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A foodie guide to the Margaret River: sampling the best of the region

The Margaret River’s worst-kept secret is its stellar vineyards. According to Good Food, it’s estimated that 20% of Australia’s premium wines are made here, and with over ninety cellar doors, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to wine tasting. Aside from wine, the area has a lot to offer in terms of gastronomic experiences – and a good meal can be just as memorable as a good drop. Read on to discover where to go for a bite, at any time of day.

8:30am: Breakfast with a view

Bunkers Beach House, Farm Break Lane, Naturaliste

Every day should start with good food, but the weekend breakfasts at this place really take that saying to the next level: think gourmet classics like comforting toasties, vanilla waffles, or eggs over charred sourdough—paired with a mimosa, espresso martini, or Bloody Mary. With a picture-perfect setting that looks out onto the Indian Ocean, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for whales, if you’re here between August and December. Now there’s something you don’t see every day!

10am: A spot of tea on the turquoise coast

Seven Seas Tea, Shop 68 Bussell Highway Cowaramup

The Margaret River’s best food experiences should be complimented by the best in beverages – and though the region is famed for its wineries, it’s also the home to some of the most heavenly teas. From travels across the globe, Seven Seas Tea offers some of the freshest and tastiest loose-leaf teas you’ll ever have the pleasure to pour in a hot cuppa. Carefully selected, hand-blended, organic and with no nasties, additives or flavours, you can savour these small batch gems at their freshest. And if you have a taste for the exotic, the all-organic Spice market will take you to all corners of the world. It’s literally a journey of the senses with a large array of herbs, seeds, pods, powders, flakes, quills and more.

1pm: Enjoy a menu by one of Western Australia’s top chefs

Yarri Restaurant + Bar, 6 Cyrillean Way, Dunsborough

Recommended by almost every local foodie expert, including the Australian Good Food Guide, Yarri is a casual eatery that spotlights native ingredients. It’s run by Aaron Carr, who was the head chef at Vasse Felix (the first commercial winery in the region, and a restaurant with a world-class reputation) for more than two decades. He left to fulfil his lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant, and even with high expectations, he doesn’t disappoint. Seafood tends to play a starring role in the seasonal menus for this establishment, usually accompanied by flavourful dressings like saltbush & XO sauce, burnt miso butter, and fermented orange sauce. Dishes are complemented by tipples from Snake + Herring, rising star winemakers and Carr’s business partner.

3:30pm: Melt-in-your-mouth dessert

Gabriel Chocolate, Caves Road & Quininup Road, Yallingup

No Margaret River food experience is complete without sweets, and Gabriel takes his very, very seriously. He’s the first bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Western Australia and uses a variety of cacao beans to create a premium selection of light to dark flavours. Gabriel doesn’t stop there, though: he’s got all bases covered, with drinking chocolate, Easter baskets, gift packs, and baking kits to recreate his famous chocolate chip cookies at home. His wife also makes generous scoops of creamy ice cream made from Perth’s Sunnydale milk, so there’s something here for every appetite and palate.

6pm: Dine on Asian flavours

Miki’s Open Kitchen, 131 Bussell Highway, Margaret River

Did you know that a lot of the best food in Margaret River is influenced by Eastern cuisine? Owner-chef Mikihito Nagai creates Japanese-inspired dishes with local produce that’s prepared in front of your very eyes: it’s a sensorial experience in every sense. He’s also famed for his constantly changing menus: there’s a la carte, and two six-course degustation experiences. No matter what’s on the menu, you can bet his outstanding tempura is on it. With two jam-packed sittings a night, you’re advised to book two to three weeks in advance. It’s worth it to savour extraordinary Asian dishes whilst taking in the theatricality of watching chefs do their thing: it’s a unique memory for any holidaymaker.

8pm: Finish up with a nightcap - or a cold one

Settlers Tavern, 114 Bussell Highway, Margaret River

For a pub experience, you can’t beat Settlers Tavern. Smack bang in the middle of Margaret River’s main street and originally established as a surfers’ haven in the 1970s, this is the perfect place to wind down and mix with locals.

 

With beers on tap and a sports bar in the front, there’s many ways to relax at the Tav. However, this is also a bar for serious vino connoisseurs: there’s a premium wine list of 25 wines by the glass, and over 500 local and imported bottles. To top your day or trip off, this is also an iconic venue for live music. Peter Garrett, Wolfmother and Birds of Tokyo have all played here, and every weekend tends to feature a gig or two.

 

Unwinding with your favourite beverage and reflecting on the amazing day you’ve had: could it get any better?


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