What could be better, when it’s cold outside, than strolling five minutes from home to find perfect eggs, pulled pork chimichangas and cups and cups of freshly brewed coffee? Nothing, that’s what, which is why we’ve bought you five of the best local eateries, plus the dishes their chefs swear by. You can thank us later. 


Room Two Ten

Best for: Home-cooked fare and friendly faces.

The vibe: It’s totally iconic, unpretentious and brimming with happy local faces. If you’re not busy striking up a conversation with a regular at the bar or grooving to a great local band, there is a good chance you’re across the hall and settled into
a beaut bottle of red and a hearty meal at Freshies. 

The Harbord Beach Hotel bistro is famous for its seafood platters and there are two fresh deals to choose from. The hot and cold seafood plate ($49) is great value and piled high with salmon, oysters (natural), Crystal Bay prawns, Hervey Bay sea scallops, salt and pepper squid, tempura king prawns and grilled (market) fish plus chips and salad. 

Then there’s the giant seafood platter for two ($125), served with selected shellfish, Sydney rock oysters, Qld king prawns (hot and cold), beer-battered fish and crumbed calamari, chips, fruit and sauces. Whatever you do, make sure you book a whole night out to get through that one.

Other favourites on Freshies extensive menu include the tempura king prawn cutlets (entrée), salt and pepper squid and the classic Hilton wagyu beef burger. The kids will also leave happy with grilled fish, chicken schnitzel, cheeseburger and more, plus free desert during kiddies happy hour (6-7pm). 

With great food, good wine and lots of comfy seating the Hilton is a worthy lunch and dinner destination any day of the week, whether you’re after something relaxed or there’s a special occasion on the calendar. 

Top tip: Two words: Seafood platter. Yes, even in winter!

Chef’s suggestion: “My pick is the Aranchini Balls. An old favourite with great flavours and good texture and who doesn’t love cheese?” Hamilton Gregson, Acting Head Chef


address:
7-10-14 Lawrence Street, Freshwater, 2096 | 9907 2506 

Hours:
Monday – Friday (7am-4pm); Friday to Saturday: 6:30am to 9pm

Harbord Diggers Club

Best for: Tasty home fare cooked to perfection. 

The vibe: With three dining areas to choose from The Diggers will satisfy any craving, any time of the day or night. 

Head to Madigan’s Bar and Grill, for belly-filling meals including burgers, salads, seafood and mains. Even little diggers are catered for. Fresh Café will satisfy your need for a light lunch, with wraps and rolls, and your afternoon sugar craving with coffee and cake. Plus there’s a playroom for the kids so everyone can relax and have fun. The Coffee Spot is on hand to cater for late night needs, with favourites like pizza and chips. 

Things are about to change at the Diggers when renovations kick off later this year for the new development, which will include seniors living and child care facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness club, pool, gym and entertainment venue. The new facilities will rival some of the best in Sydney and The Diggers is set to become our best, newest and true community hub. Here’s to another 85 years. 

Top tip:  We love the Fish Curry as a winter warmer – it’s fragrant and flavoursome, $21 (members).

Chef’s suggestion: “You can’t go past the Surf & Turf! It’s suchgood value for money at only $22 (members).” Peter O’Brien,Catering Manager.


Address:
66-78 Evans St, Freshwater, 2096 | 9938 1444
www.harborddiggers.com.au

Hours:
Madigans Bar & Grill:
Lunch: 11.30am - 2:30pm (Monday – Thursday); 11.30am - 3pm (Friday – Sunday).

Dinner 5pm - 8.30pm (Monday - Thursday & Sunday); 5pm - 9pm (Friday – Saturday); 

Fresh Café:
9am - 9.30pm (everyday)

Harbord Beach Hotel

Best for: Home-cooked fare and friendly faces.

The vibe: It’s totally iconic, unpretentious and brimming with happy local faces. If you’re not busy striking up a conversation with a regular at the bar or grooving to a great local band, there is a good chance you’re across the hall and settled into
a beaut bottle of red and a hearty meal at Freshies. 

The Harbord Beach Hotel bistro is famous for its seafood platters and there are two fresh deals to choose from. The hot and cold seafood plate ($49) is great value and piled high with salmon, oysters (natural), Crystal Bay prawns, Hervey Bay sea scallops, salt and pepper squid, tempura king prawns and grilled (market) fish plus chips and salad. 

Then there’s the giant seafood platter for two ($125), served with selected shellfish, Sydney rock oysters, Qld king prawns (hot and cold), beer-battered fish and crumbed calamari, chips, fruit and sauces. Whatever you do, make sure you book a whole night out to get through that one.

Other favourites on Freshies extensive menu include the tempura king prawn cutlets (entrée), salt and pepper squid and the classic Hilton wagyu beef burger. The kids will also leave happy with grilled fish, chicken schnitzel, cheeseburger and more, plus free desert during kiddies happy hour (6-7pm). 

With great food, good wine and lots of comfy seating the Hilton is a worthy lunch and dinner destination any day of the week, whether you’re after something relaxed or there’s a special occasion on the calendar. 

Top tip: Two words: Seafood platter. Yes, even in winter!

Chef’s suggestion: “My pick is the Aranchini Balls. An old favourite with great flavours and good texture and who doesn’t love cheese?” Hamilton Gregson, Acting Head Chef


address:
29 Moore Road, Freshwater, 2096 | 9905 3434 | www.harbordbeachhotel.com.au 

Hours:
Main Bar
10am till midnight 7 days a week

Bistro
Lunch Monday – Friday
12pm - 2.30pm
Sat and Sun 12pm - 3pm    

Dinner
Monday – Thursday6pm - 9pm
Fri and Sat 6pm - 9.30pm    
Sun 5.30pm – 8.30pm    

Bottleshop
Sun - Tues 10am – 9pm    
Weds & Thurs 10am – 9.30pm    
Fri & Sat 10am – 10pm

Calm Café

Best for: Tacos by the beach

The vibe: At the end of last year this hot spot was taken over by new management and Calm Café was born. The excellent makeover, by Cedric LePage and his wife Carol-Lee, has turned this business into a slick and professionally run café, with tasty treats we adore. Finally, a great eatery that does justice to its fabulous location. 

Bay coffee, raw organic bars and delicious hot lunches aside, CalmCafés new Mexican menu is what is really starting to turn heads and tickle taste buds. The pulled pork chimichanga, with tomatillo and sour cream, fish tacos and chicken burritos feature high on our list of must-tries and capture this cultural delicacy in its true spirit.

Whether the sun’s shining or the rain falls down outside this hub by the beachside is the kind of place we love to watch the world go by. Do yourself a favour and treat yourself to some delicious Mexican grub.

Top tip: Come for the location, stay for the food. Magnificent.

Chef’s suggestion: “Our best dish is the Fish Taco. It’s nice, fresh and light with a bit of a kick and only $16.50.” Florian Timm, Head Chef


address:
37 Moore Road, Freshwater, 2096 8021 5583 | cafecalm.com.au

Hours:
Monday – Sunday 6am to 4pm

Dinner
Thursday, Friday & Saturday:
5pm – 9pm

JC’s Pizza

Best for: Friday night dinner out with the family.

The vibe: If a good atmosphere, excellent food and reasonable prices are what you’re after, JC’s Pizza Café has the trifecta. Located in the Harbord Bowling and Recreation Club this hidden gem offers a huge variety of traditional and gourmet pizzas, pastas and salads. 

JC’s is a family-run business and food is prepared daily on the premises. With a sister café in Elanora it’s a privilege to have this pizza den so close to home. On Friday nights you’ll find it packed to the rafters with local families – kids having a ball, while parents unwind with a well-earned, end-of-week drink. 

JC’s caters for all tastes and if it’s too wet to head out you can also order online. They do half-half pizzas and with popular flavours like the Rio, Sumo and the Michael Angelo you might find you’ll be back for seconds.

Top tip: This is a great spot for a private party, especially during winter. There’s plenty of space, great catering and the room hire is free! (No 18th or 21st) 

Chef’s suggestion: “Johnny’s Special is easily our most popular and boys love the meat lovers!”  Silvana Vescio, Owner


address:
Harbord Bowling Club, Bennett Street, Freshwater 2096 |
9939 9744 | www.jcspizza.com.au

Hours:
Open seven days a week. Monday to Friday (5pm-9pm); Saturday and Sunday (3-9pm). Closed Mondays during winter.

Posted
AuthorMegan Vickery - COVERED. Magazine