As the mercury rises, icy cold drinks are consumed watching the sun turn pink in a perfect Summer sky and thoughts turn to sizzling meat and refreshing desserts.
Rooftop bars around the country are inundated on lazy Sunday afternoons as we take advantage of everything the season has to offer – sun, heat and more sun! Those with pools become overnight neighbourhood sensations, inviting friends and family to float their way through the weekend in a haze of food, drink and good times.
It’s the ideal time to head for air-conditioned comfort at one of our favourite restaurants, where menus turn to light, delicious fare to suit the season and temperature.
A classic that never goes out of fashion in Summer, Smashed Avo at John Kyle Espresso.
Summer Dining in Coolum Beach and Buderim:
Soak up seaside dining at its best with oceanfront views of Coolum Beach at My Place on David Low Way. Sip a cheeky cocktail created by some of the Sunshine Coast’s best mixologists while chilling out on the deck or dine indoors where a myriad of dangling globes cast a soft glow over table settings. Perhaps share Andalusian-style paella, with fresh local seafood, tomato sugo and rice; or steamed black mussels in white wine, tomato, a hint of chilli and fresh herbs.
Join Buderim locals appeasing a caffeine fix and catch up with friends at John Kyle Espresso on Main Street. A minimalistic interior vibe of whitewashed walls adorned with eclectic artwork, comfy chairs and potted plants set a leisurely vibe or sit alfresco and people watch while pondering an all-day brunch menu – ideal for lazy Summer days. Take your tastebuds to heaven with pulled lamb, beetroot hummus, caramelised onion and goats’ cheese on toast, or perhaps smashed avocado.
Try something Southern this Summer, like this traditional Louisiana Creole at Steamers Bar and Grill.
Summer Feasts in Wollongong, Crows Nest, Warriewood, Woollahra, Byron Bay, North Steyne, Umina Beach and Thirroul:
A smart blue and white nautical theme, with hanging brass lanterns and blond wood furniture evokes memories of Summer oceanside holidays at Steamers Bar and Grill on Marine Drive in Wollongong. Succulent seafood and sparkling sea views make this an ideal spot to sip a glass of wine while enjoying lunch on the terrace with City Beach and Wollongong Lighthouse on the horizon; perhaps try seared salmon with saffron lobster bisque and blue swimmer crab ravioli.
Summer holidays call for burgers and you can't beat these cheeseburgers at Johnny Bird!
Sit alfresco on cheery yellow chairs and soak up the Sydney Summer sun while enjoying a cold brew at Johnny Bird on Willoughby Road in Crows Nest. This American-style diner makes a bold statement with vibrant red walls dominated by a neon sign of a rooster, while the menu is all about chicken – those feeling peckish can dive into a Buffalo Blue burger with fried chicken, Nashville hot sauce, blue cheese, celery and lettuce, with sweet potato fries as a wingman.
The avo is back in this Avocado Burger at Sunrise Cafe.
Just steps away from the glistening shores of Warriewood Beach, join a crowd of cruisy locals kicking back with friends on the alfresco deck at Sunrise Café on Narrabeen Park Parade. Head to this neighbourhood hangout and watch the dazzling colours as the Summer sun peeks above the horizon and tuck into a Sunrise green bowl of rocket, baby spinach, avocado, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, feta, balsamic reduction and poached eggs.
Summer plates at LUXE.
Nestled within the salmon pink surrounds of historic Queens Court, Sydneysiders gather for decadent food and velvety coffee at Luxe Woollahra on Queen Street. Bringing celebrities and locals together with their furry friends over a creative Mod Oz menu, sit alfresco in a charming courtyard and savour Summer dishes such as zesty poached chicken salad, rocket, salsa verde, avocado, green beans, lemon dressing and Parmesan; washed down with a chilled a glass of white wine.
Summer parties at Beef & Beach Byron Bay aren't complete without gorgeous cocktails!
Nothing says Summer more than Byron Bay with its iconic dining strip on Jonson Street housing great venues like Beef & Beach restaurant. Inspired by New York steakhouses of the 1950s, Beef & Beach serves up a coastal vibe of natural timbers, antique brass and polished concrete; while two balconies offer the chance to soak up the sun and balmy breezes while delving into Josper-grilled kangaroo loin fillet, served medium rare with a garden salad and kipfler potatoes.
A little heat to match the Summer heat at Jose Jones with this spiced potato hash with bake apple.
Just metres from the beach with the ocean on one side and rising cliffs on the other, Jose Jones on Lawrence Hargrave Drive in Thirroul draws the outside in, enticing guests to sit back, relax and enjoy watching the world pass by from a sunny alfresco spot. Indoors is bright and breezy with cacti adorning windowsills, worn brick walls and a well-stocked bar promising icy cocktails to accompany plates like sticky pork belly sliders, with pickled red onion and apple slaw on a milk bun.
Inspired by coastal surrounds and produce harvested from local farms, Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk in the Peninsula Recreation Precinct offers an abundance of space to unwind, just a few steps away from the sandy dunes of Umina Beach. A light and airy vibe with a palette of cooling greys and concrete floors make an ideal ambience to escape Summer heat while sipping a cold one and wrapping your hands around a Wagyu beef burger with pickles, relish, aioli, onion jam and cheddar.
Breakfast Bruschetta is perfect for Summer at Primary @ Pioneers Park.
Dine Summer-style in Berwick, Ivanhoe, Sassafras and Prahran:
Bi-fold doors open onto an alfresco patio where chilling under architectural umbrellas and café blinds is invited, at Primary @ Pioneers Park on Peel Street in Berwick. Heritage meets modern at this Federation-style family-friendly café housed in an old school building, which oozes shabby chic charm with polished wood tables, greenery and bright cushions, to set the scene for Summer tempters like a crispy fried chicken bao with Asian pickles, shallots, spring onions and chilli mayo.
Aqua blue walls covered with fishing nets and wooden tables set with bright gerberas, lure guests to linger over Australian seafood and a large salad bar at Theo’s Fish Bar on Upper Heidelburg Road in Ivanhoe. Sustainable, fresh fish and gluten-free batter make Theo’s the ideal spot to hang out on a hot Summer’s day and chow down on grilled salmon, salad, lemon and tartar sauce; or grab a Hawaiian pack of fish, chips, potato cake and pineapple fritter to go and picnic with the family.
Taste the ocean with this octopus, garlic and chilli infused EVOO dish at Mr Hoddle.
Those visiting the Prahran market on a Summer’s day need not travel far for delicious food, drink and good vibes with Mr Hoddle right next door on Commercial Road. The ideal hangout for life’s uninterrupted moments, Mr Hoddle sets a sleek tone with matte black furniture, open kitchen window and potted palms; take a seat with a glass of Pinot Grigio and delve into pan-seared salmon, baby spinach, mint and lemon zest, orange and almond salad and pomegranate coulis.
Indulge Summer appetites with a taste of Modern Australian cuisine in the heart of the Yarra Valley at Dine Divine on Mt Dandenong Tourist Road in Sassafras. Retaining its former glory as a rural church with arched stained-glass windows and dark polished wood floors, inside is cool and calm during warm weather – or dine alfresco on medallions of seared eye fillet, house potatoes, seasonal vegetables, salsa verde and red wine jus.
Fine Summer dining of pan-seared duck breast, wild fish ceviche and Tasmanian Pacific Oysters at Pearl + Co.
Hobart Summer Feasting Spots:
Relax on the sunny deck to enjoy oysters, drinks and views at the stunning waterfront bar and restaurant Pearl + Co on Victoria Dock in Hobart. Floor-to-ceiling adjustable windows allow you to watch boats glide into moor at the marina as Summer breezes cool the air while sipping a chilled Margarita and sharing salt and lemon pepper squid, salad, lime and coriander aioli. Beer battered fish, chunky chips, salad and tartar sauce may tempt, before a cooling dessert of lemongrass crème brulee.
Can't beat smoked salmon, enjoy at Hustle Coffee Co.
Celebrate Summer in Stirling and Hyde Park:
A modern vibe, reflecting simpler days with accents you would find in your grandfather’s shed-like timber racks, assorted tools and plants await Summer diners at Patch Kitchen & Garden on Mount Barker Road in Stirling. Nestled in a handsome old villa with a rich history dating back to 1885 when it was Stirling’s original Post Office and general store, this café beckons as a leisurely Summer brunch spot to enjoy housemade waffles, fruit, cream, maple syrup and caramelised crispy coconut.
Filled with a lively vibe of locals intent on a specialty coffee and delicious Summer brunch, Hustle Coffee Co. on King William Road in Hyde Park focuses on using locally sourced and free-range produce. This café embraces an earthy vibe with exposed brick walls and comfy couches to relax on while sipping a latte or take a seat at bench tables alfresco under bright red umbrellas to indulge in a Bacon Me Crazy bagel with crispy bacon, smashed avo and cream cheese.
Still looking for Summer feasting spots near you? Check out these restaurants with alfresco dining and water views.