A trip to the beach always makes you hungry, right? Here are my favourite beachside cafes, restaurants and eats in Melbourne, all of which are great for families and kids.
The old bathing pavilion at Williamstown Beach has undergone a glamorous transformation to become a San Sebastian inspired eatery, Sebastian. Enjoy pintxos and drinks by the deck and watch one of the best sunset views in Melbourne. Full review.
Sebastian, 26 The Esplanade Williamstown (03) 9088 8989
Middle Brighton Baths, Brighton
Middle Brighton Baths 251 Esplanade, Brighton (03) 9539 7000
North Point Cafe, Brighton
North Point Cafe is the perfect pitstop after a play at the North Road Foreshore Playground. The kiosk is open for takeaway snacks and ice creams, while the main dining area serves hearty cafe fare that’s not overly challenging (which may be a good or not good thing, depending on your palate).
North Point Cafe, 2B North Road, Brighton
Crackerjack is a bowls club bistro with a difference – it has amazing views of the water on one side and the lush bowling green on the other side. All servings are generous and the food is decent, but not amazing – sort of standard cafe fare circa 1990.
Crackerjack, 4/1 Nepean Highway, Seaford
Cerberus Beach House, Black Rock
Admittedly I’ve only visited the downstairs kiosk of Cerberus Beach House, but only because I was told I had to try the best fish and chips in Melbourne. Those fish and chips are hard to beat, though the upstairs fine dining restaurant provides stunning views of Half Moon Bay.
Cerberus Beach House, Boat Shed 212 Half Moon Bay, Black Rock
The Kiosk d’Asporto, Williamstown
On the other end of the curve of Williamstown Beach from Sebastian you’ll find the Italian-inspired Kiosk d’Asporto. Run by the folks behind popular pizzerias Pizza d’Asporto (Yarraville and Williamstown), at the kiosk you’ll find Italian snacks, panini and authentic gelato. Full review.
Kiosk d’Asporto, 94-98 Esplanade, Williamstown (03) 9397 683
Paper Fish, St Kilda
One of the best fish and chipperies in Melbourne is smack bang in the middle of St Kilda Beach. At Paper Fish go for a calamari fritto in a cone and hang out with the beautiful people.
Paper Fish, 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda
Rickett’s Point Beachside Cafe, Beaumaris
Rickett’s Point Beachside Cafe serves a simple menu which doesn’t really excite me as a destination on its own. But combine it with a rock ramble or a snorkel in the rockpools of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary and it makes for a winning day out.
Rickett’s Point Beachside Cafe, 243 Beach Road, Beaumaris
Norfolk has a simple and bargain-priced all day menu, with a few seats and umbrellas in a courtyard. There are also more cafes in the main shopping area around Pier Street but to be honest I’ve found the quality to be variable – my pick is Rockabye Candy.
Norfolk, 139 Esplanade, Altona
10. Readers recommendations
True South, 298 Beach Road, Black Rock – auto repair shop turned gastropub with Argentinian influences.
Elwood Bathers 15 Elwood Foreshore, Elwood – the old Sails on the Bay has been transformed into a stylish all-day hangout.
Two Farm Girls Cafe, 133 Nepean Highway, Aspendale – the ‘Two Farm Girls’ refer to the mother and daughter and pair that run this small relaxed beachside cafe with a healthy bent.
Sunnyboy Beach Club 212 Bay Trail Bay, Mordialloc – a stunning beachfront venue with an extensive menu of sharing plates of interesting ingredients and flavours.
Doyles Bridge Hotel 1 Nepean Highway, Mordialloc – a huge venue with a bistro, outdoor cafe bar and sports bar which is open from breakfast to dinner daily.
D’Lish Fish 3/105 Beach St, Port Melbourne – Laid-back fish and chip shop cooking seafood and burgers, with a glass-enclosed outdoor area and water views.
West Beach Bathers Pavilion 330A Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda West – 1920s bathers’ pavilion serving burgers, pizza and hearty breakfasts.
Sandbar Beach Cafe 175B Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park – light and spacious spot with a beach house vibe.