The Southern Highlands has long been the favourite weekend escape for city-fatigued Sydneysiders, and with such lush scenery and charming towns to visit it’s no wonder why. There is so much on offer in this picturesque region, but the icing on the cake is the delectable dining scene that's awash with high calibre venues keen to lure in locals and visitors with menus packed full of homegrown goodness. The restaurants of the Southern Highlands mean business and foodies are reaping the rewards.
Whether you’re just passing through or making a weekend of it, when hunger calls, these are the places to go out of your way for.
Set in one of Southern Highland's most picturesque and historically significant buildings, Eschalot brings intimate dining and delicious Australian-French fare together. Settle in at a table in front of the fire or overlooking the gardens while tucking into a menu that's made mostly from ingredients grown on-site. The menus change with the season, delighting at all times of the day. Starting with breakfast (weekends only), before moving on to lunch, chef's choice, or if you are after something extra fancy, go all out with the six-course degustation menu.
24 Old Hume Highway, Berrima
This beautiful chic café on Moss Vale’s main drag is just the place to drop in to for an afternoon recovery session following a busy day trawling the area’s boutiques. Excellent coffee and a vast array of homemade treats sit temptingly along the counter. Take a little of this Southern Highlands restaurant home with you with something from their handsome range of pantry-fillers and gourmet gifts. The Merchant also provides a sought-after catering service, for those interested in a in-home dining experience.
405 Argyle Street, Moss Vale
A foodie destination that has put Moss Vale on the map, Birch is all about innovation and warm hospitality. The contemporary modern Australian menu is produce and technique-driven, meaning wherever possible the ingredients are sourced and made locally, and each dish is expertly crafted, which will have your insta-feed in a frenzy. Settle into this Southern Highland restaurant's exquisite dining room and experience Birch at its finest with their degustation menu.
2/249 Argyle Street, Moss Vale
Sitting on 200-acres, Bendooley Estate has built its reputation on dishing up produce sourced from local suppliers. The restaurant is housed inside the iconic Berkelouw Book Barn, renowned for its collection of new, second-hand, rare and antiquarian books – needless to say, this is a book lover and coffee aficionado hangout. They offer a lunch and dinner menu with a garden to plate ethos, while the Cellar Door offers wine-centred casual dining, ranging from finger food to something more substantial.
3020 Old Hume Highway, Berrima
Just like its interiors, there is a touch of grandness to this restaurant, living up to the Southern Highlands reputation as a culinary destination, Grand Bistro is not only the go-to caterer for weddings and events, they also have a brick and mortar along Bong Bong Street that dishes up rustic modern cuisine. Breakfast through to dinner, the Grand Bistro menu offers plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more.
The Grand Arcade, 295-297 Bong Bong Street, Bowral
Onesta Cucina is a family-owned Southern Highland restaurant that shines a spotlight on traditional Italian cooking while using the regions freshest ingredients. Set just off Bong Bong Street in Bowral village, Onesta Cucina is a long-time favourite that locals have been flocking to when craving pasta filled dishes. So, take our advice and go hungry, because the food is delicious.
5 Boolwey Street, Bowral
Hidden away from prying eyes within the secluded Milton Park Country House Hotel in Bowral, Horderns Restaurant is a fine dining experience with a French leaning. The grand hotel – once an impressive home – has been sympathetically restored and is now renowned for its elegant Southern Highland restaurant and excellent hospitality. And to add to the glitz and glam, a sommelier is on hand to match your meal with wines from their private cellar.
Milton Park Country House Hotel, Horderns Road, Bowral
With so many restaurants in the Southern Highlands with menus that change with the season, it's a foodie scene that you will keep coming back to year-round so that you can delight in the ever-changing flavours. And if you liked our edit of the best restaurant in the Southern Highlands, be sure to pop over to our foodie getaway guide to Berry.