PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Thursday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
By Concrete Playground
July 28, 2020
  shares
By Concrete Playground
July 28, 2020
  shares

The northern beaches is well-known for its heritage-listed houses, harbourfront views, boutique storefronts and beachfront restaurants. Here, the towns get smaller and closer to the coast — these are the quintessential beach towns you read about in Australian novels.

Meanwhile, the lush expanse of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park reigns mightily behind the coast, perfectly primed for a weekend hiking trip.

Along with American Express, we’ve found the best spots to shop small at along the coastline. These local businesses help the northern beaches area keep its charm — and will make you really love where you live. And you can shop at all of them with your American Express Card.

GETTING AROUND

The easiest way to get to Manly is to cut across Sydney Harbour on the F1 ferry from Circular Quay. The rest of the coastline is best explored by car, or on the L90 bus from the city to Palm Beach, and you can make stops at these scenic and not-so-sleepy towns as you wish.

DON’T MISS

If you, like many Sydneysiders, have really gotten into natural wine and craft beer recently, then you’ll love Winona Wine. At this boutique bottle-o in Manly, you’ll find minimal intervention drops, quirky craft brews and artisanal spirits — and plenty of stellar recommendations from the staff if you’re not sure where to start.

HIGH STREETS

Originally designed as a boardwalk for tourists, the Manly Corso now boasts surf shops, pubs, cafes, and galleries, and there is always a street entertainer or two to provide the ambience. In Avalon, be sure to check out Old Barrenjoey Road and Avalon Parade on the beachfront, with boutique stores set inside old terraced houses with facades that are worth the visit alone.

LOCALS LOVE

There are few better ways to wrap a busy day of shopping than with a cocktail or two — with a stellar view. And there’s no shortage of spots to do just that along this stretch of coast. Make a beeline to Manly Greenhouse for rosé and a cheese board on its rooftop, or nab a table at Sunset Sabi for inventive cocktails and Japanese snacks.

THE SHOPPING LISTS

Explore three of the northern beaches' thriving shopping precincts.

Jo from The Artisan Cheese Room
The Localist: Manly
Coming Soon

Your Northern Beaches Hit List

Looking for fresh produce, funky cheese or a one-of-a-kind gift? Find what you're looking for here.
List
Map
  • Design & Style
    Manly

    Manly Cycles

    Join the store's weekly road and mountain bike rides from the shop — or pull in for a service.

  • Food & Drink
    Freshwater

    The Freshwater Butcher

    This free-range meat purveyor services the Freshie community with meat and poultry from farms with sustainable practices.

  • Food & Drink
    Mona Vale

    Fleet Street Mona Vale

    Find quality spirits and decent non-alcoholic options at this northern beaches bottle-o.

  • Food & Drink
    North Balgowlah

    Balgowlah North Grocer

    A cosy local grocer selling fresh produce and flowers.

  • Food & Drink
    Mona Vale

    Paddock & Vine

    A Mediterranean-inspired small bar in Mona Vale with a top-notch list of Australian vinos.

  • Food & Drink
    Mona Vale

    Armchair Collective

    Part cafe, part homewares boutique — this Northern Beaches favourite has everything.

  • Design & Style
    Mona Vale

    Aqua Rosa

    Brighten up your day with a stunning native bouquet.

  • Food & Drink
    Avalon Beach

    Avalon Village Meats

    Avalon's local gourmet butcher.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Winona Wine

    This beautiful northern beaches bottle shop is dedicated to natural wine and craft beer.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Pocket Pizza Manly

    Manly's Italo-American pizza parlour has found a new home along Pittwater Road.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Rollers Bakehouse

    A beachside bakehouse and specialty coffee shop from the guys behind Showbox Coffee and Butter Boy Bake.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Manly Greenhouse

    The three-level beachside destination will unveil its greenery-filled all-day diner and chic rooftop bar this weekend.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Manly Farm Organic Grocer

    Manly's haven of fresh organic produce and specialty food.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Peanut Butter Jelly

    A Manly burger joint inspired by contemporary street art and culture.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Manly Wharf Hotel

    Enjoy a pint on the water's edge in this old and faithful Manly pub.

  • Food & Drink
    Brookvale

    Flower Child Warringah

    A second FC venue, again designed by the crew behind Archie Rose, Fred's and Charlie Parker's.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Sunset Sabi

    Watch the sun go down with some killer sushi rolls.

  • Food & Drink
    Freshwater

    Harbord Beach Hotel

    Your classic Northern Beaches pub, just 100 metres from Freshie.

  • Food & Drink
    Narrabeen

    Mexicano

    North Narrabeen's local produce-focused eatery cooks up some of Sydney's best tacos.

  • Food & Drink
    Freshwater

    Cruise Espresso

    Unfortunately for locals, the secret is well and truly out.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Chica Bonita

    Chica Bonita offers oodles of atmosphere and bang on Mexican fare. So go on, head north.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Belgrave Cartel

    The Cartel is bringing a slice of Melbourne and more than a hint of Italy to Manly's streets.

  • Food & Drink
    Manly

    Hemingway's

    The atmosphere of a writer's den, insanely long opening hours, fun and flavorsome food, a drinks menu that will keep even the most inspired drinker guessing, and not even the slightest degree of pretension.

Find Your Playground

Eeastern Suburbs Inner West Inner West Northern Beaches Greater Western Sydney South Sydney Inner City
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter