If you are looking for a good cafe around the Port Stephens region, then you are in luck - there are some tasty ones to choose from. I recently wrote an article for Sydney Weekendnotes called Top 10 Cafes around Nelson Bay, Port Stephens and I received a comment from a reader who recommended a cafe called Cellar Cafe Fingal Bay. After living in the Nelson Bay region for over a year, my family and I had never heard of it - but the reader said it had "great food, coffee and friendly staff" - and that's all you really ask for in a cafe, isn't it? We couldn't wait to track it down.
On a bright and sunny Sunday morning, we hopped in the car and found the cafe in a small set of shops, tucked away off the main street that runs along the beachfront at Fingal Bay. It looked funky and we were curious to walk inside...
When we entered the verandah we were warmly welcomed, invited to take a seat and then the young man gave us menus to peruse. We sat at one of the several tables outside, with views out on to the street and to the locals who were coming and going, to pick up the Sunday paper from the general store nearby. The coffee machine was whirring away, lorikeets were chirping in the trees and you could smell the salty air from the beach. We all commented that we felt like we were on holidays - in our own region!
The breakfast menu was extensive and the meals were reasonably priced - at least a few dollars cheaper than cafes in Nelson Bay. Locals all around us had large meals delivered to their tables and you could tell from their chat with the staff that they were regulars - it was easy to see why.
When the meals came out, we were more than impressed with their size and value for money. We ordered the Lemonade Scones with homemade jam, the Coconut Granola and the Big Breakfast Turkish Roll. Our daughter devoured the scones and enjoyed the homemade berry jam, whilst my granola had a beautiful balance of flavours, crunch, creamy yoghurt and fresh seasonal fruit. It was the perfect way to start the day in Fingal Bay.
Lemonade Scones with house berry jam and dollop cream ($7) and Coconut Granola with chia seeds, nut clusters, natural yoghurt and seasonal fruit ($16)
The Award for the most "Mmmmms" to come out of one person's mouth however, was awarded to my husband who savoured every mouthful of his Big Breakfast Turkish Roll, with hash browns, two eggs and tasty tomato relish inside. He announced it was one of the best he had ever eaten - and he's eaten a few! For $16, he was more than happy with its large size.
Big Breakfast Turkish Roll with bacon, egg, tomato relish, aioli, rocket and hash brown ($16)
It is called Cellar Cafe as when you walk inside, there is a small section within the cafe that sells wine and spirits. As these local shops are a "one-stop-shop" for locals and tourists, each business sells a variety of products to cater to all needs. It is the perfect place to pop in for a coffee and buy some wine to take home for later!
When you walk past the wine area to pay at the counter, you can also see that there are more tables inside (with cute little booths for two) and an area out the back with sports on the TV. This venue is closed on Mondays, but it is open for breakfast and lunch the rest of the week and for an early dinner Thursday to Sunday nights - see their website for current times. Cellar Cafe also have a takeaway menu, which includes pizza for $16 - $22 each. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for cheap pizza nights and specials throughout the year.
Check out Cellar Cafe for dinner and takeaways! Image; Cellar Cafe Fingal Bay Facebook
We were surprised to find such a little gem at the back of Fingal Bay and now that we have found it, we will be back for more each time we visit the area. Fingal Bay is a popular place to visit for its beautiful natural scenery, the beach, Fingal Spit, fishing, walks and its proximity to Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay. For more ideas on what to do in the area, see the article Top 5 Things to do in Fingal Bay.
One things is for sure - Cellar Cafe Fingal Bay needs to be the 6th!
We will definitely be back for the coffee, the friendly service and this breakfast!