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.