A very Melbourne friend of mine (you know the type) recently swanned into Geelong for work. Armed with the burden of having to choose a lunch spot that would suffice his Southbank tastes, I put on my Geelong Cats “Thinking” Cap and started trawling through my Entertainment Card app for a suitable establishment.
And boy, let me tell you. Even I was surprised with all the options that I forgot existed.
So, spoilt with all the choices, I thought “hey Aaron, it’d be rude not to share this with all the new Geelongians/Geelonganites” (obviously). So, my newly minted friends, I proudly present to you Aaron from Harvest’s Lazy (and very Unofficial) Guide to A Great Day of Eating in Geelong.
Strap yourselves in!
9am: “The morning coffee fix” – Neck of the Woods
Also known as home to the life source that keeps my eyelids propped open in the morning, this awesome little cafe up on Myers Street (up in the hospital precinct) pumps out Campos coffee from 7am until 4pm. And I tell ya, they know how to do it well. There’s a cosy courtyard out the back which is perfect for offsite meetings and a sunlit bench in the front window that’s ideal to sit, sip and watch the world go by.
10:30am: “The mid-morning pick me up” – Little Green Corner
For a mid-morning coffee fix, there’s no better place than LGC. This hidden gem is tucked away on Little Ryrie Street and was created with an ethos of sustainability and no waste. Their menu consists of four breakfast and four lunch options, and is developed seasonally based on whatever the café is growing in its garden around the corner or on its farm based just out of Waurn Ponds. Many a client meeting has been had munching on their delicious homemade muffins (sweet and savoury options which change daily depending on what’s in season) in front of their beautiful woodfire.
12:30pm: “The best ‘bad’ lunch in town” – Hot Chicken Project
If you’re not in the know about HCP, put your wilted salad back in the communal staff fridge and get down to Little Malop Street immediately. Similar to Belle’s Hot Chicken in Melbourne and Sydney, HCP offers a “build your own” menu that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of Melbourne foodies. There’s a large selection of drinks to wet your whistle with and the service is second to none. Plus they don’t judge you if they see you at both lunch AND dinner…on the same day (or so I hear…).
For the 3:30pm’er: Eddy and Wills
Speaking of service that’s second to none, just a few minutes out of town is a café called Eddy and Wills. Situated on an unassuming corner in unassuming Hamlyn Heights, Eddy and Wills is hands down my favourite café in Geelong. The café is one of the few in Geelong that is open until 4pm and because of its location, getting a table straightaway is never a problem. The coffee comes with fudge, the haloumi comes by the slab and the service comes with a big ol’ cheesy smile. Great place for a quiet offsite meeting. My tip? Try the rosti’s.
6pm: “The client dinner” – Mr Umamis (Barking Dog)
Heading back into town, Mr Umamis is well-known to locals for being the spot for Asian fusion in Geelong. The food is absolutely incredible and the atmosphere is perfect for a work shindig or to impress a client. The hidden surprise to this place is that right next door is the Barking Dog Parma Bar, home to $13 parmas in a significantly creative formation of options. Both these spots are pumping on a Friday night and well worth the hop, skip and jump over the highway to Pakington Street in Geelong West for a try. Oh, and they also do a bottomless brunch. Just sayin’.
9pm: “The end of day nightcap” – Recess Bar + Eats
And finally, for those who are a big fan of the ol’ nightcap, Recess Bar + Eats is definitely the best place to go to. Featuring a huge drinks selection and a simple but really outstanding menu (think buttermilk fried chicken, loaded hummus, and the best damn lobster brioche rolls ever), Recess is the perfect way to end the day for any Geelong worker (or visitor, I don’t discriminate).
And for those wondering? I took Mr Melbourne to Hot Chicken Project and verbatim, his feedback was “Wow, I never knew Geelong was this good!”.
Article written by Aaron Hussey, Principal Consultant and HR Solutions Leader.