Best Restaurants in NSW

A fine-dining affair

You don’t need a reason to visit regional NSW. But if you’re looking for one (or many), make it the state’s destination restaurants. Think dining rooms that not only come with dreamy backdrops, whether coastal or country. But also deliver a taste of place, hero-ing local producers, growers, makers and bakers.

Elegant dish made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients at Eschalot restaurant in Berrima, Southern Highlands in the Country NSW

Eschalot, Berrima

Fine-dining stars

The Good Food Guide is a bible for the food-obsessed, featuring reviews of outstanding restaurants around Australia – many of them in regional NSW. Establishments spotlighted include:

Many of the state’s top restaurants are committed to growing their own produce. Harvest is a restaurant, bakery and delicatessen in the historic village of Newrybar on the North Coast, which sources ingredients from its own gardens and surrounds. Chefs at Bells at Killcare on the Central Coast also pluck fresh produce from the on-site gardens.

Women enjoying a beverage at Harvest Cafe at Newrybar in Byron Bay, North Coast

Harvest Cafe, Newrybar

Blue Mountains

For farm-to-fork dining in the Blue Mountains, park yourself at Leura Garage. Chefs here have made a conscious choice to source every ingredient on your plate from within a 160-kilometre radius of the restaurant. Experience the beauty of Katoomba Falls and then enjoy fine dining at Darley’s inside boutique Lilianfels Resort & Spa 

Food and Wine at Leura Garage in Leura, Katoomba in the Blue Mountains

Leura Garage, Leura

Hunter Valley

Visit the Hunter Valley for the wines and stay for the exceptional food. Savour nuanced European-inspired cuisine overlooking a patchwork of fields at Bistro Molines – if you want to linger even longer, there’s a cottage to check in to. Head to EXP for a menu that is experimental and entertaining, but also delivers on flavour. Or enjoy pretty plates of mod-Aus fare with a view at Restaurant Botanica.

Lunch with scenic vineyard views at Bistro Molines, Hunter Valley

Bistro Molines, Hunter Valley

On the coast

When you’re on the North Coast, drop your line at Fins Restaurant & Bar in Kingscliff  for sustainable seafood in a seriously slick space. Next stop? The Stunned Mullet in Port Macquarie for ocean views and inspired dishes utilising local scallops, toothfish, prawns and more.

Then enjoy South Coast vibes at Valentina, a swanky seafood-focused restaurant in MerimbulaBangalay Dining in Shoalhaven Heads delivers dishes that infuse native ingredients wherever possible, like finger limes, wattleseed and quandong. There are rooms to check in to, if you can’t bear to leave. It’s a similar story at Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, where the ‘restaurant with rooms’ showcases the applauded British chef’s finest creations.  

Chef Brett Strong showcasing the local and native ingredients featured on the Bangalay Dining menu to patrons, Shoalhaven Heads

Bangalay Dining, Shoalhaven Heads

Country restaurants

Lunch at Sister’s Rock, just outside Orange in country NSW, offers a palpable sense of place, both in interior design and food. The restaurant overlooks pinot noir vines on Borrodell Estate, in the foothills of the ancient volcano of Mount Canobolas. The Zin House and Pipeclay Pumphouse in Mudgee also sit on vineyards, which means you can sip wines from the estate while enjoying flavour-packed meals – both establishments farm and grow much of the produce on your plate. Further north, Graze Restaurant at the Willow Tree Inn near Quirindi takes home awards for its steaks, the black angus beef raised locally and dry-aged in house.

Woman enjoying food and drink at The Zin House restaurant in Eurunderee near Mudgee

The Zin House, Eurunderee

The culinary team at the Smokehouse Restaurant at Poachers Pantry, a 30-min drive from Canberra – smoke and cure proteins in-house, while herbs and veggies are delivered straight from the gardens to the kitchen each day. Further south still in the Riverina region of the state, Magpie’s Nest grows almost all of its produce on its estate in Wagga Wagga – chefs even make their own olive oil.

The Three Blue Ducks’ paddock-to-plate concept has come to roost at the luxe Nimbo Fork fly-fishing lodge in the foothills of the Snowy Valleys. The team also have an outlet on The Farm in Byron Bay – be sure to book well in advance, as this place is seriously popular.

 

Regional restaurants in NSW

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