For many residents and tourists in Nelson Bay, the best dining establishments aren’t the ones with the inflated prices, the snobbish atmosphere, or the snooty servers. What people want are Nelson Bay restaurants where they can really enjoy themselves and relax with friends and family. They want good food at reasonable prices, with a casual atmosphere and a friendly serving staff. Here are some of the best restaurants Nelson Bay residents love to frequent:

The Little Nel Cafe
The Little Nelson Café With its gourmet Suspension espresso based on the Newcastle original, patrons love the local produce that make up the breakfast menu. With its eclectic musical playlist, the very relaxed setting, and the shaded deck where you get fantastic views of the Bay, Little Nel is always a favourite among Nelson Bay folks.
Moonshadow Cruises
Moonshadow Cruises This company was the 2013 Gold Winner for NSW Best Major Tour Operator, and you don’t get to be called the best with merely adequate food. Appetizers await your arrival, and coffee and tea are always available with the enticing desserts. With two decks reserved for diving, and a potential dolphin sighting waiting in store, you’re really living the good life here.
Sandpipers Restaurant
Sandpipers Restaurant This family-owned establishment offer only the freshest seafood, with a modern menu that goes very well with the impeccable service and the casual dining atmosphere.
Watercress Restaurant
Watercress Restaurant Variety is the spice of life, and Watercress offers a lot of variety. Its menu is seasonal, and its modern cuisine showcase the numerous cultures found in Australia. Even its fruits and herbs are grown in the restaurant courtyard or at the owner’s property nearby.
Little Beach Boathouse
Little Beach Boathouse Owned and managed by 2 chefs with a combined 19 years of experience, this restaurant specialises in exciting new dishes that will truly tickle your palate. And of course, they only offer fresh ingredients, just like all the other great restaurants in Nelson Bay.
The Only Place Indian Restaurant
The Only Place Indian Restaurant If you’re craving for anything “Indian”, this is the place to go. The seafood offerings are delightful, and the tandoori is fantastic. The indoor courtyard setting provides a very relaxed dining experience.
Bub's Fish & Chips
Bub’s Fish and Chips This is in the Big Blue Building, and the place right on the water. Fittingly, the view is excellent, and it matches the quality of the fresh seafood.
Hog's Breath Cafe
Hogs Breath Café The name is a fitting partner to its fun and fantastical décor, and even its operating style is unique. And just like the place, the food is also a lot of fun. It’s like a party every night here, and grumpiness is expressly forbidden.
Casa de Oro
Casa De Oro Spanish Restaurant Looking for Spanish cuisine? Then look no further when you’re in the mood for Paella or tapas. With its wood-fired pizzas and fine steaks, you also get to choose from its large wine selection. Dios mio!
Imagine Cruises
Imagine Cruises No need to imagine what the good life looks like, as here you get to experience it for yourself. It’s fully stocked bar offer superb treats to go along with your whale-watching adventure. It’s even available for private charters.
Mod Thai
Mod Thai Food and Noodle Bar You have 2 location options here: at the Stockton Street Cinema Mall when you want to take a break or at the Shoal bay overlooking the water. In both places, you get to enjoy fine Thai dishes with terrific customer service.
The Wharf Restaurant
The Wharf Oyster Bar and Grill Found above the Seafood Co-Op at the marina, here you’ll find the freshest seafood just picked from the morning catch.
Siennas Restaurant
Sienna’s Restaurant This absolutely delightful place is a true favourite among locals. They’re trying to keep it a secret, but now the secret is out!
Rock Lobster Restaurant
Rock Lobster Restaurant You can’t go wrong with their famed seafood platters and their fresh local lobsters! And you have lots of beer options, as well as customised cakes.

Try each one, and you won’t be sorry. That is, unless you’re a tourist, when you’ll regret that you won’t have these Nelson Bay restaurants to go to when you return home. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

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