Lee & Me just reeks of cool with its bare bricks and eclectic menu, spruiking braised leek pikelets ($18) and salt and pepper tofu ($14) for brekkie like it’s no big deal… Campos Coffee is always a dead giveaway for top shelf brunching.
87 Crown Street, Wollongong
Sifters is another establishment renowned for its edgy appeal. Housed in a shipping container the co-op situation is an all-day activity with ample single origin coffee to keep you going.
82 Market Street, Wollongong
Bull & Bear adds Spanish flair to their breakfast menu, with La Española teaming eggs on toast with tumaca and grilled jamon ($15) or the El carnicero ($21) potato cake with morcilla sausage, chorizo, bacon, eggs and mojo verde.
2a Victoria Street, Wollongong
Diggies is a dream for harbourside brunching. Overlooking Wollongong Harbour and giving a heritage building new life, this popular café draws the crowds and has a special weekend brunch menu that is well-worth lingering over.
1 Cliff Road, Wollongong
Sandy Goodwich uses wholesome, ethically sourced produce, and the brunch offering includes a deluxe breakfast roll ($14.50) that you can feel good about – not to mention the avo toast with mushrooms, feta, eggs and salsa verde ($17 – don’t worry, it definitely won’t set you back a mortgage).
363 Crown Street, Wollongong
Humber’s brekkie involves a hearty Shakshuka ($18) or buttermilk pancakes ($17), and as they’re open through until dinner you can sample the menu across their three levels – finishing with picturesque sunset drinks on the rooftop.
226 Crown Street, Wollongong
Lower East Caféis known for their coffee and house baked pastries, but if you’re in the mood for something more hearty then they more than have you covered there too, think mushroom and feta Toast ($12.00) or house baked granola bowl ($14.00) paired with a full bodied Single O coffee.
70 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
LUNCH to DINNER.
Northbeach Pavilion offers laidback yet elegant Italian dining housed in the North Beach Bathers Pavilion on North Wollongong Beach. The dishes are designed for sharing with woodfired pizza being a major fixture on the menu and come as big as 1-metre, but you may want to save room for dessert, think pizza ricotta Nutella with hazelnut s and strawberries (from $22)
5 Cliff Road, North Wollongong
Beast and Bread are the answer to mid-afternoon hunger pangs. They have mastered the art of slow roasted organic meats – trust us and their loyal following, it’s good! But if you want something on the lighter side then you can’t go wrong with their seasonal salads.
8 Crown Lane, Wollongong
Quay Canteenis a Vietnamese street food-slash-vegan hangout-slash-café. Sounds weird? Well, it’s not. They pull it off with their insta-worthy dishes that vary from traditional Vietnamese dishes to raw and baked treats. Take our advice, you don’t want to leave without having tried one of their shakes.
5/157 Crown Street, Wollongong
Eat Street Markets is the very definition of a foodie hangout, and the best part is it’s on every week, no matter the weather. This outdoor night-time food market has chefs working overtime to serve up dishes made of seasonal produce every Thursday from 5-9pm.
Crown Street Mall, Wollongong
Da Orlando’s wood-fired pizza is as authentic as you get. Pumping out pizzas that are made in a traditional Roman style – meaning crunchier and less doughy pizzas with traditional toppings, plus they prove the dough for 72 hours. Did we say the pizza is good here?
348 Keira Street, Wollongong
Bombora Seafood is everything that its name suggests. They are all about cooking up the freshest seafood sourced locally. From its harbourside location sit back and take in the views and treat yourself to a seafood platter ($41.90) with a half bottle of Brokenwood Semillon ($22.90).
2 Endeavour Drive, Wollongong
Caveau brings a refined dining experience to Wollongong. They are renowned for their decadent seven course tasting menus (from $105 per person), but if you’re feeling in need of something a little less filling, they offer a three course du jour ($85 per person) from Tuesday to Thursday evenings.
122-124 Keira Street, Wollongong
Rookie Eatery does sophisticated modern Australian fare well. The historic house with chic whitewashed interiors sets the scene for a menu that is influenced by local produce and is inspired by eastern and western cultures. We have our eyes on the duck, pickled nashi, roasted eschalot, warrigal green and lime kosho ($39)
125 Keria Street, Wollongong
Babyface Kitchen offers a modern Australian menu with sustainability and quality produce, a central mantra and plenty of seafood and international influences offering a touch of colour. The ginger and lemongrass fishcakes ($17) and White Boy Ramen ($15) are creations we can get behind.
1/179 Keira Street, Wollongong
Kneading Ruby’sclassic Italian dishes executed in a rustic, flavour-comes-first approach. Offering small shares and large share dishes, such as the gnocchi with butter jus, pancetta and goats cheese ($24) or the lamb shoulder, broccolini and soft polenta ($28)
5 Crown Lane, Wollongong
The Throsby is the Gong’s favourite small bar, with a curated offering of Australian and international wines and a mouth-watering selection of cheese for an enviable antipasti platter. Check-in early to nab yourself a seat for the evening.
2/88 Kembla Street, Wollongong
His Boy Elroy is a little laneway bar and burger joint that’s all about serving up burgers and brisket – think American South. The compulsory Shaketown shake ($8) with salted caramel or choc malt oreo to which a shot of bourbon or amaretto ($8) is a necessary add-on.
Keira Street, Wollongong
The Little Prince is one of those bars where people come for the tapas-style share plates but linger for the cocktails. We have our eyes on the boards to share; selection of cheeses, quince paste, grapes and crackers ($25) and the Charcuterie Board meats, cheeses, pork pate, blackberry compote and crostini ($30).
Globe Lane, Wollongong
The Howlin’ Wolf Bar is the local authority on whiskey and with a line-up of live music, you’re basically guaranteed a good night out here. Don’t worry, whiskey isn’t all that these guys get right – the cocktail list is definitely worth a look in too.
3/53-61 Crown Street, Wollongong