Once famed for being a sleepy retirement destination, Port Macquarie has undergone a massive rebirth in recent years. Still boasting the perfect balance of coastal beauty and friendly locals, it’s now home to a surprisingly cosmopolitan food scene to boot.[related_articles]63653,58031[/related_articles]
From superfood salads to acai bowls, from boutique wine varietals to third-wave coffee, here’s our pick on what to eat and drink in Port Macquarie.
LV’s on Clarence
Locavores will be in heaven at LV’s on Clarence, a family-owned café where the menu is crafted around the region’s freshest local produce. The owners even own their very own free-range chicken and pig farm to help supply the café, so big is their passion for local farming!
The food is wholesome and nourishing and the staff cheery. Our tip? The nourish bowl served with black and brown rice, haloumi, kale, cherry tomatoes, avocado, a poached egg, spiced seeds, toasted almonds and tahini is guaranteed to hit the spot. The coffee from Bassett Espresso is top-notch too.
LV’s on Clarence is open daily for breakfast and lunch.
Where: 1/74 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
Salty Crew Kiosk
With its seriously Instagrammable smoothie bowls, good tunes and relaxed beach vibe, it’s no wonder that Salty Crew Kiosk is a favourite hangout spot among locals and visitors alike. Grab a couple of friends and head on down to the kiosk for a light and healthy bite to eat before hitting the waves.
Whether it’s a cold-pressed juice, acai bowl or chia pudding you’re after, you’ll find them all here. Coffee beans are from Magneto Espresso too, guaranteeing a killer brew.
Salty Crew Kiosk is open daily from 6am to 4:30pm.
Where: Town Beach Reserve, Lot 7065, William St, Port Macquarie
Drury Lane Eatery
Located in the forecourt of the much-celebrated Glasshouse (Port Macquarie’s cultural hub), Drury Lane Eatery has fast become a favourite lunch spot for locals. The ever-changing, simple menu really lets the ingredients speak for themselves – all seasonal and local. Everything is made from scratch in-house including the sourdough, preserves and all the baked goodies.
Grab a relaxing table outdoors and don’t pass up the smashed avo and a homemade iced tea. If you’re around a bit later, the dinner menu is designed to be shared with friends.[related_articles]62848,63069[/related_articles]
Drury Lane Eatery is open from Monday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch and for dinner Thursday to Saturday.
Where: Shop 5, The Garrison, 26 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
The Stunned Mullet
If you’re looking for somewhere special for dinner, you can’t go past the award-winning The Stunned Mullet. At this much-loved Port Macquarie institution, you’ll be treated to an exceptional menu heavily influenced by the coastal location, not to mention polished service and stunning, northerly ocean views. Everything about a meal here exceeds expectations – the true mark of an excellent dining experience.
The food philosophy focuses on the importance of the natural ingredients and the menu balances technique with homely familiarity. While everything on the menu is of impeccable quality, the Glacier 51 Toothfish is a dish you cannot in your right mind look past. Be prepared for your wallet to feel a little lighter when you leave but a meal here is worth every penny, we promise.
The Stunned Mullet is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Where: 24 William St, Port Macquarie
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Yesterday’s Jam has taken up the spot that was once South American tapas restaurant The Latin Loafer, but is still serving up delicious share dishes paired with an excellent wine list. The fact that it’s vegan certainly shouldn’t put you off.
You’ll hardly even be able to tell that the tacos contain pulled jackfruit rather than traditional pulled pork, and the popcorn tofu is next level. Try the nachos, too. It’s all delicious and filling food.
While away and afternoon from its position on the waterfront and listen to the tunes played by the frequently visiting local musicians.
Yesterday’s Jam is open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Where: 74 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
Hinterland food and wine tour
Even though you could happily spend your days wandering around Port Macquarie hopping from one eatery to the next, the nearby Wauchope hinterland is dotted with boutique wineries just begging to be explored.
The best way to see (and taste) it all is by booking a spot on the full-day “Long Lunch” vineyard tour by Frankie’s Travel. Spend the day cellar door hopping around the hinterland, visiting three boutique wineries and enjoy a leisurely two-course lunch overlooking the vineyards. It’s a fabulous way to get a sense of the wider region and takes the worry out of driving after a few wine tastings![related_articles]57981,55704[/related_articles]
Prices start at $89 per person. Book online.[qantas_widget code=PQQ]Book Qantas flights to Port Macquarie.[/qantas_widget] (Lead image: Salty Crew Kiosk / Facebook. All other images: Rachel Bale)
Rachel Bale is an international travel writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the Founder and Editor of the popular travel blog, The Department of Wandering, helping readers explore a destination beyond the guidebook and travel better. Her work has been featured in a wide variety of print and online media, including Nine Elsewhere, British Airways High Life, Matador Network and more. Follow her travels on Instagram at @departmentofwandering.