We’ve spent a lot of the past year on the Fraser Coast and one of the big questions we are asked is which are the best Hervey Bay cafes or just where to eat in Hervey Bay? It’s a region that is surging in popularity both with people moving into the area and tourists who come to enjoy the fabulous beaches, whale watching throughout the winter season, the gateway to Fraser Island and many other attractions the region offers.
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The Dayman (Hervey Bay General Store)
Located at the beach end of Dayman Street in Urangan this popular local cafe makes itself at home in the heritage-listed Dayman General Store. It’s close enough to the Urangan Pier to be an easy walk from the popular tourist spot but tucked away opposite the park where it can easily go unnoticed unless someone lets you in on the secret.
The Dayman rates well with us in many categories but not least for being strong supporters of ethical and local sourcing. They serve Tim Adams coffee, roasted on the Sunshine Coast and make every effort to nourish the customers with fresh healthy food and the community by supporting local farmers who go the extra mile to do things the right way.
The eggs in the eggs benedict are tasty and free range and the bacon is full of flavour. I went with the French toast loaded with berries. Winter is strawberry season in Queensland but they add a little bacon on the side too cause who wants to have to choose between a sweet and savoury brunch.
There were plenty of other options that we’ll be back to try out too. The team here are friendly and there are plenty of interesting spots to settle yourself, each a little different to the next. Choose from the quirky and cosy indoor seating to the eclectic mix of tables opposite the park and tables for 2 or 10 in their little walled garden tucked in behind.
Hours: 7 am until 2.30 pm Wednesday to Sunday (Closed Monday and Tuesday)
Location: 18 Dayman St, Urangan QLD 4655
Pier Village Cafe
The Pier Village Cafe is located on the Esplanade in Urangan opposite the beach and in view of the iconic Urangan Pier, a perfect spot for a walk after your foodie indulgences. We stopped by for lunch recently but they also offer breakfast options or you are welcome to stop in for a locally roasted coffee.
It was an impulsive visit, winter days like this need to be celebrated but we were lucky and managed to snag a front-row table with this gorgeous view of the water.
The menu is Australian cafe style, done well. My calamari was perfectly tender and the salt and pepper crumb light and crunchy, the chips golden, crispy on the outside and soft in the centre and the garden salad offered a good variety of green leaves, cucumber, tomato, red onion and finely sliced radish lightly dressed in a grainy mustard vinegarette.
The burger was a good Aussie burger served on a toasted bun with a generous and flavourful patty, smoky bacon, cheese, and salad finished with garlic aioli and beetroot chutney. To complete the meal it was also served alongside a basket of fries.
In our experience it’s a good spot to stop and relax, the location is great, the food quality is good and the staff make time to have a chat and make you feel welcome.
Location: 1/564 Esplanade, Urangan QLD 4655
Hours: Open 7 days, 6 am until 2 pm
Located on the Esplanade not far from the Urangan Pier, Salt has an elevated position looking out over the bay. Outside on the deck is our preferred spot, opting for one of the tall tables to catch every little bit of cooling breeze and an uninterrupted view. They also have indoor seating if you prefer and other standard tables outsides.
Salt is fully licenced and offers a full range of wine, beer, cider, cocktails and spirits. Both the breakfast and lunch menus offer great options and they change them up seasonally.
Our choice on this visit was the calamari salad with chargrilled capsicum and olives, the large fresh salad was well seasoned and dressed with a capsicum oil dressing and the calamari was cooked in thick strips that were so tender they almost melted. Definitely a winner.
Drew’s choice was the crispy crumbed, chicken chipotle burger. They hit the mark with a perfect crunch to the crumb and moist tender chicken inside. Paired it with cheese, caramelised onion, a little salad and chipotle mayo it would be difficult to go wrong.
Location: 569 Esplanade, Urangan QLD 4655
Hours: Open 7 days from 6.30 am until 2.30 pm
Cody’s Coffee Shack
This one on the Esplanade in Torquay quickly became a regular stop for a coffee or chai. If you love a good road trip and the romance of an old combi van it’s sure to catch your eye. While they do offer light meals or snacks the main reason to stop by here is for a coffee, chat and chill time in their unique ambience.
It’s a friendly team, the coffee is consistently good and there is always a smile from the barista and other customers. Be aware it’s a serving window with outdoor-only seating but there is plenty of shady bar seating and tables of all sizes.
Location: 400 Esplanade, Torquay QLD 4655
Hours: 5.30 am – 12.30 pm (Monday to Saturday) 6 am – 12.30 pm (Sunday)
Cafe Balaena is one of the first Hervey Bay cafes we visited years ago and although it has changed hands several times over the years we do gravitate back to its fabulous spot overlooking the marina.
Whether you stop in for a morning coffee and cake, lunch, dinner or the cocktail menu there is something for everyone. Seating is out on the deck above the Marina which captures a gentle but welcome breeze in the hotter months. When it’s a bit cooler the clear blinds are rolled down to keep out the chill and the gas heaters keep it at a comfortable temperature throughout winter.
Location: Tourist Terminal, 7 Buccaneer Dr, Urangan QLD 4655
Hours: 6.30 am until 10 pm (Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri, Sat) Breakfast and Lunch (Wed & Sun)
Lighthouse Cafe (Hervey Bay Boat Club)
It’s mainly the location that pulls us back to this one so regularly. Who can resist that fabulous open-air seating out in the midst of the Marina? It’s a stunning spot for morning coffee or lunch on a sunny day and I love it on a Sunday afternoon with the live music inside. There are tables indoors in the air conditioning if you prefer but you’ll always find us outside.
The club offers well-priced drinks, snacks and meals. The Lighthouse Cafe caters for everything from morning coffee and cake to casual meals including burgers, fish and chips or lasagne. You can also have breakfast or a light snack with a drink. Food portions are generously sized and there is an extra discount for members or those who have been out on the Boat Club whale-watching trip that day.
The Harbourview Restaurant shares the same incredible views across the Marina with a diverse menu including steaks, roasts, local scallops, fish, pasta or a seafood platter.
Location: Buccaneer Dr, QLD 4655
Hours: Open 7 days, 8.30 am until late
A few more stops for the foodies
If you are planning to travel up the Queensland coast we have some other great foodie spots you won’t want to miss. Check out these great cafes when you are in town:
- Broadbeach to Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast
- Around Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city
- Bundaberg and the Coral Coast as you head north
- Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland
We love it when local creativity and locally sourced produce are combined to fabulous effect so we’ve also searched out the best artisan ice cream between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg in case you want to indulge in a bit of a sweet treat.
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