Top 10 Restaurants In Wollongong, Australia

Photo of Haley Henschel
9 February 2017

The city of Wollongong, Australia is often overshadowed by Sydney, its northern neighbor. But thanks to a healthy helping of small-town charm and a dedicated, multicultural community, ‘the Gong’s’ dining scene has made a name for the seaside city. Enjoy our top 10 list of the best restaurants in Wollongong.

© Wim Kantona/Flickr

Balinese Spice Magic

Restaurant, Indonesian, $$$
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Balinese Spice Magic, Wollongong
Balinese Spice Magic, Wollongong | © Courtesy of Balinese Spice Magic
The pristine beaches, lush jungles and serene spirituality of Bali make the Indonesian island a popular destination for Australian travelers. For a sample of the spirit of this paradise-like destination, there’s no need to buy a plane ticket; a meal at Balinese Spice Magic will transport you there within seconds of your first bite. Incorporating fresh spices that are ground with a mortar and pestle to release their flavors and essential oils (the ‘spice magic’) the exotic dishes at Spice Magic will both tantalize and energize your taste buds. For a real adventure, try the mie goreng, or noodles cooked with meat, spices, mixed vegetables, coconut sugar and soy sauce, served with chicken satay and a sliced omelet. If you’d like to take the flavors of Bali to your own kitchen, Spice Magic also offers cooking classes.

Bernardis on Crown

Bistro, Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, $$$
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Delectable Greek and Italian cuisine may come first at Bernardis on Crown, but family is a very, very close second. Owned and operated by a mother-and-son duo, the pair strives to ensure that every patron feels at home at this intimate European restaurant. To do so, they emphasize a relaxed yet stylish atmosphere, a detailed wine list filled with both Australian and European options, and beautifully prepared comfort food with a sophisticated twist. Options such as the pancetta di maile, or twice-cooked pork belly confit with potato and spinach dumplings, fennel purée and blackberries are sure to please, and have been a key factor in boosting the bistro’s stash of awards over the years.


Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Exterior of Diggies
Exterior of Diggies | Courtesy Diggies
Caveau is all about balance; the precise medley of contrasting and complimenting flavors within a dish, the playful combination of dark, Art Deco-style tiling with polka-dotted chairs and fanciful, plate-covered walls, chef Peter Sheppard’s blend of French-inspired techniques with local ingredients, and the unrivaled cuisine at affordable prices. Above all, the restaurant balances a fine-dining experience with a friendly, casual ambience, earning a ‘hat’ from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide every single year since 2005. It would be a shame if your taste buds could only relish in one entrée per meal at Caveau, but lucky for you, the restaurant serves a highly recommended, seven-course degustation menu every day, so you can sample multiple dishes during a single visit.


Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Why settle for a view of the beach when you can dine on the beach? Perched on the edge of the ocean, Diggies serves up some of the best ‘brekkie’ and lunch in the ‘Gong. Pair a frothy cappuccino with entrees such as ricotta hotcakes with fresh strawberries and maple syrup (a side of bacon is semi-optional) or wash down coconut cake and mascarpone with freshly squeezed juice. If you’re in the mood for more substantial fare, order grilled ocean trout or classic fish and chips, you’re right next to the ocean, after all, so savor the freshest fish while you have the chance. If a trip to the seaside is a bit out of the way for you in the morning, bike over to Diggies’ Cycle Café for equally fresh coffee and simple, healthy menu options like muesli, paleo banana bread, or a pickle and pancetta melt on rye.

Harbourfront Restaurant

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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It’s hard to find seafood tastier and views more picturesque than those at the luxurious Harbourfront Restaurant, located on the rim of the Belmore Basin. For over 30 years, this restaurant has been a place to enjoy fresh cuisine; you might be able to see your soon-to-be-meal swim in the harbor as you order your first glass of wine. It is the place to soak in the splendor of the mountains and waterways that make up the Wollongong landscape. Among its European-style dishes, you’ll find a seasonal à la carte menu that features the best ingredients from local fishermen and farmers. A reservation is a must if you want to savor entrées such as fresh king prawns with orange, mint, tomato and avocado salad, or crispy skin barramundi with potato purée, pancetta, peas, and shiitake and enoki mushrooms.

His Boy Elroy

Look hard for His Boy Elroy, the entrance to this hipster hideaway is a single, glossy, wooden sliding door hidden along one of Wollongong CBD’s streets. With everything from hotcakes to burgers to burritos to cocktails, the only thing more vibrant than His Boy’s menu is its décor. Its retro vibe with a hint of New York City street style is reinforced by a massive black and white mural featuring the cartoon character ‘Popeye the Sailor Man,’ created by local designer Jeremy Ham. The mismatched dinnerware and the uniform of the baristas evokes the spirit of the 1950s. The scene is simultaneously ‘Grandma’s house’ and ‘Brooklyn thrift store chic.’

His Boy Elroy, 1 Globe Lane, Wollongong NSW, Australia, +61 2 4244 8221

My Pantry, Wollongong, Australia, Food
© Courtesy of My Pantry

My Pantry

Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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With a menu inspired by global grub and eclectic décor that will transport you from Cuba to Monte Carlo, there’s no reason to dine anywhere else but My Pantry. The family that owns and operates the restaurant has paid the utmost attention to detail, from the hand-selected wine list, to the seasonal ingredients scattered throughout the menu, to funky accents like pear-shaped candles and red, beaded chandeliers that embellish the dining room. If you’re stuck on what to order, the 250g eye fillet steak with parsnip purée, roasted chat potatoes and red wine jus served with a pear, walnut, watercress and blue cheese salad is a local favorite.

Mylan Restaurant

Restaurant, Vietnamese
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Many locals will tell you there’s no better Vietnamese food in the city than that served by Mylan Restaurant and they’re right on the mark; the restaurant serves up everything from king prawns in red curry with creamed coconut and garden vegetables, to traditional spring rolls or roast duck in orange sauce with dry mushrooms and carrots. When dining here, however, you really only need to know two words, satay and chicken. Smothered in creamed coconut, peanuts, spices, carrots, capsicums and onions, just one bite and you’ll realize why locals pack Mylan Restaurant every day at lunchtime for an order of it.


Restaurant, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, $$$
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There’s no question you’ll need a reservation to dine at Samaras; this award-winning family-owned restaurant has made a huge name for itself in recent years. Samaras’ carnivore-friendly, Lebanese-Mediterranean fusion cuisine is some of the best Middle Eastern food in New South Wales; traditional dishes such as lamb shawarma and Beirut chicken are paired with sweeping views of the city, both inside the dining room and outdoors on the vast patio. The restaurant is so popular that another location just opened in Woonona to serve the ravenous crowds.


Sandygoodwich is all about two key elements; fresh food and a friendly environment. If you’re interested in seeing where its cured meats, preserves, pastries, chutneys and pickles come from, all you have to do is peek into the kitchen. If you like to sample them for yourself, try classics such as the Reuben, made with house-cured pastrami, house sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and cheddar; or the slow-braised pork sandwich with chili jam, mayonnaise, mustard and rocket. If you’re looking for an option that’s a bit more adventurous, skim the chalkboard menus around the dining room to find delicacies such as slow-roast lamb sandwich with pomegranate glaze, smoky eggplant, cucumber labna, tomato and rocket.

Sandygoodwich, Shop 2/363 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW, Australia, +61 2 4244 4690

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