Headed to the Central Coast for a break but wanting to get some tasty takeaway options? These six cafes, restaurants and bakeries will keep you well fed with delicious takeaway options. Find out where to buy great coffee, brunch, fresh bread and pastries, burgers, pizza and seafood!
I originally came up with the idea of doing this Central Coast takeaway list because we were enjoying a gorgeous holiday on the Central Coast doing a combination of cooking at our accommodation and going out to get takeaway. I ended up getting so many questions about where I was eating on Instagram that I thought I'd put this list together of the best takeaway that we had.
Looloo's Coffee Shack, Kincumber
About 50 metres from our accommodation at MacMaster's Beach was Looloo's Coffee Shack where Mr NQN would stop by every morning for a coffee. The atmosphere is rustic, a little Byron Bay and the service friendly. The coffee is sustainably sourced from Brazil, Ethiopia and India and roasted in Sydney. At the store you can order coffee as well as buy beans, ground coffee or compostable pods.
Food-wise there are small baked goods and croissants and a couple of savoury options in the form of toasties. While their toasties look kind of regular they're actually delicious and there is a vegetarian and a meat one to choose from. I went with the meat one filled with ham, cheese and a divine chutney and ate it slowly, savouring every crispy bite.
Ham, Cheese and Chutney Toastie $10.90
Burnt Honey Bakery, Copacabana
No matter what time of the day you get to Burnt Honey bakery there's a queue. The bakery is owned by Joanna Fairall and Hayley Thorncraft who met while working at Black Star Pastry and married in 2016. If you want the savouries and breads, these sell out quickest so get there by 10:30am on weekdays to be able to choose from a selection including a pie, pastizzis, savoury Danish or quiche.
Sweet tooths have a choice of apricot crumble brioche, cherry granola muffins or Irish cream financiers. But there's a catch - the most popular sweet is the kouign amann that also sells out very early. BYO coffee cup as they don't use takeaway cups here.
Cabana Café, Copacabana
Brothers Daniel and Josh Duffy Sykes own and run Cabana Cafe on Copacabana Beach where there's a great selection of café brunch items. The two brothers have a fascinating back story as they are the youngest brothers to be fitted with pacemakers due to an inherited condition called SADS (sudden arrhythmic death syndrome) that took their father when they were 10 and 11 years old. Their mother moved her three sons from Newcastle to the Central Coast for a fresh start after he passed away. After high school Daniel worked at Icebergs, Barangaroo House and Estelle and Josh at bars running Pocket Bar in Terrigal but at age 20 and 21 they started to experience heart stoppages and episodes of heart failure. They had pacemakers inserted and moved in together as they looked after each other post surgery.
After that they both worked at Cabana Cafe with Daniel as the chef and Josh as a manager and just over 1 year ago they were offered Cabana Cafe by the owner Brent Devetak. "We thought it was a sign from dad, so we said yes and Cabana cafe was Josh and my first business at 24 and 25 years old." They started over, working with Brent for a year and "It has all paid off for us, we have had an incredible year even though it was in COVID!" says Daniel. This is in spite of the two being part of the 80 year old plus category because of their hearts. Now Daniel works in the kitchen and Josh front of house for 3 days a week and doing paperwork on the other 2 days. "I get paced 5 times in a year, Josh will be paced 15 times a day, which means his pacemaker is jumping in and keeping his heart up to beat. He has a pretty crazy ride every day," says Daniel.
Sweet Chilli Chicken Toastie $15
Much of the cafe is outdoors or you can grab one of the four picnic tables opposite the street on the viewing deck with a great view of Copacabana Beach below. The entire menu is available for takeaway and there's everything from French toast to an extensive savoury menu. The sweet chilli chicken toastie is a must order with toasted La Tartine sourdough, deliciously juicy chicken tenderloins, smashed avocado, spinach, red onion and a melted three cheese mix.
Chicken Burger $18
The corn fritter stack has house made corn fritters with two perfectly poached eggs, delicious halloumi, smashed avocado, cherry tomatoes and hollandaise sauce while Mr NQN loves the Chipotle Chicken burger with buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli served with a generous amount of fries. Oh and the coffee is great but the banana milkshake is divine with plenty of fresh banana and honey.
Corn Fritter Stack $19
Woy Woy Fisherman's Wharf
Seafood and a Central Coast summer is the perfect match. Locals and chefs love Seacoast Fishing in Kincumber - alas they were closed when we were there. Instead we head to the Woy Woy Fishmerman's Wharf takeaway and fresh seafood section for some fresh fish, prawns, oysters and freshly fried fish & chips from their takeaway next door.
We brought back our seafood so that I could make a seafood tower. I made the salmon sashimi into sashimi slices and a ceviche with lime juice, chilli and red onion. The rest I served as is and we ate it with seafood sauce and bread. I wasn't as smitten with the gurnard and chips but the fresh seafood was delicious. Note: WWFW closes at 4pm. Most people eat the fish and chips at the outdoor, undercover standing tables.
Moobi Valley Butchery & Burgers, Berkeley Vale
A butcher shop by day and a burger slinger by night, Moobi Valley Butchery & Burgers is located in Berkeley Vale as well as occasionally popping up at Six Strings Brewery (check ahead of time). This is a butchery known for their dry aged meat so if you're looking to buy supplies for a barbecue, take a peek in their dry ageing fridge. We took the drive to Berkeley Vale and pre-ordered two burgers. Bring your own drinks as there is a very basic drink selection in store.
Two of their most popular burgers are the truffle beef burger and the crispy chicken breast burger both with a perfectly crispy streaky bacon. The prices are good and the portions generous. The truffle beef burger doesn't have much truffle flavour (which comes by the truffle mayo) but is still a solid offering.
Crispy Chicken Burger $15
My favourite is the crispy chicken fillet burger with an oversized deep fried chicken fillet, a soft brioche bun, pickles, sauces and salad. But the surprise favourite and item I couldn't help going back to were the pork belly loaded fries. The fries remain crisp under the chipotle mayo and it is topped with nuggets of caramelised pork belly. Moobi Valley is right near the water on Tuggerah Lake and there is a reserve where you can lay out a picnic blanket.
Pork Belly Loaded Fries $16
Sorrento Pizza, Empire Bay
We tried a few pizzerias while on holiday and while there are some very good pizzas on offer, none thrilled us as much as the pizza at Sorrento Pizzeria in Empire Bay. While pizza toppings are important, nothing varies more than the dough and at Sorrento Pizza they use flour from Italy, filtered water, salt, yeast, olive oil and a family recipe refined over the years to achieve a wonderfully puffy crust. The dough rests for 8 hours at room temperature and then has a 48 hour fermentation in the fridge. The filtered water comes from Mangrove Mountain, a natural spring source. "Most pizzerias who make their own dough use tap water cause it’s convenient and free. The problem is it’s hard water full of fluoride, chlorine chemicals etc. They inhibit yeast reaction. This particular water source also has a high mineral quality and a good ph balance. It’s allowed us to create a more natural tasting pizza base which the natural sugars in the flour to develop. This means a lighter flavour that doesn’t bloat you!" says owner Elia Eliopoulou whose family owned a deli in Marrickville where he grew up.
Sorrento Special Pizza $24
We tried two of their pizzas: the Sorrento Special and the Mushroom Truffle. The Sorrento Special has plenty of pepperoni, pizza sauce, fior di latte cheese with a house made rosemary, honey, and chilli olive oil drizzle that gives it so much depth beyond a typical pepperoni. "When we first opened our doors there was an Anzac memorial in front of us so to honour the area we serve we decided rosemary should appear in our signature pizza. I then added honey from a back yard in MacMasters beach, the bearded honey maker, to give it sweetness, fresh chilli from a house in Booker Bay to give it heat and finally I added extra virgin olive oil for my grandfather who was an olive farmer," explains Elia.
Mushroom and Truffle Pizza $25
The Mushroom Truffle pizza is the pizza that dreams are made of. It is topped with locally grown mushrooms, white truffle paste with extra virgin olive oil and fior di latte cheese. "Our mushrooms for the truffle pizza come from Margin's Mushrooms, an iconic local family producer. The truffle ferments with the extra virgin olive oil for 1 week with sea salt," explains Elia. It's creamy with the puffiest crust and gooiest topping and it has a thin crust and a wonderfully puffy edge that is addictive. The only problem? I tried it on our last night there, otherwise I would have been back to order it again. To order at Sorrento you text their number with your order and they'll text back when you can expect it to be ready. There's also a picnic table at Empire Bay Wharf nearby to eat your pizza.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a favourite place to eat on the Central Coast? Which place appeals to you the most? Do you mostly eat out, get takeaway or cook while on holidays?