Destinations

Where to eat and drink in Port Macquarie

Wander from breakfast to beach to bistro (and back to the beach) for prime Hastings River produce served in laid-back style.

By Emma Breheny
Bills Fishhouse and other top places to eat and drink in Port Macquarie.
Bills Fishhouse

Seafood

Bill's Fishhouse
Follow a day at the beach with a seafood feast at Bills. Owners Chris and Leasa Harris, fresh from managing Sir Richard Branson's private retreat Makepeace Island, fly the flag for NSW produce, featuring Yamba prawns, Tunstead oysters from Hastings River and snapper caught off North Haven, as well as an all-NSW wine list. 2/18-20 Clarence St, (02) 6584 7228, billsfishhouse.com.au

Coffee

Four Espresso
Locals are greeted by name at this bright and efficient corner café, where the beans are from Padre, the bagels by Black Market Bagels and the cold brew comes by the half-litre – perfect for a day on the road. If you're sitting in, take a table on the street and catch the morning sun. Cnr Clarence and Murray sts, (02) 6583 3983

Breakfast

Drury Lane Eatery
Find a table under the trees out front at this all-day eatery run by Kate McCarron and Dru Woolnough, who swapped Sydney for a quieter life in McCarron's hometown in 2014. House-baked bread is a standout, whether in a hefty ham and cheese toastie or with baked eggs, Bellingen Smokehouse salmon and Near River greens. Woolnough is a stickler for local produce, and gratefully accepts backyard produce in exchange for good coffee by local roasters Doppio or Nothing, or perhaps a slice of hummingbird cake. Shop 5, 26 Clarence St, (02) 6583 6628

Dinner

The Stunned Mullet
Albacore tuna, Glacier 51 toothfish and Cape Grim beef star in dishes that combine Japanese, French and Middle Eastern influences without feeling overwrought. Co-owner Lou Perri keeps a 300-strong wine list, including an extensive Coravin selection featuring the likes of grand cru white Burgundy and Maipo Valley carménère. 12 William St, (02) 6584 7757, thestunnedmullet.com.au

Produce

Stock up at blueberry, macadamia and avocado farms in the hinterland, or head to the cellar door at Cassegrain Wines (10 Winery Dr, 02 6582 8377, cassegrainwines.com.au). A little closer to town is the family-run Ricardoes Tomatoes for pick-yourown strawberries and locally made jams and relishes. 221 Blackmans Point Rd, (02) 6585 0663, ricardoes.com

Explore

Wauchope Farmers' Market
On the fourth Saturday of the month, a thriving farmers' market is held at Wauchope featuring local produce such as Ewetopia sheep's milk feta, Wilmaria olives and buffalo mozzarella from Ausbuff Stuff. wauchopefarmersmarket.com.au

Getting there

Port Macquarie is about four hours' drive from Sydney and six and a half from Brisbane.