Chow for now: the best places to eat and drink while exploring Rottnest Island.
After spending lazy, hazy days on your favourite patch of sand, hunt down the best spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks on Rottnest Island. Our pick of the best places to eat and drink on Rottnest Island spans a dinky bakery known for its jam doughnuts to a low-key wood-fired pizzeria and cool beach club hideout.
Lontara at Samphire Resort
Chef Russell Blaikie is known as a master of seafood and his menu at Lontara, part of the Prendiville Group, is dedicated to tracing the maritime spice routes that have influenced Southeast Asian food culture. The restaurant is located in the heart of the Samphire Resort, which along with the quokka, has caused Rottnest Island stocks to soar. Expect world-class produce such as Rottnest Island scallops, charred Fremantle octopus, chilli salt soft shell crab tempura.
Hotel Rottnest Bar and Bistro
Spend the day snorkelling off the coast of Rottnest Island, one of the top things to do here, and then come ashore to the Hotel Rottnest Bar + Bistro in Thomson Bay when the afternoon sun is slanting low in the sky. Drop anchor on the deck and order crisp Shark Bay calamari, Albany rock oysters, and grilled northwest snapper from the seasonally inspired menu while admiring the eternal blue of the Indian Ocean.
Frankies on Rotto
Oh to be a castaway on Rottnest Island and have to survive on food from Frankie’s On Rotto! The casual restaurant welcomes all comers – including quokkas, who have been known to make cameos on the deck. The eatery is also popular with families who nudge their children toward the nearby playground while waiting for their meals to arrive. Order bruschetta for breakfast, loaded fries for lunch and pepperoni pizza for dinner.
Geordie Cafe & Art Gallery
The Geordie Cafe & Art Gallery is a good place to sample seasonal southwest Oz cuisine. While away an afternoon here and you will get a serve of art on the side: the licensed café doubles as a gallery where diners sit and sip espresso (or something stronger) surrounded by artworks of the island. Pick up some paninis to take away for a picnic on Geordie Bay or colonise a corner of the café to enjoy oyster po’ boy sliders.
Pinky’s Beach Club at Discovery Rottnest Island
Chef Karl Wulf has opened a sister restaurant to Thomsons Rottnest in the form of Pinky’s Beach Club on the oceanside of Discovery Holiday Parks Rottnest Island. Set below Bathurst Point Lighthouse, the beach club has views over Pinky Beach and is the ultimate wind-down destination after a day of sun, sea and sand. Keep it simple and seasonal with a toasted cheese and mushroom sanga or level up with lobster with smashed cucumber and green goddess dressing.
Spend your days exploring sea caves and swimming offshore, before retreating to your Rottnest Island accommodation to freshen up before your farm-to-table feast. Riva serves some of the best cocktails on the island, which you can follow up with island staples such as pan-seared scallops, and market fish sourced locally. After dinner, wander to the Gov’s Bar next door to enjoy live music and meet a raucous Rotto crowd.
Anchor your mega yacht and shimmy ashore in your best bejewelled sandals and nautical stripes for breakfast at The Lane. Sip on freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and acai bowls at The Lane, which is located in Sommerville Mall. The menu riffs on classic mod-Oz comfort cuisine such as red wine-braised beef cheeks with celeriac puree and roast heirloom carrots (a winter dish) and Lane lunch bowls such as halloumi and roast pumpkin salad.
Lexi’s on Rotto
Lexi’s is as redolent of Rotto as the island’s rugged landscape. Park on the red-and-white striped deckchairs outside the e mobile food van – located at West End – to enjoy hot and cold drinks (chai lattes or an iced long black) – and snacks such as muffins, protein balls, toasties, pies and soup. Open every day from 10 am to 3 pm, the van is the little sister to Frankie’s on Rotto and is now as much a part of the landscape as the nearby Wadjemup Lighthouse.
Be sure to arrive early to Rottnest Bakery, one of the best places to eat on Rottnest Island, to get your hands on a sticky jam-filled doughnut. It’s well worth making the pilgrimage to pick up everything from fresh pastries for a family picnic or a round of hot coffees and croissants to go. The bakery, which is also known for its pies, has also opened the Chook Shack which sells a beautifully basted bird with hot chips.