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Bombora On the River

Home > Adelaide > Cafes | Escape the City | Lunch
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published October 5th 2019
Enjoy slow food in a slow town
Bombora Beach Cafe has been a Goolwa icon for years. Nestled in the dunes at Goolwa Beach, the cafe offered excellent seafood dishes, wonderful local wine and friendly service. Surfers, swimmers, walkers and their dogs were welcome and the dress code was relaxed. In fact, the famous Bombora Surfer near the entrance sported a sign that stated 'no shoes, no shirt, no problem'.

no shoes, no shirt, no problem
no shoes, no shirt, no problem


Well, times have changed and Bombora Beach Cafe is no longer. Joel and Casey Cousins have moved their business riverside, on Barrage Road. The good news is that there is more room, for more people, to enjoy great local food and wine in a great location.

Open for lunch
Open for lunch


There are tables inside and on the covered deck which is protected from the weather on Goolwa's windy days.

sit inside at Bombora on the River
sit inside at Bombora on the River


If you are lucky enough to find yourself at Bombora on a perfect weather day, ask for a table outside.

Sit outside at Bombora On the River
Sit outside at Bombora On the River


There's plenty to see on the river as boats glide past and pelicans practise take-offs and landings. You may even catch a glimpse of the Oscar W Paddle Steamer.

Oscar W Paddle steamer seen from Bombora
Oscar W Paddle steamer seen from Bombora


The surfer is there. Sadly he no longer advertises the former dress code. I guess the river is more formal than the beach. His surfboard still advertises tasty, tempting treats so you'll probably find wearing shoes is worth the trouble.

Bombora surfer
Bombora surfer


The current menu features most of the old favourites from the Beach Cafe. The Salt and Pepper Squid never fails to shine.

Bombora's Salt and Pepper Squid
Bombora's Salt and Pepper Squid


There are exciting new dishes including some hearty salads. The 'Sailor's Delight' offers smoked salmon, avocado, grilled fish, prawns and baby spuds for $26. The 'Duck Salad' combines watercress, snow peas, avocado, blood orange and sesame with fat slices of juicy duck for $25.

Bombora's Duck Salad
Bombora's Duck Salad


It's worth checking the 'daily special's board to see what Joel recommends.

Daily specials at Bombora
Daily specials at Bombora


Local Mulloway, Mullet or Goolwa Pipis always taste special when eaten close to where they were caught.

Coorong Mulloway at Bombora
Coorong Mulloway at Bombora


In keeping with Slow Food principles, Bombora source wine locally, in particular from nearby Langhorne Creek. Did I mention locally made cakes? Bombora's cakes are tantalising and are likely to be my ultimate undoing.

Cakes at Bombora On the River
Cakes at Bombora On the River


Goolwa is Australia's first Cittąslow or Slow Town. The concept of Cittąslow means, in simple terms, embracing and celebrating all things local, including environment, community, heritage and, of course, food and wine. An afternoon at Bombora On the River will tick most of those boxes for you. Best to book though, word's getting around and everyone wants a table at Bombora.
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Why? The best local food and wine in the best location in Goolwa.
When: Thursday till Monday 8am-5pm. Every day during school holidays. Open later during summer months.
Phone: (08) 8555 1235
Where: 94 Barrage Road, Goolwa
Cost: Light snacks around $10. Mains around $25.
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