The Irons and Craig café’s signature-made sourdough doughnuts are Yamba’s answer to the Berry Donut Van. These sweet-filled dough balls are best devoured with a steaming hot cup of the café’s crowd-pleasing Reliable No.9 coffee blend; a house blend that’s roasted exclusively for them at the Botero roastery in nearby Maclean. The former house has been thoughtfully converted into a café complete with a takeaway window, indoor and outdoor dining areas and a kitchen garden. Purchase a shopping bag full of housemade jams, preserves, tomato relish and fresh marshmallows. Or opt to dine-in for a heartier breakfast or leisurely lunch.
Head to Beachwood Café for a Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern inspired breakfast or lunch seated under the shade of the frangipani trees in the café’s quiet outdoor area. Expect such culinary delights as dolmades with garlic yoghurt or a serving of Yamba’s famous prawns marinated in chilli and garlic – complemented by a glass of crisp white vino of course.
You can also pick up Yamba’s world-famous prawns at the Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-operative in Iluka, Maclean and the Yamba Prawn Shack at the Yamba Marina. All seafood is caught daily – and sustainably – by the Co-op’s extensive fishing fleet.
Taste more of the region’s best seafood at Sandbar Yamba. The third generation local fishing family behind the restaurant is intent on curating a tapas-style dinner menu that uses fresh, locally-sourced seafood and produce to create mouth-watering meals that change with the season. Breakfast is an all-star lineup that includes everything from pancakes to eggs benedict, but the real winner is the banoffee French toast with banana, coffee cream and mascarpone and a generous serving of warm caramel sauce to finish it off. It’s located in front of the Yamba Motel, across from the beach car park within walking distance to the ocean pools and Yamba Beach.
The fully-licensed Drift Pizza Bar is Yamba’s go-to establishment for a boozy lunch or chilled night out. Share plates, sandwiches and a pared back list of pizzas are on the menu for lunch, while dinner shines the spotlight on the restaurant’s extensive offering of gourmet pizzas. Try the Blue Pear topped with Napoli, mozzarella, pear, free range pancetta, gorgonzola and rocket; or The Salty Bandit with Napoli, mozzarella, free range salami, n’duja, heirloom cherry tomatoes, red onion, buffalo mozzarella, olive dust; and a side of Garlic Breath. Round out the experience with a craft beer, cocktail or choose from the curated wine list.
The Pacific Hotel Yamba, a stark white 1934-building perched on the headland with Pacific Hotel painted boldly across it, is as iconic to the Main Beach landscape as the views you get looking out over the ocean from the hotel balcony. Aside from the views, the Pacific Bistro within the hotel has perfected the art of fuss-free dining with its lunch and dinner menu. Start with a half dozen of oysters and the chilli salt crispy fried squid dipped in teriyaki, aioli and lemon before moving on to a range of heartier mains or classic pub fare such as the BBQ pulled pork burger stuffed with cheese, lettuce rainbow slaw and drizzled in chipotle.
Fine dining restaurant, Karrikin, serves up artfully-plated food that fuses native flavours with the freshest local seafood and seasonal produce. The dining experience is elevated by the lush greenery of the outdoor dining area – with grass underfoot. While the earthy tones of sage, walnut and charcoal that decorate the interior of the restaurant create a warm and inviting space. The menu, which changes with the seasons, is divided into earth, land, sea and sweet – and you should aim to order at least one dish from each for the full experience.