Forster has a vast array of delicious foods served at our cafes and restaurants. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in Forster.
Beach Bums Café
One thing that I have noticed when I arrived in Australia, is that Australians like to wake up early. So it’s not a coincidence that there are many cafes that offer scrumptious breakfast and Forster is not an exception. Every day at the break of dawn, Beach Bums Café welcomes joggers, cyclists and tradies. This café is located on Forster Main Beach and the views of the Pacific Ocean are superb. Ranging from the typical big brekky to the healthy acai bowl and breakfast burrito, the menu offers a good choice of options. After 11am, the breakfast menu changes to lunch and offers fantastic daily specials.
Another amazing place for breakfast is Tartt Café. Tartt roasts its own coffee blend called “Little Street Roasters”. The café has been a local’s favourite since 2010 and their menu is as eclectic as their friendly staff and art displays. My favourite breakfast meal is the “Marsupilami”, a slow cooked beef brisket with salami, melted cheddar, pickles and sliced tomato on a toasted focaccia. If you want something a little healthier, there is plenty to choose from. If you liked their coffee, Tartt has a little sister located on Forster Main Beach and is called Wing Man; it is a cute little hole in the wall that serves a few pre-made sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks. Tartt Café and Wing Man are open until 3pm.
Plunge Café is the new kid in town and prides itself for their perfect coffee! Everything is made to order and their pastries are outstanding. Located at Fairways in Forster, Plunge had to extend their premises because demand was so high. Renee and Heath have a combined 30-year experience in the hospitality industry and it shows! Make sure you try one of their home-made pies or one of their smoothie bowls. They source local produce and also offer catering.
If you want to have a scrumptious lunch with a view, Forster is the place to go. Spice Monkey and the new Mexican restaurant Si Senorita have the goods and the venue to deliver a fantastic foodie experience. Owned by Forster locals Jonie and Darren (better known as Dughes), these two restaurants are by far the most successful in town. Spice Monkey is an Asian inspired restaurant that specialises in Japanese cuisine. The sushi is super fresh, their bento boxes change regularly and the prices are reasonable. Wash it all down with a Monkey Magic lager or one of their signature cocktails and your culinary journey is complete.
Formerly Reef Bar & Grill, Si Senorita Mexican Cantina opened its doors in June 2020. The décor of the place is well appointed and gives you a feel of being in a laid back surfy town in Mexico. The food has all the favourites like nachos, tacos and burritos but it also has a few distinctive dishes. My favourite is the Peruvian snapper ceviche with jalapeno, onion, lime and bullhorn peppers served with corn chips. Another outstanding dish is the tuna sashimi tostadas served with avocado, chipotle mayo, crunchy walnuts and shallots. As you would expect, the drinks list emphasizes on tequilas and mezcals with a vast selection of margaritas.
Hamiltons Oyster Bar
Another lunch destination with spectacular views is Hamiltons, on the Tuncurry side of Wallis Lake. One great thing that they have to offer is that they have an all-day dining menu; this means that you can come at any time of the day and the kitchen will be open. Hamiltons specialises in oysters as they have their own oyster leases. Make sure you get a tasting plate and wash it down with a nice crisp white wine or a cold Stone & Wood on tap. Hamiltons has its own moorings so if you decide to bring or hire a boat, you can take it there and enjoy their amazing food with a view.
As I mentioned earlier, Spice Monkey and Si Senorita are the most popular restaurants in Forster. The reason I mentioned them for a lunch option is because of their views but they are open for dinner as well and watching the sunset from either of them is also quite spectacular. But let me introduce you to a couple of restaurants that don’t have the view but can match the tasty food.
First of all: Anatolia, a Turkish restaurant tucked in a laneway between Head and Wharf Streets. The chefs are Turks so the food is authentic! They are always busy making takeaway kebabs but if you decide to sit down at the restaurant, you will have a great middle eastern experience. Anatolia has a fantastic choice of vegan and vegetarian food such as baba ganoush, hummus and dolmades but if you are into meats, their mixed grilled platter is out of this world! The shish kebabs of chicken and lamb are the most tender meats I have ever had!
The second restaurant that cannot be missed is Pezzella’s. Pezzella’s Pizzeria opened in November 2019 and it’s been the place to go to if you want some fresh authentic Italian wood-fired pizza. Their menu is simple, and because they use local quality products, the flavours are exceptional. The pizzas are very original and the hand-made gnocchi is second to none. They also have blackboard specials where every day they display a fabulous new dish. The venue is quite small, so you will need to book in advance as they are always busy.
For a small town, Forster has many Chinese restaurants; 6 to be exact. All of them are quite good and offer similar dishes but there is one that stands out: Happy Gardens. Happy Gardens has been in Forster for over 30 years and relocated from Wallis Street to Wharf Street in 2009. The reason why Happy Gardens stands out is because they offer an award-winning chilli mud crab that is finger licking good! The menu is extensive and the quality of their ingredients is outstanding.