Foodie weekends: Share Plate in the Blue Mountains
It's easy to forget how close great regional spots are. Just two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is an outdoor wonderland - with a food scene to match!
On top of spectacular trails and hikes, you can easily find great spots to eat and drink throughout the villages that dot the area. Here's our perfect Blue Mountains foodie weekend!
Need to organise an amazing place to stay? We have you covered...
Megalong Valley is a spectacular backdrop. If you've ever been to the Hydro Majestic, you'll know how sweeping the view is. Driving down the winding road through the brush of rainforest, Foy's Folly is a contemporary home on the valley floor.
Located on a working cattle farm, the private setting gives 360 degree views of the valley escarpment. The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful.
Inside, the luxury house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, outdoor BBQ, large rear deck and internal fireplace.
Stylish touches throughout complement the interior, and the deep master bath with full windows overlooking the valley is a perfect spot to wind down.
Book through the Foy's Folly website, or Airbnb:
Who doesn't love that feeling of packing the car ready for a long weekend? Dads, maybe - but they're happy as soon as that last perfectly placed piece of luggage is stacked tetris-style into the boot.
If you're heading west from Sydney, just after crossing the Nepean River you'll go by Glenbrook - where you should absolutely stop for brekky at Kickaboom.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Kickaboom has a fun menu filled with items you would head out for - not necessarily cook at home. With the idea of serving the local community something a bit different, the minimalist interior and pops of colour coming out of the kitchen add up to a relaxed space, great for a weekend stop with your partner.
- Fried chicken. For breakfast. Because why the hell not.
Once the first scenic drive is done and you're all checked in, you'll need a tidy spot for lunch and dinner... or maybe you'd prefer to buy some local produce and cook up a storm in the kitchen?
Leura Garage, Leura
The newest addition to the Leura Garage team is Chloe - not a human, but a large composter, available to the public, who is aiding in the aim for Leura to become the first village in Australia to eliminate all restaurant food waste from landfill. A singular mission from owner James, who is always on the lookout to reduce the café's carbon footprint.
Housed in an old mechanics workshop, items from the previous tenants have stuck around to provide interior decoration - like the bar, which used to be a car hoist. This environmentally conscious crew have a range of seasonal, locally sourced produce on the menu, giving you a taste of the Blue Mountains with every meal.
- We couldn't go past the pork sausage wheel, served with crispy potatoes, caramelised onion and sauerkraut.
Blue Mountains Food Co-Op, Katoomba
The Blue Mountains Co-Op is owned and managed by it's not-for-profit member base which now sits near 3,000 - a great growth since their inception in 1981.
Providing support regularly to community groups, it offers philanthropic programs, food vouchers and cash donations to those in need. Ten per cent of its annual surplus is donated to environmental, social justice and food related organisations. A great sense of welcoming community is apparent as soon as you walk through the door.
With regular deliveries every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, plus a host of other essentials (such as beans, rice, dried fruits, pasta, bread, honey and flour), it's a fantastic place to stock up on healthy food items.
Lyttleton Stores Co-Op, Lawson
A shining example of what a local community can grow into with support and enthusiasm - Lyttleton Stores is more of a hub than a co-op.
Multiple spaces make up Lyttleton:
- An organic grocery store using regenerative producers (PanTree Produce);
- An artisan store which exhibits hand-crafted pieces from environmentally aware local designers (Atelier);
- A workshop space with skills sharing classes such as baking bread, weaving baskets, preserves, permaculture and more (Preserve);
- And the commercial kitchen, with an in-house chef cooks for the shelves from surplus shop produce, avoiding food waste (Lyttleton Kitchen).
Plus there is the Lyttleton Gardens, a small patch next door hosting edible gardening workshops to show you how much a well maintained backyard can produce. Phew!
A wide-open Saturday is a blessing. Cosy breakfast, lazy lunch, a wine filled afternoon, stylish dinner, late night drinks – there's an option for every preference.
Anonymous Cafe, Blackheath
A café that would easily slot into Melbourne or Sydney - Anonymous is a standout. Full of hearty dishes, the menu is seasonal and uses locally sourced ingredients.
Campos Coffee, organic juices, kombuchas and a very impressive tea list round out the available drinks. The interior isn't huge, but it doesn't need to be - the constant hum gives the place a nice warmth, busy without being stressed.
Their newer sister café Synonymous is also producing the same quality right near the Hydro Majestic.
- Their Reuben toastie with home made sauce. It took everything we had not to order it again and again.
The Potager, Mount Tomah
Situated at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, the Potager is part of a plan to create a one-stop destination celebrating brilliant views, local farm produce and the gardens themselves. It succeeds on every point.
The beautifully styled outdoor space is a great backdrop for the menu items. Loaded banana bread, frutilicious pancakes and freshly baked oven treats make up up the morning shift. For lunch, there's wild mushroom risotto, veggie patch salads and Potager pot pies, all looking and smelling fantastic as they are brought to diners.
On the weekends, a local produce tasting board pairs perfectly with the local Hillbilly Cider from Bilpin. Have a wander around the beautiful gardens, then celebrate your active self with a sit-down treat.
- The veggie patch salad seemed appropriate, considering where we were!
Dryridge Estate, Megalong Valley
The Blue Mountains isn't renowned for it's wineries, though Dryridge Estate may change that perception over the coming years.
Halfway through a decade of ownership, Emma and Simon took over the property in 2015 and have kept things mostly the same - easy to do when the cellar door overlooks such stunning views.
There is a nice range of products, with the Pinot Gris and Tempranillo standouts. This boutique vineyard is definitely a good stop when in the area.
- The 'Theodore' Tempranillo is a nice medium red drop, sitting in between a Merlot and a Cab Sav. Think a Spanish version of a Sangiovese, with an Aussie twist, and you've got it!
Serving Japanese inspired fare using local seasonal produce, Fumo's cosy interior centers around a century old Scotch oven which also warms the dining room through those cold Blue Mountains winters.
Intimate without being cramped, this is fine food without the fine dining tag, and all the better for it.
- The pot-roast oyster blade beef with Asian mushrooms and a fragrant Szechuan pepper sauce is a ridiculously good winter combo.
Cinnabar Kitchen, Blackheath
The Cinnabar mission is to take you around the world in one sitting - which reminds me of a certain Dream Café from Seinfeld (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUPH5OhXC1A) - but thankfully what you get with Cinnabar is a class experience.
Mary-Jane and Corinne are no strangers to the Blue Mountains dining scene, having operated Ashcroft's for over a decade and bringing multiple hats to the area. Share plates offer eclectic continental tastes: Jamaican spiced prawn pots; Tunisian pork balls in saffron tomato broth; Hungarian chicken paprikas with sour cream.
There's a lot of variety, but everything is handled well, and together the experience works very nicely inside the warm, cosy space.
- Poached spinach & ricotta dumplings in blue silk sauce - the sauce is as good as it sounds.
Champagne Charlie's, The Carrington, Katoomba
The Blue Mountains only cocktail bar might easily lose focus with no competition - but the service and the drinks from Champagne Charlie's are held to a high level.
The Art Deco Carrington Hotel is filled with design details that take you back to the Roaring 20s - and Champagne Charlie's reinforces that classy old-school vibe.
- The Katoomba Brewing Co has their tap releases here which are well worth sampling.
Sundays are for wandering. There's plenty more to do and see - these spots are perfect for a late brunch before heading home again.
Blackheath Farmers Market
A bustling market held every month rain, hail, snow or shine, it's a great representation of the strength of community in the Blue Mountains.
With over 60 stalls, it's a constantly evolving providore with every item you could think of: free range eggs? Check. Local olive oil? Check. Wine and beer? Check. Delicious cheese? Check!
The best part is the stallholders themselves - always friendly, up for a chat, and delighted to see both new and old faces.
- Grab a Babushka Bagel as you wander round, and make sure to pick up some local produce - the quality from these market gardeners and farmers is fantastic.
Held at the corner of Great Western Highway & Gardiner Crescent, Blackheath, every second Sunday of the month.
Double Ristretto, Springwood
A ristretto is the creamy first half of an espresso. Each coffee from Double Ristretto is, yep, you guessed it: two hits of that creamy caffeinated goodness.
A passion for wholefoods means there are always gluten free, dairy free and vegan options on the rotating menu, which does simple things VERY well.
Whether passing through or staying nearby, Double Ristretto makes a great case to keep coming back!
- The fluffiest buttermilk pancakes - topped with rosewater labneh, fresh fruit, maple syrup and roasted pistachios *chef kiss*
Yellow Deli, Katoomba
Yellow Deli (formerly the Common Ground) has a distinct team (https://twelvetribes.org/) behind the interior and food on offer, but that can distract from what is a one-of-a-kind, well run cafe with a lot of delicious food options to choose from.
Entering the custom all-wood café, the amazing space deserves a moment. Salads, soup and desserts are the order of the day, with a lot of health conscious options, including their signature "Green Drink". You also can buy bread and sugar that comes direct from the Twelve Tribes farms.
The Yellow Deli a unique spot, well worth a look.
- Their mango smoothie is amazing!