I have put together this guide of the 12 Best Magnetic Island Restaurants & Cafes, including the best spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks!
Magnetic Island is a must-see destination when visiting Townsville. This small island is a tropical paradise only a short ferry ride away from the mainland.
Apart from the many awesome things to do in Magnetic Island, some multiple cafes and restaurants will keep your body fueled through all your adventures. With a wide variety of cuisines ranging from delicious freshly caught seafood, which is a part of almost every menu around Magnetic Island, to authentic Thai, Mexican, and Italian, no one will leave the island hungry.
Watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail at one of the many beachfront restaurants located right at the Horseshoe Bay or enjoy an interactive breakfast with Koalas and other native animals in a true Australian outback setting. Magnetic Island might be small, but it has a lot to offer on every (culinary) level.
This Magnetic Island Restaurants Guide will help you narrow down your choices, explore what different restaurants all around the island have to offer, and hopefully help you save time on that very important decision-making process of, ‘Where should we eat?’
OVERVIEW – MAGNETIC ISLAND RESTAURANTS
Please see below for an overview of the Best Magnetic Island Restaurants & Cafes that you will find in this guide:
- The Early Bird Cafe
- Cafe Nourish
- Barefoot Art Food Wine
- Scallywags Cafe
- Man Friday
- Marlin Bar
- Gilligan’s Cafe & Bar
- Noodies on the Beach
- Shaka Cafe
- Mamma Roma
- Thai Again
- Breakfast with the Koalas + Bush Tucker Brunch
12 BEST MAGNETIC ISLAND RESTAURANTS
There are many great restaurants and cafes for you to try while visiting Magnetic Island, each offering a variety of local, fresh and healthy food to suit everyone’s tastebuds.
It can sometimes be a little overwhelming to decide where to get a meal that is going to fuel your body with enough energy to go and explore a new place. I hope this post will assist you as a helpful guide.
So without further ado, here is my guide to the 12 Best Restaurants and Cafes on Magnetic Island!
THE EARLY BIRD CAFE
Located right along the popular Horseshoe Bay cafe strip, this is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a delicious breakfast while gazing out upon the crystal clear ocean. There is a reason why Early Bird cafe is mentioned as one of the best restaurants on Magnetic Island on multiple platforms.
It is owned by a lovely Italian couple that makes sure the food they serve is fresh and contains only the best locally sourced ingredients.
There are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available to cater to anyone’s individual needs and tastebuds. The Early Bird’s menu will leave no one disappointed while the views will leave everybody stunned.
Open daily from 7:30am – 2:00pm (Sun 1:00pm).
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Another one of the top restaurants on Magnetic Island with beautiful views over Horseshoe Bay beach, serving Fair Trade Organic coffee, a variety of teas and Chai as well as smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, delicious wraps, sandwiches, cakes, and other mouth-watering treats.
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available and always served with a heartwarmingly friendly smile. If you are looking for a relaxing place to sit down, unwind, and let the sun kiss your salty skin after a morning swim in the beautiful turquoise waters of Horseshoe Bay, Cafe Nourish is the spot for you.
Open daily from 7:00am – 2:00pm (weekends till 3:00pm).
BAREFOOT ART FOOD & WINE
Barefoot Art Food & Wine is a multi-award-winning Magnetic Island restaurant and a must-visit while on the island. The beautiful views and warm atmosphere of this restaurant make it a great venue for a romantic holiday date night as well as an important business dinner or a big family get-together.
The menu includes an extensive wine list to go with the high-quality seafood platters and gourmet desserts. The service is excellent and the in-house art gallery featuring the work of local artists complements the wonderful dining experience.
Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and vegan options are limited.
Open Thu – Mon 11:30am – 3:00pm & 5:30 pm – 9:00pm. Closed Tue & Wed
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Scallywags Cafe is a fairly new cafe located in the very heart of Nelly Bay.
On their menu are delicious healthy meals and fair trade coffees in a fun-filled, family-friendly atmosphere with a theatrical pirate crew. Live music and fire shows during dinner time ensure a great vibe while enjoying their excellent food.
With plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, everybody’s needs will be satisfied.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7am – 8pm.
In the heart of Nelly Bay, is one of the quirkiest restaurants in Magnetic Island that offer Mexican as well as international cuisine. Enjoy fajitas and enchiladas while watching possums roam the beautiful tropical garden.
Vegetarian and vegan options are available and if you don’t feel like ordering soft drinks or Sangria from their menu, the BYO fee for drinks is only $3. Take away is available most nights as well.
Not to worry if one of you feels like Mexican and the other can’t get enough of the yummy fresh-caught fish that Magnetic Island is famous for, you’ll find fish and chips on the menu too.
Open Wed – Mon 6:00pm – 9:30pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Looking for live music and a chill vibe paired with generous portions of delicious food? This is where you want to go. The variety of meals is excellent and caters to every appetite and you won’t be disappointed with their drink menu either.
Whether you fancy a cold beer, a glass of wine, or a tropical cocktail, the bartender at Marlin Bar has got you. Wednesday is Steak Night and Thursday night is Parmy Night!
Don’t feel like seafood? Try their juicy burgers, served on a toasted brioche bun with hot, crunchy chips.
Oh, and you can bring your pup too because dogs are welcome, and you can enjoy the tasty meals and good vibes together with your furry friend. Just make sure you call ahead and book a table as it can get very busy, especially on the weekends.
Open Mon – Fri 10:00am – Late & Sat – Sun 8:00am – Late
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GILLIGAN’S CAFE & BAR
At Gilligans’s Cafe & Bar, you can enjoy breakfast, brunch, or lunch, accompanied by a very generous selection of alcoholic beverages on their drink menu. Treat yourself to a mimosa or two, I mean you are on holiday after all.
This Magnetic Island themed outdoor restaurant takes you down memory lane while you enjoy the massive breakfasts or indulge in their delicious burgers. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available and your pet is welcome here as well.
Open Wed – Fri 8:00am – 3:00pm & Sat – Sun 7:30am – 3:00pm. Closed Mon & Tue.
Image: Trip Advisor
NOODIES ON THE BEACH
Looking for somewhere to watch the sunset over Horseshoe Bay while sipping on an exotic cocktail? This little Mexican restaurant on Magnetic Island will not disappoint. Buy a jug of any cocktail or margarita and you’ll get to enjoy it while wearing a free sombrero!
Noodies on the Beach are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and besides being known for their cocktails and margaritas, their food and coffee are quite the treat as well.
Try the garlic prawns or the paella as they are highly recommended by fellow travelers for a reason. Just give them a call upfront and secure yourself a table at this fun place as it is only open on weekends and books out fast.
I guarantee you don’t want to miss this place on your list of Magnetic Island restaurants to try!
Open Fri – Sun from 8:30am. Lunch from 11:30am
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Start your day right, with a delicious, healthy meal by the beach at Shaka Cafe. Don’t miss out on this little gem, said to have the best smoothie bowls on the island.
Choose from their wide variety of tasty smoothie bowls, and pressed juices, or pair a cup of freshly brewed coffee with their yummy raw treats. All while listening to good tunes right along the beach at Nelly Bay.
Open 5 days a week, Thursday – Sunday from 7am – 1pm.
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Italian Restaurant Pizza and Cafe Mamma Roma serves authentic Italian dishes with lots of vegetarian, vegan as well as gluten-free options available. Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy live music every weekend.
Make sure to ask for their daily specials at Mamma Roms and I highly recommend treating yourself to a piece of Tiramisu after your Pizza or Pasta. You were out exploring or at the beach all day, you deserve it.
Open Tue – Fri 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Sat – Sun 11:30am – 13:30pm & 5:00pm – 8:30pm. Closed Mondays.
You have already been on Magnetic Island for a couple of days and are looking for something other than seafood to change things up a little?
Thai Again is known to be one of the coziest and casual restaurants with reasonable prices, serving 100% fresh authentic Thai cuisine and caters to a wide range of dietary requirements from vegetarian to vegan as well as gluten-free. Takeaway is also available.
Open daily 5:30pm – 9:00pm
BREAKFAST WITH THE KOALAS + BUSH TUCKER BRUNCH
This is by far one of the most unique Magnetic Island restaurants for breakfast and brunch!
Every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday you can enjoy your first meal of the day within a scene typical to outback Australia.
During the course of the morning, you will be greeted by native Australian animals including the koala’s Pebbles and Amaroo, and Harry the wombat.
It is more than just a breakfast, it is an interactive experience that will teach you about sustainability principles and will connect you with a team of great people that have a true passion for wildlife and Magnetic Island.
The menu is seasonal and offers vegetarian and gluten-free options. Vegan options are limited.
Wed, Fri & Sun 8:30am – 10:00am
Prices: From $70 (children under 2 free of charge)
WHERE TO STAY ON MAGNETIC ISLAND
There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from in Magnetic Island, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of Magnetic Island accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: PEPPERS BLUE ON BLUE
MID RANGE: DANDALOO GARDENS
BUDGET: BUNGALOW BAY KOALA VILLAGE YHA
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MAGNETIC ISLAND, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
HOW TO GET TO MAGNETIC ISLAND
Magnetic Island is an isolated island located 8km offshore from the coastal town of Townsville in Queensland, Australia.
The best way to reach the island from Townsville is with the Magnetic Island Ferry which takes just 25-minutes on the passenger ferry or 45-minutes on the car ferry.
I have put together a complete guide that includes everything you need to know about the Magnetic Island Ferry to help you plan your trip ahead of time.
FULL BLOG POST → HOW TO GET TO MAGNETIC ISLAND
MAGNETIC ISLAND MAP
WHAT TO PACK FOR MAGNETIC ISLAND
When visiting Magnetic Island, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Magnetic Island Restaurants, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
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THANKS FOR READING
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