Anyone planning a trip along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road will know to expect stunning views of the Southern Ocean’s rugged shoreline and the spectacular 12 Apostles. The quaint coastal towns are also home to some fantastic food and wine venues. The Best’s team are frequent visitors to this spectacular part of Victoria and here they share their list of best restaurants on the Great Ocean Road, including the best places to stock up on wine. From fine dining to pub grub, add some of these to your itinerary.
If you’re visiting Torquay be sure to make a booking at Samesyn. It’s a relatively new venue with the team having an impressive hospitality pedigree, with owner and Chef Graham Jefferies (from Tulip Bar and Restaurant in Geelong) at the helm. You’ll find our Bin No. 1 Shiraz on the list, but the knowledgeable staff will help match the food to your wine selection with always something fresh and interesting to explore. Open for lunch on Sundays and dinner Wednesday to Saturday evenings. We promise you’ll be back again and again to try other things on the menu depending on the season.
This is one of the best restaurants along the coast and a great supporter of Best’s Wines. Captain Moonlite serves our Great Western Riesling and Rosé by the bucket-load. Simplicity powered by big punchy flavours are the characteristics of chef Matt Germanchis’ cooking. And you can savour it here for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with amazing ocean views.
A La Grecque
We love this Greek restaurant, especially for a long lunch outside on the verandah over summer! Located in Airey’s Inlet, it’s a local institution that has been owned by the Talimanidis family for several generations. Now run by Pam and Costa’s son Stratos who continues the legacy and serves authentic Greek food paying homage to many family dishes and memories. It’s family friendly but also a great place to gather with friends. Be sure to enjoy a glass of our Best’s Foudré Ferment Riesling or LSV Shiraz whilst you’re there. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays and we recommend booking.
Travelling further afield to Lorne? Be sure to also try the Stratos’ brothers restaurant Ipsos. It’s also top notch!
A hunger for Spanish cuisine? It’s hard to not think of Movida as an iconic place to dine! A Melbourne institution, made famous by chef Frank Camorra, the Spanish empire has expanded its presence to Lorne and it’s a fabulous addition to the local dining scene. Enjoy an intimate dinner, enjoy a glass of wine at the bar or just gather some friends and snack on tapas all afternoon long. There’s a feature on south-west Victorian produce and fresh seafood.
La Bimba in Apollo Bay has been showcasing regional produce and supporting local artisan producers for over a decade. Owned and operated by Chef Steve Earl, there’s a focus on local seafood and the ever changing menu always has something new and different to taste. We’re a big fan of the paella but ask the staff for the fish of the day and they will be sure to point you in the direction of something special. Also open for breakfast.
The Dart and Marlin
If you’re on holidays or travelling through Warrnambool, a pizza and glass of wine at The Dart and Marlin needs to be added to your to do list. Sit back and enjoy cocktail or catch up with friends over a glass of wine. This is a thriving little venue with a small but fabulous wine list – every wine on the list is open to try and enjoy! It’s also home to a happening live music scene, this is a great place to relax and unwind.
Image Source: La Bimba
The Aireys Pub is a great family-friendly venue, serving Best’s Bin No. 1 Shiraz by the glass year-round and Rosé by the glass in summer. It’s an iconic drinking establishment with a fascinating back story. The 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires burned this pub to the ground, and, until it was rebuilt, it operated out of a tin shed. In 2011, the business closed and developers started circling… A town with no pub was on the cards. But, in a last-minute victory, a group of locals pitched in and saved it from destruction. It’s since been renovated and reinstated as one of the country’s greatest coastal pubs.
Apollo Bay Hotel
Quintessentially good pub food! It’s not overly complicated but the Apollo Bay Hotel continues to be highlighted as one of Victoria’s best regional pubs. Looking for a great steak, salt and pepper squid or classic fish and chips? This is the place to go. It’s always busy over summer months when visitors flock to the region, so book ahead. A bonus is that you can enjoy our Great Western Chardonnay, Riesling or treat yourself with a bottle of Bin No. 0 Shiraz whilst you’re there.
Great Ocean Road Brew House
Beer lovers rejoice, this is a great brewhouse to discover over 100 different craft beers. The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse is owned by Prickley Moses Beer company and located in Apollo Bay. The beer is good, but so is the food at the Brewhouse Bistro. You’ll find classic pub meals like Chicken Parma alongside some Asian inspired dishes.
Looking a wine to cleanse the palate? You can enjoy our Best’s Bin No. 1 Shiraz, Great Western Cabernet or Riesling. There’s an old bottle shop out the back known as “Tastes of the Region” which is home to many great tasting experiences. Be sure to ask about the wine, gin or whisky flights.
Image Source: Great Ocean Road Brewhouse
Head inland from the coast to Birregurra, and if you can nab a table at Brae, one of the world’s finest restaurants. The Brae team, led by chef-owner Dan Hunter, is dedicated to organic, sustainable principles and sources much of its produce from its own farm and other growers in the area. Hunter often matches Best’s Foudre Ferment Riesling with one of his dishes on the degustation menu, and there’s also a small selection of museum wines available.
Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas
Overlooking Bass Strait, set high above the Great Ocean Road, Chris’s is popular among gourmet travellers and wine aficionados. Fresh seafood is the order of the day, along with popular Greek dishes, and a firm emphasis on letting the ingredients’ shine. The other shining feature here is our Riesling available by the glass! It’s also worth considering a sleepover here – and waking up to those stupendous ocean views.
We just love Gladioli in Port Fairy. Owned by our good friend Chef Matt Dempsey, this is a dining experience that won’t disappoint. Choose either two or three A La Carte menus or indulge in the five course tasting menu. The flavours will set your tastebuds alight – a real treat! The wine list is also legendary with a range of different producers regularly showcased (including Best’s of course!). Be sure to book so that you won’t miss out on this fabulous dining experience.
Image Source: Gladioli Restaurant
Corks Crew Cellars
If you’re looking to dine in, or want to enjoy a picnic with some fine wine, the team behind Corks Crew Cellars fine-wine store has more than 40 years’ experience in the wine world. Drop in to purchase a quaffer, a mid-range drop or a rare and aged beauty from the cellar. Best’s full range of wine is available here.
Barwon Heads Wine Store
The Barwon Heads Wine Store is in a great spot and operated by a team that truly knows their wine. A small range but a broad collection and always something interesting to taste. Stop in and see what’s on tasting.
Looking for other spots to dine in other parts of the Great Ocean Road? Maybe explore our top tips of places to eat in Queenscliff, Geelong and Warrnambool.
We’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Queenscliff and along the Bellarine Peninsula to discover on your travels. Whether your destination is Point Lonsdale, Barwon Heads or Drysdale, here’s our local foodie tips to enjoy