View From Shelter Brewing Co Credit Taya Reid

Gone are the days of any food-centric soul or beer aficionado bypassing Busselton, with the town’s culinary map growing into new and delicious territory.

Busselton has long been linked with a host of memorable experiences dominated by salt water, long jetty walks and postcard sunsets, but it’s the emerging food scene gaining the Geographe Bay hub some attention of late. There’s a sunlit brewery glinting proudly on the foreshore, more than a few premium choices for caffeine addicts and perfect runny-egg hunters, and the jewel in Busselton’s foodie crown, the Origins Market.

The Good Egg - Busselton - Credit Taya Reid
The Good Egg is a local favourite. Photo credit Taya Reid.

Rise

The real measure of a chef is in the basics; sourdough, poached eggs, cinnamon scrolls. Busselton has a number of ways to test that theory with a coffee in hand if you’re in town before wine o’clock. Fresh loaves roll out the door at Baked on Queen Street, and more than a few jam donuts. At the Good Egg, you can be upstairs in a shared workspace trying not to drip egg yolk on your laptop, or downstairs with the kids and buttermilk fried chicken waffles on your plate.

For all day indulgence, there’s a hint of Brittany in every French buckwheat crêpe at Bistro Breton. The menu is holiday grade satisfying from Croque Monsieur to prosciutto with Margaret River Region raw honey, or salted butter caramel and Chantilly cream. Forget what I said earlier, because you can BYO the sparkling wine haul from your Caves Road adventures if you like your Francophilia with a side of bubbles.

Inside Shelter Brewing Co Credit Taya Reid
Shelter Brewing Co is a love letter to Busselton. Photo credit Taya Reid.

Gather

Shelter Brewing Co seems to emit light from within, and it’s not surprising given the venue’s prime position on the Busselton foreshore, with floor to ceiling glass and clever minimal design making way for that famous view.  Shelter is a love letter to Busselton from two local families firmly entrenched in the hospitality scene, the Credaros and the Packard-Hairs. As a result, the community vibe is palpable in the warmth of the service, and children are welcomed in Shelter’s family forward atmosphere.

Brewed before your eyes, there are five signature beers and a cider on tap every day including pale ales, sours and lager. Shelter also delivers regular feature beers in short runs, with concepts and flavours inspired by childhoods spent in Busso, and the local sights and sensations.  An Italian pizza oven dominates the kitchen, which serves up simple share style seasonal fare. With wine-soaked local mussels and a crunchy pomegranate and buckwheat pumpkin salad up for grabs, it’s not all chips and burgers, but of course, you can have those too.

Leaving the kids at home? The Fire Station is a well-established favourite with locals, boasting a vast revolving list of boutique wine and craft beer, and live music most Saturdays.

If that variety isn’t enough, the Rocky Ridge cellar door features taps of over 25 stalwarts and limited releases to dizzy and delight you. They’ve buddied up with LS Merchants to ensure those who prefer grape to grain are satisfied, too. Margaret River Burger Co stand by to feed you while you make your difficult beverage decisions.

Origins Market Busselton
The new Origins Market hosts a community of local producers, growers and makers.

Immerse

Newly opened on the edge of the Wonnerup Vasse Wetlands, is a project that promises to be the sparkling city’s produce and product mecca. Commissioned by Allan Erceg of Mandoon Estate, the Origins Market has been carefully designed to celebrate and exhibit the rich food and wine culture in Western Australia, and concentrate it in one beautifully thoughtful space. Curator Louise Cashmore has been deliberate in her goal to reflect the abundant generosity of the wetlands ecosystem, a prime source of community and supermarket of sorts to traditional owners, the Wadandi people.

With the blessing of Wadandi elders, the market is built on the pillars of the six seasons, and vendors may stay seasonally as their produce permits. Punters wander through the indoor market’s ‘enjoy now’ or ‘take home’ precincts including food trucks, fruit and veg, speciality butchers, seafood, pop up cellar doors, condiments and coffee. The University of Western Australia have installed a live beehive in the venue and a commercial kitchen ensures the market’s inhabitants have space to trade and prepare their offerings.

Shelter Brewing Co has set up shop, and rumour has it there will be regular bike tours between the two venues. The market will bring together artisans, farmers, small producers and boutique WA products that wouldn’t otherwise reach a wide audience.

Origins Operations Manager Sam Moore says, “Busselton isn’t a place to bypass anymore. The market is a drawcard for visitors but also a place to gather for locals.”

Shelter’s head brewer, Jason Credaro, agrees. “The community aspect is vital. We grew up here and we want that feeling to come through what we’re offering.”

Whether you’re seeking a feast with a spectacular view, a plethora of craft beer, or a delectable hand-held breakfast en route to the wineries, Busselton is flourishing in its food renaissance and won’t disappoint.

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