recommendations for Manley, outside Sydney
I agree with the recomendation, as a beach Manly has a bit of class compared to bondi which is more funky. However, for the food Bondi may have the edge. Do both - day trip to Manly, and an evening on the beach with dinner at Bondi.
In Many grab a beer at the "Manly Wharf Hotel" - next to the ferry terminal (the best way to get there - most scenic), they have a nice outside bar. The restaurant is OK for upmarket pub food. For restaurants their is "Le Kiosk" (walk around the headland at on the right hand side of the beach), this is very pretty and you can sit outside practically on the beach. A more funnky option is "Will & Toby's" - great for people watching. However, at both the view is sometimes better than the food (but it is a fantastic view).
If you want a really superb meal though I would grab a cab to Balmoral Beach and head to "The Bathers Pavillion" this has a fine dining section and cafe (see Helens review at Grab Your Fork - http://grabyourfork.blogspot.com/2007/01/bathers-pavilion-balmoral-beach.html).
At Bondi there is "Icebergs Bar and Dining Room" which has great food and a stunning view as it is perched on the cliff at the edge of the beach (right hand side). You do need to book as it is very popular. An alternative is "Seans Panorama", a long standing favorite. Sean's has equally great food but is far more casual than Icebergs, again good to book.
The Sydney Morning Herald has quite a reliable restaurant guide, and publishes a lot of the reviews on-line at http://www.smh.com.au/news/restaurant....
Have a good trip.