In Canberra the sun is shining, the breeze is mild and the streets are empty.
So where is everyone? Invading the South Coast of course! As someone whose family has had a little shack on the coast for many years, here are some of my favourite places to travel for the best breakfast, fish and chips, gelato, coffee and dinner on the coast.
Looking for a more comprehensive guide including beaches and activities? Click here.
FROM NORTH TO SOUTH
Berry Sour Dough Café – Berry
Inside the century-old premises, you’ll find freshly baked European-style pastries, cakes and savoury treats, with Artisan sourdough breads baked in two big wood fired ovens. Serving breakfast and lunch, the heart of the café is reflected in the simplicity and warmth of the rustic barn-like premises.
109 Queen Street, Berry | (02) 4464 3033 | Open 6am to 3pm seven days a week | berrysourdoughcafe.com.au
The Berry Tea Shop – Berry
The Berry Tea Shop is dedicated to all things tea — teapots, cups, cozies, cards and, of course, loose-leaf tea. Browse the collection or sit and sip on a cup of their exquisite tea with a slice of cake or freshly baked scones with Cuttaway Creek jam and cream.
66 Albert Street, Berry | 02 4464 1218 | Open 10am to 5pm seven days | theberryteashop.com.au
World Famous Fish and Chips – Huskisson
This one gets 10/10 for location and taste. Grab a bundle before you head off for a spot of whale watching or take it to the big park next to Moona Moona Creek where it’s shallow, shady and family friendly with BBQs and amenities.
54 Owen Street, Huskisson | 02 4401 1933 | Open 10am to 7pm seven days a week |facebook.com/worldfamousfishandchips
Cupitt’s – Milton
Cupitt’s Winery and Restaurant is a must do if you’re after a south coast foodie experience. Their restaurant is perfect for date night or special occasions, with delicious three-course menus that pair modern Australian dining with their very own wine.
Picturesque and romantic, Cupitt’s is a great day out, road trip, or perhaps even a sneaky overnight break from the kids in their boutique accommodation…
58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla | Phone 02 4455 7888 for reservations | Cellar Door Monday to Thursday 11am until 4pm, Friday to Sunday 11am until 5pm or by appointment | Vineyard Kitchen: Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm–2.00pm (2.30pm on Sunday), Dinner: Friday – Saturday, 6pm–8.30pm | cupitt.com.au
Flour Water Salt – Milton
A coastal bakery that’s a cut above the rest. The sourdough is out of this world. A decadent pit stop if you’re taking the Old Braidwood Road and driving down the coast.
87 Princes Highway, Milton | 02 4454 2504 | Open Tuesday to Saturday 8am until 3pm | flourwatersalt.com.au
Pilgrims Vegetarian Café – Milton
The entire HC office agrees that this is a must-do if you’re staying around Milton – or if even if you’re not!
Don’t be fooled by the name – Pilgrims’ version of vegetarian is not a salad-leaves-and-kale type of affair. All of their dishes are generous and absolutely delicious. Out favourites include their Pancakes With The Lot, Bliss Burger and Soft Tacos (yes, they have an entire Mexican section of their menu, get excited).
Shop 8/9, ‘The Settlement’, Princes Highway, Milton | 02 4455 7100 | Open Monday to Friday 9am until 3pm, Saturday to Sunday 8am until 3pm and 5:30pm until close for Mexican nights Friday and Saturday | pilgrims.cafe
East Lynne Store – 15km North of Batemans Bay on the Princes Highway
So worth the drive for their pies, wherever you’re staying on the coast. These pies are so legendary they were even voted #1 Pie on the Coast by Tim the Yowie Man for Traveller. Now that’s an endorsement.
The best part about this store is the no-frills approach – just order your piping hot pie, decide on your sauce (or whether you’d like fresh cream if you’re grabbing one of their cherry or apple pies, which are highly recommended by the author) and tuck in. No one is expecting you to eat with cutlery here.
East Lynne Store is attached to a petrol station so this would make a good fuel stop (of both kinds) if you’re travelling from north to south or even back to Canberra via the Kangaroo Valley from Batemans.
F3050 Princes Highway, East Lynne (10-15 minute drive North from Batemans Bay) | Call 02 4478 6050 for opening hours
Oyster Shed – Batemans Bay
On the banks of the mighty Clyde River, The Oyster Shed is a “farm gate for fresh oysters sold direct to the public”. Prized for their taste, Clyde oysters are well known and this is one of the best places to sample them.
You can buy oysters to take home or enjoy them at the Shed. They also sell a range of condiments that have been hand picked for their complementary nature to the oysters.
Wray Street, Batemans Bay | 02 4472 6771 | Open 9am-5pm seven days a week | www.oystershed.com.au
Sam’s Pizzeria On The Waterfront – Batemans Bay
Sam’s is hearty Italian at its best and one of my favourite places for date night on the South Coast. I like to order a bunch of entrees, pasta and pizzas to share with a bottle of wine (of course).
The service is always friendly too, even when they’re under the pump. The best seats in the house are out the back, facing the Marina. Book around sunset, sit back on their comfy benches and indulge.
3 Orient St, Batemans Bay | Call 02 4472 6687 to make a reservation| Open from 5pm-8.30pm Wednesday to Sunday and from 12-2pm on Fridays for lunch | samspizzeria.wixsite.com/samspizzeria
Stingrays Ocean Grill – Batemans Bay
One for the families, Stingrays doesn’t just serve a kids menu, they have an entire enclosed kids play area, complete with iPads!
Even if you don’t have little ones to entertain, you’ll love their enormous servings, air conditioning and friendly service. This is the perfect place to step up your seafood game in a casual environment, with Blue Swimmer Crab, Jalapeno Squid and Balmain Bugs on the menu. I once struggled to finish a Reef and Beef between two people there…if that doesn’t motivate you to try it, I don’t know what will.
4/1 Clyde Street, Batemans Bay | Call 02 4472 3669 for reservations and opening hours | www.facebook.com/pg/stingraysbb
Find more Bateman’s Bay options in this article.
The Rivermouth Café – Tomakin
A hipster home away from home, this surf-themed store and café does fantastic breakfast, lunch, coffee and snacks. Their cakes are homemade and delicious while their burgers and brekkies are value for money and filling.
If you’re looking for something breezy and easy, their smoothies and juices will hit the spot. If you’re stuck for a cute and unique gift, their selection of surf and beach-related books, knick knacks and accessories are perfect.
101 Sunpatch Parade, Tomakin | 02 4471 7272 | Open from 8am-2pm Thursday to Friday and 8am-3pm on the weekend | facebook.com/therivermouthcafe
The Mossy Café (Formerly the Muffin Shop) – Mossy Point, Broulee
A South Coast institution, The Mossy Café serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, smoothies and sweets (like their fantastic mega muffins) to an adoring public, which is a nice way of saying that lines can get pretty long around lunch.
Luckily, there’s plenty of shady seating and magazines for you to read while you wait for food. Also great for takeaways to bring down to the beach or lagoon!
31 Pacific St, Mossy Point | 02 4471 8599 | Open 7:30am-3pm seven days a week | www.themossy.com.au
The Gundary General Store – Moruya
This little gem is tucked away in suburban Moruya, away from the hustle and bustle of main street. With a small but delicious breakfast menu and serving great coffee and T2 tea (which you can also buy there), it’s a quiet little corner in which to get away from it all. We recommend the homemade cakes and muffins too.
13 Campbell Street, Moruya | 02 4474 3275 | Open 7.30am-3pm Tuesday-Friday, 8am-2pm Saturday and 8am-1pm Sunday. Closed Monday.
The River – Moruya
Take the ambience of an exceptional environmentally sensitive building located on the southern bank of the peaceful Moruya River, with its northerly views to the mountains of the Deua National Park, add one talented and passionate young chef, Peter Compton, fresh regional produce and you have the ingredients for a quintessential Australian South Coast dining experience, the River Moruya.
16b Church Street, Moruya | 02 4474 5505 | Open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 11:45am-2pm, dinner Thursday to Saturday 5:45-8:30pm | therivermoruya.com.au
Quaterdeck – Narooma
The Quarterdeck has been known by locals as a place to catch up and celebrate for almost 20 years. Grab a banana daiquiri, watch the sun set, and enjoy a menu that champions the freshest product the South Coast has to offer.
13 Riverside Drive Narooma | 02 9114 7389 | Open Wednesday to Thursday from 5pm-late and Friday to Sunday from 12pm-late | merivale.com/venues/quarterdeck-narooma
The Inlet – Narooma
The Inlet is a top local spot for freshly caught fish, the best hot chips and all the rest.
12b Riverside Dr, Narooma | 02 4476 3496 | Open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11:30am-7pm and Friday, Saturday 11:30am-8:00pm | merivale.com/venues/the-inlet-narooma/
Queen Chow – Narooma
Located at The Whale Inn, Queen Chow brings classic Cantonese dishes inspired by the freshest south coast produce.
On a warm day save room for fried ice cream and enjoy.
102 Wagonga St, Narooma | 02 9114 7395 | Open Wednesday to Friday from 5pm-late, Saturday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-late | merivale.com/venues/the-whale-inn-narooma
Tuross Boatshed and Cafe -Tuross
Deliciously fresh fish and chips perfect for eating with your hands after a morning at the beach.
93 Trafalgar Road, Tuross Head | 02 4473 8127 | Open Sunday to Thursday 8am-4pm and Friday to Saturday 8am-7pm | turossboatshed.com.au
Rose and Sparrow Café and Tea Rooms – Tilba
Aside from this shop’s adorable interior featuring every single cup, saucer and teapot you could ever want to buy, from delicate china to chunky animals (really!), their outdoor deck is a Hamptons-esque escape and the perfect place to enjoy some of their delightful Devonshire tea. It comes with a very generous serving of homemade scones, jam and fresh cream and, of course, tea or coffee.
4 Bate Street, Central Tilba | Call 02 4473 7229 for opening hours
Bermagui Gelati Clinic – Bermagui
A Bermy institution, the Gelati Clinic is named after it’s old premises a street away, which used to be the town’s veterinary clinic.
Their waterfront location caters for their incredible year-round popularity with a big airy space perfect for lining up in while you contemplate whether you’ll go for the classic Chocolato or Vanille or whether you’d prefer to sample the Apple Pie Gelati or even Cumquat or Finger lime?
73-79 Lamont Street, Bermagui | Open 9:30am-5pm 7 days a week | facebook.com/BermaguiGelatiClinic
The Wharf Locavore – Tathra
Featuring a gorgeous selection of ready to eat antipasto, locally-made preserves and with one of the best seats in town (right on the famous Tathra Wharf), you can’t go past the Locavore for a light lunch or morning tea.
On hotter days, the wharf turns into one big jumping/diving contest—make sure you pencil in a spot of ray-watching under the wharf too.
Wharf Road, Tathra | 0438 762 175 | Open Wednesday to Sunday 8am-4pm
Dulcie’s Cottage – Merimbula
From the team who arguably started the speakeasy trend with their Shady Pines Saloon in Sydney comes Dulcie’s Cottage. You’ll find one of the coolest South Coast bars inside an unassuming weatherboard cottage in Merimbula.
60 Main Street Merimbula | Open 5pm-11pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 12pm-11pm and Sunday 12pm-10pm dulcies.com.au
With views of Merimbula Lake, the menu at Valentina is designed to share with a strong focus on seafood.
Choose from stracciatella with peaches, scallops in half shell with sea urchin sauce and more.
Upstairs, 2 Market Street, Merimbula | Open for dinner Thursday to Sunday 5pm-10pm and for lunch Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5pm | valentinamerimbula.com
Longstocking Brewery – Pambula
Pambula’s first craft brewery, producing delicious, handmade brews on site. Perfect for a post-surf catch up.
3546 Princes Highway, Greigs Flat | 0407 691 640 | facebook.com/longstockingbrewery
Feature image: Via the Valentina Facebook page.