Weekender's guide to Woy Woy, Central Coast, NSW

January 8, 2019 / By Shelley Ann Morgan

The name Woy Woy is derived from the Aboriginal term - Wy Wy, meaning ‘much water’ or ‘big lagoon’. It refers to a deep tidal channel adjacent to the town centre, in Brisbane Water. Once known as a sleepy fishing village and a nice place to retire (made famous by comedian and once-resident, Spike Milligan), Woy Woy has morphed into a bustling community hub with trendy bars, restaurants and cafes, while retaining the natural charm, peacefulness and tranquility of the waterfront. It's the perfect destination for travellers thanks to its great food and reputation as a place to unwind and relax.  Visit and let your inner bohemian spirit shine! 

Try the Spiritual Path 
From the moment you set foot inside the Gnostic Corner you’ll begin to unwind as fragrances from incense, essential oils and coffee drift through the air. Aptly named, there are nine shops on this corner of town, including Gnostic Mana Cafe, which is conveniently located across the road from Gnostic Forest - the Central Coast’s largest new age shop.
Try a healing massage in the Gnostic Healing Centre or perhaps a psychic reading in Gnostic Forest. If you’re looking for a coffee after all that self-learning, enjoy a unique three bean blend from Brazil, Ethiopia and India at Gnostic Mana Cafe. If you happened to miss breakfast, no problem - Gnostic Mana serves breakfast all day. They also serve satisfying or healthy lunches - from nutritious house-made falafel wraps to scrumptious buttermilk pancakes.

Top Fish ‘n’ Chips
A major icon of the central coast, award-winning Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf has been providing families with fresh, sustainably sourced, high quality seafood since 1974. Enjoy fish ‘n’ chips al fresco or grab take away for a picnic on the grassy areas while you watch majestic pelicans lolling on the shores, waiting for feeding hour. For a lovely dining experience, book in at the Wharf’s new restaurant and bar, built over the water, this is the ultimate spot for waterfront views. (photo @nik_to)

Foodie Gems
With an abundance of eateries to choose from in Woy Woy, here are three secret foodie gems only known to Coasties.  Frankies Rooftop is fast becoming one of the best places on the Central Coast for an exquisite selection of quality tapas, cocktails and craft beer, overlooking picturesque and peaceful Brisbane Water. Frankies is sure to be an even bigger hit when chef Matty Bennett (well known by America’s celebrities) returns from creating New York’s highly successful Lucky Bee restaurant. Bennett will be setting up innovative Southeast Asian cuisine based on his restaurant of the same name in New York City. Before heading to the Big Apple, Bennett was a sous chef at Longrain, Sydney. 

Equally as popular, Young Barrons - pasta bar, offers fine quality food by another exceptional chef - Dannielle Mills, who trained under Stefano Manfredi at Bells, Killcare. If you’re after something light, savour a quality wine and a couple of starters in their romantic, dimly lit, cosy room, reminiscent of Sydney’s Darlinghurst hip restaurant scene. 

 A cafe with a similar vibe is Link & Pin Cafe, although owner Nadeane Chadwick explains that customers have told her the cafe reminds them of Melbourne, Paris, and even Amsterdam. With a courtyard that backs onto an alleyway, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a hidden Melbourne laneway. Opposite the station, this cafe has become the perfect spot for travellers looking to satisfy an appetite with a flavoursome breakfast or lunch.

Fudge Monkey is a completely gluten-free dessert cafe, catering for a variety of needs including vegan and sugar-free. A popular place for its delectable cakes, fudge, gelato, milkshakes and coffee, it’s no wonder travellers from afar stock up on these hard to find decadent treats. 

Food Events

Tropicana Pizza Pizza not only have a selection of the most delicious pizzas, but they are also the organisers of many exciting events. Promoters of the hugely successful inaugural Woy Woy Hot Sauce Fiesta - a boutique festival held in the Colonial Plaza - Tropicana Pizza Pizza is the place to go if you enjoy pizzas and having a good time. So stay tuned on Facebook or Instagram (insider tip) for some great events coming up! Another cosy food venue to look out for that organises fun community events is The Red Lime Cafe. Check it out for breakfast, lunch or coffee.

Woy Woy exudes a natural charm. It is a hospitable and community-spirited town where the old and new is ever-evolving. The perfect place for self-discovery, or a place to unwind and enjoy some exceptional food.

We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.

So much more to explore - Central Coast