With world-class produce and a stunning coastal location, Exmouth continues to prove itself a contender among food and drink hotspots in Western Australia.
It may be best known for its white sand, turquoise beaches and teeming aquatic wildlife, but Exmouth is quickly growing a reputation as much more than a sleepy seaside surf destination. With the heritage-protected Ningaloo Reef on its doorstep, a commitment to treading through the world lightly runs deep in Exmouth, and is reflected in a lean toward sustainable produce by local eateries. With access to some of the world’s best seafood, outstanding seasonal produce and a rapidly emerging beer scene, Exmouth has plenty to offer gourmands, casual diners and everyone in between. Here’s our guide.
Whalebone Brewing Co
Whalebone Brewing Co is a family affair, and much more than the “beer in a shed” it sells itself as. The venue is the lovechild of two local families with a shared commitment to return beer to its roots, meaning it’s about refreshment first, with no frills.
The brewery now serves a rotating selection of fifteen craft beers on tap, from a classic session ale to a peaches-and-cream sour. The restaurant cranks out pizza to accompany it, with local ingredients starring, but expect witticisms over Italian classics. The Bonechovy, for example, combines anchovies, pepperoni and olives, while the Beached As is topped with local wild prawns, pepperoni, tomato and basil, and finished with lemon. A rustic feel and a generous playground make this a top pick for relaxed dining and young families.
27 Patterson Way, Exmouth, whalebonebrewing.com.au
Froth Craft Brewery
For live music and great artisanal beer in Exmouth, look no further than Froth Craft Brewery. The micro brewery is still in its infancy, having only opened in 2017, but has already set a high bar for beer culture in the region. The core range includes 10 beers, from ales to lagers to stouts, but a total of 40 beers are on constant rotation for guests to sample. Let the staff guide you through the mammoth list, and try a four- or six-beer tasting paddle to get acclimated.
The food menu, meanwhile, is sophisticated and made to share. Chilli cauliflower bites with housemade coconut barbecue sauce, balsamic glazed sweet potato wedges, and beer battered chips using Froth Craft’s own produce all show thought and attention to detail. The team are also passionate about supporting the local arts and culture industry, and regularly open their doors to live music, comedy, movie screenings and more.
5 Kennedy Street, Exmouth, frothcraft.com
While only open to guests of Sal Salis, the eco resort’s dining efforts are an unmissable experience. Open twenty-four hours a day, the Sal Salis lodge offers an ever changing menu celebrating its incredible beachfront position right in the coastal scrub, and making the most of seasonal produce and local native ingredients shot through with bush and sea influences.
While you might be eating by a cosy fire, the food on offer is about as far from your typical campsite fare as you can get. Fresh-caught barramundi or snapper, grilled to perfection, is a common menu find, but you could also dine on teriyaki-emu rice-paper rolls and grilled lamb with blackberry sauce. You’ll eat family style at Sal Salis, sharing a long table and communing with other guests.
Yardie Creek Road, Cape Range National Park, salsalis.com.au
With its incredible views overlooking Exmouth Gulf, you’ll quickly understand why the menu at Mantaray’s Restaurant has such a strong focus on delicious seafood. Fresh whole Exmouth prawns, Shark Bay scallops, goldband snapper and ocean trout all feature on the brasserie’s menu, but there’s also plenty of good eats and execution of traditional French sauces and techniques to please those who aren’t in the mood for seafood.
The restaurant’s vantage point allows visitors to take in the hum of activity in the gulf. In the early evening you’ll catch sight of the prawn trawlers heading out to work, before the sun sets, giving way to stunning sights of the moon reflected in the water.
Lot 900 Madaffari Drive, Exmouth, mantaraysningalooresort.com.au
The Social Society
The Social Society is Exmouth’s most wholesome eatery, focused on nutritious and delicious plant-based food and a love of community and connection. German owners Anne and Kai fell in love with Exmouth’s stunning coastline and tight-knit community, with The Social Society their homage to the area.
The menu is hearty, flavourful and full of clever twists. Think nachos heaving with smoky jackfruit and hot sauce and the likes of banana pancakes artfully drizzled with tahini maple and coconut yoghurt. Full of flavour, and health-conscious, too. The café is also a haven of incredible eco-friendly finds and local art and clothing that invites browsing. 2/5 Thew St, Exmouth, sosoexmouth.com.au
The BBQ Father
The BBQ Father is all about generous portions and honest food. Combining Southern-style barbecue with Italian classics, the menu is simple, hearty, and inherently satisfying.
Smoky goodness is pervasive here, with the meat smoker (imported from Texas) lending real flavour to the beef brisket and pork ribs, which come smothered in sticky-sweet barbecue sauce, while the wood fired pizzas are built on homemade dough and topped with local ingredients. There’s also an extensive pasta list that combines Italian classics with some Exmouth flair.
1112 Murat Road, Exmouth, https://thebbqfather.com.au/
The Beach Shack
True to its name, The Beach Shack offers delicious casual dining right on the Bundegi Beach sand. Open from breakfast through dinner, the menu is packed with variety, allowing you to spend the whole day exploring the beach while grazing from the variety of options.
Start your morning with cafe classics like eggs Benedict or bruschetta, then come lunchtime, choose from the list of burgers (or just do as the surfers do and order one with the lot). You’ll also find Exmouth specials like plates of wild prawns or a grilled mackerel burger with Carnarvon mango salsa, plus dishes such as laksa and nasi goreng. And that’s without mentioning that The Shack has some of Exmouth’s best coffee, too.
1 Bills Way, North West Cape, facebook.com/beachshackexmouth