Weekenders and locals alike are spoilt for choice when choosing where to eat. Many new trendy eateries have opened their doors on the Mornington Peninsula. Main Street is the hub for dining and drinking, but nearby streets and suburbs are becoming more popular. We’ve narrowed down the top restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula so you can enjoy a quick meal or dinner amongst the vines.
The Bay Hotel
Mornington’s Bay Hotel, which has been restored to its former glory, is a stunning place. It offers a wide range of pub grub, live music, and pints. The interiors are located in the old Commercial Bank building on Main Street. They have been decorated with an Irish flair and offer a great mix of American and homeland flavors. You can enjoy pub favorites like chicken parmesan and a signature cheeseburger or add a blue swimmer crab linguini or a grilled salmon-Nicoise salad. Yellowfin tartare and oyster mignonette are some of the more savory options. Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing and buffalo wings are also available. This menu strikes the right balance between refined and accessible. A rotating Sunday roast is also available.
Wild grain, one of Mornington’s most popular restaurants, is the ideal place to relax for an afternoon or night. The restaurant’s iconic matte-black facade is complemented by bright, green interiors filled with natural light. It has a European chic vibe that keeps locals returning for more. You’ll find contemporary Australian cuisine here, with fresh ingredients. Start with share plates such as miso-cured yellowfin tuna or smoked lamb & Saganaki croquettes. Next, you can move on to more substantial main dishes such as dry-aged confit duck legs with buttered Brussels sprouts and poached quince.
Ten Minutes By Tractor
Ten Minutes by Tractor is a must-see for those passionate about wine and food. The estate is named after three Mornington Peninsula wineries owned by three families (each 10 minutes away by tractor). It offers inspired dining and some of the best expressions of the region’s wines. As recently as 2018, Chef Adam Sanderson has received two awards for his tasting menu, which celebrates the fantastic local produce from neighboring farms, the kitchen garden, and ingredients foraging from the region.
Assaggini offers contemporary wines and chic comfort food. Assigning is the ideal neighborhood wine bar. The atmosphere and offerings have a Euro feel, making it the perfect place for an Aperitivo or bite. It’s a great way to browse their carefully curated wine selection. You can start with a Paringa Estate Pinot Gris and end with a stunning Domaine de la Tour du Bief Belais. You’ll find everything you need, from seafood fritto misto to cavatelli with an oxtail glaze and salumi platters in this Italian-inspired kitchen.
Tio Tapas Y Vino
Tio Tapas Y Vino is another favorite spot to snack and drink. It brings a Spanish flair to Mornington’s High Street. This lively restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. They offer a variety of tapas dishes in Barcelona style with matched wines. Do as the Spanish do; order a glass of their summery sangria. The fresh Lychee with Elderflowers and Paraiso Liqueur is a must-have. Tapas are a great way to pair your pours with cheeses and cured meats. All of the dishes are delicious. We recommend that you get more people to order your food.
Counting House Bar & Grill
At Counting House Bar & Grill, steaks come with a side dish of the coastal breeze. The laidback steakhouse is just steps from Mornington Park, Port Phillip Bay, and other top-quality meats, seafood, and wines. There’s also an extensive wine list where you can find rare and beloved local bottles alongside well-known brands. All the usual suspects are available, as well as a good cocktail menu that mixes up the classics.
Paringa was established by Lindsey McCall, a schoolteacher, and winemaker, in 1985. It has produced some of Australia’s best chardonnay, pinot gris, and cool-climate Shiraz. Visit the Paringa estate on weekends to taste their single-vineyard wines. Stay for intimate dining at their two-hatted restaurant overlooking the valley.
Afghan Marco Polo
This eclectic Mornington restaurant brings the flavors of Afghanistan to the Peninsula. Afghan Marco Polo is a family-owned and community-minded restaurant that brings a fresh perspective to the local dining scene. Its traditional dumplings, kebabs, and other dishes are a draw for hungry locals. Afghan cuisine is all about more. We recommend you try Wednesday’s “all you can eat” menu. It is jam-packed with delicious flavors and will make your mouth water. Think succulent meat skewers, garlic naan, dumplings and kormas, and their famous homemade baglowa, topped with Nutella.
Scott Pickett’s new restaurant, The Continental Sorrento, offers a taste of his distinctive sophistication and culinary flair. Audrey’s traditional elegance and locally inspired menu reflect the restaurant’s coastal setting with a strong focus on seafood. Audrey’s 5-course set menu features a raw bar with oysters, crayfish, and periwinkles. It also includes a variety of vegetable-focused dishes like Mornington Peninsula Squid with Shitake XO and King George Whiting with yellow beans and green peppercorn.
DOC Mornington is a favorite of both locals as well as visitors. Its light and stylish pizzas are served in a spacious, lively dining room with alfresco tables. The bases are crispy and thin, just like a Neapolitan Nonna would make. All ingredients are imported (entirely with a map) to ensure the highest quality. Simple flavor combinations can be very effective but easy to make. You can visit for lunch or dinner, and you should stock up on the take-home pasta and sauces before leaving.
Keep the European love affair alive at Donna Maria, the charming sister restaurant of Bistro Elba. The trio of talented hotspots put a sophisticated twist on traditional dishes that celebrate Italy’s long-standing culinary traditions. Start with an aperitivo, the negroni sbagliato being a winner. This is served with a fritto misto with crispy local seafood and salsa Calabrese. Look out for Harry’s Mussels, a local Flinders legend served with agretto from the owner’s farm. Also, a hand-cut taglioline, calamari, and pistachio Pesto.