Where To Eat In The Whitsundays
No self-respecting island holiday would be complete without lashings of superb seafood, and the Whitsundays are no exception. Highly-credentialed Executive Chefs are easily lured to these islands, particularly to fine dining establishments on Hayman and Hamilton Islands. The area attracts Chefs at the top of their game, thanks to an abundance of quality restaurants, access to fresh tropical produce or their own island gardens. Here's our list of the best restaurants in the Whitsundays:
They got mostly it right with the name though seafood d'vine would actually be more appropriate. Naturally, lashings of fresh seafood done a gazillion ways feature heavily on the menu but herbivores and true carnivores are in for a treat too. Try their take on San Francisco seafood chowder served with crusty bread or salt & pepper tempura crocodile with lemon myrtle and sumac spiced aioli.
Barcelona Tapas Bar & Cafe
Channelling Mediterranean origins and ably assisted by the Abell Point Marina dockside setting, Barcelona is a tiny touch of Spain done Whitsundays style. Mix and match delectable treats like pan fried scallops on caramelized apple puree, or goats cheese and fresh herbs in a pastry cigar with beetroot relish. Lubricate with lashings of aged tempranillo while enjoying live music on weekends - bring your Latin dancing shoes if you're there Friday night.
Sorrento Restaurant & Bar
Another marina-front restaurant tapping into the Mediterranean vibe, Sorrento occupies an enviable northern location overlooking Pioneer Bay. With little between diners and the Coral Sea thanks to a large outdoor deck, Sorrento is casual and cool for breakfast and lunch. Come evening the place morphs into a toe-tapping cocktail bar and sophisticated waterfront restaurant.
Little Vegas Burger Bar
Continuing Airlie Beach's global food tour, Little Vegas Burger Bar pays homage to American street food. Think crispy fries, burgers bigger than Ben Hur or go full Americana with southern fried chicken and waffles with maple bacon syrup. Only in America right? Wash it all down with craft beers on tap like Blue Moon or Yenda pale ale. Not surprisingly, Little Vegas is open late and caters to the party set.
A pizza bar that doubles as a tapas bar that does take away as well as serving up a pretty mean coffee, Mr Bones wears many hats. Fried chicken wings with blue cheese and jalapeno dipping sauce is not bad for starters. Or how about a slow-roasted lamb shoulder pizza with haloumi, olives and salsa verde? There's plenty to get excited about here.
Montes Reef Resort
One of those little known secrets thanks to its out of town location at the northern tip of Cape Gloucester, you'll need a car and a road map to find Montes. Trust us, it's worth the short road trip for the location alone. Lunch is not bad either. Order fish and chips with a cold Corona on the side, slip off your sandals and slide your toes into cool beach sand. Sigh.
Fat Frog Beach Cafe
For a breakfast of champions head away from the main downtown strip to Fat Frog Beach Cafe opposite Cannonvale Beach. Homemade and healthy, this is a good place for guilt-free wholesome food that will get your day started on an even keel. Kids, dogs, families, hipsters and geeks alike keep Fat Frog humming for breakfast or lunch. The coffee is very good.
Clipper Restaurant & Bar
If there is any such thing as a signature restaurant in Airlie Beach, multi-award winning Clippers should probably take a bow. Their six course degustation dinner is perfect for special occasions but the a la carte menu is equally special. Feeling the love? Book well in advance for a private oceanfront candlelit table in the gazebo.
One&Only Hayman Island
Exclusive to in-house guests, absolute beachfront Pacific Restaurant lays out arguably the finest breakfast spread north of Melbourne. To call it a buffet is to grossly undersell what amounts to a morning feast of the finest quality. Veuve Clicquot with espresso? Sure why not. Linger over breakfast then skip lunch in favour of private dining Under the Stars. Romance your loved one in an intimate setting beachside or amongst lush gardens as dusk turns to dark.
Bommie at Hamilton Island Yacht Club
With the opening of Hamilton Island Yacht Club on 2009, Bommie Restaurant added an element of sophistication to the islands' dining scene. The location takes spectacular advantage of its position perilously clinging to the sand overhanging Dent Passage. Opt for Chef Josep Espuga's 5 course tasting menu for tantalising temptations to satiate discerning palates.