SUMMER 23/24



Margarita Daze, Umina 

Located on Ocean Beach, just a handful of hot-sand hops to the ocean … what could be more summer-centric? Margarita Daze is a relaxed bar and restaurant where salty hair and sandy feet are welcome. Relax on the deck until the sky turns pink and purple and the festoon lights are switched on, with a coconut margarita or charred pineapple mojito in hand. Or opt for the Lion Island iced tea, named for the iconic headland that’s within view of your alfresco drinking spot.

Frankie’s Rooftop Bar, Woy Woy 

This rooftop paradise in Woy Woy is an idyllic perch to soak up dappled sunlight and views of tranquil Brisbane Water. The menu here is filled with Japanese-inspired plates and plenty of inventive cocktails that ooze summer vibes. The cocktails include the ‘Bay Breeze’, made with gin, elderflower and prosecco, and the ‘Weis Bar’ – malibu infused with mango liqueur and fresh coconut cream.

Shady Palms, Avoca

Its name alone is enough to entice us here on warm evenings. Inspired by mid-century Hawaii, this self-proclaimed ‘eclectic surf shack’ is nestled among lush tropical gardens in Avoca. There are multiple outdoor areas to sit: a line-up of comfy booth seating, tables under tropical-style umbrellas in the garden, and the rustic undercover ‘pizza terrace’. And it hosts regular events such as music bingo, ‘bottomless’ lunches and plenty of live music to liven up your summer nights.

The Beachie, Toukley

Transport yourself to the Hamptons without leaving the Central Coast. The Beachie’s new(ish) look transformed this long-standing watering hole into a stylish social destination. Nab a lakeside table and chill out over a cold beer, or reserve a spot on the deck and enjoy pub-style food while sipping a ‘Beachie La Sands’ cocktail as the sun disappears behind Budgewoi Lake.

Lyons Den, Gosford

Set within the urban jungle of Gosford in a heritage-listed sandstone building, this exotic small bar oozes safari-style chic (we’re sure that’s a thing). Watch the mixologists create art at the bar – they make some seriously mind-blowing cocktails here – then take shade under the mustard-coloured fringed umbrellas outdoors and share some tapas among friends. If an after-work bevvie is calling, they host happy hour from Tuesday to Friday, 4pm–6pm.

Rhonda’s, Terrigal

This hip restaurant and bar is cool, calm and collected down the bottom and all party up the top. After feasting on bellissimo Italian cuisine in the restaurant, make your way upstairs to the outdoor ‘rooftop’ area to enjoy a glass of rosé or two, complemented by the sea breeze straight off Terrigal Beach. Every weekend they host ‘Sax on the Deck’ when the space is filled with the smooth live tunes of the saxophone.

The Entrance Social Club, The Entrance

After a multi-million-dollar refresh, The Entrance Social Club has cemented its place as an ultra-chic social hang-out for summer. While it is hard to pull yourself away from the beautiful interiors of Mrs May Bistro & Bar, which is all stylish curves and a soft neutral colour palette, or the excitement and buzz of Taffy’s sports bar, the alfresco areas are where it’s at come warmer weather. Bask in the sunshine at one of the circular tables out front, with The Entrance waterway a stone’s throw away, or pull up a chair in the beer garden, which has a retractable roof for sunny days.

Terrigal Beach House, Terrigal

The former ‘Beery’ has long been a favourite watering hole among locals and it continues to pull the good-time crowd, especially when the sun is shining. Straight across from Terrigal Beach, the cool and breezy terrace has ample seating, including private cabanas along the beachfront, open to groups of eight to 12. Order a seafood platter or grazing board to share between friends, enjoy a rose spritz with fresh strawberries or one of the many beers on tap and while away summer afternoons.

The Boathouse, Patonga

Hidden away in the tiny hamlet of Patonga, directly opposite its languid bay where fishing boats bob and well-worn dinghies are pulled up on the sand, The Boathouse is the perfect spot for long, lazy lunches that turn into balmy evening drinks. It has that summer aesthetic down to a T with a nautical theme of light, bright, white interiors and splashes of blue, paintings of pelicans, seagulls and other marine life, and lobster pots for pendant lights. The main courtyard is the place to nab a seat, relaxing with a ‘Patonga margarita’ or a Boathouse signature beer, under Norfolk pines dazzling with festoon lighting.

The Pantry, Forresters Beach

If a low-key peach bellini is on the cards, this little spot tucked away in The Quarters boutique hotel has a sunny patch for you to enjoy just that. Sure, it’s technically a café with an all-day brunch menu but it also has a good selection of cocktails, craft beers and wine to savour in the courtyard under blue-and-white-striped umbrellas with palm trees swaying above in the summer breeze. Join happy hour from 1–3pm on weekends.

The Springs, Peats Ridge

For a complete change of pace, take a drive to the hinterland for a G&T with a country view. The Sitting Duck at The Springs is a relaxed restaurant where country meets contemporary. Its expansive outdoor deck overlooks the beautifully manicured golf course and surrounding rolling hillside of Peats Ridge. The beverage menu comprises a large selection of wine, beer, spirits and signature cocktails, including the myrtle botanist made with lemon myrtle liqueur from the Coast’s own Distillery Botanica.

The BOX on the Water, Ettalong

Happy hour at The BOX is the best time to come for a weekend beverage, not only because the house beers and wines are $6 a glass, but also because it’s around that time the sun begins to dip over Broken Bay. Pull up one of the lounging chairs right on the waterfront for front-row views and order from the Sunset Sips bar menu, which features snacks such as Sydney rock oysters, antipasto and a box of good ol’ fish and chips. Happy hour operates 4–5pm on weekends.



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