Best Restaurants: Central Coast’s Must-visit Foodie Destinations
Spend days getting lost tasting your way thought the best restaurants on the Central Coast.
The Central Coast is on every foodie’s radar, and for a good reason. There is stirring energy that’s being spurred by a new wave of culinary chefs and bakers who are making the sea change to the Central Coast’s seaside villages. Beachside cafes are in abundance, fine-dining restaurants shine a spotlight on ocean-fresh seafood and eateries and bakeries are putting their own spin on classic Australian faves, while more and more global eats are becoming a staple. From garden settings to waterfront locations, the Central Coast delivers in a big way.
Here is our edit of the best restaurants on the Central Coast.
Suq proudly takes its place among the best restaurants in Central Coast, offering a globally inspired, sharing-based menu that's nothing short of a culinary adventure. Chef Michael Guirguis' passion shines through as he infuses flavours from around the world into each dish, transforming every meal into a convivial conversation. From France to Japan, the Med to North Africa, the menu invites diners on a delectable journey. It's more than a meal; it's an unforgettable taste trip, backed by a deep love for good food, and the Central Coast's warm embrace amplifies the experience.
80 Ocean View Drive, Wamberal
Safran, one of the best restaurants in Central Coast, whisks diners on a journey through Turkey's rich culinary history. Chef Suleyman Kirbancioglu, fondly known as Sulo, and his wife Natalie have crafted an experience that transcends the clichés of kebabs and pide. Inspired by Ottoman Palace kitchens, Istanbul meyhanes, and street food, Safran serves up a contemporary twist on authentic Turkish recipes. Their menu is a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, European, and Balkan influences. Whether you opt for a five-course degustation or à la carte, each dish is a revelation. As you dine, you'll be surrounded by the restaurant's chic interiors, complete with arched windows and the warm glow of Middle Eastern-style lights—details that'll remind you of the vibrant Turkey locale.
81/189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
For a taste of the Italian coastline without the jetlag, look no further than Amalfi. This beachfront gem is among the best restaurants in Central Coast, offering a delightful fusion of modern Italian flavours meant to be savoured with your best mates. Located on the shores of picturesque Pearl Beach, it's all about delivering the ultimate "la dolce vita" experience. With the pearly white sands just steps away, Amalfi invites you to indulge in the joy of good food, good company, and a dash of Italian charm, right here on the Central Coast.
1 Tourmaline Avenue, Pearl Beach
Lago Cucina in Budgewoi is one of the best restaurants on the Central Coast. With its picturesque location overlooking the stunning Budgewoi Lake, the restaurant provides a perfect dining experience for all occasions. Their menu boasts a wide range of delicious Italian dishes, including freshly made pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and delectable seafood options. The restaurant's cozy ambience and excellent service make it an ideal choice for a romantic date or a family outing. So if you're looking for one of the best restaurants on the Central Coast, Lago Cucina in Budgewoi is definitely worth a visit!
169 Budgewoi Road, Budgewoi
Looking for one of the best restaurants on the Central Coast to enjoy bespoke cocktails, delectable share plates, and a fun atmosphere? Look no further than Pocket Bar! This celebrated restaurant and cocktail bar boasts retro décor, exposed bricks, and a playful approach to cocktail mixing that is sure to delight.
Pair your expertly crafted cocktail with an ever-changing range of tempting tapas dishes. From the warm and welcoming atmosphere to the delicious food and drink, Pocket Bar is the perfect spot to unwind with friends and family. Don't miss out on one of the best restaurants the Central Coast has to offer!
74 Terrigal Esplanade, Terrigal
The Lucky Bee
When it comes to the best restaurants in Central Coast, one local gem stands out with its mod-Asian waterfront charm – The Lucky Bee. This unassuming eatery has been dishing out flavour-packed delights since 2015, all made with fresh, local Central Coast produce. The Lucky Bee's weekend yum cha is a must-try, offering a diverse menu featuring the tastes of Thailand and Vietnam with a hint of Cantonese flair. Hot tip: Get The Lucky Bee's Lobster rolls to go and have a waterfront picnic by the bay! It's the ideal way to enjoy their delicious offerings while soaking in the coastal vibes.
189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
Railway Hotel Bar & Steakhouse
The Railway Hotel is a popular dining destination on the Central Coast of New South Wales. As one of the best restaurants in the area, this multi-purpose venue offers a range of delicious dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, the Railway Hotel Gosford has something for everyone. From juicy steaks to fresh seafood and vegetarian options, the menu is sure to satisfy any craving. With its relaxed atmosphere and friendly service, it's the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a hearty meal by yourself or share it with your best mates.
159 Mann Street, Gosford
If you can’t get to Mexico this summer, LA Taco is a worthy contender for a local getaway. At Ettalong Beach, LA Taco serves up authentic Mexican flavours with a Cali-cool twist. Developed by Cameron Cansdell and Hayley Hardcastle of the gorgeous Saddles at Mt White, this is one of the most fun and exciting venues on the Central Coast. Think fresh ceviche, grilled corn ribs with manchego queso, paprika and fermented chilli sauce, enchiladas and, of course, tacos packed with everything from smoked beef brisket, grilled fish of the day and roast pumpkin. Run—don't walk—towards these tasty treats!
Shop 33-34, 189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
When it comes to the best restaurants in Central Coast, The Cowrie is the local legend you can't afford to miss. This iconic spot has undergone a tasty transformation under new ownership. Nestled atop the Terrigal hills, you're in for a sophisticated feast with a side of breathtaking views. The Cowrie takes their food seriously, sourcing everything locally and in harmony with the seasons. It's all about Aussie honey, zesty citrus, native herbs, and sustainable seafood. Their commitment to local growers makes each dish a tribute to the region. So, if you're after an unforgettable dining experience that's as straightforward as it is mouthwatering, The Cowrie is the place to be.
109 Scenic Highway, Terrigal
When it comes to the best restaurants in Central Coast, Yellowtail is a cosy haven tucked away in Terrigal Village. With just 35 seats, it's an intimate setting that packs a punch with its fine-dining menu. With an ever-changing selection of modern Australian cuisine inspired by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian flavours, Yellowtail delivers a tasteful journey for your palate. Don't miss their degustation menu – it's a lineup of instant classics. And, of course, the paired wine offering is a must to enhance your experience.This winning combo has made Yellowtail a firm favourite for the best restaurants on the Central Coast.
Shop 3, 1 Campbell Crescent, Terrigal
The Boathouse Hotel
Following a swanky five-million-dollar makeover courtesy of The Boathouse Group, The Boathouse Hotel on Patonga's waterfront has quickly sailed into the spotlight as one of the best restaurants in Central Coast. This revamped gem offers a comprehensive menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While you can't go wrong with their Aussie brekkie faves like porridge, avo on toast, and sausage sangers, it's during lunch that they truly excel with a classic take on the old-fashioned fish n' chips. The Boathouse Hotel is a fresh breeze of coastal dining without the frills, where the food shines brighter than the sea. It's Central Coast dining with a splash of style.
6-8 Patonga Drive, Patonga
Osteria il Coccia
Executive Chef Nicola Coccia, previously renowned for his hatted Bistro Officina in the Southern Highlands, has embarked on a culinary adventure along the shores of Ettalong Beach. At the charming Osteria il Coccia, he is whipping up wood-fired Italian dishes with a dash of French finesse. The result? A delectable fusion that has swiftly earned a spot among the best restaurants in Central Coast. Each dish is a testament to his philosophy that food needs little intervention, just a little love and the warmth of the fire. Dining at Osteria il Coccia is an invitation to a fireside feast, where the Chef's Table offers an up-close-and-personal view of a gastronomic experience that sparks the senses.
49 The Esplanade, Ettalong Beach
The Wild Flower Bar & Dining
The multi-award-winning Bells at Killcare looks like something straight from a postcard. Made up of a series of luxury accommodations, it's the epitome of coastal charm. However, Bells at Killcare is not just about cosy stays; it's a culinary journey you won't want to miss. Wild Flower Bar & Dining, their in-house restaurant, is a haven for foodies. The menu, drawing inspiration from the sun-kissed flavours of Morocco to the Mediterranean, is a symphony of tastes. What truly sets it apart is their commitment to homegrown and seasonal produce, lovingly harvested from the kitchen garden and sourced from local farmers, fishers, growers, and winemakers. It's the ultimate culinary ode to the Central Coast.
Bella at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa, 107 The Scenic Road, Killcare Heights
South End Social
South End Social is a breakfast and lunchtime venue that is a must-visit among the best restaurants in Central Coast. It is not only about the mouthwatering Mediterranean shared plates but also the stylish Xanthe Highfield-designed interiors (stylist of many Sydney and Central Coast venues). Located at the south end of Mann Street in Gosford, South End Social stands out as a café and wine bar dedicated to brunch, long lunches, and handcrafted cocktails. Whether you opt for a sun-drenched terrace table or a cosy booth, you are in for a treat. There are no bad seats in the house!
Shop 1, 32 Mann Street, Gosford
Ettalong's foodie scene has been making waves, and this southern Italian restaurant is at the forefront of the movement. One of the best restaurants on the Central Coast, Bar Toto is an Italian trattoria that's all about antipasti, and their spirit-inspired drink menu boasts a killer cocktail list. Whether you sit bar-side and engage in lively banter with the skilled mixologists, or you opt for the cosy back lounge to savour those well-crafted concoctions, you'll be transported worlds away from the beachy vibes of this seaside setting.
83/189 Ocean View Road, Ettalong Beach
Tucked away off the main strip in Terrigal, Arc. Est is a coastal chic bar and dining destination for lunch and dinner. Their love for ocean-fresh seafood shines bright in a menu that is overflowing with modern Australian dishes. Over lunch, start with a plate of freshly shucked oysters before moving onto a main. At night, Arc. Est has a fine-dining flair with their two-, and three-course dinners.
Shop 7 & 8, 18 Church Street, Terrigal