A foodie's guide to Cronulla

By Rebecca Mason
23 August, 2017

Cronulla may be known for its idyllic beachside location, but the Sydney suburb's food game has quickly become the area’s biggest drawcard. Located just a short drive from the CBD, Cronulla is a hub full of places to eat and shops stocked with the latest fashion and design; all of which sit a stone’s throw away from some of Sydney’s best beaches. Here, you’ll find everything from oceanside cafes serving up casual fare to some of most innovative dining Sydney has to offer.

CRONULLA RSL

Is this the most beautiful RSL in all the land? Located on the sandy shoreline of Cronulla beach panoramic ocean views, and recently renovated, it very well could be. Head inside to discover a host of venues for whatever your heart desires. The Ocean View café is a go-to for a light breakfast or lunch – sip on your morning coffee, dig into freshly made quiche or the cake of the day, and enjoy the eponymous view. The sun-filled Watergrill restaurant offers deck or sunroom seating alongside refreshing fare like Sydney rock oysters, mezze plates, and spicy seafood laksa, complete with prawns, scallops, mussels, fish and Asian greens. Those looking for a drink are spoiled for choice, with five bars to visit, including the marble-accented Main Bar or the pop up pirate-themed Arr! Bar.

38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

GERRALE STREET KITCHEN

Cronulla’s rejuvenated food precinct is full of delectable options, but this day-to-night eatery is a must. The breakfast fried rice, loaded with tea smoked prawns, fresh veggies and sweet chilli ketchup, is a popular option, while lunch goers flock for the signature lobster rolls, served in steamed brioche bread. Head Chef Cameron Bailey also roasts everything from whole suckling pigs to deliciously smoked flatbreads and pancetta-topped pizzas on the kitchen’s famed wood-fired oven. To drink, you’ll find coffee from the Gerringong-based Daily Grind, classic cocktails, plus white wines and moscatos on tap, as well as plenty of Australian drops available by the bottle or glass.

21 19-21 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

HAM (Harry & Mario)

This family-run café makes the most of its location: just a block back from the beach, this is where the locals come post surf or morning swim. The recently updated fit out, with floor to ceiling windows and shelves overflowing with leafy plants, means you’ll want to stay a while. With a heavy emphasis on Greek flavours and secret family recipes passed down through generations, the dishes here are the perfect balance of comfort food and fresh ingredients – all lovingly whipped up in the kitchen by Mama Kapoulas. Start the day with Harry & Mario’s famed in-house coffee, tuck into deconstructed gyros, made with with 12-hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, and served in rosemary pita bread, or try the pastitisio, a lasagne-style dish of baked pasta and béchamel, topped with salad and tzatziki, which is almost as good as a plane ticket to the Mediterranean.

Shop 3/17 Gerrale St, Cronulla

NEXT DOOR

This café-meets-restaurant-meets-bar is the highly anticipated second act from the Allouche family, whose first Cronulla venture, mod-Aus restaurant Sealevel, continues to draw rave reviews. Head to Next Door for a more casual experience – here, you can sip on Will & Co coffee of a morning, tuck into a maple pork panini at lunch, or settle in for a languorous dinner accompanied by a blood orange and coconut margarita. It may be the new kid on the block, but this eatery and bar is quickly making its mark.

Shop 2, 4-6 Kingsway, Cronulla

NULLA NULLA

An original in the area’s burgeoning food scene, this beachside café has an ever-changing menu with a focus on locally sourced seasonal produce. Drop by for their Big Wave breakfast – made with the hungriest of surfers in mind, it lives up to its name, with sausage, bacon, eggs, hash brown, baked beans, grilled tomato and sautéed mushrooms; and don’t miss one of the café’s famed ‘grande’ coffees. For lunch, the menu is fresh and flavourful: try the pan-fried crispy skinned Atlantic salmon served on a Mediterranean salad, served with a breathtaking view of Cronulla beach.

75 Cronulla St, Cronulla

THE NUNS POOL

Few cafes can truly claim an uninterrupted beachside location, but gaze out from the balcony at The Nuns Pool and you’ll be greeted by a stretch of pristine sand and ocean as far as the eye can see. Here, the region’s best and freshest produce takes centre stage, with dishes like sweetcorn fritters with smoked salmon for breakfast, Mediterranean-inspired braised lamb shoulder served with beetroot hummus, or chargrilled king prawns with fresh greens and zesty citrus yoghurt for lunch.

103 Ewos Parade, Cronulla

OPAH RESTAURANT

A mainstay in the community for over fifteen years, this family-run business is a local favourite that’s heavy on Mediterranean flavours and beachside charm. It’s best to visit with a healthy appetite in tow, because Opah’s famous Greek yum cha is bottomless (and you’re welcome to BYO as well). Tuck into Mediterranean dips like tzatziki and taramosalata, enjoy grilled haloumi, flash fried calamari, garlic prawn risoni, 16-hour spit roasted lamb and more. Their a la carte menu offers classic fare like moussaka, braised lamb pasta and chicken souvlaki.Drinks wise, there’s plenty to sip on. Grab a jug of red passionfruit sangria, have a classic martini, or choose a wine from a small but carefully curated list.

Level 1, corner of Gerrale St & Kingsway, Cronulla

PILGRIMS

Vegetarians of the South Coast have long heralded the siren call of this café, which has served up plant-based dishes for close to forty years. Whether you make a pilgrimage to their Milton, Huskisson or Cronulla locations, the menu stays the same. For breakfast, opt for the homemade granola served with yoghurt, mixed berries and local honey, or grab a hearty marinated tofu burger with peanut sauce for lunch. To drink, you’ll find Single Origin coffee and freshly squeezed grapefruit, apple and celery juices.

97 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

SEALEVEL

There’s no denying that this glass-walled eatery has helped put Cronulla on the food map. With a focus on Mod-Aus cuisine and freshly caught seafood, Sealevel combines elevated cooking techniques with unsurpassed views of the coastline from every table. Just as good as the view is head chef Nathan Allouche’s menu. Changing every two weeks, the menu reflects the freshest ingredients of the season, with dishes seared North Atlantic scallops, barbecued chermoula snapper fillets or pan fried green lobster tail.

2 Kingsway, Cronulla

SUMMER SALT RESTAURANT

With incredible views along Cronulla’s famous beach, Summer Salt combines modern dining and sophisticated beach atmosphere. The contemporary Australian menu, designed by executive chef and owner Carl Jensen, emphasises fresh produce sourced from the best local suppliers. Start with the soft shell crab with grilled pineapple, fennel and curry aioli, followed by the duck with celeriac, nashi pear and raspberry vinaigrette. For dessert, don’t miss the perfectly light pear soufflé served with cinnamon ice cream. Wash that down with an Australian or New Zealand wine from the boutique list, or opt for one of the restaurant’s innovative cocktails, like a fruity mix of Chambord, mango liqueur, vodka, fresh strawberries and passionfruit.

66 Mitchell Road, Cronulla


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Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason

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Metro Hotel Miranda

522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda

T: 1800 004 321

Cronulla

Gerrale Street, Cronulla

Engadine

Old Princes Highway, Engadine

Cronulla Beach

20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

T: 02 9710 0333

Rydges Cronulla Beachside

20 - 26 The Kingsway, Cronulla

T: 02 9527 3100

Quest Cronulla Beach

1 Kingsway, Cronulla

T: 02 8536 3600

Bundeena Kayaks

Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds Off Sea Breeze Lane, Bundeena

T: 0419 254 981

EG Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens

104 President Avenue, Caringbah

T: 02 9710 0333

Sydney Tramway Museum

Corner Rawson Avenue (Old Princes Highway) and Pitt Street Adjacent to Loftus Railway Station, Loftus

T: 02 9542 3646

Cronulla and National Park Ferry Cruises

1 Tonkin Street Public Wharf, Cronulla

T: 02 9523 2990