Hey there, fellow foodies! As the proud owner of Austin’s Wines, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring Geelong’s culinary scene and discovering some hidden gems when it comes to satisfying your lunchtime cravings. From cozy cafes to vibrant eateries, Geelong has it all. Join me on this delicious adventure as we explore some of my favourite lunch spots in town!
Have any more to add? Comment below to tell me your favourites.
This charming waterfront restaurant offers breathtaking views of the bay. Step aboard and indulge in their delectable seafood dishes, like their mouthwatering fish and chips or their crumbed calamari with lime aioli. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff will make you feel right at home. It’s also got a great kids menu including yummy and healthy kids trays.
Looking for a beautifully styled and cosy restaurant with South American flavours? Alma is a well-known Geelong favourite. The flavours of South America are showcased through local produce at this beautiful restaurant. Atmospheric vibes are on point within this dimly lit space – perfect for your next date night. My favourite feature is the deep green velvet banquette seating contrasting against the enormous, textured street art murals on the walls created by Sydney artist, Jess Cochrane. This trendy restaurant is one of Geelong’s best, so treat your taste buds to their innovative dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
If you’re a fan of farm-to-table dining, Tulip is a must-visit. This rustic eatery focuses on seasonal and locally grown produce, offering a menu that changes with the seasons. The passionate chefs here create dishes that are not only visually stunning but also bursting with flavour. The new owners – Dan Ford and Chef Mike Jaques are maintaining the restaurants original, contemporary and imaginative style. This relaxed, fine dining experience offers a culinary journey like no other!
We’re also lucky enough to have Tulip join us at our Cellar Door throughout July, their delicious lunch menu in our picturesque surroundings – it’s a perfect pairing.
A cozy and intimate restaurant, this hidden gem takes you on a delectable journey through a diverse range of dishes. Almost everything on the menu here is cooked over a smoky robata charcoal grill. From tantalising starters and delicious bao to perfectly grilled skewers and mouth watering sides, each bite will transport your taste buds to the streets of Thailand, China, Malaysia. Sumi the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch.
P.S. Make sure you order the lobster roll when it’s on the specials menu – perfect with a glass of Austin’s Chardonnay.
Sober Ramen has a casual vibe that serves up steaming bowls of authentic ramen. Whether you prefer a rich tonkotsu broth or a spicy miso base, they have something to satisfy every ramen craving. Don’t forget to slurp those noodles like a pro—it’s the only way to truly enjoy this soul-soothing dish!
My personal favourite – the pork and prawn spicy dumpling ramen.
Spice up your lunch break with a trip to Man Bo, an Asian fusion restaurant that offers a plethora of Cantonese flavours. From their classic Yum Cha menu to an a la carte menu that includes smaller dishes to their flavorful seafood dishes, every meal is a harmonious blend of spices and fresh ingredients. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff will transport you to the bustling streets of China.
They also do Yum Cha all weekend, which is a favourite amongst the big and little kids. They also have a few great function areas, we had our last Christmas party here and it was a great night.
Box Office is best described as a ‘bloody good local’ positioned just off bustling Pakington Street in an uber cool shipping container. With its eclectic decor and menu derived from native Australian ingredients, it’s a feast for the senses. The box office menu has been carefully curated by Mark Stawicki with the Geelong local in mind. The talented chefs have provided an offering that allows you to try something different such as one of my lunch favs – Shrimp Po Boy.
Box Office also has the largest range of local wines on Pakington Street, enjoy with your meal or grab a bottle to take home.
Who doesn’t love a visit to the true neighbourhood pub affectionately known as “Diggers?” If you’re looking for a classic pub lunch, it has all of the heros. This contemporary pub ticks all of the boxes and offers a range of delicious dishes, from hearty burgers to grilled steaks within a lavishly styled atmosphere. Pair your meal with one of their craft beers on tap and soak in the laid-back vibes of this local favourite.
Beer lovers, rejoice! Malt Shovel Taphouse is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts and is an emporium of beer discovery. With an extensive selection of brews from around the world, you can sip and savour while enjoying their delicious menu of shareable bites. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through the world of beer, ensuring a memorable lunch experience that specialises in high quality, local produce and rotisserie meats. Grab your bestie and indulge in a rotisserie board for two.
Described as casual, yet refined dining, this new premium Vietnamese restaurant is a hidden gem found in Highton Village. The menu is abundant with contemporary Vietnamese options that are served with an urban twist. The restaurants authentic, fresh, and delicious dishes descend from traditional Vietnamese recipes passed down through the generations. For lunch, the rice paper rolls are super yummy if you are on the go and the Bahn Mi baguettes are amazing!
A little birdy told me, Anh chi em are popping up soon at Austin’s. We can’t wait to have them here. Make sure you are on our email list to be the first to know (at the footer of this page).
And there you have it, my dear friends – a gastronomic journey through some of the best lunch spots in Geelong! From waterfront delights to hidden treasures, this city has it all. So, the next time you find yourself in Geelong and your stomach starts rumbling, follow my recommendations and embark on your own culinary adventure.
Author – Belinda Austin
Belinda Austin is the Co-owner of Austin’s with her husband Scott. Head of Marketing as well an unofficial expert in dining out, curating cocktails and finding the best places to catch up with friends.