Executive chef and owner Ben Varela — whose culinary credits include The Collaroy and Bistro Moncur — has realised his Miami-inspired dreams at the Sunset Diner. Located three minutes' walk from Avalon Beach, this pink-and-peach striped hideaway serves up burgers and griddle dogs with boutique wines and craft beers — and OTT sundaes.
Take a seat on a millennial pink chair inside or, if you're travelling with your pup, in the pet-friendly outdoor courtyard, and prepare to feast. Among the burgers are The Double ($18), with double beef patty, double cheese, double bacon, pickles and Sunset Sauce and the Five AM Catch ($15) with beer-battered fish, cheese, herb-and-cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeños. Meanwhile, the trio of griddle dogs includes the Smoked Brisket ($12) packed with a signature frank, smoked brisket, mustard, pickle relish and onion. You'll find a match in a cocktail, local beer or wine from the substantial list.
From there, it's way too easy to lean into a sundae. If you've had an afternoon of surf and sand ahead, dig into the Caramel Pretzel ($8) a mountain of caramel sauce, salted peanut butter pretzels and toasted peanuts. Equally tempting is the old-school Banana Split ($8) a merry (and enduring) meeting of banana, white chocolate fudge and chocolate sauce.
Images: Kitti Gould.