Fresh, delicious food with ocean views and signature coffee makes Girdlers one of the most popular beachside hangouts north of the city
Girdlers was opened by ex-Penrith rugby league footballer, Ryan Girdler and his wife, Katja back in 2005. They set out to create somewhere that embraced the healthy, outdoors Australian lifestyle and Ryan’s growing love of coffee. A plan to revitalise the juice bar already occupying the space with ‘Simple Honest Goodness’ led them to create the nutritious spot that is so popular today.
Manager, Sebastian, leads the team, ensuring top-quality and a friendly atmosphere even on their busiest days. You’re met with smiling staff, indoor and outdoor seating, plenty of plant life, and a changing display of local artistry on the walls.
2015 saw a renovation, with plenty more ‘good’ things to come in the future. Ryan’s pursuit of his coffee passion led to the All Original – a blend of six beans that they now supply to a number of other cafes. In-house you’re served up the All Good roast for all milk coffees, a fair-trade, 100% organic blend that is “as good for the planet as it is for the soul”. If you’re into your straight black coffee, you’ll be served up the single origin, which changes regularly.
You won’t want to pass up on the food either, whether that’s for breakfast, lunch, or the recently available dinner menu (Thursday through to Saturday). There are delicious, good-for-you twists on classics, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
Best-sellers include the Holy Avo – kale florets, halloumi, smashed avo, and poached eggs on your option of bread, and The Goodness Bowl – saurkraut, quinoa, avocado, boiled egg, kale, halloumi, and house-made Green Goddess sauce.
There are smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and the infamous crepes – something a little different from what else is on offer in the area. Of the latter there are both sweet and savoury options, whether you’re looking for a main meal, dessert, or just a sweet treat.
You can also find coyo on offer – soft-serve, vegan, coconut frozen ‘yoghurt,’ with toppings including honeycomb, raspberries, and house-made ‘Goodtella’. There are in fact plenty of house-made condiments and sauces, which give many of the dishes their signature taste. Presentation is always pretty; many dishes are topped with edible flowers, and all use the freshest ingredients.
This focus on good-for-you food runs into the new dinner menu too. The evening vibe keeps the relaxed atmosphere with a touch of simple sophistication. The dining-style is tapas, with experimental dishes such as Falafel Style ‘Meatballs,’ with grape tomato sauce and kale pesto.
Vegetable plates such as the Root Veg Board, served with black tahini, organic buckwheat, and ancient grains croutons, served alongside meat, fish, and cheese dishes. Dinner is accompanied by cocktails, wine, and a carefully selected list of beers.
Expert Bartender, Robbie Fazey, travelled to Europe to explore the international drinks market, bringing back extended knowledge and innovation to the drinks menu. Girdler’s own cold-drip coffee is used in cocktail The Don, and there are fruity numbers such as Rosie’s Mai Tai, the Sugar Apple Smash, and Down the Garden Path, all worth a try.
A beachside hangout with a friendly vibe, delicious, vibrant, and healthy food, plus damn good coffee, makes Girdler’s a beautiful spot to spend your time.
Words by Camilla Sampson