The Outback, Broken Hill. Credit: Maxime Coquard;Destination NSW
View of New England. Credit: Destination NSW; Murray Vanderveer
Kiama, South Coast. Credit: Destination NSW; Murray Vanderveer
Best restaurants in NSW
Located in historic cottages, convict-built pubs, at the foothills of mountains and overlooking beautiful bays and beaches, NSW is home to award-winning fine dining experiences across all regions of the state. With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce, these innovative restaurants also place strong importance on sourcing from local suppliers, with many operating their own kitchen gardens.
NSW Culinary champions
With such fertile and diversely beautiful countryside and produce, the title for regional New South Wales' most appealing restaurant is as hard to pick - as is the region with the best food and wine. The only solution is to explore all of Regional NSW and taste all that it has to offer.
The Hunter Valley has long been one of NSW’s best known and highly regarded food and wine regions, with good reason. The acclaimed Bistro Molines, defined by culinary trailblazer Robert Molines' signature Mediterranean fare amongst the rolling green vineyards, captures the tone. Margan Restaurant's seasonally inspired cuisine - see the chef gather sage leaves to flavour the pumpkin ravioli, or zucchini flowers to accompany the gazpacho with almonds - is matched with award wining wines. Muse Restaurant meanwhile continues to garner accolades with delicious and sophisticated French-inspired dishes.
The South Coast food and wine scene also offers enviable options. At Milton, just outside Ulladulla you’ll find St Isidore, run by talented young chef Alex Delly. Working with “happy farmers, happy free-ranging animals and produce grown with a little bit of love,” Delly offers everything from a classic rib-eye steak with onion rings and horseradish to snapper with Thai-inspired son-in-law eggs, green papaya and chilli. Wollongong’s French culinary gem Caveau is known for its inventive degustation menu. Head to the charming town of Berry for fresh, unpretentious fare at South on Albany. And in Mollymook, internationally renowned chef Rick Stein and his team continue to make waves with their excellent seafood at Rick Stein at Bannisters.
Nearby in the Southern Highlands, Biota Dining in Bowral creates its own atmosphere, and is one of the best-reviewed regional restaurants in the country. Its lush grounds create an elegant backdrop for daring menus where smoked hen, creamed corn and grains or kangaroo with artichokes and garlic scapes are a safe bet. In nearby Berrima you’ll find the sandstone food temple of famed eatery Eschalot, with its seasonal, French-Australian masterpieces.
Subo, meanwhile, is a beacon of good taste on a quiet stretch of city street in downtown Newcastle. Chef Beau Vincent creates adventurous dishes such as duck from Young braised with soy and native Davidson Plum paired with cherry and sesame, or raspberries with pistachio sponge cake and licorice ice-cream, while Suzy Vincent selects the best wine pairings from the Hunter and beyond. Pearls on the Beach is a mainstay of the Central Coast dining scene. And at Cottage Point Inn in the Hawkesbury, top-flight chef Guillaume Zika serves contemporary eats such as butter-poached fish with gnocchi, capers and kale or smoked pork belly with black garlic, walnuts and grapefruit jelly. Three Blue Ducks, set on a beautiful farm near Byron Bay, also produces some spectacular and innovative modern Australian cuisine.