The Best NSW Destinations For Great Foodie Eats
By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist
Sydney is teeming with world-class restaurants and trendy foodie hot spots, but if you want to get a taste of gourmet cuisine made with love, you need to head for the hills! Regional NSW is blessed with destinations that are famous for their produce, whether it's wine, cheese, honey, truffles organic veg or a combination of all these things. Here are our favourite destinations with a flourishing regional food scene that you can add to your next family road trip...
The little town with heart was recently voted best food and wine destination in Australia by Booking.com! The area has transformed from a mining town into a place that is pretty much synonymous with gourmet foodie delights. Its gorgeous rolling hills of grape vines, rustic cafes and hatted restaurant, the Zin House have well and truly put it on the map. Combine a visit to a cellar door and lunch among the vineyards at Cucina di Lusso, Moothi Estate, Lowe Winesand Blue Wren, and taste local handmade cheeses and boutique wines at High Valley Wine and Cheese Co. At just 3.5 hours from Sydney, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway (sans kids).
Hot on Mudgee's tail is Orange, which is rapidly becoming a foodie destination in its own right. Orange is known as Australia’s Colour City and in the last 20 years has developed a wine-growing community, now with over 80 vineyards. If you want a taste of Orange on a plate, head to Percy's Bar and Kitchen where you can choose from ever-changing menu of the area's best produce in share plate form. It's just 3 ½ hours from Sydney - we recently took a weekend road trip to Orange with the kids and loved it!
Known for its cool-climate wineries, acclaimed restaurants, and classic country pubs, the splendid Southern Highlands is an easy road trip out of Sydney (just 90mins) for gourmet explorers. Speciality produce worth travelling for include Angus beef, goats, Toulouse geese, Wessex saddleback pigs, yabbies, cheeses, olives and olive oil, truffles, berries and cherries, and pome fruits. And with over 60 wineries, it's worth checking into a boutique b&b and making a weekend of it. On your way home, make sure you drop into the legendary Robertson Pie Shop for their famous Beef Burgundy pie.
Before you knock the 'Cenny Coast' for being nothing but surf beaches and hamburgers, know that the area has a burgeoning food scene! A lot of chefs and growers are moving out of the big smoke and setting up shop on the coast. Places like the Darlinghurst fave, Pocket Bar which is now serving cocktails in Terrigal; the foodie art hub Like Minds which focuses on organic, sustainable produce; the Glass Onion Society at Long Jetty for great coffee and their famous Bubba Gump Shrimp Salad and Bombini (pictured) a classy but casual Italian restaurant known for its delicious cured ocean trout in prosecco. Also worth dropping into is the Tame Fox in Erina which has great food, large open spaces, and a petting zoo for kids with a miniature pony, goats and miniature pigs!
Cowra is home to not only gorgeous canola fields but also some of the most exceptional wine tasting experiences in NSW. From garage cellar doors to exquisite vineyards, the area is famous for its red, particularly their Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. The region is also famous for The Quarry Restaurant which was awarded best food at a Cellar Door in the Cowra/Canowindra region for 2016 by Gourmet Traveller Wine. The region boasts that it has some of Australia’s best lambs and cattle produced here - so try the lamb with your red!