July 12, 2019 / By Emma Moylan
Along with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and Instagram perfect landscapes, Port Stephens also hits the mark for anyone with a passion for mouth-wateringly delicious food. Nestled just 2.5 hours north of Sydney, this spectacular coastal setting offers an abundance of culinary delights. To make your next weekender truly memorable, here’s the skinny on the absolute best breakfast, lunch and dinner options that the sparkling shores of Port Stephens have to offer. Because let’s be honest, if you’re anything like me, you’re totally going to plan your holiday around food!
Start the day with a scrumptious breakfast while enjoying views across to the marina and bay at this leafy cafe that is popular with visitors and locals alike. In-house made favourites include a nourishing vegan and gluten-free Acai Smoothie Bowl to the more indulgent American Waffle Stack with streaky bacon, maple, vanilla bean ice cream, fairy floss & strawberries. Feeling adventurous? Try the Falafel & Coconut Yoghurt Flatbread or Sambal Chilli Scrambled Eggs.
Fancy some black pudding with your scrambled eggs? A culinary haven located right on the water’s edge at Lemon Tree Passage, other European inspired breakfast dishes at The Poyer’s include their Breakfast Cassoulet—a hearty bean stew with smoked speck, merguez sausage and topped with a poached egg for good measure. For a lighter option, go for the Homemade Granola served with Greek yoghurt and market fruit compote.
Looking for a great coffee to help kickstart the day? At Crest Birubi Beach you can enjoy some of the best coffee in town, complete with camels! As well as seriously good coffee, you can take in some excellent views of these majestic ships of the desert as they prepare to take visitors on rides through the sand dunes of Anna Bay. Get there early during holiday periods to secure an outdoor table.
Walk in the door of this vibrant cafe and feel instantly at home with its inviting coastal decor that reflects the stylish homewares and furniture available in their adjoining store up a few stairs at the back. The friendly and welcoming vibe is matched by a tasty range of breakfast and lunch goodies such as Wild Mushroom Bruschetta and their Signature In House Corn Fritters as well as a decadent selection of fresh cakes and pastries.
For lunch with a twist, at Cookabarra you can savour the freshest local seafood prepared to perfection followed by a tour of the restaurant’s very own Barramundi and Hydroponic Vegetable farm, growing fresh produce on-site. Located an easy 20-minute drive from the centre of town, the venue is surrounded by a moat-like pond that provides a fun and interesting outing for guests of all ages and the opportunity to feed the fish that live in these waters.
With amazing seafood sourced both locally and Australia wide, served with views of the marina as boats and the occasional dolphin come and go, life doesn’t get much better. The Point Restaurant offers an award-winning, market-driven menu with a daily changing list of specials in addition to enduring favourites such as a Traditional Style Bouillabaisse and the Point Seafood Platter for Two. Add in some of the country’s most outstanding regional wines and good company, and what more could you want?
Boasting some of the finest views in the Port Stephens area, the Inner Light Tea Rooms overlook the bay out to the surrounding islands and beyond. Casual alfresco seating, a gentle sea breeze and their famous scones make for the perfect morning or afternoon tea. Light savoury meals are also available and when you’re done, make sure you pop into the adjacent Marine Rescue building which houses a museum and gift shop. Entry is by donation which helps to maintain the museum and the maritime exhibits it shows.
An upscale, waterside dining room with polished wood floors and bay views, Little Beach Boathouse is one of the best spots in Port Stephens to enjoy fresh local produce and seafood. Out-of-towners and locals in the know feast on favourites like Squid Ink Spaghetti with King Prawns, Miso Glazed Atlantic Salmon, Spiced Lamb Backstrap and there’s also a decent selection of vegan and vegetarian options available. For those with a love of fine wines, there are grapes from the nearby Hunter Valley together with a range of local craft beers.
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