The best restaurants and bars on the South Coast

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salmon

Ccooks@Corrigans is one of the most recommended restaurants on the South Coast. It offers a delicious array of meals, including this mouth-watering salmon. Photo: Supplied.

If you’re travelling to the South Coast, you may be looking to plan your trip. With accommodation and things to do all settled, the next question to ask is where will you eat?

If you’re looking to up the ante from standard takeaway fish and chips, you’ll want to explore the many restaurant options available. Restaurant styles and prices range from relaxed through to fine dining. Many of the best restaurants have amazing views. You’ll also want to think about the style of food you’d like too. Seafood anyone?

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a restaurant and bar, and share where to find the best on the South Coast.

What makes a great South Coast restaurant and bar?

Choosing the right restaurant or bar will make your South Coast experience memorable.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a South Coast restaurant.

  • Location. Check the restaurant or bar’s physical location to see if it meets your criteria. You may want water or other scenic views. You may want somewhere close to where you’re staying.
  • Food. The South Coast is famous for its seafood. If you crave fresh fish, local oysters or mussels, check online to make sure the restaurant you choose has seafood on the menu.
  • Atmosphere. Every restaurant has its own personality. Some diners want a quiet, more refined atmosphere. Other diners want a great vibe. The South Coast has it all.
  • Price. You’ll want to choose a restaurant that suits your budget. Some South Coast restaurants are ‘cheap and cheerful’. Some, including fine-dining venues, are more expensive.
  • Service. You’ll want a restaurant with professional and efficient service no matter how much you’re paying. Head online and check for reviews and testimonials to gauge service levels.

The best restaurants and bars on the South Coast

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

The Sandbar

The Sandbar, in the Quays Hotel, offers a unique fine-dining experience celebrating the finest produce from the South Coast, created with French techniques and Japanese inspiration. With panoramic views, this intimate restaurant has a stylish interior with Japanese hand-made crockery. The Sandbar received its first “Chef’s Hat Award” in January 2018.

Chris Leggo wrote on Google, “The Sandbar is an absolute must … The food is exquisite. Every dish is original, clever, expertly created, beautifully plated and, delicious to eat.”

The Quarterdeck

The Quarterdeck sits right on the shores of the Wagonga Inlet, offering glorious views. A grill menu focuses on local seafood, including fresh fish, oysters and tapas dishes. The Tiki Bar offers beer, wine, colourful cocktails and the Quarterdeck’s famous Bloody Mary Oyster shooters. The Quarterdeck has live music. Décor features an eclectic range of memorabilia collected by family and customers on trips to Hawaii.

On Google, Leigh Kinnaird wrote, “Just go there! Don't hesitate! It’s awesome!” 

Kohli’s Waterfront Indian Restaurant

Multiple award-winning Kohli’s Waterfront Indian Restaurant is a major drawcard for locals and visitors to Batemans Bay. The views are spectacular, and the food designed around the true taste of fine, traditional Indian cuisine. A la carte and banquet options are available, including classic and specialty dishes. Dine indoors in a contemporary setting or on the large deck outdoors—right on The Promenade. Takeway available.

Liz Spiller wrote on Google, “Great food, excellent service and stunning outlook.”

The River Moruya

The River Moruya, as its name implies, is located on the banks of the river in Moruya, with wonderful views. This upmarket restaurant is housed in an architecturally splendid building with massive windows and an outdoor deck. Dine a la carte menu or opt for the five-course tasting menu. The menu focuses on local and regionally sourced produce.

On Google, Peter Franki wrote, “Cracker meal. So good we went back the next night and had the five-course tasting menu with matched wine.”

JJ’s at the Marina

JJ’s at the Marina is right on the water with spectacular views. This seafood restaurant and bar dishes up seafood chowder, locally sourced oysters, fresh fish, mussels and prawns. The all-day menu includes seafood, cheese and charcuterie share plates. At JJ’s, dining is relaxed and casual. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (indoor and outdoor dining).

On Google, Alexander Saunders wrote, “Lovely venue with a great view and friendly service. The food and drink were also fantastic …”

Ccooks@Corrigans

Stylish Corrigans Cove, just minutes from Batemans Bay, offers 4.5 star spacious and contemporary resort-style accommodation. The resort has its own restaurant, Ccooks@Corrigans, open for breakfast and dinner seven days, from early until late.

Kickstart your day with breakfast on the poolside deck. Great coffee and lots of healthy dishes are on the menu. Our pick is the half biggie or the signature deluxe omelette.

For dinner, the seafood tower for two is just made for instagram. Be sure you are hungry. And what South Coast dining experience would be complete without Clyde River oysters? Locally sourced and as fresh as can be, they are a must.

If you’re looking for more information on visiting the South Coast, you might like our articles on the best beaches, best hotels and resorts the South Coast has to offer. Or, for something to do, read our article on 10 things to do on the NSW South Coast.

Your experience with restaurants on the South Coast

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the South Coast restaurants and bars listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of restaurants are available on the South Coast?

A large range of restaurants is scattered about the South Coast. This includes relaxed cheap and cheerful through to more formal fine dining. Some restaurants showcase South Coast seafood and others specialise in a specific type of cuisine, like Italian, Thai or Indian. Many of the best South Coast restaurants use locally sourced produce.

Do all South Coast restaurants offer seafood?

Many South Coast restaurants specialise in seafood. Many source their fish, mussels, oysters and other seafood locally (and daily), including from areas like the Clyde River, Narooma and Eden.

What is the price range for restaurants and bars on the South Coast?

The price varies depending on many factors. This includes the quality of the restaurant or bar, the calibre of its food and drinks, location and even whether it has live music. Do your research to assess price points.

What should I look for in a great restaurant on the South Coast?

This depends on what you’re looking for during your stay. Most of the best restaurants have fabulous views. Some are right on the water and others nestled in lush, green scenery. In some resort restaurants, you can even dine poolside.

Do I need to book a restaurant while at the South Coast?

It’s wise to book if you don’t want to miss out. Many restaurants and bars are packed out during peak periods. This includes all school holidays, Christmas and Easter. Some restaurants let you book online. Others want you to call.

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