The southern Queensland coastal town of Hervey Bay is blessed with a mild climate and kilometres of idyllic sandy beaches. Beautiful in its own right, Hervey Bay has two other major draw-cards.
Firstly, it is the gateway to stunning Fraser Island (K’gari). This World Heritage listed wonder is the largest sand island on the planet and is famous for its pristine white sand beaches, startlingly blue lakes and stunning scenery.
And then, from July to November each year Hervey Bay becomes the whale watching capital of Australia (if not the world!). Researchers believe that the bay has been on the annual migration route of humpback whales for thousands of years.
These days, the winter months offer a fabulous opportunity to experience these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
However, whilst whale watching and exploring Fraser Island will keep you engaged in tourist mode, you’ll also need to eat. And this is where we can help, with our selection of must-try dining establishments on the Fraser Coast.
So what are the best restaurants in Hervey Bay? Is there a dining experience that you really shouldn’t miss? Let’s take a look.
Location: 552 Esplanade, Urangan, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 6982
Note: The Vinyard has been reported as closed indefinitely (another unfortunate victim of the pandemic).
Perched on the esplanade in Hervey Bay and with the most commanding views across the Urangan Pier and over to Fraser Island, The Vinyard has quickly established an excellent reputation as one of the premier dining establishments on the Fraser Coast.
The reviews and awards attest to The Vinyard getting a lot of things right. Head Chef Saul Collins brought an excellent reputation with him, when moving from the popular restaurant (Proudfoots in Warrnambool, Vic), and delivers inventive, unpretentious, fresh and zesty Modern Australian cuisine.
For the wine enthusiast, the impressive wine cellar and knowledgeable staff will pair you with the perfect drop. For those less wine-curious, the extensive list of cocktails, spirits and beers will have you covered.
The skilled and passionate kitchen team deliver some of the finest food in the Bay, proudly showcasing the splendid local seafood. The signature dish is probably the Hervey Bay ceviche scallops with parsnip puree, and we also recommend the grilled Moreton Bay bugs.
The Vinyard is one of the Fraser Coast’s finest dining experiences. Enjoy.
Location: 351a Esplanade, Scarness, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4124 6375
Oh to be at Enzo’s with a long, iced drink in hand as the sun goes down. Especially when they have live music playing!
The absolute beachfront location alone would put this place on the best restaurants in Hervey Bay list. Luckily, the food is pretty good too.
Enzo’s operates as a breakfast and light lunch place during the day. The Signature Omelette deserves a mention. It’s sweet with Australian spanner crab and zesty with a shiro miso lime dressing. There is also one of the most extensive lists of Brekkie Add Ons that we’ve ever had the pleasure of perusing.
Come mid-arvo, Enzo’s starts it’s transformation into a relaxed bar where you can sip a perfectly blended cocktail whilst admiring the sunset. The menu switches to local fare like Hervey Bay Scallops with miso butter and finger lime.
If you turn up with a good appetite, Enzo’s Seafood Platter is a great way to sample a wide selection of succulent seafood.
Big bonus points also go to this eatery for its dedicated vegan menu. The Vegan Sweet Potato Chips with ras el hanout and vegan aioli made us want to dig out our air fryer and have a stab at making them ourselves.
Location: 434 Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 2232
An authentic French restaurant might be the last thing that you expect to find in Hervey Bay, but the Aegean Waters French Restaurant is exactly that.
A feature of the local dining scene for more that 25 years and a firm favourite for birthdays, anniversaries and occasions when somewhere a bit special is required, this is definitely one of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay.
Some may find the decor a bit kitsch, but the dining room has a warm ambience which makes the refined food all the more enjoyable. And this is food that is beautifully prepared and served with love.
Personally, I’m a sucker for a chocolate souffle and will happily drive for hours sample a well-made one. However, the French desserts aren’t the only attractions on the menu. If you are pining for a juicy Filet Mignon with a luscious garlic sauce, or fancy a plate of snails in their shells with garlic butter (Les Escargots En Coquille), then book at table here fast.
Location: Shop 13, 416 The Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 6237
If you enjoy the light, bright flavours of Mexican food, then you are in luck. Our next offering for the one of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay is a cheery taqueria where the fresh and vibrant ingredients sing.
Here you can nibble on Jalapeno Poppers (they say that every 4th one is fiery!) and house made Gazpacho dressed with prawns, calamari, scallops and crunchy tortilla chips.
Tacos come with a variety of fillings including slow-cooked pork with a pineapple salsa, chicken with a red mole sauce and delicious fish version with a smoky chipotle mayo.
And if you are feeling particularly ravenous, there are mains of Fajita, Burrito and Quesadilla.
And let’s not forge the drinks menu. There are wines, beers and a decent selection of tequilas. But for me, Mexican food always tastes better with a Margarita.
Fortunately, the folks at Tres Salsas have 10 takes on this refreshing classic currently sitting on their drinks list. And the Pineapple Habanero Margarita sounds like heaven in a glass to me.
Location: Shop 6&7, Mantra Resort, Boat Marina, 2 Buccaneer Drive, Urangan, QLD 4655 Ph: 0492 815 742
The Dock has a quirky, industrial vibe and an extensive drinks and tapas-based food menu. This is the kind of place to visit with a group so that you can order lots of different, contrasting dishes and try a bit of everything.
As is often the case in Hervey Bay, seafood is well-represented. There are Scallops and Oysters – Natural, Kilpatrick and Mornay – vying for attention with Moreton bay bugs basted in garlic butter. Yum!
If meat is your thing, the Pork Fennel Meatballs with Lemon Dressing should hit the spot. Or perhaps you’d prefer the Chorizo & Haloumi Skewers on Pesto?
If you have a sweet tooth, then the Tapas de Dulces has your name written all over it. This is a platter of popcorn, fresh fruit, honeycomb, marshmallows and other delights, matched with vanilla ice cream and an addictive salted caramel sauce.
Ideal for sharing. Or not!
Location: Shop 1, 470 The Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 5880
If the food of Italy is what you are craving, check out this entry on our list of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay.
The menu is extensive and features plenty of traditional Italian fare. There are such winners as Risotto Pescatore and homemade Cannelloni Ricotta & Spinach as well as classics like Chicken Cacciatore for the meat lovers.
However, it is the pizza that many customers come for. And what a choice! When we last checked, there were more that 2 dozen dough-based creations to choose from.
All the usual suspects are present – Margherita, Capricciosa and Rustica and so on. But there are also a number of more interesting options.
The other thing to note is that this place always seems to be busy. So play it safe and book ahead.
Love pizza but follow a plant-based diet? Or perhaps you like to keep things paleo? See our Paleo Vegan Pizza Recipes
Location: 569/571 Esplanade, Urungan, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4194 6444
It’s hard to find a more quintessential Queensland holiday experience than this. Sitting on the deck at the Bayswater Bar and Grill, overlooking the jetty and beach, with a serve of Fresh Cold Local Prawns and a cold beer. Sign me up now!
The views and deck alone are worth the trip, but the food is pretty good to. The menu is full of beachside crowd-pleasers like various kinds of Burger and Steak Fries and a smattering of local fish and seafood.
Smartly, there is a large amount of choice left up to the diner with virtually every section of the mains menu coming with an ‘Add a Topper’ suggestion. This means that you can have your 300g Angus Sirloin either as is, or ‘topped’ with Grilled Hervey Bay Scallops, or Battered Onion Rings.
Similarly, you can construct your own Chicken Schnitzel by ‘topping’ your basic piece of chook with Prawn & Avocado or Baby Calamari and Hollandaise. It’s a clever way to construct a menu and means that there really is something for everyone.
Location: 4 Queens Rd, Scarness, QLD 4655 Ph: 0422 681 418
Who doesn’t love a Thai meal? And sometimes, even on holiday, all those fries can get too much and all you want is a good Pad Thai or a spicy Red Curry.
If you are hankering for crispy Spring Rolls, a zesty portion of Pineapple Fried Rice and a rich, fragrant Massaman Curry, look no further. The Tasty Thai Restaurant Hervey Bay is feeding happy customers all their favourites in a bright and cheerful dining space. And even better, the authentic flavours of Thailand are served by an accommodating team for whom nothing it too much trouble.
NB – When we last checked, Tasty Thai appeared to be focusing on providing a take-away service. Excellent news if you are renting an apartment or house for your Hervey Bay holiday and don’t fancy cooking.
Location: 381 Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4325 4095
Described by one happy customer in an online review as ‘a gem of fine dining’, this comparatively new eatery is rapidly gaining fans.
Head Chef Saul Collins honed his skills in Brisbane and regional Victoria before heading to Hervey Bay and rattling the pans at the much-loved, but now closed The Vinyard (see above). Now with his own kitchen to command, the menu shows his love of Modern Australian cooking with Asian and European accents.
Dine on fresh Moreton Bay Bugs, grilled to perfection and served with a Fresh Slaw, Fries, Bay Bug Butter and Aioli. Or maybe an Almond Crusted Chicken Breast, served with Greens, a Sweet Potato Puree and delicately balanced Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce is more to your liking?
The clean lines of the food are echoed in the smart, modern decor and the wait staff are knowledgable and helpful.
This is definitely one to add to your list of potential eateries in Hervey Bay. The food is fresh and zingy and makes great use of the excellent local produce of the Fraser Coast.
Location: 1/348 Esplanade, Scarness, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4124 0888
This cute-as-a-button beachside cafe might be closed by 1pm most days, but it still makes our list of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay. After all, breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day!
The coffee here (from Paradox Roasters) gets consistently enthusiastic reviews, with many locals refusing to get their caffeine fix anywhere else. And the other constantly mentioned attraction is the super-friendly staff.
On top of this, the menu is an interesting mix of European and Asian. So you can start the day with a crispy Croissant stuffed with Beetroot Relish, Feta, Dukkah & Rocket and then lunch on a wonderfully umami Nasi Goreng. Indeed, some customers reckon Vinvero’s Cafe (also known as Vinvero Espresso & Eatery) serves some of the best Asian food in Queensland.
So if you find yourself in Hervey Bay be smart, and get yourself over to Vinvero Espresso & Eatery for a coffee and a feed. You won’t regret it.