Hemingway was surely the first hipster. His was a lover of adventure, chivalry, and a non-mainstream life – and of course, later on, a big beard.
He also loved a good drink. So who better to build a bar around than a man renowned for his love of libations, food and an eclectic lifestyle?
Hemingway’s in Manly embraces Papa’s philosophies wholeheartedly. The bar has a bookish, romantic feel to it, and has somehow managed to combine so many elements of Hemingway’s life into one place.
Downstairs has a very European – dare I say even Parisian – feel to it, as it doubles up as a café and late-night bar. Book-laden shelves cling to the walls, and the rough-wood bar serves everything from breakfast to booze all day long.
You can also sit outside on the corso and enjoy an unbeatable view of the beach.
Upstairs there’s a suggestion of the nautical – as if you’re on board the Pilar cruising round the Cuban coastline. Pictures of Papa are dotted about and the old squashy furniture begs you to sit, read a book, quaff a martini and stare out the window at beautiful views over Manly Beach.
You don’t have to drink martinis of course. In true hipster style, you have a spectrum of choice at Hemingway’s – all served without judgement.
Sneak in a swift VB throwdown to quench the thirst and do it old-school! Otherwise there are some good craft beers available.
It’s the cocktail menu that really shows the skill and spirit of the place though. High-quality ingredients are combined with left-of-field elements that give each cocktail a ‘scraped together with what’s left’ feel. It’s done with a daring and irreverence that Hemingway would certainly have approved of.
For example, the Bearded Lady is tequila, crème de fraise, falernum, lime, ginger beer and fairy floss. Intriguing, isn’t it?
Food here is much the same. Instead of just doing the usual café fair, Hemingway’s offers homely classics you don’t often see on menus:
Buttered crumpets or Vegemite, jam or peanut butter on toast are included on a breakfast menu that’s also home to confit salmon, two organic poached eggs, crunchy quinoa, rocket and goat’s curd.
Lunch, dinner and bar menus follow suit, offering quirky, fun dishes mixed with a selection of serious foodie options.
The whole bar just has a great vibe to it. You can tell from the hirsute smiles of the gents behind the bar that you’re in a place that’s been brought about with love.
It’s a perfect spot for a date night, a good beachy lunch or a bright sunny breakfast. It’s also an excellent venue if you want to drink something weird and cut loose a bit. I’m sure Hemingway will be smiling down on you – providing you’re putting the world to rights at the same time!
Hemingway’s Cafe and Bar
Open: 8am-midnight Mon-Sat. 8am-10pm Sunday
Food: Breakfast: 8am-12pm 7 days. Lunch: 12.30pm-4pm 7 days. Dinner: 5pm-10pm Mon-Sat. Bar snacks: available midday to midnight Mon-Sat.
18 North Stayne