The best kept secret in Sydney is back

Did you know, there’s a waterfront eatery, rubbing shoulders with multi million dollar houses, where you can get a Schnitty for under $25? How about a cocktail for under $10? There’s not too many places on the Harbour where you can get a decent glass of wine for under $10 – we’re talking rosé on tap!  

Mosman Rowers is the best kept secret of the North Shore. Well, it was, but a few setbacks last year and a dramatic fire closed things down for a while. Dating back to 1911, this club has been a local institution for almost a century. For a time, locals thought they’d lose their iconic club, but the community pulled together, raised a hunk of cash, brought in some fab foodies and Mosman Rowers is back.

The iconic Rowers Bar was given a new lick of paint but remains largely unchanged, it’s the dining room downstairs that had a big overhaul. Now called Archie Bear, in a nod to suburb founder ‘Archibald Mosman’, the restaurant is being looked after by the Bird & Bear Group. It’s now like walking into a Scandi seaside oasis – one big dining room, with a kitchen tucked into one corner and a coffee/cashier station tucked into the other.

The room is simple, fresh, bright, with creamy floorboards – it lets the view do the talking and why wouldn’t it? Mosman Rowers perches right on the edge of Mosman bay. Walk in, down the stairs and down to the water. The stepped building sits literally on top of the water. The floor to ceiling windows look straight out at Mosman bay, a calm, sheltered inlet of the harbour, where yachts sit waiting for their weekend sail, and the ferry slides in every half hour on weekdays and on the hour over weekends.

The 100-seater dining room leads straight out to the deck – the picnic tables are certainly going to be the hotspots come Summer, even on an Autumn day we’re stoked to grab a little table for two right up against the balcony.

We share the balcony with couples, a bunch of teenagers whose parents are on their own picnic table, and even a big fluffy white Samoyed dog. The balcony is pet friendly so we’ll be back for breakfast with our fur baby. 

Now, along with the chicken schnitzel, there’s other club classics – burgers, rump steak, pizzas – that will hit the spot. Upgrade a classic margarita with prosciutto and rocket. If you’re after something lighter, start with a big ball of burrata, prosciutto and flatbread antipasti bowl before before moving on to a poached chicken soba noodle salad that even has the locally Yachties converted. Just make sure you save room for dessert, for big scoops of gelato or a hearty nut-filled sticky date cake.

When it comes to breakfast, Bircher, eggs, açai bowls, even a green breakfast bowl have all the usuals covered. We have our eye on the ‘Santorini bear’ – avocado, halloumi, radish, truffle oil on sourdough.

So the secret is out, don’t wait too long to snap up your seat at Mosman Rowers.

Mosman Rowers
3 Centenary Drive, Mosman
Opening hours:
Archie Bear:
Mon – Weds: 7.30-11.30am, 12pm-4pm
Thurs – Sun: 7.30-11.30am, 12pm-4pm, 5pm to late
The Rowers Bar
Mon – Thursday:
4pm to late
Fri –Sun: 12pm to late 

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.