On weekdays there is only one option to purchase food on Cockatoo Island (Dec 2016) and that is the oddly named Societe Overboard just by wharf where you will have disembarked the ferry. At weekends the Marina Café (on the other side of the small island) opens. As I was, on this occasion, visiting during the week I didn’t have an opportunity to try out the Marina Café. If it is on a par with the Societe Overboard I am glad I didn’t.
The Island Bar which seems to focus on drinks, cocktails to the fore, and pizza and creating a Caribbean island atmosphere in Sydney Harbour also opens limited hours towards the end of the week, on weekends and public holidays though it is completely closed during winter (which to remind my Northern Hemisphere reader runs from May to September).
Anyway back to Societe Overboard.
For some reason I expected a rather sophisticated café with good food and nice views out onto the harbour. What I found was a hole in the wall burger joint, grubby outdoor seating area set back sufficiently far from that waters edge such that the view was non existent and to top this all off, overpriced and poor quality food.
Everyone else there (and there were quite a few given the lack of alternatives) perhaps knew something I didn’t and were just eating portions of chips – which, for A$6.50, looked small. I decided to try their savoury pastry and a coke zero (beer and wine is also available).
The coke zero was fine while the savoury pastry, the contents of which I have now forgotten, was dry and tasteless and only made endurable by the liberal coating of tomato sauce which I applied. The pastry was also a rip-off at A$7.50. While the menu stated that extra sauce was 30c the good lady gave me two sachets without additional charge – perhaps this is deemed the standard requirement for their dry savoury pastries!
If you come here expecting and accepting of high priced and very pedestrian quality food (and sometimes I am happy with that if I am too lazy or don’t have time to pack a picnic or the like) then Societe Overboard fills a role. If you have time/ energy then bring your own food and enjoy a picnic anywhere on the island which does, elsewhere, afford great views. Note that alcohol cannot be brought onto the island though it can be purchased at Societe Overboard.
Alternatively, as it takes a maximum of 2-3 hours (assuming a high level of interest) to see everything on the Island, eat before you arrive and/or after you leave.
Opening Hours which are weather dependant (Sept 2017):
Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 6:00pm
It is highly unlikely you would consider visiting Cockatoo Island solely to eat here so I shall leave details about how to get to the island to my main Cockatoo Island review, where you will see (when I write it !) I do recommend visiting the island, for reasons other than its epicurean delights.
Favorite Dish: None
Address: Cockatoo Island, Sydney