Platter at the beach, Cape Lodge, Margaret River, WA © Frances Andrijich
Best places to eat and drink in Margaret River
Indulge your love of food and drink in Margaret River.
By Carla Grossetti
From cafés where you can enjoy seasonal cuisine to cellar doors with state-of-the-art vibes and fine dining establishments where you can savour top-notch food and local wines, here’s where to eat and drink in Margaret River, Western Australia.
"There’s no shortage of excellent places to eat and drink around the Margaret River region. If the region known for its world-class wines sounds a bit magical, that’s because it is."
Best spot for brunch
Hummingbird has set the standard for casual cafés in Margaret River. The corner café in Busselton has a devoted patronage for brunch: try the breakfast gnocchi or the well-executed smashed avo on Yallingup Bakery wood-fired sourdough. Come here to caffeinate, too.
The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Café is a beacon for road-trippers looking for sustenance. Housed in one of the original lighthouse keepers’ cottages, it is known as much for its Devonshire teas as its head-turning views.
Wellbeing warriors flock to the boho Margaret River Bakery after their morning yoga routine to sip chai from a vintage tea cup in the sunshine. Colonise the chintzy chairs in the courtyard and indulge in vego brekkie (vegetarian breakfast) burgers, Texas bean pies and cups of lentil soup.
Be sure to try: The ‘big breakfast’ on the breezy Margaret River Bakery balcony.
Long lunch (at a winery)
Your first stop on a getaway to the region should include lunch at Vasse Felix, Margaret River’s founding wine estate. Expect impeccably prepared dishes to accompany fabulous wines at the critically acclaimed eatery, wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows.
Located amid the vineyards of Cullen Wines, this rustic restaurant reflects the biodynamic principles at the carbon-positive winery run by mother and daughter team Di and Vanya Cullen. All up, there are five kitchen gardens that supply everything from avocado to Jerusalem artichoke for the menu.
Book a table at family-run Leeuwin Estate and linger over the tasting menu, which knits together food, wine and art to create the quintessential fine-dining experience. Sit on the veranda, with its flower-filled boxes, to enjoy Margaret River wagyu or marron expertly prepared by head chef Dan Gedge.
Be sure to try: A picnic on the lawn of Leeuwin Estate during one of its legendary al fresco concerts.
Take a peek at the gardens to get a preview of what will be on your plate during a Tiller Dining experience. Chef George Cooper’s carefully curated menu revolves around his memories of growing up in the UK so expect storytelling alongside dishes such as ‘the classic British TV dinner’ of bacon, eggs, chips and peas.
Chow’s Table serves spicy, feisty food that has its roots in Chinese-Malay cuisine. If you love dumplings, or are longing for duck-fat fried rice, this place ticks all the boxes. The casual restaurant looks out over the House of Cards vineyard in Yallingup and is a star of the south-west’s dining scene.
The food is as much of a draw as the wine on offer at Yarri, the restaurant, cellar door and wine bar that is a collaboration between chef Aaron Carr and Snake+Herring winery. Expect VIP treatment when you book the Chef’s Table, which reflects the palette of the surrounding grey-green bushland.
Be sure to try: The chicken and ginger dumplings swathed in delicate wonton skin at Chow’s Table.
Restaurants with rooms
Arimia farms its own trout, pork, olives, grapes, honey, marron, fruit and vegetables. Even without that paddock-to-plate backstory, the off-grid restaurant and guesthouse overlooking the Indian Ocean is worth a detour. Head chef Evan Hayter’s menu is exemplary: order shiitake spaghetti with pork ragout.
The Cape Lodge Lakeside Restaurant and Wine Lounge is located on the grounds of the country estate, which boasts 22 boutique rooms and its own vineyard. This is destination dining at its finest: expect classically prepared French-influenced fare and try and replicate it at their cooking school.
The Restaurant at Wills Domain regularly ranks as one of Australia’s best regional restaurants. Context matters: the industrial-chic restaurant overlooks Gunyulgup Valley and Seth James’ food is as compelling as the views. Enjoy high calibre dishes such as glazed pork, apple, walnut and shiso.
Be sure to try: The milk chocolate, soy and praline dessert at The Restaurant at Wills Domain.