So close to Sydney, but seemingly worlds away, are some of the prettiest and laid back beachside suburbs on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Only 90 minutes from Sydney’s CBD it's so easy to day trip to the Central Coast and explore the many foodie feasts on offer as well as the glorious beaches and summer houses. On holidays this summer we revisited 3 favourites.
Patonga Beach is a hidden gem at the southern end of the Central Coast, entirely surrounded by Brisbane Waters National Park. This picturesque little village is the perfect place for families to swim in the calm beach waters, play in the grass parkland and enjoy a picnic by the wharf. The beach is calm and perfect for children and you can bring your dog along too as they are allowed off the leash in designated areas.
Overlooking the beach is the Patonga Beach Hotel which is also home to the Cafe and Fish & Chip shop. While seated outside under the white umbrellas surrounded by the carefully curated gardens we were delightfully surprised by the Banana Bread loaf (pictured below). Baked freshly on the premises and served with double cream, raspberry coulis and violets, it was the perfect morning tea by the beach and will go down as an all time favourite. Also try one of the smoothies or strawberry milkshakes served in old style glass milk bottles and striped paper straws.
Pearl Beach Cafe and General Store
If travelling by car take the left hand turn before you reach Patonga to the lovely leafy little suburb of Pearl Beach. Amongst the trees you'll feel totally relaxed amongst the leafy outlook right behind the beach. This another children friendly beach with gentle waves reaching the shore and plenty of room in the sun or the shade down the southern end of the beach.
Tucked away beside this perfect little family beach is the Pearl Beach Cafe and General Store. While you listen to the gentle waves on the beach you can chat to the friendly, many holiday visitors and super attentive staff while enjoying generous servings of down to earth fresh food. It's one of the friendliest cafe's you'll ever come across.
A lunch time favourite was the Bun-less Veggie Burger w grilled variety of vegetables, mushrooms, rocket, smashed avocado, fresh tomato, aioli and served with a side of corn salsa.
Barber Shop Espresso
For simple, fast fresh food with your Glee coffee you can't go past Barber Shop Espresso in Toukley. One of the only cafes in the old coastal suburb of Toukley and it's surrounds it has proven popular with the locals from the school coffee run to the weekend holiday maker breakfast crowd. They offer a simple and healthy menu, so if you want fuss free simple and healthy breakfast/brunch or lunch try this hip little cafe.