Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Manly

Sure, Manly's main attraction may be the beach — but it's also home to some great bars and natural wine shops.
Emma-Kate Wilson and Melanie Colwell
Published on August 20, 2020

Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Manly

in partnership with

Sure, Manly's main attraction may be the beach — but it's also home to some great bars and natural wine shops.

With its long stretch of sand, wetsuit-clad surfers and seagulls hovering at every corner, Manly feels like a permanent vacation. But while many day visitors get off the ferry and either head straight to the beach for a swim or The Corso for a spot of shopping, the locals know that it's the side streets and the tiny arcades that are harbouring all of the suburb's gems.

So whether you live on the northern beaches or just dip in from time to time, it's worth the extra time exploring the nooks and crannies of this beachside town. This list — created in partnership with American Express — will help you track down some of Manly's best independent shops. Make sure to pull on your walking shoes and come armed with your American Express Card. And don't worry if you forget your togs — you're in the right place to buy some new ones.

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    When it comes to baked goods, Rollers Bakehouse may stray from tradition, but its bold approach will convince even the most serious of pastry purists that it’s doing something right. A collab between James Sideris (Butter Boy Bake) and Bo Hinzack (Showbox Coffee Brewers), Rollers burst onto the scene in 2018 and quickly garnered a reputation for its left-of-centre flavour combos — think confit garlic, herb and parmesan; kaffir lime and maple meringue; and coconut, yuzu and strawberry. And Rollers doesn’t just experiment with fillings and toppings. It also tweaks the croissant dough itself — charcoal dough is used for its staple pain au chocolate, and matcha dough has made an appearance before, too.

    Everything is rolled and baked in-house and flavours change regularly, so you’ll need to visit the Palm Springs-like shop in Rialto Lane to see what’s up for grabs each day. You can pair your pastry with a coffee (it uses beans from Sydney-based Okay Coffee) or a house-made soda.

    Image: Kitti Gould.

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    Winona Wine feels more like a cellar door than a traditional bottle-o. Run by a team of true Manly locals (two of whom run the super successful restaurants Chica Bonita and Sunset Sabi), the shop has a boutique collection of funky wines from small producers, local craft beers, hard-to-find spirits and house-brewed kombucha. The staff are always ready to tell you about their latest finds, and the store runs regular tastings — so even if you don’t know much about wine, you soon will. Make sure to follow Winona on Instagram for updates.

    Image: Kitti Gould. 

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    After an afternoon of shopping, it’ll be necessary to treat yourself to an afternoon cocktail on Manly’s newest rooftop. Overlooking the beach, this three-storey restaurant and bar is a team effort for style and comfort. Featuring a fit-out by Sydney-based designer Luchette Krelle, illustrations by Beci Orpin, and the eye-catching greenery covering every surface in collaboration with The Plant Room. Hot tip from the locals: Sunday sees the rooftop turn into a real beach bar with a DJ sets and $10 spritzes from 4–6pm.

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    Pocket Pizza may not be a haven of health, but that’s hardly the point because the food here is particularly good. Let us walk you through it: start with the crispy calamari, followed up the crunchy eggplant parmigiana topped with oozy burrata with a side of parmesan polenta chips, and maybe a bowl of the eatery’s signature tomato vodka fusilli. And that’s before you even get to the pizza — the simple margherita and mushroom options are perfection on a crust. Take a few friends and order everything, or order a few pies to take away and eat by the beach.

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    The name Peanut Butter Jelly doesn’t really do this casual Manly restaurant justice. Yes, the namesake ingredients do make more than one appearance in the dessert menu — in the peanut butter jelly mousse and the PBJ sandwich — but you shouldn’t skip right to the sweet stuff. If you did, you’d be missing out on a stellar selection of share plates and mains inspired by myriad cuisines. To start, you can tuck in to pork belly bao, swordfish san choy bau and beef brisket tacos. Bigger meals include jerk beer can chicken and three next-level burgers: Dirty Double (two patties, double cheese, maple mayo and jalapeño bacon jam), Hot Bird (fried chicken, slaw, pickled jalapeños and smoked chipotle cream) and Vego (Dorito-crumbed cauliflower patty, mac ‘n’ cheese and romesco sauce). For drinks, expect PB&J-inspired cocktails, plus limited ranges of craft beer and wine.

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    Manly Farm Organic Grocer

    Based just a short walk from Manly Beach, Manly Farm Organic Grocer is a cosy store that proves that shopping for organic products extends well beyond fresh produce. Of course, the shop, run by Cathy Carney, does have a decent range of fresh fruit and veg. But it also has meat, seafood, frozen food, pantry staples, cleaning and personal products, too, all carefully selected with a conscious lens. Venture inside and you’ll find everything from organic herbal teas from Mindful Foods, locally harvested raw bush honey, cold-pressed juices, organic smoked fermented garlic and Crumpets by Merna.

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Shop small to support the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express, its Shop Small initiative and current Shop Small offer, which ends on August 31, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots around the northern beaches.

Top image: Kitti Gould.

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