Geelong’s quiet little sister, the Bellarine Peninsula is located on a charming stretch of Victoria’s western coastline. Boasting an alluring raft of epicurean eats championing local produce, this understated and beguiling seaside town is ideal for a relaxed escape from the city. 
Visitors are spoiled for choice in this region, so here is a guide to the 10 best places to eat across the Bellarine to bookmark for your next visit.

1. Jack Rabbit Vineyard


The belle of the Bellarine for over a decade, Jack Rabbit Vineyard is home to stunning views across Corio Bay, the You Yangs and Melbourne. Known for elegant cool climate wines, the vineyard is home to an a la carte fine diner, café, cellar door and a range of pop-up events including a mussel masterclass. Settle in to enjoy the vistas across the bay with a glass of Sparkling Blanc de Blanc.


2. Terindah Estate


Terindah means ‘most beautiful’ in Indonesian, and this boutique winery nestled on 100 acres of rolling pastures and lush vineyard certainly lives up to its namesake. Boasting a diverse stable of cool climate wines, head along to enjoy a glass with lunch at The Shed, or drop into Terindah Estate’s cellar door and refurbished W Class tram bar. There are occasional cooking classes too, if you’re looking for a special evening event.


3. The Little Mussel Café


Feast on some of the best, fresh Portarlington mussels at The Little Mussel Café. The area of Port Phillip Bay is particularly well-known for its nutrient-rich waters, making the molluscs exceptionally fresh and juicy. As one might imagine, mussels are the star of the show at The Little Mussel Café, featured in a swag of freshly made sauces. A range of seasonal seafood, gluten-free and vegan options are also on offer, so there’s a little something for everyone.


4. The Whiskery


Cosy up in this renovated farm shed, an adults-only cellar door retreat at the Bellarine Distillery. The first distillery on the Bellarine Peninsula, Bellarine Distillery is an award-winning producer boasting a stable of botanical-infused gins and barrelled whisky. Mosey through to pick a spot beside the fire, or head to the garden and deck in the warmer months. There’s a curated range of local cheese, produce platters and pizzas to nibble on, alongside G&Ts, cocktails and regional wines.


5. Flying Brick Cider House


Flying Brick Cider House’s naturally-crafted beverages are made with 100% fresh fruit and free from added sugars, colours and concentrates. Pair an original, draught or pear cider with plates from the share-style menu, including grazing platters and a seafood tower for two. Tunes from local artists will flow every Friday and Saturday night, and an onsite food truck pops up on the Flying Brick’s lawn throughout spring and summer.

6. Piknik


A local’s favourite on the Bellarine Peninsula, Piknik is café-larder hybrid in a refurbished and converted roadhouse. Freshly baked sourdough, cakes, pastries and Allpress coffee are all here to help start your day, while bigger plates might run to bruschetta, snags and beans or French crepes. After brunch, peruse through pantry staples, fresh jams and an extensive range of locally-produced wine and beers.


7. Merne at Lighthouse


Positioned slightly south of the Bellarine in Drysdale, Merne at Lighthouse is a peaceful location boasting panoramic vistas across surrounding farmland. Easily accessible from the Bellarine, dining is a multi-course, set menu affair. Locally-sourced trout may be paired with rhubarb, apple and mustard; stracciatella with pea, kohlrabi and mint; or spatchcock with parsnip and sumac. You’ll find plenty of Bellarine producers throughout the drinks list, which champions locally-made wines, spirits and beer.


8. Basils Farm


A dog-friendly venue located in Swan Bay, Basils Farm focuses on highlighting fresh, seasonal produce from both the potager garden and local growers across a rotating menu. Lunch might run to the likes of grilled marinated king prawns, braised Cape Grim short ribs or salt and native pepper squid. A range of Basils Farm wines, spirits, hot drinks and non-alcoholic options are also on offer.


9. Scotchmans Hill


Cool, maritime climate wines are the undisputed heroes at Scotchmans Hill, an award-winning winery first established in 1982. Kick things off by heading to the cellar door, where you’ll find wine tastings and local charcuterie boards. Come selected lunchtimes and Friday nights, the undercover alfresco restaurant offers a modern Australian menu with a focus on paired wines. The menu zeroes in on local producers, along with a small selection of rotating specials.


10. Queenscliff Brewhouse


This 145-year-old beauty has sat along the Queenscliff foreshore since 1879. Best known for its onsite microbrewery and distillery, this historic pub also boasts a cellar door and family-friendly brewhouse. At Queenscliff Brewhouse, find classic parmas, burgers and a range of daily specials, alongside house-made brews and sustainably-sourced spirits. The cellar door also doubles as a local providore with a wide range of regional wines and Bellarine products from local producers. There's also live music on Sunday afternoons and a Whisky Bar open on Friday nights.



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