pastry selection bouffant_Shan Rose Photography
pastry selection bouffant_Shan Rose Photography

Open for Business: 11 New Places to Explore on the Central Coast

Published on 27 Aug 2020

Visit an unexplored town to tour beyond your routine. Try a new menu sourced from our hinterland. A new beachside venue. Studies show the more often you try something new, the greater your levels of happiness and motivation to explore! Exploring something new could be as easy as taking a last-minute road trip to the Central Coast.

To help your planning, we’ve collected a handful of tempting new cafés, restaurants, bars and exciting drawcards that launched in our region recently. Each venture has opened for business despite the challenges of this year. We’re inspired – but we’re also hungry! Let’s dive into what’s new in the local Coastie scene…

Sweet treat pick-me-up at Bouffant, Gosford

Experience the Willy Wonka-esque vibes of Bouffant in one of Gosford city’s heritage listed buildings. Step inside to inspect the huge array of sweet, freshly baked pastries lined up in neat rows (choosing just one is impossible!). Bouffant launched late July, with delicately handmade cakes, croissants, snails, muffins, cruffins, pastel de natas and doughnuts alongside quality coffee. Promising “fluffy goodness” to everyone who wanders in, this new project is led by Andrew Mansfield and in-house Spanish patisserie chef, Markus (the talent behind Ooomph and The Bakery at East Gosford).

A great feature of this new pretty-in-pink spot on the Central Coast is the fact it’s open from 6am to 6pm, every day of the week!

DON’T MISS: Their $5 Coffee and Croissant Deal

Discover more about Bouffant or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

box of fresh pastries
Image: Shan Rose Photography

 

Artisan produce at Young Barons Food Store, Woy Woy

The Central Coast hospitality industry has no doubt suffered in the unfolding pandemic, causing many customer-facing businesses to close their doors. However, several of our restaurants made an innovative transition from dine-in to takeaway-only. A great example of this resilience is Young Barons restaurant in the town of Woy Woy. Recently relaunching as ‘Young Barons Food Store’, the owners have created a European-inspired shopfront serving the same delicious housemade pasta (including nonna-style lasagne), and gelato that has gained them a reputation on the Coast. The store also sells a selection of small producer wines, alongside essential pantry products. This new daytime setup means you can now stop by for a casual breakfast, brunch or quality coffee, as they are just a few minutes from Woy Woy train station.

If you’re passing through on your drive to the Peninsula, Umina Beach, or over Mt Ettalong to Pearl Beach or Patonga for the weekend, pluck a few favourites from Young Barons Food Store shelves to fill your bnb cupboards with some delicious essentials.

DON’T MISS:  Their housemade Tiramisu.

Discover more about Young Barons or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

spaghetti

 

Wellbeing meets coffee at Slowwell, Ettalong

One of the newest additions to the Ettalong independent shopping scene is Slowwell, a welcoming space designed to help you find calm amid the chaos. Slowwell is part café, part bookshop, part wellbeing practice. The creative venture launched mid August, led by duo Germán, a passionate coffee brewer and industrial designer from Colombia who calls the Central Coast home, alongside Dani, a psychotherapist and coach originally from Perth who feels the Coast lifestyle and community is a reminder of her west coast home. By offering ‘slow brew’ coffee alongside a curated range of self care books and relaxed therapy services, Slowwell is bringing creativity, conversation and play to Ettalong – which is hugely valuable right now.

Pair your visit with a browse of nearby Feather & Seed Lifestyle, Bay Gallery or Amour Fashion.

DON’T MISS:  Their “slow brew” batchy while browsing beautiful books.

Discover more about Slowwell or follow them on Instagram.

cafe book store at ettalong
Image: Danielle Hanrahan

 

Hole foods at Daily Dough Co. in Wyong

Obsessed with sweet treats? Add this place to your Central Coast bucket list. Following its grand opening in late July, Daily Dough Co. serve up a mouth-watering collection of fresh ‘hole foods’ each morning, alongside milkshakes and coffee. Based at Wyong Milk Factory, just five minutes off the M1, the team’s mission is to share their passion for fresh doughies made with the finest ingredients to champion the number one place for doughnuts on the Central Coast. Don’t sleep in – their freshly baked daily selection is only available from 9am until sold out.

While visiting, you can also pop into Little Creek Cheese and Luka Chocolates next door to stock up on more delicious, locally-made produce.

DON’T MISS: Their popular 'crackable' crème brûlée doughnut.

Discover more about Daily Dough Co at Wyong Milk Factory, or follow them on Instagram.

daily dough co
Image: SLS Management

 

Tour from point A to Plan Bee at Hardys Bay

The Lucky Bee’s newest concept has emerged under this year’s restrictive environment, aptly called ‘Plan Bee’. Restaurateurs Matty Bennett (of The Fat Radish NYC), and partner Rupert Noffs first introduced their New York energy to the Central Coast when opening The Lucky Bee doors in 2018, offering Hardys Bay residents a superbly fresh menu of Asian flavours including Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese. Fast forward to 2020 and COVID-19 hits. The pair pivot their business on the Coast, creating a daytime café serving traditional takeaway Asian-street food alongside local coffee from Glee Coffee Roasters, nitro cold brew and cold pressed juices. Plan Bee launched in August as a ‘hole in the wall’ style Asian café offering the same incredible panoramic view of Brisbane Water as their restaurant, adapted to a different outlook for the year ahead.

If you’re nearby visiting Bouddi National Park, Plan Bee is an ideal pit-stop on your Central Coast adventure.

DON’T MISS: Freshly made Báhn Mì (authentic Vietnamese baguette).

Discover more about Plan Bee or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

new plan bee cafe
Image: Plan Bee / The Lucky Bee

 

Italian pantry essentials from Rhonda’s Deli, Terrigal

One of Terrigal Beach’s stylish rooftop venues for unique cocktails and sea views has just launched a small-scale deli on the side (literally on the side of its restaurant). Complementing their regular wood fired pizza and pasta menu, Rhonda’s Terrigal now offer fresh, takeaway food and coffee via their hole-in-the-wall deli, available from 630am Thursday through to Sunday. You’ll find the new deli located at the ground floor deck of their restaurant, serving up Rhonda’s homemade grab-and-go style pantry items including pastries, pastas, chutneys, preserves and bread, plus prebatched cocktails. Simply pop your head in the window any time after sunrise and grab some goodies to go.

Combine a morning trip to Terrigal with a whale watching expedition courtesy of Terrigal Ocean Tours, wander to the Haven, or attempt the steep climb up the Skillion for amazing coastal views.

DON’T MISS:  Their 100% handmade pasta sauces available in the deli.

Discover more about Rhonda's Deli or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

deli cafe at terrigal
Image: Shannon Wappet

 

Pacific views and pizza at Johnny Tapas, Norah Head

To the north of the Central Coast near charming Frank Lifestyle Boutique, you'll find the foodie gem – Johnny Tapas. This classy joint serves creative tapas, tacos and woodfired pizza in the heart of Norah Head. After the grand opening of their restaurant in mid-March this year, you can imagine the early challenges they faced as a business shortly after launching. Now – they’re back to kick some tapas! Offering takeaway and delivery from a fresh, new menu launched in July, the trio owners Justin, Mel and Ryan have created a venue for everyone to enjoy good food and great company. Highlights of their modern Australian take on tapas include pumpkin, feta and pine nut arancini balls, lemon curd calamari, and tempura prawn tacos with horseradish aioli.

If you’ve spent a day exploring the local Norah Head Lighthouse and rockpools, or hiking through Wyrrabalong National Park, this may be the perfect place to wind down for your evening.

DON’T MISS: Sunset at their bifold windows with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.

Discover more about Johnny Tapas or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

johnny tapas front entrance

 

No fuss feed at The Hot Chook Shop, Ettalong

Travel to USA’s Louisiana… via Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast. Take your tastebuds on a little adventure courtesy of Osteria il Coccia’s new project – The Hot Chook Shop. Launching in June, the casual dining experience serves up hot, fried chicken in a signature crispy, Louisiana-inspired style. Baskets of chicken are made to order including tenders, wings or drumsticks, plus the vegetarian option of cauliflower with a side of aioli potato salad. Ordering etiquette is simple: you pick the heat, with one option being “this is mental heat”. To cool down there’s doughnut ice cream and caramel sauce. Restaurant owners Alexandra and Nicola Coccia have literally sliced their existing premium Italian restaurant at Galleria Ettalong in two, creating a smart-casual spot on the Peninsula to enjoy fancy fried chicken – dine-in or takeaway – alongside a bottle of boutique wine or local beer from Six String Brewery.

DON’T MISS: Grab a seat and photo under their epic chicken wall mural.

Discover more about The Hot Chook Shop or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

interior chicken shop mural
Image: Isaac Tseng

 

Nut out life with The Pecan Lady Farmstay, Somersby

Thinking of exploring the Central Coast Hinterland or Somersby Falls? Just three minutes’ drive off the Gosford M1 Exit is a unique farmstay experience – and it’s hidden among 400 pecan trees! On a peaceful, rural property in Somersby, The Pecan Lady experience is more than a working pecan orchard originally planted in the 80s – it’s your chance to immerse yourself in nature for the weekend. The property and orchard span 22 acres and now offer on-site accommodation to guests seeking a New South Wales staycation with a difference. Guests are welcomed into modern, fully-equipped rooms with picturesque views of the dam, featuring its own jetty. Included is a bbq and outdoor firepit with log seating where you can roast marshmallows as the sun sets. Come misty morning, awake with the orchard and surrounding hinterland at your feet to explore!

An abundance of local animals frequent this farmstay, including a family of deer, ducks and the owner’s friendly dogs. To meet more wildlife while visiting the Coast, the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is just around the corner, offering ranger talks daily.

DON’T MISS: Capture a spectacular sunrise or sunset during your stay.

Discover more about The Pecan Lady or follow them on Instagram and Facebook

pecan orchard
Image: Madeline Stratford

 

Good times at Sweet Caroline, East Gosford

For a welcome dose of old school nostalgia, abundant indoor plants and casual foodie menu – add Sweet Caroline to your Central Coast checklist. Once you spot the large, pink neon sign from the street (designed by Tuggerah-based business Kings of Neon), enter via a vibrantly decorated outdoor, undercover courtyard until you’re welcomed by a wall of mismatched photo frames. These feature flashbacks of ye olde Gosford, including an old shot of Ploddy the Dinosaur (if you don’t know who Ploddy is, you’re overdue a trip to the Australian Reptile Park). Launching late August, Sweet Caroline is a “vibing” cafe bar thoughtfully decorated with locally sourced pieces from vintage stores and charity op shops including Interior Wise, Lifeline East Gosford and the Salvos. A much-needed relaxed space created to help you stay social and share good times.

DON’T MISS: Their signature blend of coffee, Mojo, (100% organic certified).

Discover more about Sweet Caroline or follow them on Instagram and Facebook

bar interior
Image: Eliza Benvenuto

 

Craft Beer and Natural Wine at Lords of Pour, Ettalong  

The Peninsula’s daytime café with a friendly-punk attitude, Lords of Pour on Ettalong’s main strip, is well-known among locals. By serving “killer brews and awesome chews”, they saw us through the last few months with their adapted takeaway options – and now they’ve launched a unique side project. Behind the bustle of their punk-pink coffee shop now exists a craft beer and natural wine wonderland, plus specialist merchandise tees for sale. The thoughtfully curated collection began in June and is constantly evolving, with the Lords Team sharing new additions regularly on their Instagram. What’s most fascinating about the stock available in the Lords of Pour store is a range of unisex perfumes by Imaginary Authors, making them one of the only spots in Australia to readily stock these. Just minutes from Ettalong Beach, a visit here is sure to appeal to all the senses!

DON’T MISS:  To find the store, look for the large Freddie Mercury mural.

Discover more about Lords of Pour or follow them on Instagram and Facebook

 

More new and refreshed Central Coast venues to try:

Coffee, brunch & takeaways

Dinner & drinks

Spots to stay

 

Are you the owner of a new business venture that’s recently launched on the Central Coast? You can now create a free listing with us and feature in future articles showcasing the amazing things to see, taste, try and discover in our beautiful slice of the east coast of New South Wales.

Follow the latest places to eat, play and stay on Instagram and Facebook and when sharing your own experiences don't forget to tag #LoveCentralCoast for a chance to be featured.

Article written by:
Central Coast Council
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