Food & Drink
Whether you want to sample produce straight from the source at purveyors’ markets, farms and vineyards; or you relish the chance to savour local delicacies in cool cafes, restaurants and bars with ocean views; opportunities abound to enjoy a true taste of the Kiama area.
Aside from seafood, the region is known for nurturing a plethora of produce – with air and water this clean, plus verdant volcanic soil, there’s little that doesn’t thrive here. Expect richly marbled wagyu, tangy cheeses, flavourful vegetables and fruits, and distinctive wines.
Cafes & restaurants
The list of places to wine and dine across the region is long, traversing the globe with Italian, Mexican and Japanese, then arriving back Down Under with mod-Aus, classic pub fare and seaside favourites, like fish-n-chips. The region’s most exciting opening came in 2020 with Emily Herbert, formerly the head chef at one of Yottam Ottolenghi’s London restaurants, opening the Middle Eastern-inspired cafe/deli Otis in Kiama.
Penny Whistlers is a legendary establishment overlooking Black Beach, particularly popular at sunset. You can also get your seafood fix at newcomer Fish Tribe in Kiama Downs. The views continue at Art Bar Kiama, perched hilltop with vistas over the countryside to the ocean, and at Diggies, set close to the lighthouse on Blowhole Point. In Gerringong, The Hill Bar and Kitchen overlooks Werri Beach while The Blue Swimmer in Gerroa is perched at the mouth of the Crooked River.
To market, to market
Every Wednesday, the leafy park at Kiama’s Surf Beach is transformed into a Farmers Market of epic proportions. As the end of the day approaches, you can pick up farm-fresh produce from local suppliers (think cider, bread, cheese and gelato), then sit down to a picnic on the grass while enjoying live entertainment. On the fourth Sunday of every month, the Kiama Makers and Growers Market transforms Kiama’s Black Beach with market stalls selling everything from homemade cakes and jams to fashion and soaps.
Visiting a working farm is one of the best ways to learn where your food comes from. Kiama offers many such opportunities. You can stay overnight in cottages, collecting eggs and plucking vegetables (try Jamberoo Valley Farm). If you don’t want to check in, Buena Vista Farm offers daytime tours to meet resident animals and discover how fruit and veggies are grown, plus hands-on cooking classes on topics like cheese making, baking and fermenting.
Vineyard & brewery visits
Kiama is part of the State’s Shoalhaven Coast, a region known for producing distinctive – and delicious – wines and beers. Drop past the cellar door of Crooked River Wines in Gerringong, which bottles everything from semillon to shiraz, and includes an on-site brewery and restaurant, overlooking the vines.
Nearby, family owned Roselea Vineyard produces an award-winning sparkling chardonnay pinot noir, made using the méthode champenoise. A short drive south near Gerroa, Stoic Brewery is likewise family owned, and the team here craft standout lagers, pale ales, slow-fermented apple cider and creamy IPA.