Blue Mountains, New South Wales © Destination NSW
The best restaurants and cafes in the Blue Mountains
Look beyond the purple-hued pinnacles of the Blue Mountains to find a food and drinks scene every bit as vibrant.
By Carla Grossetti
The Blue Mountains, about a one-hour drive from Sydney, has been luring out-of-town foodies since the late 1800s. And while the dramatic landscape (which was formed around one million years ago) will always take centre stage, today, the dining scene provides visitors with another opportunity to reset and escape. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink around the Blue Mountains.
"The food and drinks scene in the Blue Mountains provides visitors with another opportunity to reset and escape."
Best places for a Blue Mountains coffee
The great outdoors await. As does your latte with a double shot at Dbl Ristretto. Head to the Springwood café early to fuel up on a bowl of nourishing buckwheat porridge before you head into the sun-drenched local bushland.
On a Sunday, Anonymous Café feels like a church for a distinctly hippie-chic crowd who appreciate the absurdly good coffee and small, seasonal menu. Check the chalkboard on the wall of the light and bright dining room for daily specials such as wood-fired sourdough toasties stuffed with mushrooms and brie.
Kickaboom is where the cool kids go for a caffeine fix in Glenbrook – and for good reason. In addition to serving Reuben Hills specialty coffee, the café uses the very best produce when it’s at its peak. Kick off with a couple of Kicka favourites such as the Frankly’s Pastrami Toastie stuffed with dill pickles and pastrami.
Be sure to try: The Reuben at Dbl Ristretto stuffed with corned silverside, sauerkraut, pickles and gruyere cheese.
Best places for breakfast and brunch
Mountain High Pies is a must-stop spot in Wentworth Falls. Start the day with a rosemary and shiraz pie freckled with poppy seeds, or take the vegan route with a delicious satay, lentil and chickpea pie.
The Red Door Café holds plenty of appeal for the local brunch crowd who know to sidle past that beautiful red door to nab a table in the courtyard. Located in the pretty township of Leura, the café has quickly gained attention for its menu, with a number of delicious plant-based options.
The small township of Glenbrook has blossomed in recent years, so stop in for for feel-good food. Find a table in the rustic courtyard at 2773, a destination lunch spot where the ‘mountain mushies’ and ‘the man bun’ (bacon and egg burger) exceed expectations.
Be sure to try: A steak and mushroom pie with the hearty flavour of Guinness from Mountain High Pies.
Top spots for high tea
High tea at The Lounge at Lilianfels Resort & Spa is a leisurely afternoon treat. Wait until the clouds part and sunshine spills into the Jamison Valley and then sit back and contemplate the country life over cups of tea and trays of dainty finger sandwiches.
You won’t need to straighten your tie to take tea at the Everglades Tea Rooms, which is a decidedly casual affair. Sit under the trees in the pretty courtyard or beside the open fire inside Everglades Historic House & Gardens, which echoes of Art Deco. This 1930s mountain retreat is a drawcard for its gardens as well as its Devonshire tea.
The indulgent high tea on offer at the Hydro Majestic has been given a Shanghai twist, with tiered trays piled high with treats such as crispy duck, shiitake spring rolls, Chinese pork belly and prawn parcels. Sit in one of the Hydro Majestic’s original sofas in The Salon du The to be transported back to the 1900s when the historic hotel was the place to see and be seen.
Be sure to try: The Luxurious High Tea at the Hydro Majestic which includes a flute of Australian sparkling wine.
Restaurants with rooms
Amara chef Will Houia exalts vegetables over meat with a menu based on what he can source from Harvest Farms. A notable dish at the Spicers Sangoma Retreat restaurant turns an ingredient like beetroot into a big deal when served with a vegetable jus and horseradish snow. Make your getaway all-inclusive and book the Escarpment Suite with treetop views.
Darley’s Restaurant is a place where one glass of wine can quickly turn into a bottle while sitting around an open fire in the restaurant, which offers a lovely vista of the manicured gardens and mountains. Make a weekend of it and stay at Lilianfels, a lovely launchpad for exploring the mountains.
It’s all about the farm-to-fork menu at Embers Restaurant at Fairmont Resort and Spa. Sit beside the soaring windows to savour country classics such as braised beef cheeks with celeriac and maple roast roots beside the resort’s iconic stone fireplace.
Be sure to try: The Chefs Harvest Experience at Spicers Sangoma Retreat.