Before it became the densely populated gateway to the Northern Beaches it is today, Manly was originally conceived as a seaside resort. If you’re not lucky enough to be a local, though, a daytrip still feels like an escape. Maybe it’s how you get there: you could drive, but the easiest (and most pleasurable) way is to take the ferry from Circular Quay.

That resort feel is evident in the layout of the key spots. Walk down the Corso (Manly’s main eating, drinking and shopping hub) and you’ll definitely wonder why pedestrian malls aren’t more common in the rest of Sydney. The promenade is the best way to get from the harbourside wharf to the famous Manly Beach.

There are plenty of restaurants on that walk that are worth your time. The venues in this guide aren’t content to coast on their picturesque setting. Some are local favourites, and many are worth the journey from other parts of Sydney.

Busta

Restaurant

Natural wine and handmade pasta from the crew behind Chica Bonita and Sunset Sabi.

Shop 8 2-12 Pittwater Road, Manly

Chica Bonita

Restaurant

This rustic little bolthole, hidden in a Manly back alley, is one of the seaside suburb's most popular and enduring eateries. We can see why. The laid-back atmosphere belies just how seriously this team take their food.

Shop 9 A/B 9 The Corso, Manly

Queen Chow Manly Wharf

Restaurant

Merivale’s waterside Cantonese joint, complete with live seafood tank, oyster bar and dim sum. The views across the water make for an ideal setting year-round.

22-23 Manly Wharf East Esplanade, Manly

The Manly Greenhouse

Restaurant

The former Manly Shore Club now offers multiple experiences across three handsome levels. There’s upmarket bistro fare on the ground floor; basque-inspired tapas in the wine room upstairs; and signature cocktails and beachfront vistas on the rooftop.

36/38 South Steyne, Manly

The Ivanhoe Hotel

Restaurant

The Ivanhoe Hotel has been stripped back and spruced up by Sibella Court to feel like a nostalgic beach club with classic red and white lifebuoys and squash rackets.

27 The Corso, Manly

Pocket Pizza

Restaurant

Order a single slice and eat it sitting on the sand while the sun sets.

2A Whistler Street, Manly

Sunset Sabi

Restaurant

Wild cocktails and unique Japanese flavours from the team at Chica Bonita.

26-28 Pittwater Road, Manly
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Momo Bar

Restaurant

Poke and momos all under one roof.

28 Market Lane, Manly

El Camino Cantina Manly

Restaurant

It’s all about giant drinks and water views.

Manly Wharf Rooftop Corner of Belgrave Street and West Esplanade, Manly

Daniel San

Restaurant

A Bowie inspired rock and roll bar serving up Japanese food with attitude.

55 North Steyne, Manly

Maestro and Co

Restaurant

A modern Middle Eastern restaurant in Manly.

50 East Esplanade, Manly

The Herring Room

Restaurant

Plenty of seafood and a people-first approach make this a hit with locals.

94 Pittwater Road, Manly

The Nook

Restaurant

A nostalgic sandwich and cocktail bar with 36-hour Reubens, fried chicken and cheddar-and-chive waffles, and groovy disco-era cocktails.

49 Sydney Road, Manly

Cured

Restaurant

A wine bar serving up the ultimate antipasto spread courtesy of some of Australia's best cheese makers and meat curers.

42 Market Lane, Manly

Banco

Bar

Playful takes on British cuisine are the specialty at this sultry backstreet bar. Think Scotch eggs with curry mayo, madras Wagyu pie with pappadums, and sticky toffee pudding with rum-roasted pineapple. There are also cocktails on tap and around 300 natural wines to try.

17b Whistler Street, Manly
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