Dine Geelong: Best Restaurants to Wine & Dine at
From acclaimed restaurants to rustic eateries, these are Geelong's best restaurants to make a booking.
How many restaurants can you fit in a weekend? From acclaimed fine diners to rustic French brasseries, Victoria’s second largest city is thrumming with top tier eateries worth visiting. The central hub of Little Malop Street is your epicentre for drinking and dining, but neighbouring streets (and suburbs) are increasingly home to drawcard venues too.
Igni is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the city, nay, the entire state. Named after the Latin word for fire, they cook everything over a woodfired grill at the centre of their open kitchen. Doing so requires extreme care and skill, but the payoff is intense, flame-licked flavours on everything from delicate vegetables and seafood to hearty meats. All diners are served a set menu based on the finest produce available that day, so prepare yourself for a surprising and eye-opening visit.
Ryan Place South, Geelong
Small in size but big in impact, this hole-in-the-wall eatery serves gorgeous contemporary Australian for lunch and dinner. In dishes like kangaroo tartare with cultured cream and saltbush they spotlight sustainable, local produce that turns each meal into a lesson in thoughtful eating. The light, country-inspired décor provides a gentle environment for intimate catchups and long lunches, aided by an impressive wine list.
9/111 Pakington Street, Geelong
This stylish all day diner is open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a go-to for late night feeds. Located in the thriving hub of Little Malop Street, their architect-designed space is built around a grand ash tree with green marble bartops and olive benches to match. The offering is modern Australian with a Middle Eastern bent, exemplified in dishes like warm carrot salad with labne and harissa, or spiced roast chicken with white bean hummus. Can’t decide? Their $55 ‘Feed Me’ menu will bring you all the hits.
75 Little Malop St, Geelong
Some things are simply timeless, like perfectly cooked steak frites or a slice of tarte tatin. Bistrot Plume delivers classic French cuisine with a Victorian touch, using stunning local ingredients such as greens grown right by the restaurant. You won’t find any unnecessary frills here, just a snappy menu of bistro dishes, a plat du jour and lovely French wines served in a rustic dining room.
56A Mt Pleasant Road, Belmont
You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant as impressive as Alma, a contemporary diner built on the flavours of South America. They’re all about sourcing the best ingredients possible and simply accentuating them, with menu highlights including spicy eggplant ceviche, addictive jamon arepas and grilled morcilla sausage. Spacious and vibey, they’re well-suited to large groups and festive occasions.
93-95 Ryrie Street, Geelong
Discover a little slice of Italy at The Continental, where art deco lighting, a vintage coffee machine and waiters in crisp, classic jackets greet you. The petite bar and diner is the perfect locale for an afternoon aperitivo, a lazy long lunch and a late night supper. Expect European wine bar plates like scallop tortelli in jamon brodo, cooling kingfish crudo and burnt basque cheesecake.
82 Little Malop Street, Geelong
Imagine walking through the streets of Geelong on a chilly winter’s night, when the warm glow of this cosy bistro catches your eye. At Bistrot St Jean they’ll fill you up with hearty, honest dishes like onion soup and beef bourguignon without fuss or fanfare. Quintessentially French cuisine is served in an environment to match – think hanging lights and chequered tile floors – while flowing carafés of wine lift the spirits.
239 Moorabool Street, Geelong
This sleek robata grill restaurant in central Geelong is one of the city’s most exciting dining destinations. Juicy skewers of yakitori chicken, cumin-spiced lamb and chilli squid are given the flavour boost of charcoal cooking, paired with satisfying kitchen snacks from lobster rolls to crab san choi bao. The bar is worth raiding too, with an extensive range of Japanese sakés, interesting wines and cocktails to pep up your meal.
47 Gheringhap Street, Geelong
Everything at Recess is completely gluten free, but to pigeonhole this stylish restaurant as simply a gut-friendly dinner spot would do it a disservice. Their globetrotting share menu is as thrilling as you’d find anywhere, spanning everything from oozy baked brie spiked with white wine and thyme leaves to fall-apart braised beef cheeks served with parsnip purée. Order freely and widely, because everything here is guaranteed gold’.
247 Moorabool Street, Geelong
Perched on the tip of Cunningham Pier, you’ll enjoy endless ocean views as you tuck into share-friendly Asian fusion dishes at Wah Wah Gee. Roll up with a crowd and order rounds of flavourful dumplings, fluffy bao, zingy curries and addictive snacks – but make sure you leave space for their signature fried ice cream and choc sauce. You can even kick on at Wah Bah upstairs for cocktails and music.
Cunningham Pier 10 Western Beach, Foreshore Road, Geelong
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