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The best cafes in Bundaberg

When we first visited Bundaberg I was surprised by the fabulous foodie culture we found here. Now on a repeat visit with more time to spend in the region we’ve set out to discover our own definitive list of the best cafes in Bundaberg.

Situated in the midst of one of Australia most diverse and prolific food bowls it really should be no surprise that this town has created and drawn back home more than its fair share of excellent chefs, cooks and craft producers. So if you’re wondering where to eat in Bundaberg we have some fabulous choices that really showcase local produce and you won’t want to miss these.

These cafes have put themselves firmly ‘on the map’ but in case you are new to the area, or looking to plan your road trip based on your next meal as we have been known to do I’ll include our own map below with some must-visit spots for the visiting foodie, or hungry family.

Our favourite Bundaberg Cafes

Water Street Kitchen

The Water Street Kitchen cafe and catered dining room are run by Alex and Jen. When I first visited in July 2017 it was one of the newer additions to the Bundy food scene but they started strong and after our recent return visit, I’m pleased to say they have gone from strength to strength.  

This sand crab lasagne is absolutely delicious. It might look like a very generous serving of crustacean sauce it’s sitting in but believe me you won’t want to leave even a smear on your plate, and is a parmesan chip a little OTT on such a decadent meal, well probably but I’m still not sharing. Drew’s katsu chicken burger on a brioche bun with aioli and fries did look a more mainstream option but I’m guessing the magic is all in the marinading of the chicken to make it so incredibly tender and juicy inside its crispy coating.

Water Street Cafe Bundaberg - That crab lasagne is perfection

Jen’s style and aesthetic are evident in the beautiful decor and decorative touches throughout and Alex’s experience as a chef, his enthusiasm for the local produce and a strong grounding in balancing nutrition, flavour and presentation will have them in demand for a long time to come.

It also doesn’t hurt that they’re an adorable, engaging couple with a clear passion for their foodie venture.  They always feature strongly in the lineup for the Taste Bundaberg Festival and its predecessor Winterfeast.  I can’t wait to get back and see what they are doing a little further down the track.

Water Street Kitchen

The Water Street Kitchen is located in a converted house on the corner of a suburban street in Bundaberg South. With indoor tables, seating on the sunny deck and casual garden tables it’s an inviting space to linger over lunch, celebrate that special dinner or catch up with friends for a weekend brunch.

Address:  85 Water St, Walkervale QLD 4670

Indulge Cafe

Ask the locals one place you must try while in Bundaberg and they will send you here.  It’s an adorable heritage-styled cafe tucked away in the middle of town. You might have walked right past if you didn’t know that you shouldn’t.  

It’s owned and run by Mitchell White, a young chef who is a huge advocate for the locavore movement in Bundaberg, he absolutely lives, cooks and breathes the philosophy of knowing where the ingredients came from and who grew them.

Indulge blueberry pancake
Fabulous and fresh breakfast at Indulge Cafe

It’s much more than that though, he creates magic with the ingredients both in the flavour profiles and presentation.  We’ve had brunch at the cafe many times and also attended a 5-course garden party he and his team catered at Fairymead House.  Honestly, he can’t produce a bad dish.

Sunday Soiree by Indulge Cafe
Sunday Soiree by Indulge Cafe
Sunday Soiree dessert by Indulge Cafe

Address:  80 Bourbong St, Bundaberg Central QLD 4670

The Journey

It’s not often I’ll call out a coffee shop amongst my favourite cafes in a destination, it’s not easy to build a reputation on great coffee alone but these guys do warrant a mention, and a stop when you are next in Bargara.

There’s only a small seated area indoors and a bar table around the side but we usually take ours down to sit at the bar table in the park overlooking Bargara beach for the best views in town. I ordered a flat white (the Kiwi coffee order is here to stay) and Drew got his usual long black with a splash of milk. Both were smooth and full of flavour with a long tail but no hint of bitterness – for me pretty much coffee perfection.

The Journey coffee shop in Bargara
The Journey coffee on Bargara Beach

While owner Matt is an ultra trail running vegan there is no judgement on what milk you choose, they have full cream Mooloo Mountain, a Queensland farmer’s milk from around the Gympie region I believe if that’s your preference and Zymil for the lactose intolerant but there is also a full spectrum of quality plant based choices.

I did do a second take on their milk pricing though, having become accustomed over the years to paying a hefty premium on every cup for the privilege of being allowed to have plant-based it did not go unnoticed that they actually gave a discount! That was a first.

The coffee is also locally sourced from Kai, a fair-trade coffee roaster on the Sunshine Coast who in turn do their bit to support both the growers and children living in poverty.

Address: 13B Centre Point, 5 Bauer Street Bargara. QLD 4670

Grunskes by the River

Grunskes is another Bundy icon and on my must-visit list whether you choose to stop by for lunch or dinner on the river, or to pick up some fresh fish and seafood to cook back at your accommodation. It’s rare now to find a seafood processor who sells directly to the public but at Grunskes there’s a team whose job it is to ensure a constant supply of shucked scallops, filleted fish and prepared seafood direct from the boats is available for distribution to retail customers and through the restaurant.  That’s a big job as this place is super popular for good reason.

Grunskes by the River, Bundaberg

Owners Paul and Beryl know the industry inside out having been involved in commercial fishing and running prawn trawlers for over 40 years.  They are passionate supporters of the industry and promoters of wild-caught Australian seafood.  You’ll find the vibe here is relaxed and casual situated right on the riverfront.  

You just won’t get fresher, more delicious seafood than this.  Although you’re able to take away both a cooked meal or wet fish, I highly recommend that you grab a table on the deck at least once during your stay to enjoy the full experience of exceptional local seafood together with the view by day or the peaceful evening air.

Address:  11E Petersen Street, Bundaberg East QLD 4670

The Orchard Table

Located on the grounds of Macadamias Australia the Orchard Table has a good number of tables but still manages to get busy at times. There is some indoor seating but we love to dine outside on the huge covered patio overlooking the grove of macadamia trees. There is room for younger children to run and play on the expansive grass area without being in anyones way. There are even tiny picnic tables for them, some play equipment and interactive stations where they can try to crack some fallen nuts.

The menu is fairly small but changes up seasonally and includes a variety that would appeal to most dietary requirements and preferences. Locally grown macadamia nuts do feature in most or all of the dishes, generally as an accent rather than the main component.

Vegetable fritters for brunch on the patio at The Orchard Table in Bundaberg

While here you may want to make time to wander through their award-winning (and free) interactive display centre that explains more about this native Australian nut, the farming process, processing and even how they use the byproducts to create their mulch and biochar from the discarded shells.

Do note that for their safety, dogs are not welcomed at the Orchard Table. Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs and there are plenty of these delicious nuts both in the meals and on the ground around the trees and lawn area.

Address: Macadamias Australia, 4625 Goodwood Road, Alloway, QLD

One Little Farm

One Little Farm features the Cats Pyjamas Coffee by Seven Miles Coffee Roasters, it’s smooth, rich harmony of cocoa, vanilla and malted notes are my favourite so I’m always going to find an excuse to stop in here any time I’m passing.

It’s located in a small strip mall near the Bundy Barrel so the outdoor seating is on the edge of the car park, not ideal but they have made it as appealing as they possibly can and inside the shop is airconditioned and beautifully presented with large tables, select artisan products, fresh produce and the floral arrangements that they also sell.

Coffee and a treat at One Little Farm

In the glass cases at the counter you’ll find a selection of freshly made treats and light meals that are always delicious when we fancy something a bit extra.

The Garden Mill Cafe

The Garden Mill Cafe opened in 2023 complementing the existing Windmill and Beach Mill locally owned by Joey and Kirsty. The cafe is family and pet-friendly with tables set on the patio, under gazebos and around the gardens.

Brunch plates at The Garden Mill

Its underlying premise is to celebrate local growers, producers and young hospitality talent. The menu is small but interesting and it has already found a place in our regular rotation. Younger family members will be drawn to the fluffy chickens and baby goats that live onsite.

Address: 100 Hughes Rd, Bargara, QLD

The Windmill Cafe

Finally, I have to give a mention to Windmill Cafe in Bargara. This one is very easy to find by its distinctive namesake design just a block back from the beach.

The Windmill Bargara

They offer a range of healthy meal options again with a focus on local produce but their range of Nana’s Pantry Gelatos are what many seek out here. The traditional Italian-style gelati are made daily in Bundaberg using fresh fruit sourced from local farms.

Address: 12 See St, Bargara QLD

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Best cafes in Bundaberg pinterest poster
Best cafes in Bundaberg pinterest poster

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