Eat your way along the Tweed coast with these fantastic restaurants that showcase the region’s incredible produce.
From the pristine ocean to the lush hinterland, the Tweed coast is a veritable food bowl of produce that attracts some of the country’s best chefs and restaurateurs. Whether you’re dining at a casual pizzeria or a beachside fine diner, you’ll be sure to sample the unique terroir of the Tweed. Take note of these top 10 picks to ensure your stay is full of flavour.
1. Taverna, Kingscliff
Best for: Long lunches with friends and date nights
This light-filled, white tableclothed restaurant spills through the bougainvillea-draped doorway and onto the footpath outside where, on sunny days, it’s the pick of tables for a lunch sitting.
Pair an excellent beachfront location with a Greek feast and you’ve got Taverna. (Image: Ryan Fowler Photography)
An elegant assembly of Greek classics form the menu, which is well-matched with refined wines and cocktails. Sharing is a good strategy for trying as many of these beautiful dishes as possible, especially if you’re considering the generous slow-roasted lamb shoulder – and you should. Other go-to’s are the chargrilled octopus Byron Bay halloumi and the spanakopita.
The spotlight is firmly on local produce here. (Image: Ryan Fowler Photography)
Open: Dinner Thursday–Sunday; lunch Friday-Sunday
Address: 22 Marine Parade, Kingscliff
2. Fins Restaurant & Bar, Kingscliff
Best for: Special occasion dining
Award-winning Fins has undisputed pedigree having occupied space on the Northern Rivers for more than three decades. Its former iteration was at Byron Bay, but hatted Fins now resides in Kingscliff where you’ll find flappingly fresh, line-caught seafood served within a fine dining ambience.
The hatted Fins Restaurant & Bar is fine dining at its best with a dash of coastal elegance.
You can’t go wrong with owner and chef, Steve Snow’s, signature Snowy’s fish, which is simple and superb, or try a medley of seafood doused in a fiery Mauritian-style sambal. Of course, there are other options for the seafood-shy, such as grass-fed beef and handmade gnocchi. Enjoy a two-course set menu or settle in for a five-course degustation.
Slurp down some oysters at Fins Restaurant & Bar.
Open: Dinner Wednesday–Saturday; lunch Friday and Saturday
Address: 5/6 Bells Boulevard, Kingscliff
3. Jordy’s, Casuarina
Best for: An easy family dinner
This neighbourhood pizzeria uses local, seasonal ingredients to adorn their naturally leavened sourdough pizza bases. Beautifully puffy and deliciously chewy, you can expect some disruption of the usual pizza genre here with toppings named after local towns, such as the ‘Cabarita’ with chicken and mascarpone, the ‘Mullumbimby’ with pickled vegetables and vegan mozzarella, and the ‘Pottsville’ with fennel salami, ham and pineapple. Kids can choose from the ‘grommets’ menu with the likes of the ‘Mooball’ pizza topped with sausage and cheese or the ‘Froggy Beach’ with basil and cheese.
Open: Dinner Wednesday–Sunday
Address: 480 Casuarina Way, Casuarina
4. The Crafty Cow Smokehouse, Casuarina
Best for: Casual nights out
You’ll pick up the scent of mouth-watering smoked meats before you turn the corner of this relaxed restaurant. The ironbark-fuelled smoker gets to work early on fall-apart beef brisket and pork that can be enjoyed as they are or in a burger. It’s a chilled, neighbourhood vibe at the indoor-outdoor space with local beers on tap and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. In summer the Crafty Cow makes a great end to beach days, while in winter the warmth from the smoker is perfect for cosy nights out.
End your beach day at The Crafty Cow Smokehouse for a satisfyingly good feed.
Open: Dinner nightly; lunch Wednesday–Sunday
Address: 3/480 Casuarina Way, Casuarina
5. Lolita’s Mexican Cantina, Casuarina
Best for: Combined family fun or to kick off a night out
A sprawling, brightly accented Mexican eatery, Lolita’s is a riot of colour and flavour with a joyously amped-up atmosphere. Margaritas are free-flowing and you’ll find plenty of Central American staples to help keep you on an even keel, such as kingfish ceviche, tostadas, tacos and plenty of nibbles.
Line up for tasty tacos at Lolita’s Mexican Cantina.
Sit inside or outside, let the kids loose on the playground and lean into the fun. There’s even onsite child-minding, should the occasion call for it.
Open: Dinner Thursday–Sunday
Address: 1 Barclay Drive, Casuarina
6. Paper Daisy, Cabarita
Best for: Celebrating a loved one or a romantic interlude
Housed in landmark luxury hotel, Halcyon House, Paper Daisy has been a headline act for dining out on the far north coast since it opened in 2015. Styled in the Capri-esque palette the hotel is admired for, the dining room is a beautiful place to spend a few hours contemplating the well-executed flavours on the plate. Be sure to arrive earlier than your sitting to sip a negroni and oyster in the bar before proceeding to enjoy sophisticated dishes such as Hiramasa kingfish with verjuice, Bangalow pork shoulder with chestnut mushroom and Jerusalem artichoke or lobster and green tea dumplings.
Open: Daily for lunch and dinner
Address: 21 Cyprus Crescent, Cabarita Beach
7. No. 35 Kitchen and Bar, Cabarita
Best for: Girls’ or boys’ nights out, date nights, long lunch sessions
Elevated yet warmly welcoming and casual, No. 35 Kitchen and Bar is highly attuned to the area with a laidback atmosphere that heroes quality produce prepared simply. The dining room opens out to a roadside outdoor terrace, where it’s most pleasant to spend a warm summer evening working your way through the Italian-accented menu.
Soak up summer vibes at the al fresco dining spot, No. 35 Kitchen and Bar.
Seasonally driven, you may find a 12-hour slow-cooked beef shin pasta or saffron-baked fish and mussels, and antipasto bites such as cacio e pepe arancini or local burrata. All of which is deftly accompanied by a considered wine and drinks list. From 5pm–6pm, Wednesday to Friday, there’s a happy hour, where you can sip $10 drinks and snacks.
The food at No. 35 Kitchen and Bar is prepared with love.
Open: Dinner Wednesday–Friday; lunch Saturday
Address: 35 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach
8. The Burrow, Bogangar
Best for: Pre- or post-dinner drinks and a dance
Burrow in for a session at this Cabarita Beach bar and institution, where you can grab a tipple of your choice and classic, rib-sticking bar snack while listening to live music.
Head to The Burrow for post-dinner drinks.
The walk-in-only establishment is a true local haunt and so popular they’ve expanded next door with a pizzeria. Check their socials for updates on special nights and line-ups.
Address: 1/36 Tweed Coast Road, Bogangar
9. Pipit Restaurant, Pottsville
Best for: Intimate occasions
Inspired by the incredible produce of the region, chef and owner Ben Devlin intricately arranges flavours on the plate for exquisite fare that has earned Pipit Restaurant two hats and won Good Food Guide’s Regional Restaurant of the Year in 2022.
Co-owners Yen and chef Ben Devlin opened Pipit Restaurant in Pottsville in 2019.
With a focus on sustainable proteins and championing local ingredients, Pipit uses an open wood fire to achieve deep flavour in every bite. Settle into the Scandi-style dining room for a laidback culinary adventure or ask for a seat at the bar, so can watch the fiery action.
Pipit runs the occasional pop-up and masterclass and a more chilled Penny’s Bistro on Monday nights to start your week out right.
Pipit Restaurant champions sustainably sourced ingredients.
Open: Dinner Thursday–Sunday; lunch Friday–Sunday; Penny’s Bistro Mondays
Address: 8 Coronation Avenue, Pottsville
10. Garden Pizza, Pottsville
Best for: Good pizza, good vibes
This charming and authentic pizzeria is somewhat of a local secret, yet its under-the-radar appeal makes it all the more special. BYO drinks from the bottleshop and grab a picnic table under an umbrella for deliciously blistered Napoli classics. There’s a few sides and homemade gelato to fill out your order, but mostly it’s the basics, executed well. You can take yours away, but the chilled, outdoor vibe is best.
Open: Dinner Thursday–Tuesday
Address: 9 Coronation Avenue, Pottsville