Best Restaurants on Magnetic Island

Best Restaurants on Magnetic Island Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Just forty minutes off the coast of Townsville, Magnetic Island (affectionately known as Maggie) is a tropical oasis touting a trail of tasty restaurants along its coastline. The most important part of being on holiday mode is palming off the everyday chore of cooking to the professionals. Dining out every night? Yes please. A cocktail with every meal? Obviously. Gorging on seconds? Duh.

Despite her quaint perimeter, Maggie might surprise you with her wealth of gastronomic goodies. From faux pirate ships to Thai that’s to die for, these are the five best restaurants on Magnetic Island. Oh, and do yourself a favour — book ahead! 

If you're going to treat yourself to a nice meal, combat your spending with these free things to do on Magnetic Island!

Mamma Roma

Location: 9 Esplanade, Picnic Bay

Mamma Roma restaurant on Magnetic Island at sunsetPhoto: Mamma Roma

Come to Mamma (Roma). You may only be forty minutes from the Far North Queensland mainland, but Mamma Roma will have you feeling like you’re dining in the winding streets of coastal Naples or Sicily. This is your best bet for an authentic slice of Italy on Maggie. Nobody’s better at conquering the heart through the stomach than the Italians. Whether it’s a soul-soothing bowl of creamy carbonara you crave or a pizza as big as your head, prepare to fall in love with carbs all over again because nothing puts a smile on your dial like a slice from Mamma. Buon appetito, viaggiatori!

Marlin Bar

Location: 3 Pacific Drive, Horseshoe Bay

People sitting on outside seating at Marlin Bar, Magnetic IslandPhoto: Marlin Bar

With stunning alfresco dining that looks out at Horseshoe Bay’s sand and sea, Marlin Bar is the ultimate destination to listen to the ocean’s call and let the breeze wash over you. Slip into a dreamy mirage as you slurp back oysters from New Zealand and an ice-cold beer before you eat yourself into a food coma with the seafood lasagna. Marlin’s self-professed favourite is the java curried prawns and bugs which they’ll have you pair with a well-rounded from the McLaren Vale. 

Thai Again

Location: 56 Yates Street, Nelly Bay

Prawn stirfry dish at Thai Again, Magnetic IslandPhoto: Thai Again

Struggling to find a vegetarian/vegan-friendly feed on Maggie? Thai Again will take care of your rumbly herbivore tums. Tucked away in Nelly Bay in the midst of lush rainforest surroundings reminiscent of Thailand itself, allow Thai Again to transport your taste buds to heaven with their drool-worthy money bags, duck curry and sizzling garlic prawns. It’s called Thai Again because after you’ve had it once, you’ll want it again and again and again!

Smugglers Wine Bar

Location: 45 Sooning Street, Nelly Bay

Wine and cheese platter. Image Source: Camille Brodard

Photo: Camille Brodard

Calling all wine-oholics! As the name suggests, Smugglers is more of a wine bar than a full-blown restaurant. That being said, you’re on holiday and wine totally counts as dinner, right? Work your way through the extensive wine list and fill up on the mouthwatering tapas. From chorizo sauteed in red wine and stuffed olives wrapped in anchovies to Mongolian lamb skewers and miso maple chicken, even a small selection of Smugglers’ tapas is more than enough to qualify as dinner. Smugglers is open till late, so there’s no need to rush! Take it easy, go slow — you’re on island time, babe. 


Location: 104 Sooning Street, Nelly Bay

Women dressed as a pirate holding up a wine bottle at Scallywags, Magnetic Island

Photo: Scallywags

Yo-ho-ho, this one’s for the swashbuckling young and the peg-legged young at heart! Sit amongst a treasure trove of pirate paraphernalia as you chow down on some seriously good grub. Scallywags’ menu won’t break the booty (that’s pirate slang for bank, thank you very much!), making it more than perfect for a family feed. From gluten-free options to veg and vegan, there’s something to please all eaters at Scallywags. So gather all ye hearties and hit this wrecked ship for a hearty meal! 

Man Friday

Location: 37 Warboys Street, Nelly Bay 

Take a little trip down Mexico way and embrace the tropical temperatures of Maggie at Man Friday. First things first: cool down with a nice big jug of ice-cold sangria. Lead into dinner with a trio of Mexican dips or loaded nachos, then go all in with the creamy prawn fajitas, chili con carne or frijol beans. Man Friday is extremely budget-friendly, great for families and accommodating to all dietary requirements. See you there, señoritas y chicos.

For more advice on mapping out your tropical trip to Magnetic Island chat with our friendly travel experts!

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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