Manly – Sydney’s coffee hub

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, I’ve been drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee and mixing it with some late, eventful nights. It’s actually got to the stage now where I’d rather go on a coffee date than a drinks date because the coffee is so damn good here. Not sure whether this is something to do with that ‘growing up’ crap or whether it’s actually because I’ve grown to love coffee that much (probably a bit of both). So… following my new, unhealthy (don’t even care) addiction to coffee; I thought I’d give you the lowdown on the seven best places to go for coffee in Manly.

In no particular order:

Sketch Bar, (19 Pittwater Road, Manly)

I actually only tried Sketch this week after four months of being in Manly, but my God their coffees are sublime. I tend to drink Mochas, as it takes the edge of the occasionally harsh-tasting coffee, but it’s really not needed here. Their coffee is so smooth and doesn’t even require sugar (something I usually have to add if the coffee is too bitter). This place has a really intimate little setting just up from Anytime Fitness, with chalkboards and local paintings covering the shop giving it a rustic feel. The best part about this sweet place is that their owner, Leo, shakes up an incredible, slightly twisted Espresso Martini. Instead of Vodka, he adds Jameson Whiskey. A combination I haven’t heard of before but Christ on a bike does it work.

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Your resident baristas, Leo & Ivo

Manly Wine, (8/13 S Steyne, Manly)

I actually worked here for a few months when I first got to Manly. I worked as a bartender primarily, and also on the floor as a waiter but was lucky enough to be trained as a Barista there, too. Best part? Getting free/$1 coffees (depending on which manager was working!). The coffee they use isn’t too bitter so it’s ideal for any coffee-drinking newbies. Oh and a bit of advice for those of you that come under the ‘coffee-drinking newbie’ bracket, start drinking mochas. A mocha is basically a glammed-up hot chocolate, with the perfect mix of chocolate syrup and fine coffee. This is a drink that Manly Wine have perfected in their awesome little ‘Oyster Shack‘ coffee bar on the side of the restaurant. Be sure to head down here, at the southern end of the beach, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a little tipple! This place also has the odd celeb pop-in, as some of you may know, with none other than Justin Bieber showing up to try some vegemite with his pals. And the view is pretty damn exquisite, too.

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The Rope & Anchor (inside The Steyne Hotel), (42 North Steyne, Manly)

The Rope & Anchor is actually tucked away down the beachfront, about two doors down from Sugar Lounge so it’s quite easy to miss. Being connected to The Steyne Hotel, however, gives them the footfall of all customers at The Steyne’s big bar & restaurant. The staff there are pretty damn awesome and one of the Baristas there; Djuaan (his Instagram is hyperlinked), makes incredible coffees and is one of the most friendly baristas you’ll come across! They also make some insanely good breakfasts in there that are packed full of wondrous healthy foods like avocado, rocket and seeds.
If you can get a space out there (weather permitting), make sure you sit outside and absorb the sun-soaked view. It’s not one to be missed. This place has it all – good coffee, good food, awesome staff and a sexy view!

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Are you Mocha-ing me? I’m laughing a latte.

Silo Espresso, (Shop 1a 19/17 Sydney Road, Manly)

It seems to be a common theme that all these coffee shops are small in size but bulging in character. It’s rare to come across one in Manly that has unfriendly staff and Silo proves that. With it being pretty much next to where I live, I’m walking past there almost every day and without fail, they are always smiling their teeth off. Based on a little tributary of Manly Corso, they’ve got the perfect setting for an intimate, friendly coffee shop.
I actually went out today to grab a coffee from Silo and the latte tasted absolutely glorious. I obviously ordered a mocha but couldn’t buy a latte for the girl I’m seeing and not try it first. Imagine getting a coffee for someone and it tasting like s***. Wouldn’t be ideal, right? I’d love to say that this was the whole reason but it’s also my developing love for coffee that got me a little greedy. Sorry, Lou…
Regardless, Adriano & the gang at Silo make some awesome coffees. They ain’t just a pretty face!

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Coffee at its most innovative

Barefoot Coffee Traders, (18 Whistler Street, Manly)

Now this is a place that everyone who visits Manly should go to for coffee. It’s probably the most minimalistic coffee shop I’ve seen to date, but bloody hell their coffee is marvellous. These guys are ‘specialist and small batch coffee brewers’ as they have defined themselves, that serves ‘amazing waffles’. Tell you what – amazing doesn’t even cut it! You know how it feels when you eat a cake that literally melts in your mouth? Multiply that feeling by six and you’ll experience what can only be described as a foodgasm (don’t think I need to elaborate on what that is) that can only be achieved from eating one of their ‘amazing’ waffles.

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I’m actually walking barefoot here…

Market Lane Cafe(Market Place, Manly)

Seemingly speakeasy bar-themed, this little cafe just up the road from me sells damn good coffees. They have a pretty awesome description of what they are, too;

“Market Lane is more than a cafe. It is also a small eco-system where people come and lead portions of their lives. Market Lane is the office, the catch up, the respite, the hang out & the chill out.”

Thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve actually walked past this little coffee shop once without seeing someone on their Macbook doing work since I got to Manly. It’s got the perfectly secluded seating inside that fits so well for someone looking to drink coffee and work for a few hours and the alfresco-style seating outside the shop for those going for the “hang out & the chill out”.

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Alfrescoffee

Havana Beach(14 South Steyne, Manly)

This cosy, Cuban-themed bar and restaurant is known around Manly for its creative cocktails, both new and classic, and their delectably tasty tacos, but what is relatively hidden is quite how good their teas & coffees are. They serve everything from loose-leaf tea and chai lattes to the classic piccolos and macchiatos.
They have it spot on with the decor inside, the staff are always super friendly, and if you feel like more than coffee their food is delicious and the cocktails even better, crafted by their awesome bartenders. It’s right next to Manly Wine so it’s a little bit away from the central buzz of Manly but still only a short walk from it. The view from the restaurant is like no other with a few trees ever-so-gently blocking out the glazed sunrises that the main room sees.

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So there’s the 7 best cafes in Manly. Which is your favourite?

Instagram: thetravellingmixologist
Facebook: Jimmy James Friend
Twitter: travellingmixo

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