with plenty of outdoor seating for people and pups.