Bowral turns up the southern charm with exquisite gardens, grand estates, rolling vineyards, and shopping hotspots. Add a burgeoning café scene to the mix and you can see why people can’t get enough of this town. From organic sourdough to homemade pies and rustic coffee roasts, Bowral sure knows how to do cafe culture well. Here’s our pick of the best cafes in Bowral to satisfy your sweet and savoury tooth.
If you’re after a delicious breakfast that’s a tad more exciting than your run-of-the-mill bacon and eggs, ludo. will fit the bill. The newly renovated little blue house on Station Street is easy to miss as it’s easy to mistake it as someone’s home, but look beyond the pebbled driveway and weatherboard façade, and you’ll find a contemporary space (designed by Lucid Interiors) that’s a mix of modern country and Hamptons chic. The menu is as stylish as the decor, with head chef Carol Cawsey working her magic with scrumptious maple infused quinoa granola ($16) or potato rosti with maple chorizo, buttered kale, scrambled eggs and pecorino cheese ($18).
52 Station Street, Bowral
Flour, water and salt: three simple ingredients at first glance but used right and you can create something truly delicious. This is the philosophy of Bowral’s bread and pastry connoisseurs, Joost and Kirsty Hilkemeijer of Flour Water Salt. What started out as a home-run wholesale sourdough business progressed in leaps and bounds to become one of Bowral’s most popular bakeries/cafes, and one of three franchises dotted along Sydney’s coast. Joost and Kirsty still make their own sourdough with just three ingredients (you guessed it: flour, water and salt), as well as an array of drool-worthy pastries, baked treats, soups, pasta sauces, and some of the best gourmet pies around.
374 Bong Bong Street, Bowral
Elephant art on top of your coffee is just the start of the quirky experience you’ll encounter at Elephant Boy Cafe. Quaint, cosy and full of British colonial character, the vibe at Elephant Boy Cafe is welcoming to say the least. While not as contemporary as other Bowral hotspots, you can’t help but feel as though this humble teashop kick-started Bowral’s cafe culture. From the heaving bookshelves to the cosy couches up the back, vintage paraphernalia dotted about, hearty curries, famous pies and of course, the dependable coffee, everything about Elephant Boy Cafe is authentic. If you’re looking for a simple and wholesome café without the fluff and fuss, Elephant Boy Cafe is it.
329 Bong Bong Street, Bowral
One of the newest hotspots to hit the Bowral cafe scene, The Press Shop Cafe (part of Bespoke Letterpress) is a trendy cafe and couture stationery shop in one. Fashionably decorated in shades of pale blue, white and marble, and with elegant timber and brass embellishments, The Press Shop Cafe has the ambience of a chic French patisserie. While the menu changes regularly (sometimes on a daily basis) to reflect the best of Bowral’s produce, you can expect a mix of sweet and savoury treats such as couverture chocolate doughnuts, fluffy scones with jam and cream, toasted sandwiches, gluten-free cakes, vegetarian tarts, and moreish breakfast bowls. If you’ve got some time up your sleeve, venture to the rear of the cafe for a browse of Bespoke Letterpress’s vintage (we’re talking 18th century and still working!) presses and beautifully crafted stationery.
391-397 Bong Bong Street, Bowral
A stylish ambience with rustic modern cuisine is on the menu at Grand Bistro. Centrally located just off Bong Bong Street at the rear of the Grand Arcade, Grand Bistro’s breakfast service (until 12pm) is all about fresh produce and delicious breads. Nan’s housemade fruit toast with Pepe Saya butter and cinnamon sugar ($8.50) is a winner, or enjoy Baghdad eggs on toast with green pea hummus, pickled red onions, sumac, mint, tahini, and yoghurt ($17). For something hearty and nourishing, try their breakfast bowl of kale, quinoa, avocado, smoked salmon, herbs, and poached eggs ($22). If you’re stopping in for lunch, Damo’s famous 7-hour lamb sandwich ($17) is every bit as mouth-watering as it sounds.
The Grand Arcade, Bong Bong Street, Bowral
A cup of tea with a side of homemade scones, jam, and cream followed by antiquing – it doesn’t get more Bowral than at Dirty Janes Bowral. Named after Dirty Jane, an Irish orphan who was possibly one of the first traders in country NSW to sell second-hand treasures, the antique marketplace is run by father-daughter duo Athol Salter and Jane Crowley. If the name doesn’t intrigue you to stop by for a gander, the delightful Tea Salon certainly should. Serving a selection of light meals, homemade pastries, savoury treats, and their speciality, high tea, Dirty Janes Tea Salon is the perfect pit stop before venturing through the fascinating menagerie of vintage furniture, retro homewares and farmhouse finds Dirty Janes is famous for.
13-15 Banyette Street, Bowral
Part of the newly renovated The Acre precinct, Green Lane Bowral is a charming village square dotted with quaint cafés, homewares stores, a potting shed and delightful gardenalia. Harry’s on Green Lane, a cafe/bar that screams French country chic. Delight at the picturesque courtyard dining complete with wrought-iron bistro tables and chairs, or venture indoors and be transported back a few centuries by classic decor, bookcases groaning with vintage hardbacks, and walls covered in faded French prints. Harry’s on Green Lane is open daily from 10am to 3pm and serves coffee and delicious provincial cuisine. Green Lane Kitchen serves casual lunch and gourmet coffee amid the leafy botanicals, terracotta pots and country accoutrements that spill out of The Potting Shed next door. Chefs Jason Hughes and Ken Baker are at the helm of Green Lane Kitchen and serve hearty crowd-pleasers such as smoked brisket and succulent pulled pork.
15-17 Banyette Street, Bowral