Chowing Down in Coogee: The Coogee Food Review

Coogee Food Review

Coogee is a small residential beach community in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. This little community sees lots of students and backpackers annually and deservingly so, as it is a great place to chill out. So knowing where to go eat is of obvious importance. Most of these places are found at the bottom of Coogee Bay Road, while a couple are located on Arden Street. The following- in no particular order- is a review of the affordable food establishments in Coogee.

Coogee Food Reviews:

Domino’s

Your first thought- Dominos? That’s correct, it’s really not that good or nothing special, but offers a $6.90 four topping pizza deal on Tuesday’s that draws in tons of people. So a pretty good option… On Tuesday’s.

188 Coogee Bay Rd
Coogee NSW 2034
02 8282 8000

Flavour of North India

Recognized by its bright orange sign out front, this takeaway restaurant has plenty of good options to choose from. Tandoori kebab daily special for $6.50 is a decent lunch option. What’s even better is if you pick from their selection of curries that come with rice. A large (3 options) and a fresh garlic naan will set you back $12.50- even leaving you with leftovers. I recommend the chicken tika masala which is just a hotter version of the butter chicken. Another good pick is the hot beef vindaloo. The lamb curries are nice as well. Offering fast and friendly service- this restaurant is open slightly later than many of the other places in Coogee.

234 Coogee Bay Road

02 9664 2595

Charcoal Chicken Coogee

This mom and pop prepared food place found next door to the Flavor of North India is generally a little more expensive than the other options but it offers an array of homemade, fresh, delicious foods- all of great quality. However, there are ways around the prices. If you buy a family pack of chicken (I recommend the Portuguese topped in their Peri Peri and garlic and lemon sauce) with a large chips will cost 20 bucks. This is usually good for about 3-4 meals, so is a good option any time you are looking to eat chicken and fries for the next few days. There are several options and combination such as the quarter chicken with 3 sides (potatoes and vegetable options) is $12 and serves up a big portion. You can also get creative, such as buying a container of their meatballs ($7-10) and then going to the bakery two doors over for a bun and assembling your own meatball sub. (Other ingredients can be bought at Woolworth’s up the street). The best thing I’ve had here is the lamb shanks, which go for about $13 each with sides (this is definitely a well worth it treat). Overall, great homemade food with very friendly staff: who are always patient as you stand there mouth-watering over the food.

u1/236 Coogee Bay Rd
02 9664 3390

Kebab’s: Ericyes Turkish Pide and Coogee Yeeros

Coogee boasts 2 kebob places. Ericyes is found near the bottom of Coogee Bay just before Arden, while Coogee Yeeros is around the corner on Arden St. I prefer Ericyes for a few reasons. Firstly, these Kebab guys are the hardest working guys in Coogee and give you a great consistent item whether you are a grabbing a lunch kebab or a drunk kebab (when most Kebob business occurs). I even got a free one on my birthday, so yes, maybe I am biased, but these guys consistently make one hell of a kebab. At Yeeros, the meat quality is undoubtedly better, no argument. They even have a lamb option, while Ericyes only has beef and chicken. But sometimes your kebab is made with love, other times it is not. Sometimes you get a lot of humous, sometimes very little. Sometimes the old kebob guys are friendly, sometimes they are grumpy. It even costs a dollar more. So yes, meat quality and lamb are important, but the love you are guaranteed at Ericyes makes it the place to go. Their kebabs include fresh vegetables (by kebab standards) and they don’t do a common Sydney kebob move where they toast the finished kebab leaving you with warm vegetables. No, these kebab guys do it right: warm pita, warm meat (I recommend the chicken, the kebab guy will tell you beef) add sauce and vegetables, roll it up. Simply beautiful. Brings a tear to my eye just writing about it. Go get yourself a Ericyes kebab next time you are [drunk] in Coogee.

Ericyes Two Pizza

240 Coogee Bay Rd
02 9664 1913

Coogee Yeeros

204 Arden St

02 9665 2066

The Beach Palace Hotel

The only thing I’ve really eaten here is the steak. The palace has a long running deal of a $5 rump steak on Wednesday nights. Add fries and salad for 2 bucks. It’s a pretty good deal. I advise arriving after 8 to avoid the long line. Also, they offer $5 side orders that are pretty good. A great idea is to share with a friend the big bowl of wedges and the large salad and scrap the $2 fries and salad (also called just lettuce). So basically for $10 instead of $7 you add a serious upgrade to your meal. You may even get the fries and salad added to your plate for free anyway (it happens!) just because the chefs are so used to putting it on every plate. Everybody wins!

169 Dolphin st

02 9664 2900

Oporto

This Australian fast food chain can be found all over Sydney, as well as in Coogee. This is not your typical fast food joint- they offer delicious chicken burgers and their homemade chili sauce is a must. You can get a double burger (Bondi Burger), fries and a can of pop for $9. A can of pop alone in stores goes for about $3 so it’s a pretty sweet deal. Not healthy, but damn good.

5/173 Arden St

02 9664 5569

Chicken Out

This little Asian run joint is found on Coogee Bay Rd. To be honest, I have never eaten here. I must have walked in about a million times, talked to the lady, examined the food, and I always just walk out- or chicken out and leave- haha.  Seriously though, the food looks edible, but for an extra dollar you can have just way better and fresher food from Charcoal Chicken Coogee. Just go there instead.

201A Coogee Bay Rd

02 9665 4315

Chili Box

I avoided this place for a while because I was opposed to spending this much ($12) on some Asian noodles and chicken. But I kept hearing good things and figured I would give it a try. Well, the rumors were true- it is really yummy and the portions are quite generous giving up a good ‘bang for your buck’. You can design your own stir fry- by picking your protein beef / chicken costs $12, while prices go up for things like duck and prawns. You can also pick your noodle and sauce. I love spicy food and I hate when a place says something is hot and it’s not. Well, the chili basil sauce is actually quite hot, so kudos to them. If you aren’t into hot sauce- give the peanut sauce a try.

207A Coogee Bay Rd
02 9665 2044

Ice Cream: Patagonia’s vs. Gelatissimo

Located right by the bottle shop on the same side of the street as Coogee Bay Hotel, Patagonia’s has without a doubt the best ice cream in Coogee. They offer a slew of delicious flavours to choose from. While a scoop will set you back $5, the treat is definitely worth it when you are in an ice cream mood. There is another ice cream shop across the street called Gelatissimo is across the street and it just doesn’t compare. While it’s roughly the same price as Patagonia’s, it lacks Patagonia’s burst of flavor- you know, the one where your ice cream flavor actually tastes like its name. At Gelatissimo, they might as well call their chocolate, BROWN- its just plain and not as good.

231 Coogee Bay Rd

02 9665 5797

Moo Burger

This popular burger place can also be found in Bondi Beach and features big juicy burgers, ranging from a classic cheeseburger to chicken parmigiana to duck burgers. Prices start at $10.50 for the standard Moo burger and go up accordingly.  Also a big basket of homemade chips (aka “fries”) can easily be shared for $5. To top off your burger, Moo’s offers a variety of sauces. I recommend the Piri Piri sauce which adds a nice kick to your burger. While it is by no means the best burger I’ve ever had-  it is a delectable, filling meal that offers take away or sit down service.

242 Coogee Bay Rd

Churrasco

This is a Brazilian all you can eat dinnertime restaurant that is packed every night. I only ate here once as its $35, but I went with 8 guys one night, and we pigged out, hard. They offer many different kinds of meat, including a handful of different cuts of steak, as well as sausage, chicken, lamb, ham and a variety of scrumptious sides including: rice and roast potatoes and big bocconcini balls. While it’s certainly outside the normal student price range, it’s great for a special treat or occasion. Just make sure you go hungry, because you will leave full. Really, really full.

240 Coogee Bay Rd
02 9665 6535

J.T.’s Sandwiches——GOLD STAR

J.T.’s is found on Coogee Bay next to all the sit down cafes; however it is much more affordable. It dawns a black sign reading “J.T.’s Sandwiches” in green writing, and still has the old “Regal Fruit Market” sign just below it. I’m telling you all this so you won’t miss it. J.T. and his crew of female staff make a mighty fine sandwich. One time I even said to J.T. “Everything just looks so fresh.” J.T. smiled back and said, “That’s because it is.” You can really see it. Fresh cut tomato slices, freshly sliced cheese, fresh meats, and an assortment of fresh breads. They offer a selection of pre-designed sandwiches, but I recommend selecting your own toppings. I really like the marinated chicken or the turkey breast. I usually get the sourdough bread with spicy mayo, pesto, rocket, tomato, caramelized onions and either cheddar (with chicken) or swiss (with turkey) cheese. Top it all off with some freshly ground pepper and I usually have it panini pressed.  Mmm, good. $8.50, which is great value considering how enjoyable it is and how expensive the food in Sydney can be. There is even a nice cold water cooler there to fill up with before heading off to the beach. One criticism, not all the sandwich artists are of the same talent level, so sometimes you may get someone that doesn’t give the right proportions-i.e. not enough of something.  But even Superman had kryptonite, so it’s OK that J.T.’s isn’t perfect. But they still make a damn good fresh sandwich. Best affordable place to grab lunch in Coogee, hands down.

205 Coogee Bar Rd

Eastern Sea Chinese Restaurant

This little Chinese restaurant is usually empty. One day I was walking past and saw there was an 8.50 lunch special. I passed up on J.T.’s and decided to try it out. While the food was decent it was nothing special. I ordered beef with noodles in black bean sauce. Only problem is if you are in the Asian mood, Chilli Box is a much better option for the extra couple bucks. Such is the opportunity cost in Coogee.

254 Coogee Bay Rd

02 9665 4935

La Spiaggia—-GOLD STAR

This Italian dinner time restaurant advertises TRADITIONAL WOOD FIRED OVEN PIZZAS. They tell no lies. They make these, and they make them exceptionally well. You order your pizza, the dude beats the dough, adds the toppings, puts the pizza in, and a few minutes later it’s out. That oven is legit: it has been heating up all day, like a real wood fired oven should. I like the Golosona- covered in hot Italian salami, gorgonzola, mascarpone and I ask the guy to add some hot chili. The perfect thin crust is also coated in a nice rich tomato sauce. Caution: The cheese literally drips all over the place. So if you don’t like really cheesy awesome pizza, stay away, or go to Viva La Pizza a few doors down. The only hitch is that its $15 bucks for takeaway and $19 if you eat in. However, it’s a large pizza and I always have a couple slices leftover. There is also a daily special between 5:30-6:30- for $25 you get a pizza, small salad, garlic bread and a glass of wine or a beer. A very good deal if you are looking to sit down and split an early dinner with someone.

248 Coogee Bay Rd

02 9665 4660

Beach Burrito Company

This little Mexican place is great option for either lunch or dinner, serving up classic Aussie style big portions for correspondingly high prices. The Burritos are huge and jam packed full of goodies. I like the Chili Con Carne, but to be honest I think anything on the menu would be good. My criticism of the burritos is that they pack a ton of rice in there. I think the quesadillas may be the best option- and others agree with me- they are so soft and tantalizing. They are divided into four big triangles, filled with the meat of your choice, tortilla chips, sour cream and guacamole (both the burritos and quesadillas are $13). Beach Burrito Comp.also has a decent hot sauce which you can purchase for $5. In fact, I even used this hot sauce as my Frank’s Red Hot replacement while living in Australia, since hot sauce in Australia is pretty much non-existent and utterly shameful. There are various deals each night of the week- for example for $5 you can get a beer and shot of tequila on Wednesday’s.

3/260 Coogee Bay rd

Ph: 9665 6932

A Fish Called Coogee

This sit down restaurant boasts unbelievably fresh seafood at surprisingly reasonable prices. They also have great sides such as fries or bok-choy. It’s BYO with no corkage fee so head next door to the bottle shop for something nice to compliment your meal. Depending on what, when and how much you order a good meal should range anywhere from $15- $30. If you are in Coogee, this restaurant is a definite must. It’s a good place for seafood novices as all the food is cooked in delicious sauce and the atmosphere and ambiance top the food off nicely.

229 Coogee Bay Rd

02 9664 7700

There are still numerous other food places in Coogee, most of which are nicer sit down restaurants that look really good but are just a little outside the student budget, such as, Renato’s or Tropicana. I also didn’t mention places I didn’t eat at- like Melonhead, where you can spend $7 on a smoothie. Yet people rave about it, and I’ll admit that it does look really good. Overall, Coogee has a lot of superb food options, with my favourite lunch place being J.T.’s and dinner place La Spiaggia. An honourable mention goes to Ericyes Kebob’s- those guys bring it every night.  But go ahead, give these places a try and see for yourself. The only thing left to say is enjoy it. Enjoy taking your food down to the beach, or strolling along this amazing little beach-side community. You may even discover a hidden gem of your own. Such is the greatness of Coogee.

Coogee has some many yummy options but the Coogee food review will hopefully help you narrow down the many options.

Backpacking Bex