Best Bites Awards

2019 Best Bites Food Awards

Assaggini in Mornington has won the Restaurant of the Year award at the Shire’s 2019 Best Bites Awards! Closely followed by Hastings Marina Restaurant for Access and Inclusion and Hickinbotham of Dromana for Sustainability as Highly Commended.

The judges were very impressed by the Access and Inclusion offered at Hastings Marina Restaurant, and the sustainability approach adopted by Hickinbotham of Dromana. 

Blue Mini Rosebud and Store Fifteen in Mornington both won Café of the Year, with Laneway Espresso in Dromana as Highly Commended.

Café finalists were:

  • Cooee Café, Capel Sound
  • Merchant and Maker, McCrae
  • Pelikan Societe, Hastings 

The other category award winners are:


  • Joint Winners – Seahorse Café at Seawinds Community Hub in Capel Sound and Nordie Café, Red Hill
  • Highly Commended – Bays Hospital Mornington
  • Innovation Finalists were Tyabb Village Children’s Centre and Crib Point Early Learning Centre


  • Winner - Woolworths, Rye
  • Finalists were Ritchies IGA, Mt Eliza and Ritchies IGA, Sorrento

School Canteen/Childcare

  • Joint Winners – Tyabb Village Children’s Centre and Crib Point Early Learning Centre

Aged Care

  • Winner - The Bays Hospital in Mornington  

Bed and Breakfast

  • Winner - Sunnyside Up B&B in Rye

Winners, highly commended and finalists in each of these categories were judged by an independent panel to determine the award winners.

Best Bites is a Mornington Peninsula Shire, Peninsula Health and Disability Advisory Committee program recognising the most outstanding local food businesses in the areas of food safety, healthy eating, sustainability, reduction of tobacco/alcohol and access and inclusion.

The award winners were presented with their awards on Monday 28 October 2019 at the Casuarina Restaurant at Rosebud’s Chisholm Institute.

Best Bites Guide Case Studies

Awards were also presented to businesses that are participating in important case studies that are featured in the 2020 Best Bites Food Guide:

  • Cooee Café Capel Sound and Peninsula Health – Smoke free dining and Peninsula Health Smoke Free Charter
  • Recycle Right and Woolworths Rye – Recycling and litter prevention
  • HomeGround Café Mornington and Seahorse Café Capel Sound – Social Enterprise Cafes
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire and Sustainable Australia Fund – Environmental Upgrade Finance

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 helping with this year's Best Bites Food Awards including representatives from program partners and supporters including Peninsula Health, Disability Advisory Committee, Western Port Biosphere Reserve, Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism, 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.

Program Benefits

There are many benefits of being a part of this award winning program:

  • Free listing on the Best Bites web directory
  • Free listing on MPBusiness online
  • Window sticker and certificates recognising each Best Bites area your business achieves
  • Promotion through the printed Best Bites Food Guide – to be released very soon 

The Best Bites steering committee has also released case study videos of previous Best Bites Award winners, including this video from the Tyabb Village Children's Centre.

You can contact the Shire at or phone 1300 850 600 for more information.

Partners and Useful Links