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
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.
Editor’s Note: The Vinyard has been reported as closed indefinitely (another unfortunate victim of the pandemic).
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 restaurant suggestion 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.
The Checkered Chef Complete Pizza Lovers Set is the perfect gift for the pizza fan in your life. Or even for yourself! It features a Pizza Paddle, Rocker Pizza Cutter and Silicone Dough Mat.
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.
Always buzzing on a warm evening and considered one of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay, book ahead to ensure your spot.
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.
This cheap, but cheerful option deserves its place against our best restaurants in Hervey Bay.
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. In fact, many locals refuse to get their caffeine fix anywhere else. And the other constantly mentioned attraction is the super-friendly staff.
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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.
Location: 4/341 Esplanade, Scarness, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4183
We stay in Scarness for the next of our best restaurants in Hervey Bay.
Whilst this chic eatery might have oceans views, it is a little bit more that a beachside cafe. This is fine dining with all the desired bells and whistles.
Odyssey Bistro promises guests ‘The complete dining experience’ and owners Scott Thompson and Jason England, certainly go to great lengths to create a memorable experience that their restaurant.
Eatability loves a bit of intrigue and the fun starts at Odyssey Bistro with hand-sealed menus. These change daily to reflect the best of seasonal, sustainable, local produce. Suppliers include family run operations such as The Seafood Smokery and the Kalki Moon artisan distillery.
This mysterious menu features either 3 ($78) or 5 ($98) courses, with additional wine pairing. The food descriptions are deceptively brief – giving you an idea of what you’ll be served, but little about how. It’s a fun way to eat, if you’re happy to trust the team in the kitchen. And at Odyssey Bistro, you really should.
So expect the minimal Spanner Crab, Betel Leaf, to be far from limited in flavour. The Bakewell Tart to be an almond-scented pastry wonder.
The drinks menu is heavy with Australian wines, with select bottles from further afield. Moreover, any bar list that includes a Gin, Rhubarb, Cardamon, Lemon and Whites Cocktail can only be fabulous, in our view. Even better, if imbibing makes you hungry, but you don’t want a full meal (silly you!), there is a small snack menu available.
Reviews consistently wax lyrical about the warm, knowledgable service and exquisite attention to detail shown on each plate.
And did we mention that they play vinyl at Odyssey Bistro? Truly, this place it worth a visit!
Location: 428 The Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: 0480 269 752
Although it clearly has a great selection of restaurants, Hervey Bay also has it’s fair share of cafes.
If you don’t feel like preparing breakfast yourself, then Bayaroma should be on your radar. Sat across the road from arguably the prime swimming beach in the area, this bustling beachside cafe does all day breakfasts and lunch staples.
The brekkie menu includes popular dishes like Eggs Florentine ($23), House Braised Beans ($18.90) – the addition of Chorizo is a game changer! – and Thyme Roasted Mushrooms ($19.90). If you’re looking for a healthier start to the day, they have a couple of Smoothie Bowls ($18). The Mango Passionfruit Bowl is especially tempting with Granola, Coconut & Apricot Slice, Pineapple, Passionfruit & Toasted Coconut.
If lunch is more your thing, there’s a range of Burgers & Sandwiches, Salads and Salads, amongst other things.
And it’s been a while since we last saw a Frappe on a drinks list, and we’d forgotten how great they can be on a hot day. Bayaroma does both a Fruit and Milk-based version. Given the choice, we’d go for the fruity Pina Colada one, every time.
Finally, when you check out the online reviews for an eatery and see that many customers come back to Bayaroma holiday after holiday, you know the staff must be doing things right.
Make sure you add Bayaroma to your list of the Hervey Bay restaurants to try.
Location: 469 Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: 0428 049 192
As you’ve probably already gathered, Hervey Bay restaurants are surprisingly eclectic. After all, it’s not every tourist town that has wood cabin that serves Canadian inspired food. Welcome to The Bear.
Originally called Black Bear, but now known as The Bear, the restaurant is a friendly, relaxed place. It’s the kind of venue that is ideal for family and friends to get together and eat good, honest food.
Founded by Dan & Steph who won Season 4 of My Kitchen Rules, the eatery is open for lunch and dinner.
There’s nothing worse than hitting the beach to find that you’ve forgotten something, or that something needs replacing. Maybe your Beach Towels are old and threadbare? Perhaps you need a Sunshade? And how about a new Beach Game to play with the family? Well, don’t worry. We’ve got everything you need for a successful day on the beach, right here.
The Lunch Menu runs to things like Baked Camembert with either Maple Syrup, Pecans, Bacon Crumb & Thyme or Cranberry, Maple Syrup & Rosemary. Alternatively, there are Steaks and Burgers (and plenty of Whisky Maple BBQ Sauce) or Pizzas.
For Dinner, a few of the lunch items are traded out and some new dishes substituted in. So it’s goodbye Camembert, hello Beef Wellington.
However, both menus carry a selection of what many of my Canadian friends proudly call their national dish – Poutines. This irresistible, carbo-loaded temptation is best described as loaded fries. At The Bear, you can dine old school with their Ottawa Classic – Fries, Cheese Curd & Poutine Gravy. Or, if you’re hungry, you can splurge with the Newfoundland Seafood – Prawns, Bug Meat, Shellfish Bisque, Cheese Curd and Tomato Salsa.
Speaking personally, if you propped me in a corner with a bowl of Poutines and a Beer, I’d be a very happy camper. That said, if you want something a little more fancy to drink, there’s a full bar of spirits, wine, cocktails and soft drinks, And, of course, beers.
With engaged, helpful staff, a dedicated menu for ‘cubs’ and meals suitable for vegetarians, The Bear has something for everyone. For a chilled vibe and a hearty meal it’s one of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay.
Location: Shop 1B/449 Esplanade, Torquay, QLD 4655 Ph: 0475 850 173
The Dan & Steph referenced by EAT At Dan & Steph’s are the same foodie couple as own The Bear reviewed above.
Positioned ideally on the Esplanade, across the road from the bay, EAT is a chilled all day cafe.
However, don’t go thinking that a cafe means a simple basic menu. On the contrary, at EAT there’s a regular menu, a kids version and even one for people recovering from weight loss surgery. Plus, they have plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes and are happy to adapt meals for the gluten intolerant and other allergies on request.
And there are some really fun items on their menus.
We love the Cherry Ripe Crumpets ($25) – House Made Crumpets, Spiced Cherry Compote and Chocolate Sauce with Vanilla Ice Cream & Toasted Coconut. If you’ve more of a savoury tooth, the Sweet Potato Rosti ($26) with Bacon, Organic Poached Eggs & Harissa Hollandaise is hard to go past.
And talking of those healthy tubers, EAT’s drinks list includes a rather innovative Spiced Sweet Potato Cheesecake Smoothie ($9). Combining Sweet Potato Puree, Banana, Cream Cheese and Spices with Maple Syrup & Almond Milk. Doesn’t that sound divine after a hot afternoon on the beach?
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Location: Hervey Bay, Tourist Terminal, 7 Buccaneer Dr, Urangan, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 4799
Although it describes itself as a ‘cafe’ this family friendly establishment is open from early in the morning until late, most days.
Undoubtedly, the main attraction at Cafe Balaeno is the location. Sat on the edge of the Marina, the eatery offers superb views across to the blue water K’gari (Fraser Island). If you manage to nab a table out on the deck, you’ll find it the perfect spot to chill with a plate of seafood and a chilled drink.
And so to the food. For Breakfast, all the usuals such as a Bircher Muesli ($14.90) and Eggs Benedict ($20) make an appearance. Then things get serious with the lunch/dinner options.
The Rosemary Lamb Filo ($21) – from the Pastry ‘n Bakery section – makes a great midday repast. Cafe Balaena also does an interesting array of open Turkish bread sandwiches. The Caribbean Seafood ($22) with Scallops, Shrimps, Mussels, Avo, Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Semi-Dried Tomatoes and Seafood Sauce is quite a mouthful.
If neither of these appeal, there is plenty more to choose from, with Burgers, Pasta, Steak, Noodles, Salads and more on the menu.
Looking at recent reviews, some diners have expressed frustration at wait time on food at Cafe Balaena. Obviously, customers have differing experiences and expectations when they eat at a restaurant. However, Cafe Balaena isn’t the only place in Hervey Bay – or any other tourist town that we’ve visited recently – to receive complaints about delays between ordering and receiving meals. We suspect this has more to do with the lack of hospitality staff around the country than genuine poor service.
Either way, if an electrical storm blows into Hervey Bay whilst you’re visiting, rush to Cafe Balaena. Few places in town are better to watch the lightning illuminate K’gari. And the cocktails are pretty good too!
Location: The Marina, 3 Buccaneer Dr, Urangan, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4125 5599
Set back from the boardwalk at Whale Bay, the menu at this restaurant is packed with Asian favourites.
Whether you’re in the mood for Sweet & Sour Pork ($21), Satay King Prawns ($28) or a Thai Red Curry with Chicken ($21), this is the place to come. Rather than dabbling in the murky world of Asian fusion food, this eatery chooses to serve a range of dishes with clearly defined origins. Heck, they even head over to Italy with their Tiramisu Torte ($11) dessert.
If you’re part of a larger group, then one of their Banquets is a great option. These all open with a selection of Mixed Entrees before offering a choice of Mains. And at $32 up to $40 per person, they are great value for money if you’re feeding a pack of hungry teenagers.
Recent reviews for the Whale Bay Asian Cuisine restaurant have been critical of the service. It seems that this eatery, like many more across the country, is struggling to find reliable staff. Hopefully, this is only a temporary problem and the glowing reports on this eclectic dining spot will become the norm again.
Location: 28/34 Panorama Dr, Dundowran Beach, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4128 8069
If you have the chance, step away from the beach and explore a different side of Hervey Bay at the beautiful Arkarra Gardens. Set within 2 acres of stunning landscaped gardens featuring lagoons and plenty of ducks, this tranquil spot is a wonderful place for a chilled breakfast or relaxing lunch.
Start your day with the Garlic Mushroom ($25) – a filling plate of Mushies, Fetta, Spinach & Herbs with Balsamic Glaze on Turkish Bread. Come lunch time, the Prawn & Mango Salad ($26.40) showcases the finest Queensland produce in all their glory. But if seafood isn’t your thing, maybe one of the Pizzas appeals more? The Pumpkin ($22) – with Pumpkin, Fetta, Spinach, Honey Cashews & a Pesto Base is a veggie delight.
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And if you don’t fancy a full meal, no worries. The kitchen has cakes on offer all day and the barristas make a great cup of local coffee. What’s more, if the mood takes you, they can also rustle you up a glass of wine of a cheeky cocktail.
Finally, Arkarra Gardens is also a popular functions venue – including weddings. Spend a few hours here and you’ll soon see why. With good food and idyllic surroundings, this is one of the top restaurants in Hervey Bay.
Location: Oaks Hervey Bay, 569 Esplanade, Urangan, QLD 4655 Ph: (07) 4124 9722
Fancy sipping that first coffee of the day beachside? Well, at Salt Cafe, you can sit back and watch the waves roll to the shore whilst you chill on their covered terrace.
This place is a big favourite for breakfast, lunch and whatever you may feel like in between.
The Homemade Toasted Granola ($18.50) is a great way to fuel up on the way to the beach. With Nuts, Seeds, Grains, Fruits & Coconut toasted in Orange Maple Syrup and then topped with Coconut Yoghurt, Stewed Apples and Fresh Fruit, it’s both tasty and nutritious. But times, healthy isn’t quite what you want, right? When you succumb carb-craving, may we recommend the stacked Brunch Burger ($20.90)? This beauty features Smoked Bacon, 2 Fried Eggs, Tasty Cheese, Caramelised Onion and more on a Milk Bun. And 2 Hash Browns.
Burgers of a different kind also appear the lunchtime menu. One of the more interesting ones is the Vegan Schnitzel ($22.90), accompanied by Spiced Pumpkin, Avo, Chipotle Mayo, Slaw, Tomato & Leaves on toasted Turmeric Sourdough. Other options include a range of Salads and a number of enticing Seafood Dishes. The stand-out choice is the Seafood Platter for 2 ($99.00) which has all the best bits from all of the other fish and shellfish plates.
Drinks-wise there’s good Coffee, loose leaf Teas, Smoothies, Milkshakes, Frappes, freshly squeezed Juices and Soft Drinks. And if you wish to indulge in a glass of sparkling whilst enjoying the super view, you can even do that too.
Yep, Salt Cafe Urangan is definitely one of the best restaurants in Hervey Bay. Give it a go and see if you agree.