Best Bites

Best Bites Food Awards Program

Mornington Peninsula Shire's food awards program – Best Bites -  assesses local food businesses on measures they are taking to provide safe and healthy food; use environmentally sustainable business practices; and provide safe and accessible food premises.

Businesses that meet the requirements will be featured in the Best Bites Food Guide and are eligible for the Best Bites Food Awards. All local food businesses can take part in Best Bites, and can to apply for assessment in the areas of:

  • Access for All
  • Nutrition & Healthy Eating
  • Waste & Recycling
  • Energy & Water Efficiency
  • Tobacco & Alcohol Compliance

The program was developed by a steering committee of food businesses, consumers and traders groups and included representatives from Peninsula Health, All Abilities Consultative Committee, Western Port Biosphere Reserve, Monash University, SecondBite, Heart Foundation, Mornington Peninsula Produce and Sustainability Victoria. 

2018 Best Bites Food Guide

The 2018 Best Bites Food Guide features the most outstanding food businesses on the Mornington Peninsula in the areas of nutrition, tobacco and alcohol, waste and recycling, energy and water efficiency and access for all.  The Shire and the All Abilities Consultative Committee has also created a video promoting accessible, safe and sustainable food businesses on the Mornington Peninsula.

The 2018 Best Bites Food Guide - which lists more than 400 local food businesses serving safe, healthy and sustainable food - is now available free from Shire customer service centres, libraries and tourism centres and online as a searchable directory at Best Bites Food Guide

Download: 2018 Best Bites Food Guide(PDF, 4MB)

Accessible Microsoft Word Version 2018 Best Bites Accessible Version.doc(DOC, 58KB)

2018 Best Bites Food Awards Winners Announced


Fork to Fork at Heronswood Dromana has won the Restaurant of the Year award at the Shire’s 2018 Best Bites Awards!


Merchant and Maker McCrae won the Café of the Year closely followed by Blue Mini Café in Rosebud as Highly Commended. The other category award winners were:


  • Innovation: La Casa Nostra Deli in Rosebud
  • Aged Care: Opal By The Bay Mt Martha
  • Bed and Breakfast: Sunnyside Up Bed and Breakfast in Rye
  • School Canteen/Child Care: Joint Winners - Balnarring Early Learning Centre and Tyabb Childrens Centre
  • Supermarket: Woolworths in Rye
  • Takeaway: Be Fit Food in Mornington
  • People’s Choice: Shazza’s Takeaway in Rosebud 

Finalists in each of these categories were judged by an independent panel to determine the award winners.


The award winners were presented with their awards on Monday 19 November by Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor David Gill at the RACV Cape Schanck Resort.


Mayor Councillor Gill congratulated all the winners and nominees of this year’s Best Bites Awards.


Best Bites winners and nominees set great examples for our local food industry by demonstrating safe and healthy food options using environmentally sustainable food practices in safe and accessible premises”.


Access recognition awards were also presented to the following premises by members of the Disability Advisory Committee:

  • Assaggini Mornington: Investigating Braille menus Alatonero: Basic Auslan & the Cheer Theory
  • Rare Hare @ Jackalope: Concierge available
  • Heronswood: Multiple Access Improvements
  • Blue Mini: Staff training & welcoming People with Disabilities

The finalists for the 2018 Best Bites Food Awards in the Restaurant category were:

  • Alatonero McCrae
  • Assaggini Mornington  
  • Heronswood Dromana  
  • Rare Hare@Jackalope Balnarring  

The Restaurant judges are Andie Murphy and Josh Pereira (Peninsula Health), David Garnock (Western Port Chamber of Commerce), and Claire Hogan (Disability Advocate).

The finalists in the other categories are:


  • Blue Mini Cafe Rosebud
  • Jacque's Cafe Hastings
  • Merchant and Maker McCrae
  • The Winey Cow Mornington
  • Wombat Dromana

Take Away:

  • Be Fit Food Mornington
  • La Casa Nostra Deli Rosebud
  • Shazza's Takeaway Rosebud
  • Zarb and Ru Rosebud


  • HomeGround Cafe Mornington
  • La Casa Nostra Deli Rosebud
  • Zarb and Ru Rosebud
  • Rye Hotel
  • Conscious Cravings Moorooduc
  • Seahorse Cafe, Seawinds Community Hub Capel Sound

School Canteen/Child Care:

  • Balnarring Early Learning Centre
  • Hastings Child Care 
  • Peninsula Grammar 
  • Tyabb Childrens Centre

Bed and Breakfast:

  • Harmony Bed and Breakfast Rye
  • Plantation House Rye
  • Sunnyside Up Bed and Breakfast Rye


  • Aldi Dromana
  • Ritchies IGA Dromana
  • Woolworths Rye

Aged Care:

  • Opal By The Bay Mt Martha

Meet the Best Bites Judges

Mornington Peninsula Shire, Peninsula Health and the Best Bites Steering Committee is committed to assisting food businesses and consumers through the Best Bites Food Guide and the Best Bites Food Awards.

An independent judging panel is in place for the 2018/19 Best Bites Food Awards including representatives from program partners and supporters including Peninsula Health, Western Port Biosphere Reserve, MP Tourism, All Abilities Consultative Committee, Sustainability Victoria, and Mornington Peninsula Shire.   The judges for each Best Bites category have great knowledge and experience in the program areas of access and inclusion, nutrition, tobacco control, and sustainability. All of the judges are volunteers who kindly donate their time and expertise to support Best Bites. Without their support the Best Bites Awards would not be possible    

The Best Bites Food Awards are on Monday 19th November 2018 at the RACV Cape Schanck Resort. The 2019 Best Bites Food Guide will also be launched during the Awards event.

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