His Boy Elroy
His Boy Elroy is a little laneway bar and burger joint that’s all about serving up burgers and brisket – à la South American. The shakes are compulsory, well, they ought to be when they’re this good. What’s not compulsory is the shot of bourbon you can add to them, but we think this is a very necessary add on.
Eat at Sandy's
Sandy Goodwich uses wholesome, ethically sourced produce to create their delicious sandys. The brunch offering includes deluxe breakfast rolls that you can feel good about – not to mention the avo toast– don’t worry, it definitely won’t set you back a mortgage. These guys also host monthly communal dinners to bring passionate foodies together to talk about, you guessed it – food.
Bombora Seafood Restaurant
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 with a bottle of regional sav blanc.
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. The space is bright and buzzing and is consistently packed with the surfers and workers of Wollongong.
Lee and Me
Lee & Me just reeks of cool with its bare bricks and eclectic menu. Campos Coffee is always a dead giveaway for top shelf brunching and we assure you, you won’t be disappointed. In winter, cosy up by the open fireplace but in the warmer months, catch some rays on the terrace. Operating out of a 1890 heritage terrace house, Lee and Me is more than just a top notch brunch spot, it also has a furniture and homeware boutique ...
Quay Canteen is 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.
Teriyaki meets tacos at this Asian-South American fusion restaurant and bar. Every décor element is meticulously placed - be it the indie Japanese posters adorning the walls or the sugar skulls dotted around the place. Dining here is all about the communal vibe, from their communal tables to their delicious menu, designed to share.
Howlin' Wolf Whiskey Bar Wollongong
The Howling 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.
Opus Coffee Brewers
Primarily an espresso bar, Opus Coffee Brewers will welcome you with the coffee bar at the entrance, but out the back, communal tables will beg you to stay for brunch. If your Sunday morning ritual looks a little like this: Single O, fresh juice and house-made bagels choca-block full of gourmet toppings – then you’ll be well looked after here. If your Sunday morning ritual doesn’t look like that, one trip here and your weekend brunch game will be changed ...
The hatted institution Caveau, brings refined dining to Wollongong. They are renowned for their decadent seven course tasting menus, but if you’re feeling in need of something a little less filling, they also offer a three course du jour. Produce is sustainable and bio-dynamic and is used to create dishes best described as ‘bush tucker fine dining’. You’ll also be able to try some unusual meats like emu and wallaby here, but don’t worry – vegans are more than catered ...
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. If you were to judge a book (restaurant) by its cover (decor), then you’ll know that the menu reflects the interiors - relaxed fine dining.
Beast And Bread
Beast and Bread is a sandwich shop of sorts. Packed with organic, slow roasted meats and fresh, flavoursome veg, these aren’t your average sangas. Despite being a fully-fledged lunch spot frequented by hungry workers by day, come night time, the lights are dimmed and protein plates and craft beer come out to play.
Sifters is a community hub and creative space renowned for its edgy appeal. Comprised of various shipping containers, the co-op situation brings together local businesses such as clothing stores, a florist and an art space as well as food truck Son of a Gun. Sifters is an all-day activity, with ample single origin coffee on offer to keep you going.
Rookie eatery does modern fine dining 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. Indigenous native foods makes an appearance, collected from their on-site veggie garden.
Son of a Gun
Son Of A Gun is housed in a shipping container, and is part of Sifters – the creative co-op in the heart of the Wollongong CBD. Don’t let the fact it’s in a carpark deter you, because this is the go-to hangout for locals who know a thing or two about good coffee. Whether you prefer your brew batch’d, cold or just plain brewed, pull up a seat – or crate and settle in for the morning.
North Wollongong Hotel
Featuring three bars, a notable beer garden and a gourmet bistro, the ‘North Gong’ is an iconic institution in the Illawarra region. The go-to place to start or finish your night, The North Gong may be famous but they have a self-proclaimed infamous Schnitty. Try it if you’re game, it’s called the Ultimate for a reason.
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 their dessert pizzas.
Kneading Ruby’s classic Italian dishes are executed in a rustic, flavour-comes-first approach. Offering small shares and large share dishes, there’s plenty of cues telling you that you should share – but we wouldn’t judge you if you wanted all the Italian goodness to yourself. Tucked away in a former warehouse, the space has been transformed into a light and plant-filled space.