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Scenic Sydney Bronte1/4
Photograph: Unsplash/Patrick McGregor
Tamarama kiosk 022/4
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bronte Beach kiosk3/4
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Swimmer at Bronte Pool at sunrise for Early Risers issue4/4
Photograph: Daniel Boud

A local's guide to Bronte and Tamarama

These easy, breezy beachside burbs have so much more to offer than just a great day at the beach

By Maxim Boon
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A visit to the beachside neighbourhoods of Bronte and Tamarama is about as quintessential a Sydney experience as you could ever hope to find. Sun, sand and surf – the holy trinity of life in the Harbour City – are perhaps the biggest draws, with plenty of foot traffic, via the ever-popular Bondi to Coogee Coastal Path, strolling through the area, and the ridiculously beautiful Bronte Baths offering one of the best saltwater lap pools in the city. But there’s more to this corner of Sydney than just a day at the beach. There are some of the city’s most charmingly stress-free brunch spots and it’s an ideal place to head for a blissful sundowner as dusk moves in from the west. Be sure to check out these under-the-radar waterfront gems the next time you find yourself in these chilled-out suburbs.

Recommended: A local's guide to Bondi.

The best places to eat and drink

Mulloway at Three Blue Ducks
Photograph: Supplied

Three Blue Ducks Bronte

Restaurants Bronte

Three Blue Ducks may have now expanded to Byron Bay and beyond, but the original café was right here in Bronte. By day, the café offers the beachy 'burb an Inner West-style coffee bunker, covered in graffiti and staffed by hot folks. By night, it turns into a restaurant people are booking weeks ahead to get into. It's the sort of feel-good venture serving honest, elegant food in a laid-back setting.

Bread on shelves at Iggy's Bread of the World
Photograph: Supplied

Iggy's

Restaurants Bronte

You’ve probably broken Iggy Ivanovic’s bread at one of Sydney’s top restaurants. This is bread you need to work at: the thick, chewy crust of the sourdough is a workout for the jaw, giving way to a slight earthy, sour flavour and incredible texture. Iggy’s bread deserves the best butter you can find, and that’s about all you’ll want to put on it.

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Broth Bar and Larder

Restaurants Bronte

Eating out isn't getting much more wholesome and nutrient dense than the spread available at Bronte's Broth Bar and Larder. Not only can you stock up on activated nuts, cacao power bars and raw sokolata, kim chi, pâté, stock and tallow from Star Anise Organic Wholefoods, but now you can sit down to a hot cup of broth in four flavours (chicken, beef, fish or vegetable) that you can opt to add flavour bombs to (coconut milk, ginger, cumin etc). 

Café Salina

Restaurants Bronte

A great little pit stop on the Coogee-to-Bondi coastal walk, Café Salina has views of Bronte Beach and park – bags a spot on the sidewalk and settle in. For breakfast, they're serving hearty takes on the usual suspects – ricotta hotcakes, all the Benedicts – and for lunch they have burgers, steak and plenty of seafood. They're big on juices and smoothies, too.

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The Bogey Hole Café

Restaurants Bronte

So named after one of the local shoreline's most distinctive rockpools, this long-standing stalwart of the Bronte café scene has been the go-to when locals are in need of a fry up or some crumpets and jam, with a side of postcard-worthy views, since 1993. Humble and wholesome, this unpretentious brekkie spot delivers all the goods of its bougier counterparts without worrying about the frills.

Cali Press

Restaurants Bronte

A local cold press juice brand inspired by a trip to California has opened its first store in Bronte. It's the place for a post or pre-swim juices, smoothie, wholefood snack or a coffee from AllPress.

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Bronte Beach kiosk
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Bronte Kiosk

Restaurants Cafés Bronte

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.

Tamarama kiosk
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Tamarama Kiosk

Restaurants Cafés Tamarama

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.

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