Friday, May 21, 2021
After dark: the best bars in the Margaret River region
Accommodation, booked. Day activities, planned. Are you now scratching your head, wondering where you should go at night? There has been a wave of fantastic new bars in the South West in recent years, all offering innovative drink lists and, often, gobsmacking food to match. We’ve got you sorted.
The best bars in the Margaret River region: a little dressy
A treasure of a find, this little tapas restaurant is the perfect date night with a blend of intimacy, innovative menus, and sparkling atmosphere. Go to your happy place with some of the best cocktails in town. Try ‘Trophy Wife’ with pink peppercorn infused vodka and apricot liqueur, or the sweet and sour ‘Pan Dan Quiri’. But it would be a travesty to forget the food; Morries’ share menu is raved about by young and old.
Lady Lola Deli Bar Bistro
Sandwiched between two of Dunsborough’s most lauded restaurants, Lady Lola might be the new kid in town, but she holds her own. This is where you’ll want to come for an ultra-classy catch up over a bite to eat and cheeky wine. Try the cold brew espresso cocktail or refreshing Campari Arancia. The food is exquisite too, with seared scallops, freshly shucked oysters, and seasonal salads that are to-die-for.
Yarri Restaurant and Bar
There are few venues as celebrated as Yarri. In keeping with the ethos of the dining menu, the cocktails are made from locally-foraged in-season products in accordance with the six-season Noongar calendar. If you love wine, be sure to try Yarri’s own Snake & Herring brand. But we can’t possibly go past the cocktails: coconut espresso martinis, salted plum margaritas, and a maple old fashioned. Perfection in a glass.
Swings Taphouse & Kitchen
Part of the much-loved Swings and Roundabouts family, the Taphouse in Margaret River has wine on tap (yes, you can get delicious premium wine out of a tap), craft beers, plus authentic woodfired pizzas and tapas to nibble on while you savour your tipple. At night, this place transforms into a cool, moody hangout. Nab yourself one of the rustic wood tables near the fireplace for one of the cosiest nights out in town.
The best bars in the Margaret River region: a bit more casual
A funky bolthole of a bar with eclectic retro décor, this feels like a mix between an American dive bar and a university party. There’s only enough room for a few dozen people, so there’s a friendly, convivial atmosphere inside. The drinks list is just as carefully curated as the décor, with a good range of beers, creative cocktails, and plenty of old school mixes made to your liking.
Bungalow Neighbourhood Social
It’s no understatement to say this is the ‘in’ watering hole right now, and it’s one of the best spots to enjoy a sundowner with your pals. Find yourself a comfy seat under the big palm trees, listen to the DJ beats with a wine in hand, and chow down on gourmet burgers and pizza. This is a place for all, but it does attract the younger set.
This iconic venue started life catering to the laidback surfer communities in the 1970s – how quintessentially Margaret River is that?! Everyone is welcome, so roll up with the gang and grab a bite to eat from the bistro menu, play a game of pool, and stay for the live band. While it may be an unfussy tavern, Settlers is home to one of the most superb wine lists in the region, offering more than 600 wines. Additionally, there are 16 pouring taps and 60 plus types of bottled beer.
This nautical-themed bar brings “perpetual mirth and merriment to weary sailors in search of a harbar”. Sounds like an evening of revelry awaits! Plonk yourself down and look up at the wooden beams, knots of rope, and rustic chandeliers – like you’d see on a pirate ship – while you nurse a whiskey sour or gin gimlet. You won’t regret stumbling across this little gem. Arrr, matey.
The River Hotel
With a Ye Olde English vibe, this spacious tavern has a front bar, beer garden and restaurant to choose from. Complete with stone walls, exposed beams, a crackling fireplace, and lots of vintage faded rugs on the wooden floors, The River is a cheerful place. There’s a good selection of beer, wine and spirits to have a good old yarn with your companions while you keep toasty warm.
You know that place in central Dunsborough with the inviting strings of festoon lights? That’s Occy’s. This is one of those places where everyone mingles happily together. There are families with children, groups of young people, and couples on dates. The food menu is broad, and there are plenty of beers and cocktails to enjoy while you watch the world go by.
Beer lovers, congregate here. Just a quick walk from Dunsborough’s foreshore is this two-story bar and restaurant. This is a great choice for a late afternoon ale or a nice hearty glass of wine as you graze on a few share plates. The dining and craft beer section can be found on the ground level, while the bar on the top has a balcony with impressive ocean views.
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