Between the beach, the bars and that photogenic pool, it’s easy to see why Bondi in summer is so popular. But winters – even chilly ones – hardly dampen the views or the vibe. We’ve rounded up a handful of new and reimagined places that are ready to welcome you warmly with great food and drinks.
Image credit: Craig Wall
Lola’s Italian & Bar1/5
Restaurateur Marco Ambrosino has switched the food brief and moniker at Lola’s Level 1 from Mediterranean cuisine to classic Italian food and wine at Lola’s Italian & Bar. Named after his daughter, the restaurant envelops you as soon as you enter with panoramic views of the beach, while head chef Toby Stansfield (formerly of Fabbrica) whips up semolina spaghetti with vongole and ‘nduja, king prawn risotto, vitello tonnato and cotoletta Milanese. Venue manager Mon Ditbunjong is also the sommelier and is only too happy to be guided by your tastes. But if supping on silky spaghetti and cabernet while gazing at the winter moon is not your thing or if you want to make it a day out with the kids, there’s also a Pranzo Pronto three-course lunch special for $49 per person from Thursday to Sunday between 12pm and 4pm.
Image credit: Christian Michael
If you prefer your Italian in morsels instead of big dishes then Makaveli has your name on it. The cosy curbside eatery is an ideal place to go before a big night out (or in). It’s the first venture from head bartender Phill Cooke (former Milpa Collective area manager) and Jacob Hill (ex-Cali Press area manager). Enjoy small plates of burrata, kingfish crudo and stracciatella di bufala from head chef Jessica Young, who earned her stripes in Michelin-recognised venues in Scotland, London and Sydney. Swing by for a coffee and bite for breakfast or enjoy twilight with an Elderflower Spritz or Strawberry Negroni. Wine more your thing? Have a sip of the Grant Burge Barossa Ink Shiraz and the Lowe Mudgee White Gold Chardonnay.
Image credit: Jake Scevola
It’s not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Harris Farm Market at Bondi Beach but tucked away above the fruit and vegetables store is a snug little Mexican cocktail bar zinging with mint décor accents and spicy dishes. But when you think about it, the ingredients used in the Baja fish, blackened salmon taco and grilled octopus tacos are so fresh, it’s fitting that fruit and veg are just downstairs. The eatery’s twists on the classics are easily paired with – what else? – a thoroughly researched list of agave spirits and mescals. The entirely original cocktail menu is led by Luna Ercoli, who is also head bartender at the recently launched Bar Lucia in Potts Point. Taqiza is the perfect hangout after shopping or before a stroll on the beach.
Image credit: Leigh Griffiths
Translating as “charcoal” from Spanish, this newly opened Mexican venue in South Bondi focuses on wood-fired dishes, including roasted lamb shoulder barbacoa with adobo, chickpeas, habanero pickled onions and plenty of tortillas or enjoy crispy potato and quesillo taquitos with cos lettuce, crème fraîche, fresco cheese and guachilli. It’s a menu designed to be shared among friends who are after a chilled-out, fun-loving vibe.