9 Geelong Waterfront Cafes: Local’s Guide (2024)

By Audrey Chalmers

Patrons dining alfresco at one of the popular Geelong Waterfront cafes under white umbrellas surrounded by lush trees, with cars parked in the background under a clear blue sky.

Heading to Geelong and wondering what the top Geelong Waterfront cafes are?

Then you’re in the right place. In this article, we list all the best cafe Geelong Waterfront options so you can find your perfect place to eat.

Once a busy industrial port, the Geelong Waterfront is now a vibrant cosmopolitan area packed with bars, restaurants, and cafes.

It’s a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike who come to enjoy the fantastic waterfront activities, soak up the views, and eat tasty food.

Some of the most popular Geelong waterfront eateries are a bar, restaurant, and cafe all rolled into one.

They’ve been included in this waterfront cafe Geelong list as they mostly function as a cafe during the day and include breakfast on their menu.

Due to their busy tourist location, the cafes on waterfront Geelong tend to be more expensive than other Geelong cafes. They make up for it though with their excellent food, unbeatable views, and fantastic location.

At the end of this article, we’ve included a map of all the cafes listed so you can easily see where they’re located.

Ready to discover the best Waterfront Geelong cafes? Let’s get to it!

Top 9 Geelong Waterfront Cafes

In no particular order, below you’ll find our best cafes Geelong Waterfront list.

1) Sailors Rest Geelong

Picture of the Jack Sparrow breakfast at Sailors' Rest one of the best Geelong Waterfront cafes. Poached eggs drizzled with holandaise sauce on a bed of seasoned minced meat and spinach, surrounded by diced roasted potatoes, served on a ceramic plate with a casual dining setting in the background.

If the queues of people who line up for a table is anything to go by, then Sailors’ Rest is undoubtedly one of the best Geelong cafes.

Located in a beautifully renovated heritage building the cafe has a prime position beside the lush Customs Park lawn, and with its lovely views, Sailors’ Rest cafe is the perfect place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

This is one of the most popular places to eat in Geelong with a mouthwatering breakfast and lunch menu, a great (and healthy) kids menu, and a variety of teas and coffee to choose from.

Sailors Rest is a Geelong waterfront restaurant, cafe, and bar all rolled into one and it has a variety of areas for guests to enjoy.

Diners can choose to sit in the enclosed verandah, outside in the relaxing al fresco dining area, or inside in the cosy restaurant.

Walk-ins are welcome and are usually seated in the outdoor area or backyard beer garden. It’s a good idea to book ahead to avoid having to queue.

Tip: Try the Jack Sparrow it will keep you going all day!

Sailors’ Rest Geelong

Where: 3 Moorabool Street, Geelong 3220

When: Mon – Wed: 10.00 a.m – 4.00 p.m, Thu – Fri: 10.00 a.m – Late, Sat: 9.00 a.m – Late, Sun: 9.00 a.m – 4.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 5224 2241

2) The Wharf Shed Cafe

The Wharf Shed cafe, captured on a sunny day, boasts a modern architectural design with its large glass façade and angled roof. Positioned amidst tall palm trees, the establishment provides patrons both inside and on the balcony with panoramic views of the Geelong waterfront, enhancing the dining experience with its coastal charm.

As its name suggests the Wharf Shed is housed in an old wharf storage shed that’s been transformed into a modern waterfront Geelong restaurant cafe.

The bright and spacious building has huge windows that take full advantage of the superb water views.

Its ideal location right on the water’s edge is what sets this cafe apart from other Geelong waterfront eateries.

The Wharf Shed’s menu offers a variety of options to cater to diverse preferences, including seafood, pizza, smashed avocado on toast, and Timboon ice cream. The milkshakes are also well-regarded.

The Wharf Shed’s menu has something to tempt all taste buds, from seafood and pizza to smashed avo on toast, you can even treat yourself to yummy Timboon ice cream.

The milkshakes are pretty darn good too.

The cafe is family-friendly with its relaxed atmosphere and convenient location next to Steampacket Gardens.

Kick back with a drink and something delicious to eat while the kids run themselves ragged on the lawn.

The Wharf Shed Geelong is fully licensed and has live music at weekends.

Wharf Shed Cafe Geelong

Where: 15 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: 7 days 9.00 a.m – 8.30 p.m

Phone: (03) 5221 6645

3) Pavilion

Outdoor seating area at Pavilion Geelong Waterfront cafe with patrons dining under white umbrellas, set against a backdrop of palm trees and a clear sky, with the cafe's two-storey building featuring a balcony in the background.

No trip to the waterfront is complete without visiting the much-loved Eastern Beach. And it’s here that you’ll find the Pavilion Geelong cafe.

Tucked in near the kiddies’ pool this Eastern Beach cafe and kiosk is housed in a beautiful 1930s red brick Art Deco building. It’s a lovely light-filled space that overlooks the swimming enclosure and famous waterfront promenade.

The menu is filled with classics like smashed avocado and their signature Eggs Benedict with pulled beef brisket, as well as tempting offerings like Belgian Waffles with roasted macadamia, white chocolate milk crumb, raspberry curd, and vanilla ice cream.

Pavilion is fully licensed, so you can enjoy a mimosa or spicy margarita outside while sitting by the pool.   


Where: 95 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: 7 days 6.30 a.m – 4.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 9069 4289

4) Panache Geelong

Interior of the modern Panache cafe with customers seated at tables, featuring a distinctive wooden slat design on the ceiling and a counter with a display case. The ambient lighting and mint green walls create a relaxed atmosphere.

If you’re looking for good places to eat in Geelong Panache Cafe is a great option.

This little gem is a staple in the Geelong cafe scene and with 6 franchises operating across Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, these guys must be doing something right.

Offering modern indoor and outdoor seating with great views of the Geelong foreshore it’s the perfect place for breakfast and lunch or a simple coffee and cake catch-up with friends.

Panache Waterfront Geelong specialises in yummy sweet and savoury crepes.

Sweet tooths can indulge in decadent delights like Salted Caramel Kosciusko and Death By Chocolate with lashings of double cream.

While savoury lovers can chow down on hearty Tuscan Chicken, Avocado Seafood, or Potato Curry And Cheese.

Alternatively, if crepes aren’t your thing then Panache Creperie has a fridge filled with exquisite cakes, pastries, and slices to treat yourself with. 

Wash it all down with Panache’s specialty coffee or a hot cup of T2 tea. 

Panache Edgewater

Where: 5/6-8 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: Mon – Thur: 8.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m, Fri – Sun: 8.00 a.m – 9.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 5222 8848

5) The Edge Geelong

Outdoor seating area of The Edge cafe at Geelong Waterfront with patrons enjoying meals under black umbrellas emblazoned with the restaurant's logo. The setting is relaxed and social, with a view of a grassy area and trees in the background.

Another one of the fabulous Geelong waterfront restaurants, bar, and cafe combos, The Edge has a trendy design with lots of seating options both inside and out.

Offering all-day Geelong waterfront dining the modern Australian-style menu uses fresh ingredients from local Victorian suppliers and producers.

There’s a variety of mains to suit the hungriest of tummies, as well as a selection of snacks, bowls, and share plates.

If it’s breakfast you’re after then Edge Waterfront has you covered with all the classics from waffles to poached eggs.

Located opposite Steampacket Gardens and sitting on the ‘edge’ of Customs Lawn, Edge Cafe Geelong is a top spot to sit and watch the world go by.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at around 9 or 10 pm this family and dog friendly cafe turns into an awesome bar.

Edge Geelong

Where: 6-8 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: Mon – Fri: 9.00 a.m – Late, Sat – Sun: 8.00 a.m – Late

Phone: (03) 5222 2666

6) No 42 Cafe

Breakfast smoothie at No 42 Geelong Waterfront Cafe, featuring a creamy base, red fruit coulis, fresh berries, and mint, served in a glass on a wooden table with a view of Rippleside Beach in the background.

Looking for a great waterfront restaurant Geelong cafe that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist area? Then No 42 cafe is the spot for you. 

Tucked away in Rippleside on the western edge of the waterfront this gorgeous cafe has picture-perfect water views that will blow you away.

Here you can enjoy the view while relaxing on the outdoor deck or from the giant windows that fill the tastefully decorated interior with light.

No 42 takes pride in its fresh, local, and healthy food, and puts a lot of thought into planning its seasonal menu.

Current offerings include bao buns, soft shell crab salad, chili scrambled eggs, and a range of hearty toasties and bagels. Wash it all down with beautiful strong coffee.

No 42’s secluded location is surrounded by green parkland with a fort-style children’s playground, and a cute beach, and there’s plenty of free parking.

No 42 Cafe

Where: 42 Bell Parade Rippleside Park, Geelong 3220

When: Tues – Sun: 9.00 a.m – 2.30 p.m, Closed Monday

Phone: (03) 5277 9266

7) Waterfront Pantry

Outdoor patio area at the Waterfront Pantry cafe in Geelong with customers seated under large umbrellas on a sunny day surrounded by greenery there's a casual dining atmosphere.

The Waterfront Pantry is a brand-spanking new addition to the Geelong Waterfront cafe scene.

Part of the Deakin Waterfront Campus, the cafe is housed in a beautifully renovated 1893 wool store.

The huge space has an inviting atmosphere with lots of light, and the outdoor dining is the perfect place to relax on a sunny day and soak up the views.

Open on weekdays, Waterfront Pantry is currently serving coffee, pastries, and a light lunch. A full menu is expected to be available from March – so stay tuned!

Waterfront Pantry

Where: Deakin Waterfront Campus, Western Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: Mon – Fri: 8.00 a.m – 4.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 5227 3000

8) Geelong Yacht Club Cafe: The Yot

The Yot cafe at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club with diners seated on a raised deck under black and white striped umbrellas, beside a neatly manicured lawn with a white deckchair against a bright blue sky.

The Yot Cafe Geelong waterfront is a great choice for anyone looking for a quiet spot amongst all the action.

The cafe is tucked away in a secluded area behind the Yacht Club (look for the side entrance) and offers diners fantastic views of the marina.

Its club-style decor is not as trendy as other cafes on the Geelong foreshore, but the service is friendly, the prices are reasonable, and the coffee is hot and strong.

The Yot’s menu is simple and includes all the classics such as chicken parmigiana, steak, bacon and egg rolls, snacks, and delicious sweet treats. 

There’s comfortable seating inside and out where you can relax with a bite to eat on the deck or grassed area away from the hubbub of the waterfront.

The Yot Cafe

Where: 25 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong 3220

When: Sat – Thu: 9.00 a.m – 3.00 p.m, Fri: 9.00 a.m – 3.00 p.m & 6.00 p.m – 9.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 5229 3705

9) Brown Deli

Exterior view of 'Brown Deli' café with large glass windows showing the interior where a barista prepares coffee. Shelves with coffee bags and canned goods line the wall, and the café's name is prominently displayed above the entrance.

If you’re in the mood for a quick and tasty takeaway rather than a full sit-down meal, then give Brown Deli a go.

Tucked away in a hidden spot on Cunningham Street (beside Deakin University), this tiny cafe is dedicated entirely to coffee, sandwiches, and bagels.

Even so, the menu is impressive with offerings like a Truffle Mushroom Melt Toasty, Beef and Kimchi Toasty, a Salmon Lox Bagel, or a tempting Nutella and Banana Bagel.

In addition, the cafe has a welcoming community atmosphere as it has a mostly local clientele – and Brown’s motto is good vibes only.

While there isn’t anywhere to sit, you can grab yourself a coffee and sandwich and head across the road for a picnic on the bay.

Brown Deli

Where: 5 Cunningham Street, Geelong 3220

When: Weekdays: 7 a.m – 2.30 p.m, Weekends: 9 a.m – 2 p.m

Phone: 0421 432 009

Best Cafes Geelong Waterfront Map

Find your perfect cafe with this map of all the top places to eat Geelong Waterfront has for you to choose from.

Final Word

I hope you found our guide to the best Geelong Waterfront cafes useful.

Whether you’re a local resident in search of a new favourite spot or a visitor eager to experience Geelong’s waterfront charm, the cafes listed in this article promise more than just good food; they offer a unique blend of history, culture, and leisure.

From establishments that transition from bustling cafes by day to inviting bars and restaurants at night, to spots that include not just a meal but also panoramic views, there’s something for every palate and preference.


By Audrey Chalmers

Audrey grew up in Victoria and travelled the world but she always called Victoria home. She loves nothing more than exploring her home state and sharing it here.