Two friends cheers glasses at coastal dining spot, At the Heads. The Barwon River is on the balcony behind them.

Must-visit coastal dining spots in Geelong and The Bellarine

For those sunny days where you can’t be away from the water, here are some great spots for coastal dining where being waterside is just one of the things on the menu.

Whether it’s harbourside or waterfront, casual or elevated, there’s a coastal dining option for all outings with some so close to the water you can almost touch it.

Coastal dining on The Bellarine

At the Heads

For seafood with a water view, At The Heads is the place. Located on a picturesque jetty in Barwon Heads, the charming building was featured in the much-loved Aussie TV series Seachange. The sunsets here are truly something and live music on select nights adds to the vibe.

Dunes Cafe 

Perched atop the dunes with glorious ocean views and serving up comfort food like wood-fired pizzas, burgers and seafood, it’s no wonder the Dunes Cafe is a favourite come summer. They also offer delicacies and decadent desserts. Make your way through the menu as you watch surfers take on Ocean Grove’s waves.

The inside of coastal dining spot The Dunes, which has large windows with views to the surf at Ocean Grove Main Beach.

Pier St

A beachfront gem run by the team behind Melbourne’s popular French restaurant Noir. Local seafood is king here and the mussel dish is a must. Perched across from Portarlington Pier, Pier St is the perfect pitstop to or from a trip with Port Phillip Ferries.

St Leonards Hotel by the Sea

Beautiful views of Port Phillip Bay and a great beer garden for those hot days. Tuck into the St Leonards beef burger, some curly wedges or choose from many other pub classics.

Tarra 

A coastal dining experience at Searoad Ferries‘ Queenscliff ferry terminal – an architectural icon. The signature Tarra charcuterie includes house-cured selections of salami, capocollo, and smoked strasberg paired with pickled farm-fresh vegetables and crusty bread. Food is sourced from both sides of the bay and executive chef Michael Demagistris is running the show. Views take in Queenscliff Pier, the lighthouse and Searoad Ferries making the regular trips between Queenscliff and Sorrento.

The architectural Tarra ferry terminal perched at the end of the peninsula, the ferry is coming in to dock.

360Q 

Absolute waterfront dining in Queenscliff with expansive windows overlooking the boats in the harbour. 360Q’s offering is diverse from a signature big breaky to flash fried baby snapper with rice, Asian salad and nuoc cham. 

A table of people sit outside at 360Q, they all cheers their drinks together. The harbour and blue skies is behind them.

Coastal dining in Geelong

The Geelong Boat House

Geelong Boat House arguably dishes up the best fish and chips in the CBD along with many other moreish goodies. Grab some take away and stroll the waterfront or find a spot at the iconic floating barge-meets-restaurant.

Wharf Shed

Metres from the water’s edge, there’s a high chance you’ll hear the waves lapping as you wine and dine at the Wharf Shed. A popular waterfront spot beside The Carousel and Wangim Walk, it offers modern Australian dining and international flavours from breakfast through to dinner. And there’s plenty of local beverages to wash it all down with.

A stunning sunset taken from the balcony at Wharf Shed.

Pavilion Geelong

Much like the visitors to Eastern Beach, Pavilion Geelong rises early. Serving coffee from 6:30am and modern Australian dining soon after it’s a perfect pitstop to refuel during a waterfront walk. While it’s an early riser, Pavilion also stays up late with its upstairs Asian-fusion restaurant, Caledonia Shores.

Both venues offer up views of Eastern Beach promenade which comes alive with swimmers and sun-seekers during summer. The children’s pool is located next to the art deco gem, so is a perfect spot for little ones. There’s even a takeaway kiosk to grab a bite to eat if you’re still donning some wet togs.

Friends sit out on the balcony at Caledonia Shores, looking out over the views of Eastern Beach promenade.

Tempo Kitchen & Bar 

Novotel’s new restaurant, Tempo Kitchen & Bar, celebrates local flavours with seafood and grill-style mastery. Let’s not forget the artfully crafted cocktails, the perfect side-dish to your dining or a late-night tipple with friends. Settle in the outdoor space, cocktail-in-hand, for views across to the palm-lined waterfront of Corio Bay.

The bar inside Tempo Kitchen and Bar.

Edge Geelong

Choose the right outdoor dining spot and you’ll still lock your eyes on that glimmering waterfront framed by palm trees. Edge Geelong is a popular spot from breakfast to dinner, or just for some drinks between mates. The bar offers a huge indoor space but outside is where the views are. Naturally seafood is big on the menu, with calamari linguini and crispy skinned salmon to two picks.

Wah Wah Gee

The best spot for water views is when you’re out on it, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Wah Wah Gee. The Asian-inspired restaurant is set at the very end of Cunningham Pier – a 250 metre pier that stretches out over Corio Bay. Enjoy bao buns, with five fillings to choose from, Korean fried chicken, Thai salads and more at this coastal dining spot.

Two people cheers their drinks at the table at Wah Wah Gee, the water is visible in the window beside them.

Sailors’ Rest 

With three levels to choose from it’s hard to beat the views at Sailors’ Rest. At the very top is the rooftop bar with near 360-degree views looking over Geelong’s iconic waterfront. Down a level side balcony dining still offers a glimpse of the water. And the only thing between you and the water at the ground-level outdoor dining is the road and The Carousel.

Evening cocktails are popular here (how could they not be with those rooftop views) and modern Australian dining is on offer from breakfast through to dinner. During the festive season it’s the perfect location for a glimpse of the floating Christmas tree and fireworks over the bay.

People talk and drink up on the rooftop bar at Sailors Rest Geelong, bay views are in the distance.

Fishermen’s Pier

Spend an afternoon grazing on the lunch seafood platter at the bay end of Yarra Street. Right in the heart of the waterfront’s maritime precinct, pick the right table and you can watch on as yachts come and go and sail off into the bay. And don’t worry, there are plenty of non-seafood options here too like a chicken burger and Korean BBQ beef salad for lunch.

Main image pictured is At the Heads.

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