We’ve picked out some of the best beachfront cafes and restaurants perfect for every occasion. Whether you are looking for somewhere to take the kids for a casual lunch or an upscale venue for special occasions, dining with ocean views in Wollongong is a special treat.
1 Marine Drive, Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Steamers Bar & Grill
Another fabulous destination for oceanside dining in Wollongong. The award-winning Steamers Bar & Grill enjoys an excellent spot overlooking City Beach. The decor is fun and makes a real impact with industrial touches and monochrome patterns, giving it a funky edge. The menu reflects this eclectic mood, offering favourites from all over the globe. Menu options come from Morocco to Malaysia and back again, ensuring everyone will find something to their taste. Favourites from Steamers include oysters, steak, sourdough and their ever-tempting cocktails.They now boast a new chill and raw section PLUS an Early Bird Share Menu – available seven days a week for lunch service and dinner before 7 pm. 2 courses – $49pp I 3 courses – $59pp. This menu includes some of their most popular signature dishes. So guests can share and taste their way through some of our most-loved dishes. Cheers!
151 – 161 Corrimal Street, Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – The 1897 Garden Bar at Wollongong Golf Club
Making the most of the magnificent views overlooking Wollongong Golf Course and a stunning stretch of coastline. The 1897 Garden Bar offers incredible meals at club prices! The bar runs regular food and drink specials, live music and free entertainment for the kids. Complete with a renovated outdoor kids’ playground.
The Golf Club boasts a sophisticated cafe for lunch plus dinner and a bar/lounge for wines, cocktails and more.
1 Cliff Road, Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Diggies North Wollongong
Breezy beach vibes, great food and bright spaces make a stop at Diggies a relaxed yet enticing experience. Call in for coffee and breakfast, full brunch or just for drinks. This is a bustling beachfront venue with expansive views and plenty of choice.
Given the excellent location right on the North Beach, Diggies does get busy at peak times so booking is advisable. But, even without a booking the friendly servers will do their best to accommodate. Staff pride themselves on the menu which is seasonal and local, featuring seafood, grills, salads and bar snacks. All packed with fresh flavours – and even a couple of kids options. So for a laid-back spot with brilliant ocean views, head for Diggies Wollongong.
85 Endeavour Drive, Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Yachtie’s Cafe
Location, location, location! It’s all about the splendid surroundings at his friendly little cafe, which boasts one of the best views in Wollongong. Gaze out over the harbour watching the boats come and go while you enjoy a delicious coffee and the famous Yachtie’s donuts. Many declare these to be the best in town.
This place has no airs and graces, just a few picnic benches outside and a simple menu of breakfasts and drinks. But the warm service and reliable goodies on offer make it a favourite. Locals drop in for a sunrise hot chocolate after kayak and SUP adventures, or call in with the family dog. It’s got that kind of community vibe. And the donuts, did we mention the donuts?
5 Cliff Road, North Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – North Beach Pavilion
Enjoy the flavours of Italy when you dine in the relaxed surrounding of the North Beach Pavillion. It is a heritage building dating back to the 1930s and located right on the beach. For the best views on warm days, book a table on the outdoor terrace for sundowners, easy lunches or dinner accompanied by the sounds of the waves. Renowned for some of the best pizzas in Wollongong, you can expect a signature Neopolitan-style base – thick and blistered at the edges, thinner and softer in the centre – and an imaginative variety of toppings. Starters and mains feature plenty of seafood options, plus there is a choice of pasta and risotto dishes, salads and desserts. A great crowd-pleaser.
George Hanley Drive, North Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
A beautiful award-winning restaurant with inside and outdoor seating options. The seafood is so fresh it’s straight off the boat and presented in fine-dining style. It can get noisy when busy, but when it’s not fully packed, it is a divine experience. The service is what you would expect from a fine-dining establishment, and the ambience is perfect for a beautiful meal on your night out. Takeaway options are also available from their outdoor restaurant, and the food is truly delicious!
2 Endeavour Drive, Wollongong
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – The Harbourfront Restaurant
The vast, curving walls of glass that greet you when you step inside the Harbourfront restaurant. They ensure that the lovely water views can be enjoyed from most tables. Decor is understated to ensure all attention is focused on the flavours and the dazzling shoreline scenery outside. Seafood is the headline act here. But a supporting cast of meat dishes is available alongside a good selection of starters, desserts and cocktails. Tasting menus, seafood combos and oysters are popular options at this classic Wollongong fine-dining institution.
Feel like a drive up north? A drive past Thirroul takes you through some beautiful little towns. Squeezed between the escarpment and the beach, and views of dramatic cliffs that drop into the ocean.
315 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Clifton
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – The Imperial at Clifton
Dining at The Imperial takes you on a historical journey through the epic renovation of the old Clifton Pub. Historical relics and preserved sections are cherished here. The food is gourmet and ever-changing to make the most of seasonal produce. Sitting on the edge of the cliff, the views stretch out to Wollongong and are truly spectacular. Inside, you can choose from bar-side dining to dining by the huge floor-ceiling windows that overlook the ocean, or sit outside and take in the peace and quiet (and the VIEWS!). There are no bookings here, so arrive early to avoid a queue.
This restaurant is right next to the Sea Cliff Bridge, so it’s a great stop-off before or after having a walk over the bridge. It is also opposite Clifton School of Arts; drop in to explore the art gallery’s exhibitions after your amazing meal.
The Imperial also offers picnic hampers prepared by their chefs. Choose to have them delivered to you in the local area, or pick one up from the restaurant to take with you as you explore this amazing coastline.
383 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Scarborough
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – The Scarborough Hotel
Another historic building, lovingly restored, Scarborough Hotel has a beautiful, relaxed vibe. The beer garden has tables set up to take full advantage of the beachside location. Inside is beautiful as well, with lots of places and rooms to find the perfect spot for a wonderful meal. The food ranges from fresh seafood to burgers, with vegetarian options also on the menu.
23 Cliff Parade, Thirroul
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Thirroul Beach Pavilion
Footsteps away from the beach, the Thirroul Beach Pavillion offers everything you’d expect from a cafe on the beach. Casual dining at its finest, with options for dropping in for an ice cream, coffee or some takeaway chips, to dining in and enjoying the view. Perfect for a day at the beach.
104 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Austinmer
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Austi Beach Cafe
Always a favourite and directly opposite the ever-popular Austinmer Beach, Austi Beach Cafe has a great menu, and its food ticks all the boxes. The gelato bar is full of classic and unique flavours that don’t disappoint. After your meal, grab a take-away gelato or coffee and wander up to the headland to take in the views of the area.
Corner of Headland Ave and Yuruga St, Austinmer
Beachside Dining in Wollongong – What’s On In Wollongong – Headlands Hotel
A stunning place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The food is always delicious, and the cocktails are fab, too. It has a relaxed vibe and a selection of places to enjoy your meal, inside or outside, in the casual seating area. Take in the views, and let the kids run outside while you await your meal. After your meal, go for a walk in either direction to the beach, which is on the doorstep. It is also a beautiful place to host an event or stay for a weekend away.
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About the Author: Lisa Hagan
Lisa grew up in Thirroul and is a mum of four children. A student to life, Lisa loves learning and searching for the most fun things to do with her kids. She loves exploring the Illawarra and surrounds. Searching for fun and educational activities are her favourites for her kids whom she homeschools.