Are you looking for a Great Ocean Road weekend away? As the weather warms up there’s no better time to visit one of Australia’s most iconic self-drive road trips. If you’re heading out along the scenic route, here are the top stops no foodie should miss.
Maple Tree, Lorne
There’s a sense of urban sophistication to this restaurant that belies its coastal town location. The seasonal menu is full of locally-sourced ingredients with an emphasis on fresh seafood that you’d expect to find in this area. Their meals are separated by size, so you’ll always order the perfect amount to satiate your hunger. Do yourself a favour and be sure to start with their oysters!
Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet
This beloved watering hole was saved from destruction by a group of locals not too long ago and has since been returned to its family-friendly roots. With an onsite microbrewery and well-prepared classic pub fare with a twist, this pub is not one to be missed. We’re fans of their Smoked Angus Burger and of course, you can’t go past their Chicken Parmigiana.
Swing Bridge Café, Lorne
Located at the foot of the iconic “swing bridge” at the mouth of the Erskine River, this picturesque weatherboard café will reel you in for the long haul. Visit in summer and you’ll get to experience their outdoor Argentinian barbeque nights with roasted chickens and seafood paella… Just bring a picnic blanket and watch the sunset for an unforgettable dinner.
What would a visit to the Great Ocean Road be without a serving of seafood? When locals are craving fish and chips this is where they head – and with good reason. The menu is a celebration of all things seafood. With options like Tempura Fish Tacos and Ceviche, and sides beyond the classic deep fried chips, (although you can definitely get them here!) including quinoa and winter salads. There are no reservations or phone orders here, but trust us when we say that they’re worth the wait.
A la Grecque, Aireys Inlet
With a large deck and an open fire, this family-operated foodie haven is welcoming in any weather. For over 30 years the Talimanidis family has been serving modern Greek dishes with a focus on quality, locally sourced ingredients. Their menu is seasonal, but covers all the bases from those seeking cheese platters and a glass of wine with beautiful ocean views, to deeply satisfying dinners with fresh flavours that won’t weigh you down. Don’t forget to save room for dessert – we’re obsessed with their Plum & Almond Semi Freddo.
Chris’s Beacon Point, Apollo Bay
Located on top of a cliff a little way off the Great Ocean Road, Chris’s Beacon Point is definitely worth the detour. With one of the best views you’ll find in the country and a delicious Mediterranean-inspired menu, you’ll happily brave car sickness on the winding road up to this decades old restaurant. Take in the ocean views and koala-spotting from your table, while you enjoy perfectly prepared steaks or their famous calamari We recommend finishing your meal with the walnut and pistachio baklava.
Great Ocean Road Accommodation
With so much to see and do along the Great Ocean Road there’s no need to try to squeeze it all into a single day trip. Instead, simply book your accommodation in one of the towns dotted along the way and take in all the vibrant area has to offer. After another food journey while you make it back to Melbourne? Check this noteworthy list out!!