At the Heads takes its name from more than one natural landmark.
The restaurant is located on the Barwon Heads Jetty, where the eponymous river meets the ocean, but it also holds spectacular views of the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, known to locals as ‘The Heads’.
This picturesque location gives the modern restaurant one of the best backdrops on the Bellarine Peninsula. Guests are spoilt with a panoramic view extending from Barwon Bluff across to Port Phillip Bay, encompassing shipping vessels, recreational fishing boasts, fishermen, and families enjoying an afternoon dip.
The potential of the location was obvious; the rich history and stunning setting were the perfect combination for a memorable dining experience. When it came up for sale in 2015 the current owners jumped at the opportunity, bringing with them years of hospitality experience.
They quickly found themselves proprietors of a space steeped in history. The rear storeroom was once known as the ‘boot room’ and as the oldest building on the foreshore it’s a protected heritage site.
Similarly, the bar section of the restaurant was originally the local fishing co-operative, where locals could buy fresh fish directly from the returning boats. Fans of the acclaimed Australian television show ‘Sea Change’ will also recognise it as Diver Dan’s boatshed.
Diver Dan may be long gone, but locals regularly pop by for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No matter the time of day, you’ll find seasonal menus full of ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. Suppliers include Sea Bounty Mussels, Drysdale Cheeses, Lomas Orchards, La Madre Bakery and David Blackmore Wagyu, with the list expected to grow as they works the ream to increase their sustainability credentials.
You’ll appreciate their hard work when you try the baked eggs with chorizo, corn, black beans and chipotle, served on manchego toast. A commitment to quality is crystal clear in each of the lunch dishes, where you can order freshly shucked oysters before devouring Sea Bounty mussels cooked in beer and Greenvale bacon. Its close proximity to the ocean means ordering at least one seafood dish is essential.
However, for those not so fish-inclined, there are a host of other dishes that showcase the very best local ingredients. Order the O’Connor premium eye fillet with potato and leek gratin, pickled mushrooms and miso butter.
Elements, a small division of Lavazza, supplies the coffee beans, while the considered wine list has all-Australian offerings. There are just enough to tickle your fancy, but not too many that you’ll be overwhelmed with the choices.
At the Heads takes a one-of-a-kind location and makes it even better with its food and wine offerings. Stop by for any meal of the day – we bet you’ll find yourself returning before too long.