The ultimate guide to the best cafes in Cronulla, the beach-chic suburb in the Sutherland Shire.
The best of Cronulla’s cafes offer a range of diverse experiences, from toes-in-the-sand ristrettos at sunrise to a long brunch that turns into lunch. There’s been a quiet shift in the Sutherland Shire locale over the past few decades and the suburb is now known for more than its perennial good looks and lifestyle.
Start your day right with a walk along Cronulla Esplanade followed by breakfast.
Many young people who upped sticks to travel have returned to the Shire, finding their rhythm and adding impetus to the area by opening new bars, cafes, boutiques and restaurants (we’ve got 13 of the best restaurants listed here). Whether you’re in the mood for smashed avo on toast, eggs cooked your way, or pancakes with perfect views, here are some of the best cafes to enjoy them at in Cronulla.
1. Nun’s Pool, Cronulla
The Nun’s Pool is one of the Shire’s OGs. The beautiful sunny space remains an exciting spot to brunch or lunch decades after it first opened. The light-filled restaurant was given a facelift by local lass Sonya Kritzler, of Kritzler+LInk, who has given it a more contemporary feel. The eatery is only open for breakfast and lunch and is popular for weddings and special occasions. Get the Nuns Spicy Big Boy burger, or the chilli fried eggs with roasted chilli, charred corn and goat’s cheese. The eatery is located toward the end of the South Cronulla peninsula, away from the main hub.
Best for: Chilli fried eggs. Drool.
Address: 103 Ewos Parade, Cronulla.
2. Grind Espresso
Cronulla’s cult cafe Grind is the one most locals would take visitors to in order to show off the suburb’s specialty caffeine credentials. The latest incarnation of Richard Calabro’s award-winning cafe is the kind of place where you can down an espresso at the bar, or pause over the communal countertop near the footpath to froth over your latte art. The cafe has all the gear – AeroPresses, siphons etc. – and single O beans on rotation.
Best for: Double espressos and a croissant.
Address: 14-16/2 Surf Rd, Cronulla
Get your caffeine fix at Grind Espresso.
3. Blackwood Cronulla
Blackwood has been a hit since opening its doors in a graffiti-clad lane in 2017. Chef Rob Lechowicz spent the best part of a decade working in Michelin-starred restaurants before returning to the Sutherland Shire to open the cafe. These days, Blackwood Cronulla is considered one of Sydney’s best places for brunch. Design firm Luchetti Krelle is behind the somewhat Brutalist interiors, which have been softened with pastel hues, timber tones and moody lighting. It’s mobbed by locals and in-the-know weekenders for its coffee and dishes like truffled chilli scrambled eggs.
Best for: Truffled chilli scrambled eggs.
Address: 5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla
Blackwood Cronulla is a comfortable place to linger over breakfast or brunch.
4. Next Door
The little sister eatery to Sealevel is literally next door to the landmark seafood restaurant. Next Door is run by the next-gen members of the Allouche family who grew up waiting tables at Sealevel. and is a popular place to enjoy brunch, lunch or an early wine-down dinner. Next Door has views of local surf break, The Alley, and for that reason is popular with young surfers who converge here post-surf on Sundays to listen to live music and down cocktails. There’s no better place to get a sense of Cronulla’s laidback seaside holiday village vibe than over a plate of crumbed flathead tacos and char-grilled octopus.
Best for: Getting the gang together for a Sunday brunch that turns into a session.
Address: 2/4-6 Kingsway, Cronulla
Enjoy eggs on sourdough and specialty coffee at Next Door Cronulla.
5. Sixsmith Cronulla
Any cafe that ranks on a list of Australia’s best cheese toasties is worthy of inclusion in a round-up of Cronulla’s best cafes. Sixsmith Cafe is the little neighbourhood cafe that could. It’s where you see local Shoes surfers such as Johnno and Fez waxing lyrical about the latest Sandshoes Boardrider’s comp. Or members of the Jellybeans swimming group warming up over rounds of coffee. The pet-friendly cafe is located on the South Cronulla peninsula, away from all the crazy summer crowds and chaos. There are take-home meals in the fridge and a pantry of gourmet items to pick up for a beach picnic.
Best for: Sausage rolls and cheese toasties.
Address: 143-145 Ewos Parade, Cronulla
Sixsmith Cafe in Cronulla sources much of its produce from the garden.
HAM is an acronym for the names of brothers and owners Harry and Mario Kapoulas. Although it’s not the new kid on the block, HAM is one of the best as testified by its enduring popularity. Trendy new apartment blocks surround the cafe where the clientele ranges from former stars of The Bachelor, and Big Brother, to past and present NRL legends. Pick up some cheeses from the cabinet, or fresh paninis. Scoop up a pastry to enjoy with coffee. All in a truly pleasurable environment. Oh, and ask for a Freddo. It’s like an espresso martini without liquor.
Best for: Frothing on a Freddo and a panini. Grab a loaf of Infinity sourdough to go.
Address: Shop 3/17 Gerrale St, Cronulla
7. Pilgrim’s Cronulla
Pilgrim’s won hearts in Cronulla from the get-go when it gave some love to a tired old Art Deco building and transformed it into an enchanting place to eat. Basically, Pilgrim’s is legendary in vegetarian circles all the way down to the South Coast thanks to the chefs who love to carve up vegetarian dishes in good-sized portions. It’s more bona fide boho than Om Shanti chic. The meat-free Mexican nights are also a must from Thursday-Saturday for both vegetarians and carnivores. Licensed for wine only.
Best for: Bliss Burger for breakfast or brunch.
Address: 97 Gerrale St, Cronulla