Great news for us South Coast foodies! We have a thriving array of dining / drinking options now more than ever! Here are our top 8 choices and why the locals love getting it on with these venues. Please note: book in advance as these venues book up real quick!
OMG – the fish pie – IT WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD! As will the casual but beautifully styled setting (indoor and out), distant ocean views, delicious cocktails, craft beer on tap, fresh seafood choices and a couple of meaty / veg options for those who don’t indulge in what lies beneath the ocean… Owned by a local family who have created quite the name for themselves in the restaurant and catering world. Whether you want an early family meal, a ladies lunch or a romantic, cosy dinner for two, it’s a fab choice 🙂
Oh who doesn’t love an intimate bar / restaurant with a booth option!? A small but beautifully executed menu that includes delicious dumplings and these divine little eggplant inventions that may have made my body do a little joyful dance. Excellent cocktails and a varied wine list with a couple of craft beer options. Great for a get-together with mates that feels a bit upmarket, or a romantic meal for two. Co-owned by visionary locals who previously brought us our only hatted restaurant in Wollongong. Bookings essential.
Ohhh Italian food and ocean views – request a table near the window and enjoy a sunset meal. The pizza, oh my the pizza, we love it! Rustic, provincial, Italian style menu (try the the Octopus Bruschetta) and the Aperol Spritz – oh hell yeah. Hold it up to the ocean, squint a little and there is your East Coast sunset. Friendly Italian staff, this is a great choice for families or those who like to wander hand in hand down by the ocean after. Be careful – the romance of the Gong will reel you in at this beautiful venue!
Births & Deaths – Gin Bar, 74 Kembla St Wollongong
There is NOTHING the lovely team here don’t know about Gin, and they will chat you through it all to ensure the most divine gin choice for your unique palate and taste! Beer, wine and cocktails on offer for those who decided long ago that Gin really is ‘mother’s ruin’. Plus a small grazing / snack menu of toasties and dips is on offer. The ambience is laid back vibey and this cool small bar is definitely one to sample…
Kinn Thai – Keira St, Wollongong
Not just your average Thai, this buzzing restaurant takes Thai cuisine to the next explosive flavour level and ding ding, who said cocktail with dinner please?? Yup cocktails, Thai food at it’s inventive best, beautiful staff and quick service plus an vibey ambient decor makes Kinn Thai a winning combo. Family friendly but just as good for a date night. And the spicy eggplant dish – oh my – who knew eggplant could be such a mover and shaker in our Wollongong dining scene!?
Sakura Sushi – Japanese Restaurant
Rustic, a little old school but damn that sushi is fresh, super tasty and THE WAGYU BEEF BUNS and the popcorn prawns ohhhh we ordered a second serve of both. BYO or licensed this affordable Japanese Wollongong dining choice is great – try and pre book the booth at the back if you can, it’s cosy and cute. It is hard to find by the way – walk as you don’t see if from the road, so down by the side of the liquor store on Corrimal St (opposite the infamous Harp Hotel).
Resin Brewery – Bulli
For those who like their craft beer in a classy, well designed establishment (complete small rooms for group bookings, fires in winter, the deck for balmy summer evenings), Resin will not disappoint. Classic pub food with a fresh twist will keep you sipping away at your beers and it’s a stone’s throw from Bulli train station so make the train your Plan A and get stuck into those delicious ales!
The Scarborough Hotel – Lawrence Hargreaves Drive, Scarborough (20-30min drive north of Wollongong)
For those who RELISH ocean views, this classic hotel with a massive pub garden (wheelchair, dog and kid friendly) is a must do for locals and for tourists. Overlooking the sparkling ocean will have you sighing deep breaths of Illawarra happiness… Well done, stylish pub food and a full bar will keep you content whilst you watch for dolphins or whales (whale season is June – Nov). The Scarborough often has pop up juice / gelato bars or sometimes even live music. Definitely one to take your visitors to – knock their socks off with those absolutely stunning views (you can also combine a Seacliff Bridge drive or walk – again, just beautiful Illawarra Ocean views).
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