Sydney Eat Street: Watsons Bay

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WELL before it became a tourism highlight with epic ocean views from The Gap and Sydney’s skyline the beach, Watsons Bay, an isolated area in South head, was Australia’s first fishing village and subsequently, in 1885 home to the first seafood restaurant.

Take a tour of the area’s best eateries right here with The Sunday Telegraph’s Eat Street. Are you hungry for more inspiration? Follow us on Instagram


IN THE “good old days”, before there were fast food outlets and home delivery services, milk bars were commonplace in almost every Sydney suburb.

Watsons Bay was no different with its Milk Bar & General Store serving milkshakes to kids and adults alike for more than 60 years.

Milk Bars turned into convenience stores and the romance slowly faded, but five years ago Con Georgiou took over the store, determined to pay homage to those origins by restoring elements such as the beautiful old bar, striped awnings and iconic 1940s art deco signage.

With love and labour, Con has brought them into the 21st century with a tasteful contemporary approach, substituting the bright mismatched colours with a sleek black and white scheme, adding impressive touches such as bespoke wooden doors and a burgundy woven Turkish rug at the entrance.

It’s literally picture perfect as evidenced by the fashion and wedding photo shoots on site. But the most radical of changes was the introduction of stellar coffee and a made-to-order cafe style menu including burgers, salads and the delicious Cuban sandwich.

Drop in for a bite and a cuppa and you’ll see why locals and visitors alike have made this Watsons Bay institution a regular stop.

— 10 Military Rd


EVERY vantage point along the South Head Heritage Trail offers a stunning view of the ocean, but the truly magical moment is when you emerge from the path and come upon the wonderfully secluded Camp Cove beach.

Rather than just taking a selfie and moving on, linger a bit longer over a light breakfast of boiled eggs, labne, avocado and beetroot sauerkraut or turmeric chicken sandwich for lunch plus fresh juices and stellar Allpress Espresso coffee served up with the wonderfully relaxed yet efficient service at the Camp Cove Kiosk.

For 35 years, this little brick structure was strictly utilitarian, serving up potted coffee and store bought sangers, that is until this past September when Omer and Michelle Farhy breathed fresh life into it, adding a small cafe menu and decorative touches reminiscent of a fishing village yet somehow reflecting the tranquillity of the location.

Even the reggae music and classic tunes playing in the background bow respectfully to the sounds to the ocean, practically inviting you to enjoy a cuppa while burying your feet in the sand.

— 36 Cliff St


BORN into a family of restaurateurs, co-owner Peter Tressos opened his first restaurant at 26 and had set himself up with a successful place in the CBD, but the call from Watsons Bay was too strong and he eventually brought a bit of the Mediterranean to the top of Sydney Harbour.

Nautica delivers the rustic look of the Greek Islands with its white wooden furniture, teal and blue stemware plus floor to ceiling glass windows that flood the place with light and look out towards the bridge.

It’s not just the look of the Mediterranean here as Nautica delivers a fabulous Greek menu including the roasted shoulder of lamb, a generous portion of slow-cooked Riverine lamb so tender you can cut it with a knife.

— 27 Military Rd


THERE are seafood restaurants and then there is Doyles on the Beach, essentially the one that started it all.

As Australia’s oldest seafood restaurant in Australia’s oldest fishing village, it opened its doors in 1885 to serve both residents and visitors who came to Watsons Bay to escape the chaos of the city.

The Doyles empire, which is in part credited with bringing Sydney seafood to the global stage, has been in the family for five generations.

Its mainstay, Doyles on the Beach in Watsons Bay is literally on the beach and it continues to be a reprieve for both local and international tourists.

The always popular, and plentiful seafood platter is piled high with prawns, crab, salt & pepper calamari, house-smoked salmon and more.

For the perfect meal, add a glass of crisp white wine. The awe-inspiring sunsets are complimentary

— 11 Marine Parade (on the foreshore)


SUNNIES on, oysters shucked and a Pimms cocktail in hand. A perfect vision for a lazy afternoon and one that defines the Watsons Bay Hotel’s Beach Club.

Take a seat at one of the picnic-style tables under large blue and white striped umbrellas or for something cosier, a high top closer to the foreshore.

While the view of the cityscape is stunning, the menu is equally impressive with a high-end approach to bistro fare where the classics have been re-imagined with the finesse, quality and creativity befitting this elegant yet welcoming beachside eatery — think sliders but with soft shell crab or a rocket salads but with crispy porchetta.

The salmon crudo is a piece of art itself with the raw, smoked roe served in a glass with lettuce leaf cups atop a bed of crushed ice.

Food so good, you might just have to remind yourself to look at the view.

— 1 Military Rd



YOUR first point of call after disembarking from the ferry should be lunch right there on the wharf.

It’s takeaway food that offers alfresco tables or grab a grassy spot at nearby Robertson Park and enjoy your seafood picnic.

— Doyles on the Wharf, Watsons Bay Ferry Wharf


THE inspiring seasonal dishes on both the breakfast and lunch menus reflect the elegant heritage of this refurbished 1830s Georgian mansion that looks out onto the Sydney Harbour.

— Dunbar House, 9 Marine Pde


BEFORE the hot sand and soaring temperatures ruin your day, save yourself with a cone and a cold scoop of Death by Chocolate gelato from this cute and cheery ice cream cart.

Golden domed lids cover the eight different flavours including peanut butter delight and lamington, all just waiting to come to the rescue.

— Watsons Ice Cream, Watsons Bay Ferry Wharf foreshore


WHEN a pizza craving strikes, set the salads aside and think about the big picture — thick or thin crust? Double cheese or extra pepperoni? Or just go with the Neapolitan classic with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.

— Tucker Bar, 14-16 Military Rd


FINDING an eatery that is both kid-friendly and serves up more that toasted soldiers is child’s play at this beachfront cafe.

There’s an enclosed play area for the young ones and for the mature palette, dishes that range from seasonal fruit salads to soft shell crabs.

— Watsons Bay Tea Garden Cafe, 8 Marine Pde

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