When you think about it, it was really only a matter of time before Mornington developed about vibrant culinary scene.
A mere 10 years ago, the coastal town had a handful of quality eateries. These days, a walk down Main Street offers rich pickings on the restaurant front. There’s Thai, Vietnamese, French, Mexican, Mediterranean, burgers, pizza, wine bars and hipster cafes. What’s more, everywhere is filled with happy customers.
But then it makes sense that Mornington would take off food-wise at some point or other. Perfectly situated about an hour from Melbourne, for many arriving at Mornington signals the start of exploring the Mornington Peninsula proper. This proximity to the city has made it increasingly popular with affluent Melburnians looking for a seachange or holiday house within striking distance of the CBD.
Also, like so many of the seaside communities along the Nepean Highway, Mornington offers the double attractions of the ‘Peninsula. Head to the water and you have beautiful beaches. Turn inland and there are wineries and a gently rolling landscape. Time spent in this part of the world it special because it offers the best of both worlds.
And so restauranteurs and cafe owners have moved down to Mornington with the hungry seachangers and holiday makers. The result is that now, the number of places to grab a quick breakfast or settle in for the long lunch is almost overwhelming.
Almost. But not quite. Because Eatability is here to point you in the right direction.
Here is our guide to the best restaurants in Mornington. We hope you find it useful.
Finally, a brief word of advice. As mentioned above, Mornington is a major holiday destination come the warm weather. This means that tables at many of the eateries on this list book out – quickly. Therefore, book well in advance if you wish to dine somewhere in particular, or you may be disappointed.
Further down the Nepean Highway on the Mornington Peninsula you’ll find Rye. Click here for our Best Restaurants in Rye.
Location: 22 Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: (03) 5977 0988
It’s a sign of how rapidly the dining scene in Mornington is moving when a group like D.O.C. sets up shop.
Currently, the pizza experts have outposts in Carlton, Southbank Melbourne, Surry Hills Sydney and lucky Mornington.
At DOC Mornington, no corners have been cut in bringing ‘Peninsula foodies the authentic pizzas that the group is known for. At DOC Pizza the dough is king and is rightfully treated with love and respect.
Some of the classic pizzas on offer include the Pizza Speck ($31). This blister-edged beauty comes topped with Smoked Prosciutto, Fontina, Wild Mushroom & Thyme. If you feel like walking on the wild side, the Pizza Tiger Prawns ($33) – San Marzano Tomato, Tiger Prawns, Mozzarella, Endive & Chilli is a fiery seafood wonder.
The kitchen does a handful of Pasta dishes as well, should that appeal more than pizza.
However, pizza and pasta aren’t the only options. As the name states, DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar, the venue does a range of antipasti-style (antipizza) entrees and more. Even better, there is a fabulous deli attached to the pizzeria. This fabulous store stocks a dream wish list of Italian products and locally made delicacies.
Oh. And DOC Mornington also do take away. So if you want a great pizza, but don’t want to crank up the pizza oven yourself, give them a call. You won’t regret it. DOC is definitely one of the top restaurants in Mornington.
Looking for great crust and delicious toppings in the capital? These are our Best Pizza Places in Melbourne
Location: 1 Blamey Pl, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: (03) 5902 8661
Situated in a former grain store – hence the name – Wildgrain Mornington serves Modern Australian cuisine with flare.
Once inside, the large internal space has been smartly renovated with a hint of French bistro in the marble-topped tables, rattan chairs and abundant greenery. Overall, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, with superb service.
But what of the food? Well, the menu is seasonally-inspired and makes the most of the best local produce available.
For Lunch, the Beetroot, Quince & Prosciutto Tart Fine ($24) with Chevre Mousse & Pistachio Brittle is a great way to start. Follow it with the Berkshire Pork Belly ($38) – Slow Cooked Shoulder Ragu, Braised Quince & Honey Roasted Parsnip – and you have the perfect winter fill-up.
At Dinner, the Lunch service offerings re-appear, along with a few extras. One elegant addition is the Aged Aylesbury Duck Breast ($46). This is a show-stopping dish of Duck Leg & Local Celeriac Ravioli, Red Pear Mostarda & Amaretti. It’s plates like this that make Wildgrain one of the finest restaurants in Mornington.
Drinks-wise, the Wine List feature plenty of bottles from the Mornington Peninsula. There are also a number of bright, zippy Cocktails. For a pre-dinner tipple, we’d go the Gin Floral ($22) – a refreshing mix of Gin, St-Germain, Apricot Brandy,Lemon & Sugar.
If seasonal ingredients, cooked to their best advantage, gets you excited, see our piece on NOMAD Melbourne
Location: 31 Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: 0427 782 115
Firstly, Eatability has actually dined at Feu Bar a couple of times. Why? Well, because there is something incredibly appealing about the idea of Vietnamese tapas. And happily, at Feu Bar Mornington, they taste just as good as you hope they will.
On our most recent visit, we open with the Crispy Chicken Tender Bao ($7.50) fat with Herbs, Vietnamese Slaw, Pickle & Chipotle May. And a side of Fries ($7.90). The Crunch of the juicy Chicken is addictive against the squishy softness of the Bao. We can also vouch for the Slow Cooked Duck Bao ($7.50) with it’s yummy Coconut Hoisin.
Another must-try is the Crab San Choy Bow ($13.90). The combination of the sweet shellfish, Asian Slaw, Pickle and spiky Homemade Tamarin Sauce is great.
Previously, we’ve tucked into the fragrant Betel Beef Slider ($12.90) and slurped happily through the Rare Wagyu Beef Pho ($22.90). And although we’ve yet to order it, the Signature Beef Ribs with Steamed Broken Rice ($25.90) looks very appetising as it passes our table.
In addition to the moreish Asian fusion food, Feu Bar stocks a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. The Beers include the highly quaffable Vietnamese 333 ($9), which is nice to see. As for us, we decide to give the Mojito ($18) a go and it’s perfect with the spicy, vibrant cuisine.
All this and perky, efficient service makes Feu Bar Mornington an excellent spot for a light lunch or more substantial dinner.
Pop it on you list of the go-to restaurants in Mornington.
Location: 39a Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: (03) 5976 4018
Here at Eatability we are suckers for a long, lazy brunch. So when we find a spot that refers to itself as a ‘brunch restaurant’ our hearts beat a little faster. Enter The Winey Cow. And wow! What a menu.
Are you the kind of person who likes to launch into the day on a sugar rush? Then may we suggest the Caramelised Banana Waffle ($24)? We hope you’re hungry as this beauty includes Caramelised Banana, Seasonal Berries, Coffee Mascarpone, Coffee Soil, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and more, all stacked on a House-Made Waffle.
Or maybe you’re more of a savoury person? Then the aptly named Brunch Stack ($26.5), might be for you. With Streaky Bacon, Halloumi, Avocado Puree, Potato Rosti, Poached Eggs & Hollandaise, it’s a winner. Not a Bacon fan, then swap it out for Mushies.
If you like to welcome the new day with something a little healthier, then order the Granola ($20). Featuring Activated Cacao & Buckwheat Granola, Matcha Tea Panna Cotta, Passionfruit, Local Seasonal Berries, Coconut Yoghurt and more, it’ll put a spring in your step.
Are you heading to the beach? Think. Is your Sun Shade a little tatty? Or has you Beach Towel lost its vibrancy? Don’t panic. We’ve got everything you need for a chic and comfortable day at the sea. Click here for more information and prices.
Still not tempted? Well, the Kataifi Prawn Bao ($27.5 for 2) is both pretty and flavoursome. Juicy Prawns, wrapped in Kataifi Pastry, with Endive, Pickled Ginger & Wasabi Aioli, all stuffed in a dramatic Charcoal Bao Bun, served with Fries.
Add in Smoothies & Juices, fragrant Teas and smooth Coffees and we’re there. But did we mention the Boozy Brunch, Cocktail List and Wines? Honestly, what more could you want?
With all this and more, it’s no wonder The Winey Cow is up there amongst the best restaurants in Mornington.
What’s more, The Winey Cow has a sister establishment up on Main Beach Queensland. For more on the Best Restaurants on The Gold Coast, see here.
Location: Mornington Yacht Club, 1 Schnapper Point Dr, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: (03) 5973 5599
If there is a more idyllically positioned establishment in Mornington than this place, we’ve yet to find it.
The Rocks Mornington sits serene, away from the bustle of the town, overlooking the yachts and tranquil waters of Mornington Harbour and Port Philip Bay. And, not surprisingly, the main focus of the menu here is seafood – sustainable, Australian seafood, to be exact. However, if you’re not fan of shellfish and the like, never fear, for there are plenty of alternatives.
So maybe you fancy opening with Salt Bush Squid ($28) – Salt & Vinegar & Yum Yum Sauce? Or perhaps the vegetarian-friendly Pumpkin & Sage Cannelloni – rich with Gorgonzola Bechamel and Hazelnuts ($26)? Both are well-balanced and great for sharing.
Surely, when in Mornington, someone at your table has to order the Steamed Mornington Mussels with Garlic, Wine & Parsley ($39)? What’s more, they make a fabulous contrast to the Whole Lamb Shoulder ($96). This beauty comes anointed with Garlic & Rosemary and glistening under a Red Wine Glaze.
If you not sure which way to go, the Chef offers The Seafood Experience at $99 pp for 7 plates, which sounds just perfect to us.
Finally, as you might expect, of one of the best restaurants in Mornington, The Rocks really makes the most of its unique location. In fact, the restaurant has not one, but two aspects from which to take in the vistas. Firstly, there is an indoor dining room – perfect for a chilly winters evening. And for balmy summer nights, there’s a covered deck. In fact, the deck is fully heated, so even if the weather turns cooler, you can relax and eat in comfort.
Our top tip? Wherever you choose to dine, arrive early and enjoy a drink marvelling as the view before your meal. You won’t regret it.
For our guide to the Best Seafood Restaurants in Melbourne, see here.
Location: 111 Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931
La Cabra Mornington is the popular La Cabra Mexican chain’s first foray out of Melbourne. But we suspect it won’t be their last.
With successful Mexican restaurants already doing a brisk trade in Hawthorn, Hampton, St Kilda, Carlton and South Yarra, a move onto busy Main Street Mornington seems only natural.
The menu at all the La Cabra eateries follows a similar format – much-loved Mexican dishes, prepared to order using fresh ingredients.
If you’re simply peckish, it’s hard to resist the Cabra Nachos ($16). A filling plate of Hand Cut Tortillas, Spiced Mexican Salsa, Cheese, Jalapeno & Fresh Pico served with Guacamole & Sour Cream. Should you be genuinely hungry, you can add Chicken, Beef, Mushrooms or Beans for an additional fee.
It also worth mentioning as this point that La Cabra is a great place for both vegans and vegetarians with plenty of choice for those who prefer to eat plant-based food.
For Mains, a couple of Tacos always slide down easily. The Crispy Pork Belly ($8) Taco comes with Slaw, Pico, Kewpie Mayo and Grilled Pineapple which helps to balance the fatty richness of the meat. However, our favourite is definitely the Chimichurri Beef Taco ($8). This beauty features slightly sour Birria Beef with Chimichurri Mayo, Pickle Cabbage & Cheese. It’s an absolute winner.
Alternatively, you might fancy the Fajitas. These come in 2 forms – Grilled Marinated Steak ($26) or Chilli Grilled Prawns ($28). Add in the Side Fries with Chipotle May ($9) and you have a great start to a night out. Especially, if you wash it all down with a Mexican Beer or one of La Cabra’s highly-quaffable Passionfruit & Lychee Margs ($22).
Just make sure you leave space for a portion of the Churros with Dulce De Leche ($12), or you’ll kick yourself.
For a breakdown of the top Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne, see here
Location: 25 Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931 Ph: (03) 9116 8350
Gradi 400 has a number of businesses scattered across Melbourne covering pizzerias, a deli and a couple of gelato parlours, but the Mornington outpost is a little different. Here the you can both eat delicious Italian food, but also buy authentic Italian produce, take home meals and more from Gradi Mercato grab something cooling from Zero Gardi Gelateria – all within the same hub.
This impressive Italian restaurant residues in a 2 level corner block at the sea end of Main Street. Downstairs, the vibe is casual wine bar, whilst upstairs there’s a dining room and generous balcony looking out towards the water.
Ah Pizza! Everyone loves it, so why not master making it at home? Whether you are looking for a Pizza Stone for you oven, a Pizza Tray for an air fryer, or the perfect Pizza Cutter, we can help. Click here for more information and prices.
Why not start off as they do in Rome with a selection of Antipasti? The Calamari ($23/42) is flash fried, served with Aioli & Parsley and a fresh s it comes. Meanwhile, both the Bresaola ($18) and Soppressata ($12) go down easily with a glass of Wine.
At Gradi 400 Mornington, it’s hard to ignore the pull of perfectly baked pizza. The Rustica ($29) with its San Marzano Tomato, Fior Di Latte, Basil,Italian Pork Sausage, Onions and Raw Capsicum marinated with Garlic & Parsley is always popular at our table. But then, the pasta is also superb and finding space for the Pappardelle Al Ragu Di Funghi ($35) is a must. The satiny loops of pasta, slick with Mixed Wld Mushroom Ragu, Truffle Cream, Grana Padano D.O.P. and Truffle Pecorino D.O.P. is a fragrant wonder.
If the menu overwhelms you, no worries. The kitchen offers Feed Me at $59 pp. As ever, it a great way to graze some of the best dishes as this, one of the top restaurants in Mornington.
Editor’s Note: We are currently in the process of updating this page on the Best Restaurants in Mornington. Please come back and read our recommendations as we add them