10 FOOD PLACES TO BLOW YOUR MIND ON THE GREAT OCEAN ROADby SUZIE VERMEULEN
Cafes and restaurants on the Great Ocean Road are constantly evolving and changing to deliver the highest foodie experience.
They’re obsessed with staying on trend and ahead of the game. They favour local, fresh produce and seasonal menus. They curate quality local and regional wine and craft beer. And, you’d be hard up to find a place without a view of the beach or lush forest.
So, if you’re an avid foodie looking to escape the city for a weekend (or longer) in big nature, get down to the Great Ocean Road, just a couple of hours away.
Here are my top 10 eateries that you should head straight to:
Real Thai Café
Everyone has a favourite local Thai place back home, but I guarantee the Real Thai Café will rival it! So, if you have a craving for authentic Thai food whilst travelling the Great Ocean Road, this is my top choice. The chef picks much of his produce fresh each day and he’ll adjust the spice temperature to just how you like it (if you can handle the heat!).
As the food landscape in Australia changes, Growlers is the best at keeping on top of trends in modern Australian cuisine. I love the lamb pita, which offers a twist on the classic Mediterranean dish. I also like to sit outside to enjoy the vast beach view.
The Pond Café
If you feel like a traditional English breakfast loaded with sausage, or something lighter like seasoned chicken breast over fresh greens, this cute little café is where you need to be. Note that there’s also some delicious gluten-free dishes on the menu, too.
MoVida Lorne specialises in Spanish tapas dishes. You can stop by for dinner any night of the week, or for lunch on the weekends. It has late seating options available later in the day, too. One of the best reasons to visit this restaurant is that you can sample multiple dishes – best shared with friends!
The Bottle of Milk
Contrary to the name, believe it or not, you’ll find the ultimate hamburger at The Bottle of Milk! The master minds behind the menu wanted to create the ‘ultimate hamburger on the Great Ocean Road’. Large outside tables mean you can sit in the sun and indulge in a juicy burger and a side of fries. Or, grab your meal to go and chill out on the beach.
Prickly Moses Brewery - Barongarook
When you’re travelling along the Great Ocean Road, make sure you drive through the beautiful lush rainforest in the Otway National Park. This is where you’ll find the Prickly Moses Brewery as part of the Otway Estate; a food and drink destination also with a cidery, winery and soon a distillery! The on-site cafe offers great lunch options to fill your tummy while enjoying a little road trip.
Great Ocean Road Brewhouse
We’re proud to say we have the biggest and best selection of local craft beers. The beer garden has a laid back and relaxing vibe (dogs welcome!) where you can meet other travellers and some of the locals. Our restaurant menu includes dishes made from local ingredients, as well as some pub fare favourites like the Mexican parma and nachos. Feel good that when you drink and eat with us, you’re also supporting local community groups and charities with various fundraising events throughout the year.
Captain Moonlite is ranked as one of the top restaurants in Anglesea. The menu features a number of affordable options and dinners that cost $20 or less. While you may want to sample some of the fresh seafood, you'll also find dishes designed for gluten-free diners and vegetarians.
12 Rocks Beach Bar
This restaurant is right on the beach, overlooking the town’s beautiful port. With traditional pub fare and classic Australian dishes on the menu, it has something for everyone, including the kids. The family-owned business has created a relaxed place to relax and take in the beach vista, from inside, or outside on the covered deck.
Pavilion Cafe & Bar
Overlooking the Lady Bay and Breakwater, the popular Pavilion Café & Bar is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and everything in between. I like its choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes. You can sit inside on a cool or windy day and watch the crashing waves out back at Middle Island (from the movie Oddball), or sit outside on a fine day and watch the world go by along the Promenade.
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Where to stay
Eight Spence is located one block from Warrnambool’s CBD on a quiet residential street off the main highway.
BIG4 NRMA Warrnambool Riverside Holiday Park
Set on the banks of the Hopkins River, BIG4 NRMA Warrnambool Riverside Holiday Park is your escape to the Great Ocean Road region.
Elm Tree Motel
At Elm Tree Motel you will be within a 20-minute stroll of Warrnambool Botanical Gardens and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
Retro River Rest Luxury Shipping Container House
Retro River Rest - Luxury Shipping Container House is centrally located by the river and by the ocean in beautiful Warrnambool, 260km south west of Melbourne.
Warrnambool CBD Townhouses
Warrnambool CBD Townhouses are located in Timor Street Warrnambool, near the corner of Banyan and Timor Streets, just one block from the heart of the city centre.
Raglan Motor Inn
Raglan Motor Inn Warrnambool is just 5 minutes’ drive from Warrnambool Train Station, Warrnambool Stadium and Cannon Hill Lookout. Hopkins River is a 2-minute drive away.