Sydney's best beach kiosks
Hot tip for new players: on Sunday Bronte Beach is a madhouse. On those days during summer a sea of fluoro-pink nippers and their parents floods this petite beach for junior surf lifesaver training. Instead, you want to head down here for a sunrise swim, or after the lunch rush. That way it’ll be a breeze when you rock up to the jaunty blue-painted kiosk for a smoothie, coffee or slushie. They also do fish and chips and burgers, like all good canteens should, and you can surf a sugar wave after you’ve battled the breakers with cookies, killer pythons and ice creams.
Camp Cove, a beautiful beach right out at the eastern tip of Sydney passed by boats exiting the harbour, looks like something out of a Wish You Were Here postcard – all turquoise waters, gentle tides and clean yellow sand. Once you’ve had a dip and let the droplets dry off you in the sun it’s time to hit the kiosk at the north end of the beach. This colourful little cabana is where you can cool off with lemon sorbet that they pack into hollowed-out lemon peels for maximum fruit flavour, a peach iced tea filled with fresh fruit like a fun summertime punch, or the ultimate afterschool special – the Milo shake.
Parsley Bay, a long inlet in Sydney’s east, is drop-dead gorgeous and has the benefit of two access points: you can walk around to the mouth of the bay and hop in at the deep end, or stick to the shallows at the beach end where the sand gives way to a massive grass park ringed with big trees. The second part of your itinerary here involves walking (or swimming) to the kiosk at the beach end, which is run by a couple of lovely old Italian fellows who will sort you out with a pasta with Napoli sauce for a tenner. They also have lasagne, focaccia and milkshakes, and fresh slices of watermelon.
Sometimes yours is a hunger that won’t be sated by icy poles, and that’s when things like the pie warmer at the Red Leaf Café start to catch your eye. There’s beef with pepper, potato, or mushroom; chicken and leek and sausage rolls; or if it’s way too hot for hand-held pastry casings they pre-make wraps ready for easy snacking on the sand. And as far as brekky by the beach goes, if you’re feeling a bit dusty perhaps throwing yourself into the sea after a bacon and egg roll with barbecue onion jam on it is the answer you seek.
The kiosk down at Tamarama Beach has gone a bit upmarket in recent months. Now after getting your gills wet you can pop over to the architecturally designed pavilion for a smoked salmon bagel, grilled chicken burger, haloumi salad or a croque madame under the big outdoor umbrellas set up at the base of the cliffs. If it’s one of those blistering days when only liquid sustenance will do they also make smoothies, milkshakes, juices and iced coffee.
Want to explore more beaches?
From Sydney’s most famous stretch of sand to the hidden bathing spots around the harbour, here’s our ultimate guide to our city’s beaches.