Phillip Island Dining - From Fish and Chips to Fancy Food

Phillip Island dining options are numerous with many restaurants and cafes offering a wide choice of food - from take-away to fine dining.

Enjoy fine dining with beautiful views over the sea, watching the sun set - a perfect end of the day.

Or take fish and chips to the beach and share with the seagulls for the quintessential summer experience.

Outside dining

Relax and enjoy the range of cuisines available - modern Australian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek are just a few.

Some restaurants also offer wines from Phillip Island's two wineries. Why not try some for a total Phillip Island experience?

Eating out is also easy for coeliacs, with quite a good selection of restaurants, and take-away shops, providing gluten-free food.

There are many restaurants on Phillip Island, not all reviewed here. This does not mean that they aren't worth visiting, only that I only review restaurants where I can have a gluten free meal. I won't write a review without actually eating at the establishment.

Note that menus can be seasonal or may change with a new chef, so the number of gluten free options available may change.

Check below for which restaurants have the best gluten free Phillip Island dining!


Island people are fairly laid back and you are on holidays, so no need to dress up too much – neat casual is acceptable.

Remember the population of Phillip Island increases by 30,000 people over the summer.

To make sure your party gets a table, it is a good idea to make a reservation beforehand.

In summer particularly, things run on "island time", so you may have to wait a while for your meal – just sit back and relax!

For a great night of Phillip Island dining, try the restaurants below - a great night will be your reward.


Best Phillip Island Accommodation Here:

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Asian Kitchen

49-53 Thompson Avenue, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 6560

Generally I avoid Asian food as most sauces used are not gluten free and therefore unsuitable for coeliacs.

Asian Kitchen in Cowes has dealt with this issue by creating their own AK special sweet soy sauce blend.

Diners enter past a ferocious Chinese dragon into the contemporary dining area, hung with Chinese lanterns and parasols, and bamboo patterned upholstery on chairs and booth cushions.

We visit on a quiet autumn Saturday evening. Fortunately we have made a reservation as a lot of the tables are occupied.

Our booth is near the window so we can look out over Thompson Avenue.

The menu covers food from many Asian countries, including China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.

All the favourites are here – laksa, pho, dumplings, stir fries and all sorts of noodles.

I go the easy route and order char kway teow – a stir fry of chicken, vegetables and rice noodles.

A big bowl of tasty food arrives and is very satisfying on a cold night.

Delicious gluten free stir fry from Asian Kitchen, Cowes, Phillip Island

You can build your own stir fry, choosing your favourite ingredients.

For children there are the usual staples with a couple of noodle dishes as well.

The wine list is mostly Australian.

There is a comprehensive list of beers from various Asian countries.

Takeaway meals are available.

Sundays is Yum Cha time – bookings are essential.

Now that I know I can order a gluten free meal at Asian Kitchen, I will be back.


Cheeky Goose Licensed Family Cafe

4/72 Chapel Street, Cowes
☎ (03) 5907 6900

Cheeky Goose Café won the 2016 Bass Coast People’s Choice Award for Hospitality and is definitely worth a visit.

Owner Robert was previously executive chef at the well-known Portsea Hotel.

We are attended to immediately by friendly staff and order a selection of dips for starters.

For main I have bangers and mash - three fat lamb and rosemary sausages on mash with caramelised onions and mushrooms. Delicious and a generous serving - I have to put some on my husband's plate!

Nice wine list but we went for the local Purple Hen cabernet sauvignon.

When we visit, there are several tables of family groups enjoying the family friendly atmosphere.

For children there is a Gosling Menu.

Yummy chocolate brownie dessert at Cheeky Goose Family Cafe

We can't resist dessert and have the chocolate brownies, a huge brownie with cream, caramel sauce and strawberries – yummy!

There is a great range of cakes in the display cabinet so drop in for just cake and coffee!

If you would like just a drink there is a great bar under the vaulted ceiling and exposed beams.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it really is a winner!

Reservations recommended in the holiday season.


Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant

3/134 Thompson Avenue, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 3896

Yummy curries at Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Phillip Island

If you like Indian food this restaurant is a winner. The décor isn’t anything special but staff members are friendly and helpful.

The menu is very comprehensive, with all the favourite Indian dishes. And ordering is made a lot easier by the “heat” of dishes being indicated by a chilli symbol.

For coeliacs, most dishes are gluten free, except the obvious exceptions such as samosas, naan and roti.

Our prawn entrée was tasty but the prawns seem to have been frozen and were a bit mushy.

We ordered several curries to share, plus rice and dhal. All were yummy with authentic Indian flavours.

The house signature dish is Butter Chicken which was very enjoyable.

The wine and beer list is adequate. No fancy wines but a small list of inexpensive labels.

The restaurant was busy, with take away as well as table service, so service was a bit slow.

It would be a good idea to make a reservation in summer and at other holiday times.

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Pino's Trattoria

29 Thompson Avenue, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 2808

Established in 1991, Pino’s Trattoria has become a popular choice for diners. The modern high-ceilinged restaurant with tall red-tiled columns has a casual vibe and is great for families. Local and Italian produce is used in the kitchen.

Very busy in the summer months and event weekends, it's advisable to get in early to avoid waiting for a table!

During motorcycle events at Phillip Island Circuit, Pino’s is popular with bike teams as well as fans. Have a look at the display of motorcycle leathers from various teams, collected over the years.

With a largely Italian menu, pizza and pastas are the main features, however there are fish, chicken and beef dishes available as well.

There is a reasonable selection of gluten free dishes for coeliacs – salads, risotto, calamari and gluten free pizza bases are available.

I have tried the pizza and the gluten free base is one of the best I've tasted.

Gluten free Napoletana pizza at Pino's Trattoria, Phillip Island


There are also a couple of gluten free dessert options. The meringa with lemon curd is delicious!

The menu has a range of entrees such as bruschetta, oysters, and olives.

Pizzas come in three sizes, with the most expensive large being just under $20. Toppings range from traditional to “the lot”.

Pasta dishes range from $18 to $25 – with various pastas and sauces to choose from.

Desserts such as tiramisu, tarts etc are available at around $12 each, as well as gelato at $6 per serve.

Dessert at Pino's Trattoria, Cowes


The wine list has a good selection – a mix of Australian/New Zealand and Italian labels. Wine is available by the glass as well as the bottle. The glasses are a generous serve!

For a fairly quick, simple meal Pino’s Trattoria is a good choice.

 As well as eating in, patrons can also buy take-away from a comprehensive menu.


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The Fat Seagull

10 Thompson Avenue, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 3106

For a quick meal The Fat Seagull is a great option. The restaurant offers pizzas as well as a comprehensive selection of other dishes.

Most meals can be made gluten free, including a gluten free base available for pizzas, at extra cost.

The menu has a Thai/Asian focus although there are lots of pasta dishes, as well as grills (steak and seafood) and other standards such as chicken parma, garlic prawns and stir fry.

Plenty of entrees, salads and sides are included, plus some tapas style dishes.

A terrific idea is the Express Menu – great if you are off to the penguin parade! Cost is $19 plus a glass of wine or soft drink.

Grills cost around $30, other mains are in the $20-$25 range. Pizzas cost around $19.

The food is complemented by a good wine list – all available by glass or bottle.

The Fat Seagull is in a central location in the main street near the beach, with some tables outside with shade – lovely on a warm summer evening.

A good choice for families as meals come quickly. Reservations are recommended during the holiday season.

Take away meals are also available.

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Panhandle Tex Mex Eatery & Bar

145 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 2741

Tex Mex

This is a favourite for a night out. We love the kitschy Tex Mex décor.

Get into the atmosphere by starting with nachos.

All the old favourites are on the menu - including fajitas, burritos, ribs. Or try the famous chilli con carne - yum!!

Chilli Con Carne at Tex Mex

Unfortunately due to a change of spice supplier, most dishes are no longer gluten free as the chilli is labelled "may contain traces of gluten". The only option for coeliacs is fajitas, served with corn, not flour, tortillas.

Try a cocktail from the bar or Mexican beer (not for coeliacs!).

Child friendly, with high chairs available for littlies.

This restaurant is very popular Phillip Island dining destination in summer so make a reservation. Be prepared to wait for your meal if they are busy.


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Fig & Olive

115 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 2655

Formerly known as "Infused", this restaurant has been given a makeover to become Fig & Olive.

With a contemporary décor plus quality tableware, this is a great spot for dinner. Cuisine is modern Australian, changing seasonally.

Enjoy a drink on a couch in the bar or alfresco - choose a cocktail from a list of favourites.

Meals cover all the favourites from grills to roasts to risotto, plus vegetarian - there is something for all tastes.

The restaurant is child-friendly with a children's menu.

The range of gluten-free meals has expanded, with a separate menu offering quite a few options for entrees and mains (including pizza) - a bonus for coeliacs!

Good wine list, with wine available by glass or bottle.

Dinner mains cost from $24-$38, entrees between $14 and $16, and pizza $16-$19 (extra charge for gluten free base).

For starters try a delicious shareboard - $25.

Staff are friendly and attentive.

Open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday but this may change during the holiday season so check first.

Fig & Olive is one of my favourite gluten free Phillip Island dining experiences.


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Isola di Capri

Cnr Thompson Ave and The Esplanade, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 2435

Celebrating 40 years in Cowes, Isola di Capri is a Phillip Island dining institution. The first Italian restaurant on Phillip Island, it is perfectly located at the bottom of Thompson Avenue opposite the beach.

Décor is casual, with motorcycle grand prix memorabilia adding interest. Some seating is available outside – lovely on a warm summer evening. Service is friendly with the chef happy to advise on gluten free choices.

Meals range from pizza (eat in or take away) to a la carte dining. As well as a large selection of pasta and pizza, diners can choose from a good selection of steak, fish, lamb and other main meals, including the popular chicken parmigiana.

We started with the Salt and pepper squid which was delicious (no longer gluten free). I had the seafood risotto, again very tasty with lots of seafood.

The menu has plenty of gluten free main course options.

Pizzas are available with a gluten free base. There are lots of topping options although coeliacs would need to avoid processed meats just in case they aren't gluten free. I have had the spinach pizza which was tasty and the base was crispy - how I like it!

Isola di Capri is fully licenced with wine available by bottle or glass. The wine list is small and unfortunately does not include local wines.

Pasta dishes are priced around $20 with mains ranging from $22 for a calamari salad to $36 for a 350g rib eye steak.

After your meal, try gelati from Isola’s gelataria next door.

A great destination for a family meal.

Bookings necessary for more than four people.

Open 7 days a week.
Monday to Friday 4.30pm to 9.30pm
Weekends and Holidays open for lunch and dinner

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Sherwoods Restaurant

5 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 3773

Sherwoods

Right in the heart of the main shopping precinct, Sherwoods offers modern Australian food. The plain exterior belies an elegant contemporary setting.

The kitchen is very flexible and can adjust a meal to suit gluten free requirements, making quite a few options for coeliacs.

Wines from the local wineries, Purple Hen and Phillip Island Winery, are available.

Mains cost around $25 to $30.

Overall, a very pleasant experience – good food and attentive staff.

Bookings are essential in summer.

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Harry's On The Esplanade

Upper Level, 17 The Esplanade, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 6226

Harry's Restuarant

If you are looking for a special Phillip Island dining experience, Harry’s is a great option for fine cuisine.

Located on the upper level on The Esplanade, the restaurant has terrific views over Cowes jetty and the bay – a perfect spot on a warm summer evening.

In summer, clear awnings can be raised – listen to the waves or the cry of gulls.

The extensive menu offers many gluten free options. Some are marked on the menu but ask the knowledgeable staff, who will point out other meals which can be adjusted to suit coeliacs.

I love the fact that a lot of the food is sourced locally – Phillip Island beef and lamb, lobster (crayfish) and fish from the San Remo fishing fleet, and wines from local wineries.

Many premium wines are available.

Start with an entrée of local olives – accompanied by bread from the in-house bakery.

For a special treat, the house specialty is a whole lobster – select the size to suit your appetite!

Entrees range from $14-$18, mains $35-$45 and desserts $8-$14.

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Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant & Bar

1821 Phillip Island Road, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 1666

Rusty Waters

Opposite the Koala Conservation Centre, Rusty Water Brewery is a must for beer lovers.

A great selection of handcrafted ales is available for your pleasure. Try the “sampler” rack to select your favourite.

If you prefer wine, there are several wines from the wineries on Phillip island.

The restaurant has a fairly comprehensive menu including several gluten free options - and interesting dishes as well as the usual grills for us coeliacs.

Gluten free pasta dishes are available.

I recommend the sharing platter for starters - a delicious plate of dips, cheeses, olives , terrine etc.

Mains cost around $30.

A children's menu is available.

A cosy spot in winter, especially with the open fires and live music (Friday nights).

Open for lunch 12.00 to 3.00pm; Dinner from 5.30pm to late. (opening hours may change with the holiday season)



Cape Woolamai Bar & Bistro

13/18 Phillip Island Road, Cape Woolamai
☎ (03) 5932 0620

Now under new management, the Cape Woolamai Bar & Bistro has had a makeover.

We stopped for a meal before taking a Shearwater Cruise out from San Remo.

Because we arrived earlier than our reservation, we decided to have a cocktail at the bar. Dash the barman whipped up a martini and margarita - yum!

There are tables outside as well as inside but because there was a cool breeze we sat inside for dinner.

Several family groups arrived so we were glad to get our order in first!

There are not a lot of gluten free options but after much discussion with the chef I settled for the spicy marinated pork cutlets, tapioca mash and seasonal vegetables.

There is a reasonable wine list but we had a bottle of shiraz from Phillip Island's own Purple Hen Winery.

The atmosphere has a very casual/pub vibe - great for a summer night out.

As always the island, a reservation during the summer period would be a good idea.

The Cape Woolamai Bar & Bistro is also open for breakfast and lunch.




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