Don’t set out on Victoria’s most iconic road trip without planning where you’ll stop along the way – better yet, plan your Great Ocean Road trip around these cafes, restaurants and eateries.
A trip along the Great Ocean Road is a feast for the senses. There’s the smell of the eucalyptus trees, the sound of the roaring ocean and some incredible food to tantalise your taste buds. From breakfast burgers at The Bottle of Milk in Lorne to a degustation dinner at one of the country’s finest restaurants (Brae in Birregurra), there’s something here to suit every palette. These are our top picks.
Set in the beautiful hamlet of Wye River, The General is a beautiful dining spot, right by the sea. They do an all day brunch menu that features excellent coffee and fresh pastries, bloody marys, burgers, bang up full breakfasts, and fresh salads. Kitchen hours are 8am – 2.30pm (it’s open until 4). This is a great spot if you’re travelling through in the cooler months, as they have a combustion heater to keep things toasty. There’s also a great play area for little ones.
Address: 35 Great Ocean Road, Wye River, Victoria
The General is a beautiful dining spot, right by the sea
Enjoy expansive ocean views from the Lorne Hotel while you dine on tapas plates from MoVida – Chef Frank Camorra’s restaurant that originally made a name for itself in Melbourne. Using the best of the local south-west Victorian produce available, the menu draws inspiration from Spanish flavours, techniques and tradition. The Alimentaria Deli also offers cheese, preserved seafood, pickles, wine, and tapas to-go, for those who want to take a little MoVida home with them.
Address: 176 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne, Victoria
MoVida uses the best of the local south-west Victorian produce available
For those who have visited the nearby Twelve Apostles, a meal at Forage on the Foreshore can be the perfect bookend to an excellent day’s sightseeing. The food on the menu is mostly grown, produced or foraged locally, and is seasonal. Breakfast options include baked free-range eggs with garden greens, cream, Apostle Whey camembert cheese and toasted Zeally Bay sourdough; and spelt hotcakes with preserved rhubarb, quark cheese, shaved coconut and maple syrup. Until 4pm you can also enjoy dishes such as local cheese plates, braised calamari, house made gnocchi and fresh grilled fish.
Address: 32 Cairns St, Port Campbell, Victoria
A meal at Forage on the Foreshore can be the perfect bookend to an excellent day’s sightseeing
Anglesea surfers would do well to follow the lead of Chef Matt Germanchis, one half of the mastermind behind the now-closed Captain Moonlite – and it’s offshoot, Fish by Moonlite, a fish-and-chip and seafood retail shop along the Great Ocean Road run by Germanchis and his partner Gemma Gange.
Germanchis was inspired by his time cooking in Skiathos, Greece, where the evening menu would come from what fishermen bring to port that day, now Fish by Moonlite patrons not only gain access to the freshest seafood delivered daily but also get advice from seasoned chefs about how to cook your produce. A visit won’t be complete without a helping of their top-notch fish and chips.
In related news, Germanchis has announced that he will be taking on the role of executive chef at The Lorne Hotel for Sydney hospitality giant Merivale, who acquired the historic Great Ocean Road establishment in early 2021. Watch this space!
Address: 87-89 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria
Get access to the freshest seafood delivered daily at Fish by Moonlite.
Set high in the Otways above the Great Ocean Road, Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant has been an iconic eatery since opening in 1979. Chris’s passion for the food of southern Europe combined with the freshest and purest produce available means people come back time and time again for lunch or dinner with a spectacular view. Fresh seafood is a speciality.
Address: 280 Skenes Creek Rd, Apollo Bay, Victoria
Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant has been an iconic eatery since opening in 1979
Located in the historic coastal town of Port Fairy is Conlan’s Wine Store, a restaurant that offers relaxed dining options perfect for a night of unwinding. Try their four-course sharing style menu, or order from their wide selection of a la carte dishes, both of which can be paired with the region’s finest wine. You can also bring home a bottle along with some homely goods from their retail store.
Address: 34 Bank Street, Port Fairy, Victoria, 3284
Try their four-course sharing style menu.
If it’s a hearty breakfast you’re after, it’s hard to go past The Bottle of Milk. The coconut porridge with oats cooked in pear juice and coconut milk is a tropical start to the day, while the truffled mushrooms and corn and zucchini fritters are also a standout. Later in the day you’ll find a mouth-watering array of burgers on offer, including some excellent vegetarian options.
Address: 52 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne, Victoria
It’s hard to go past The Bottle of Milk
To be fair this isn’t technically on the Great Ocean Road. You have to head inland to hit Birregurra to indulge in a lunch or dinner at Brae. But it’s consistently been named one of the best restaurants in the country by the Good Food Guide, and when you’re this close to perfection it would be a shame not to take the slight detour. Chef Dan Hunter’s ever-changing menu incorporates produce from Brae’s organic farm, the surrounding land and local, ethical, sustainable producers. It will be one of the best meals you ever have.
Address: 4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Victoria
Brae is consistently been named one of the best restaurants in the country
For a fun night out with friends it’s hard to go past Ipsos. Here you’ll find a modern spin on Greek cooking, with lots of salads, dips and grilled meats to keep you satisfied. There’s also a superb cocktail list.
Address: 48 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne, Victoria
Find a modern spin on Greek cooking at Ipsos
Locals along the Great Ocean Road swear by the Apollo Bay Bakery. They have a great range of fresh sandwiches, rolls and cakes and all their pies, pasties and sausage rolls are hand-made on site (they have become well known as the home of the scallop pie). Gluten-free pies and vegan pasties are also available. It’s open seven days a week from 6am – 4pm.
Address: 125 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, Victoria
This is, apparently, Victoria’s oldest inn and it’s certainly dripping with old world charm. Open for dinner Thursday to Monday, the daily kitchen menu at the Merrijig Inn highlights local producers and farmers. Depending on what’s good and fresh that day you might find Milawa free range duck, Western District lamb, and ox-tail ragout with globe artichokes or pan-fried fillet of Portland blue-eye.
Address: 1 Campbell Street, Port Fairy, Victoria
Merrijig is, apparently, Victoria’s oldest inn
Read our ultimate travel guide to the Great Ocean Road for more on what to do and where to stay.