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FOOD & DRINK

Five Cronulla Venues to Visit When You Want a Snack or Cocktail After Dark

Think ocean views, seasonal menus and tropical cocktails aplenty.
By Caitlin Morahan
February 17, 2021
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By Caitlin Morahan
February 17, 2021
  shares

FIVE CRONULLA VENUES TO VISIT WHEN YOU WANT A SNACK OR COCKTAIL AFTER DARK

Think ocean views, seasonal menus and tropical cocktails aplenty.

With venue restrictions easing and your bank account beginning to recover from Christmas, it's time to get out and about before winter returns. And the seaside suburb of Cronulla is the place to be when the sun goes down. New Shire establishments have opened over the past couple of years and there are some golden oldies worth returning to a second (or third or fourth) time. Here are our top picks for the best places to eat and drink in and around Cronulla after dark. Think ocean views, seasonal menus and tropical cocktails aplenty.

  • 5

    When Friday rolls around and the clock ticks 6pm, beloved local cafe Grind packs away the coffee beans, pulls out the bar stools and transforms into Cony’s — a South American-inspired bar serving up delicious alcoholic concoctions and all of the tapas your heart desires.

    At this weekend-only haunt , you can try tropical cocktails aplenty — or, expand your espresso martini horizons, with the salted caramel and dark chocolate varieties. The latter is served with a Lindt ball on a cocktail stick. For food, Cony’s guacamole is made fresh to order, the salmon in the ceviche is sourced locally and the empanadas are lovingly handmade. You can’t really go wrong with any of it.

    Grab a seat at one of the street-side tables and enjoy your drink and eats with a spot of people-watching in the summer air.

    Image: Zane Wilson, Wilson Visuals

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  • 4

    You wouldn’t guess it from the outside, but Highfield Caringbah is one of the most picturesque locations for a sunset drink in The Shire. OK, it’s not in Cronulla, but it’s only two train stops away.

    It houses four venues all up — including a public house, a pizza shop and a sports bar — but our pick of the bunch is a seat up on The Botanical rooftop. The openair space lets in natural light while greenery weaves around the exposed beams, framing views of the city skyline. To top it all off, there’s an extensive cocktail list and a seasonal menu to boot.

    On the menu, there’s something for everyone — from the barbecue wagyu beef skewers served with sesame flatbread and kimchi cucumber salad ($37) to the coconut pumpkin curry with chickpeas, kale and raita ($24).

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  • 3

    Make sure you visit this institution on an empty stomach, because you’ll want to try one of everything. Run by Ham cafe owners Harry and Mario Kapoulas with the help of chef Josh Davidson (ex-head chef of The Apollo), CC Babcoq is a rotisserie chicken shop serving up ‘contemporary comfort food’ that’s designed to share.

    Think pork loin with crackling ($36), lamb shoulder with tzatziki ($37) and pumpkin and ricotta flowers drizzled with fresh honey ($23) — as well the eatery’s juicy, golden chook ($24/36) served with its signature sauce.

    If it’s a beautiful evening, head to the takeaway counter next to the main restaurant. It’s slinging next-level rolls (stuffed with the likes of buttermilk fried chicken, pork crackling and falafel, $13.90) and hearty salads — the combination of the two makes for the ideal sunset beachside picnic.

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  • 2

    Though technically taking its inspiration from The Hamptons, The Pines Cronulla — with its chic, neutral palette, pops of greenery and meat-heavy menu — could easily fit in the south of France.

    The newly opened beachfront eatery has James Metcalfe as its executive chef and former Rockpool and Merivale sommelier Chris Hoy heading its beverage list. The menu is extensive and features everything from sautéed prawn on a bed of angel hair pasta (28) and koji cured flank ($38) to smoked ham and pineapple pizza ($29). For a real treat, order the seafood bouillabaisse ($110), a fisherman’s feast with baby potatoes and garlic bread.

    Image: Rachel Kara

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  • 1

    Serving a notch above traditional cafe fare, Next Door has been a local favourite since opening its doors in 2016. The beachside venue has become so popular that the establishment had no choice but to launch a dinner menu for its many fans.

    Head Chef Luke Arnull cooks with the philosophy that you should only serve what you love to make to your friends, and his menu lives up to this mantra. Expect truffle and parmesan arancini with truffle mayo ($12), lamb ribs with pepperberry and chimichurri ($16) and some of the best sweet potato fries around ($9).

    Next Door has also launched a Sunday Session menu to help wrap your week up right. It features a range share plates, priced at just $12 a pop from 4–7pm, which you can enjoy alongside next-level views with a drink in hand.

    Image: Chris Jamieson

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Top Image: Cony’s by Zane Wilson, Wilson Visuals

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