Where to eat in Hervey Bay
If there was a university degree in knowing where to eat, I’d like to think I’d pass with honours.
Ever since I discovered the restaurant world, I’ve been hunting down the very best of the food scene with the same prowess of a cheetah stalking its prey.
Coffee, cocktails and carbs are kinda my thing – and with these credentials on the table – I’d like to share one of my favourite eating haunts – Hervey Bay.
If you’re in town for a long weekend or just passing through, I’ve got you covered with this guide to finding food in the Bay.
For the best breakfast:
Pinning a ribbon on just one café for breakfast is a big call I know, but Eat at Dan & Steph’s earns its stripes as the best spot in Hervey Bay for brekkie in my humble food-opinion.
Their all-day menu speaks to my penchant for pulled pork regardless of the hour, and their Tim Adams coffee equally soothes my soul.
With a menu laden with at least three different types of jaffle and a homemade sausage-spaghetti – there’s a reason this place is pumping between the hours of 6am and 4pm.
For the best Italian this side of Rome:
Save yourself the airfare and get a true taste of Italy with an Italian cooking masterclass at Villa Cavour B&B.
Heralding from restaurants in the hills of Piemonte, Mara and Rocco made the ultimate sea-change to Hervey Bay 30 years ago to share the secrets behind soft gnocchi, fresh pasta and picture-perfect pastries with their guests.
If you have a few hours up your sleeve, loan them to Mara and Rocco. In just an afternoon, they’ll have you cooking pasta just like a Nonna used to, and you’ll be reaping the rewards at dinner parties for years to come.
Their emphasis on the finest ingredients like fresh scallops and prawns is just *mwah* (read: big Italian kiss to the audience).
For the best fish & chips:
How do you pick just one fish and chip shop in a town known for its seafood? It was with great difficulty my blog friends, but for my money, there’s one gold medallist when it comes to all things battered, crumbed and fried – Birneys Seafood.
Set on the Esplanade at Torquay, Birneys serves more than just good grub, it’s a true Hervey Bay experience. Make like the locals and order a fisherman’s basket to take across to “train park” with its picnic tables, gazebos and beach views. After you’ve had your fish fill, there’s a playground for the kids to burn off some energy and some of the best views of the bay for mum and dad.
For the best treats:
If you’ve been trawling your phone for Insta-spiration in Hervey Bay, chances are you’ve stumbled across School House Espresso.
Their barista is a coffee boss in the latte-art stakes and makes a brew that tastes as good as it looks. Their ‘primary school’ coffee blend is reminiscent of a Caramello Koala (#yum) while their ‘high school’ has a hint of molasses in it (#OMG).
If coffee doesn’t get your heart started, wrap your laughing gear around some of Steph’s baked treats. Her guilt-free options get my tick of approval as they rotate through the cabinet. I particularly like her raw mocha, chocolate and raspberry cake – which tastes like a Cherry Ripe on steroids. Although their glass cabinet of treats is always changing, good coffee and cake are the foundations of this School House.
For the best fine-dining:
If there’s one Hervey Bay dining institution, it’s Coast. Coast is this town’s answer to fine dining, but with a distinctively coastal (read: casual) twist.
It’s all about share plates like slow-cooked lamb shoulder, beef brisket and salad-sides that are so good that you wish they came in a main size.
I recommend you take a leaf out of Coast’s motto and make a reservation to ‘eat, drink and relax’ at this dining hotspot.
For the best coffee:
You might need to put your coffee nose to the ground to find it, but once you try Minimalist Espresso Roasters in Bideford Street, you won’t forget the directions to this coffee hotspot in a hurry.
The couple behind Minimalist Coffee Roasters are the nicest coffee nerds you’ll ever meet and like true coffee purists – they tell you how you should be ordering. I don’t blame their staunch attitude against coffee syrups – their coffee is so good it doesn’t need adulterating.
Beyond coffee, their food menu is well… minimalist… but they have a couple of options to sate any hunger pangs.
For the best fresh seafood:
If oysters are the king of seafood and scallops are the queen – Hervey Bay wins the seafood-stakes with the royal flush of all things delicious – oysters, scallops and king prawns.
Australian King Prawn Co. is the godfather of the Hervey Bay seafood industry and their family-owned operation has been serving customers out of Hervey Bay for over 25 years. Under normal circumstances, their business is reserved for wholesale purposes only, but they have a small front-of-house where you can buy scallops, prawns and fish by the bulk load.
Trust me, a visit to their warehouse is the best way to get your mitts on seafood slated for the best restaurants in Australia and overseas. Did I mention their operation is conveniently located just by the airport, giving new meaning to the word ‘souvenir’?
If Hervey Bay is on your to-visit list, I’d recommend timing your visit for August for the annual Hervey Bay Seafood Festival. The event is run entirely by Hervey Bay fishermen and you won’t have to go behind the scenes to bag yourself a catch.
The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival puts the best of the Bay on a plate. I’m talking seafood paella, blue salmon bruschetta, barramundi burgers and verdelho and scallop pies – and that’s only just the beginning!
For the best breezes and sunset drinks:
If the thought of craft beers, breezy balconies and live music has you ready to shout the next round of drinks, then set your GPS to Beach House Hotel at Scarness.
Forget what you know of the old Beach House – this pub has had one hell of a multi-million dollar facelift – and the building looks like it stepped off the set of The OC and onto Hervey Bay’s Esplanade.
I recommend pulling up a chair, grabbing a schooner and enjoying the sunset as the afternoon slips into evening.