For more than 30 years, stopping in for a Bliss Burger at Pilgrims in Milton has been a tradition for anyone heading down the coast. But now, Sydney-siders won’t have to travel quite so far south for a healthy fast-food fix, with a new outlet opening on Cronulla beach.
Anthony and Kelly MacDonald, originally from Bateman’s Bay, used to drop into the original cafe and they liked it so much they decided they wanted one closer to home. “We spent many years travelling down and stopping in for lunch,” recalls Kelly. “We really enjoyed those stops, and that’s what inspired us to open this one.”
Pilgrims’ simple but delicious vegetarian menu – which features hearty salads, freshly squeezed juices and its trademark veggie burgers with peanut sauce – has remained pretty-much unchanged for three decades. Cannily, the new owners of Pilgrims Cronulla decided not to mess with the recipe for success. “We’ve kept the menu exactly the same,” says Kelly, who even imported some of the staff from the southern outlet to ensure they got it right. “We source a lot of our produce from the South Coast, because that’s what they’re using in Milton.”
In keeping with the cafe’s beachside atmosphere, the pair found a second-storey site overlooking South Cronulla beach, which they have been renovating for six months. “It was fairly run down when we got here, so lots of work has gone into it,” explains Kelly. “We’ve made the interior rustic, in keeping with that relaxed, coastal, Pilgrims vibe.”
Luckily for the MacDonalds, Pilgrims’ reputation preceded its arrival in Sydney. “We thought we’d be busy, but it has really taken us by surprise,” admits Kelly. “We’ve been busy every day – we had queues out the door on the first day.”
97 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
(02) 9523 7580