Phillip Island Restaurants - From Fish and Chips to Fancy Food

Phillip Island restaurants offer a variety of options, 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, while 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.

Collage of photos showing al fresco dining and various dishes from Phillip Island restaurants.

Enjoy al fresco dining and delicious food at Phillip Island restaurants

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

Several restaurants, wineries and bars offer live music, mainly on weekend nights.

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 the best Phillip Island restaurants! And they're gluten free!

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 at Phillip Island restaurants, try the establishments below - a great night will be your reward.

Also try:

Grenache Wine Bar
Beach HQ
San Remo Fisherman's Co-op Fish 'n Chippery

Cheeky Goose Licensed Family Cafe

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

The bar at Cheeky Goose Family Cafe with glasses of red wine, Cowes

At the bar at Cheeky Goose

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. Activity kits are available to keep the younger ones occupied while waiting for their meals.

For children there is a Gosling Menu.

Cake for dessert at Cheeky Goose Family Cafe, Cowes, Phillip Island

Yummy 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 (see photo above!) 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, with a comprehensive menu with all the old favourites!

Sometimes there are live acoustic music performances at weekends.

Reservations recommended in the holiday season.

Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant

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

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.

Selection of curries at Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Phillip Island

Selection of curries at Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant

We ordered several curries to share, plus rice and dahl. 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

Facade of Pinos Trattoria, Cowes

Pino's with it's famous Fiat!

Established in 1991, Pino’s Trattoria has become a popular Phillip Island restaurant 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.

Pizza from Pinos Trattoria, Cowes

Pizza Napoletana

There are also a couple of gluten free dessert options. The meringe 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 $20 to $30 – 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.

Meringue dessert from Pinos, Cowes

Meringue dessert

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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Sambreros Tex-Mex Cantina

145 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 1167

Sambreros Tex-Mex Cantina was formerly known as Panhandle Tex Mex, a favourite Phillip Island restaurant.

Now under new management, this is a great restaurant for a casual night out.

Get into the atmosphere by starting with nachos.The regular nachos have nice fresh tomato which makes it a lot lighter. The dish is not totally smothered in cheese so the corn chips are mostly nice and crisp.

All the old favourites are on the menu -  fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and tacos plus ribs and chilli con carne and the famous Trail Blazer.

There are quite a few gluten free options for coeliacs or gluten intolerant diners.

La Combinacion from Sambreros Tex-Mex Cantina, Cowes, Phillip Island

La Combinacion

For drinks, the Mexican theme continues with margaritas, tequila and Coronas available.

Margaritas are the specialty, with 19 varieties available!

Sambreros is very family friendly, with high chairs available for toddlers.

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.

Nachos at Sambreros Tex-Mex Cantina, Cowes

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Fig & Olive

115 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 2655

Formerly known as "Infused", this popular Phillip Island 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.

The menu focuses on steaks and fresh local seafood, plus a range of pizzas from the wood fired pizza oven.

Snapper, chips and salad dish from Fig & Olive Restaurant, Cowes

Fig & Olive snapper, chips and salad

For coeliacs the chef can alter many dishes to suit the dietary requirements.

There is a separate menu for kids.

Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, being open late for diners who have been to the penguin parade.

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Isola di Capri

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

Isola di Capri Restaurant, Cowes

Celebrating 40 years in Cowes, Isola di Capri is an institution among Phillip Island restaurants. 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 to $30, with main dishes ranging from $17 for a calamari fritti to $39 for a 320g scotch filet 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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Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant & Bar

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

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.

Spaghetti marinara at Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant and Bar, Cowes, Phillip Island

Spaghetti marinara at Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant & Bar

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

Mains cost around $25 for beer battered fish and chips (not gluten free) to $40 for beef scotch fillet.

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)

Sherwoods Restaurant

5 Thompson Ave, Cowes
☎ (03) 5952 3773

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.

Entrees such as Soft Shell Crab are around $15.

Mains cost around $30 to $40.

The house special is the Seafood Platter for Two, comprising oysters, scallops, prawns, and fish plus chips, salad and accompaniments. A lobster tail option is available.

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

Bookings are essential in summer.

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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.

Marinated pork chop cutlet at Cape Woolamai Bar & Bistro, Woolamai, Phillip Island

Pork cutlet at Cape Woolamai Bar & Bistro

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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