April 6, 2019 / By Rosie Stevens
Aside from the obvious: fresh air, stunning mountainscapes, charming scenery and idyllic villages that feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, there’s another reason to make the Blue Mountains your next weekender—and it’s pretty damn tasty. The abundance of cafes and restaurants that have been born out of the tourist trade offer some excellent mountain-side eats that you need to check out. Here are my top picks.
Leura Garage (image above)
City slickers will feel like they’re at a home away from home at this trendy restaurant/bar eatery—located in the quaint town of Leura. The menu focuses on locally-sourced seasonal produce and boasts a range of small and large share plates, mains, pizzas and lunch items like sandwiches and burgers. Alongside the standard menu, there's also a tasting menu brimming with local delights, like the signature 1.2kg lamb shoulder that's 12 hours braised with a pomegranate glaze, baked camembert and truffle mash. Divine!
There’s a range of banquet menus that are perfect for dining in big groups and in a variety of sizes to suit how big your appetite is. And for the thirsty among you—rest assured that the wine list is equally as impressive as the food; featuring an esteemed collection of cool climate wines from Orange, Mudgee and the Central Ranges.
Where: 84 Railway Parade, Leura
When: Every day, 12.00pm 'til late
Another Leura gem, this red-door’ed cafe is an easy place to refuel after a long morning hiking (or relaxing—we won’t judge!) Their all-day breakfast is full of crowd-pleasers like French toast, bacon and eggs and omelettes, and their lunch menu is just as popular—filled with salads, baguettes, toasted Turkish sandwiches and more. Two of my favourites are the smoked rainbow trout salad with puy lentils, rocket, lemon and poached egg, and the zucchini and feta fritters with cumin yoghurt and mesclun salad.
Where: 134 Leura Mall, Leura
When: 7am - 3pm weekdays, 8am - 4pm weekends
Miss Lilian Teahouse (image above)
If you’re on the hunt for an Asian-style feast whilst you’re in the mountains, look no further than Miss Lilian Teahouse in Katoomba; the latest addition to the coveted Lilianfels group. Inspired by the cool climate and fresh air of the Blue Mountains, Miss Lilian infuses the finest regional produce with distinct aromas to create dishes inspired by the most warming and comforting foods in Asia.
From the delicate steamed dumplings, to the famous street noodles - the beef Pho, the seafood Laksa and the Wonton noodles, all are inspired by freshest local produce, garden grown herbs and rich authentic flavours served in a comfortable, colourful setting.
Where: 5/19 Lilianfels Ave, Katoomba
When: Every day, 11am - 8pm
Located in the tourist hotspot of Katoomba (home to the Three Sisters), Palette Dining is a slow-food emporium focusing on a philosophy of sustainability and unrivalled freshness and sourcing the majority of their ingredients from the greater Blue Mountains region.
Where: 92 Bathurst Rd, Katoomba
When: Wednesday to Sunday, check website for hours
Anonymous Cafe in Blackheath is a local institution that's passionate about fresh, seasonal ingredients and offering an ever changing menu full of fabulous food. Not happy with just one location, there's now Synonymous in Medlow Bath, spreading the goodness further.
Both offer a delicious breakfast menu with delights such as the breakfast burrito with braised beans, black rice, corn and chickpeas, tomato & coriander salsa, sour cream and a fried egg (Anonymous) or vegan and gluten free coconut & quinoa bircher, with raspberry & rhubarb compote, fresh berries and toasted nut crunch (Synonymous). And for lunch - try the Veggie burger with beetroot and chickpea patty, charred onions, tomato, fennel slaw, mayo and tomato chutney (Anonymous) or the warm salad of chorizo, pickled fennel, roquette, spelt, hummus & almond dukkah (Synonymous). Oh and their coffee is some of the best in the region. Cheers!
Where: 237-238 Great Western Highway, Blackheath
When: 7am - 3pm/4pm daily and from 7.30am on Sundays. Closed Tuesdays.
At the foot of the Blue Mountains, is a quaint little town that’s home to one of the region’s most popular cafes. Kickaboom brings a unique, quality focused cafe to the community, created through offering excellent specialty coffee, food and service. To whet your appetite there’s a delicious range of hot drinks available; boasting coffee from esteemed Sydney roaster Reuben Hills, alongside a speciality hot chocolate, turmeric, ginger and honey latte with house-made almond and macadamia milk, or a butterscotch latte.
The cafe’s unique Asian influence comes to the fore in their all-day lunch menu which offers dishes like a sticky pork bibimbap, a soba noodle bowl and a vegan miso eggplant toastie. If you’re after a something a little more run of the mill, the all-day breakfast menu plays host to some of the usual suspects; like poached eggs, a granola bowl and a good, old-fashioned eggs benedict.
Where: 1/6 Ross St, Glenbrook
When: 7am - 3pm weekdays, 7.30am - 3pm weekends
We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.