Things to do in Bowral: A Foodie Getaway Guide

Bowral is a magnet for foodies. Truth be told, the town had the right ingredients all along: a cool climate, flourishing farms, and lush land that’s ripe for the picking (literally). Then there are the chefs and producers, some of whom grew up there and know the land like the back of their hand, and others who are taking full advantage of their treechange. In Bowral, you’ll fill up on rustic, home-style cooking that stars local produce. It’s the ultimate in paddock-to-plate dining.

Do yourself a foodie favour and eat at these spots on your next trip to Bowral.

BAKERIES

Flour Water Salt

The shelves of this Bowral bakery are lined with deliciously buttery pastries, as well as loaves of crusty sourdough – we suggest packing one for a picnic on Mount Gibraltar later.

FARMERS MARKETS

Bowral Public School Markets

Held on the second Saturday of each month, this is the Southern Highlands’ main produce market. Load up on fresh fruit and veg as well as handmade jams, cakes, condiments and preserves.

GROCERS

Harris Farm 

Just like the other stores dotted around Sydney and its surrounds, this Harris Farm is driven by local produce. It has close relationships with local farmers and producers, and the stock changes with the seasons. 

Il Topolino

At this friendly, family-run deli, you’ll find gourmet goodies from local growers, plus cold cuts, fresh fruit, cheese, olive oil and cakes. 

The Source Bulk Foods

The shelves here are piled high with every kind of health food imaginable, including nuts, seeds, protein balls and baking ingredients. In most cases, you can buy as much or as little as you want. 

The Organic Store

This health food store is full of seasonal fruit and veg, meats, bone stocks and broth, fresh bread, dairy products and fermented foods. It caters to gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo eaters, and there’s a nutritionist on hand to offer expert advice. 

Cheese Etc

A cheese lover’s idea of heaven, this small but carefully curated shop has everything from gouda to gruyere plus chutney and crackers. The cheesemonger, Hugh Nicholas, runs tastings and can help you to put together the perfect cheese platter. 

Hot Canary Gourmet Meats

This gourmet butchery sells a solid selection of fresh, free-range meat, along with in-house smoked smallgoods and dry aged beef.


RESTAURANTS

Onesta Cucina

Feast on hearty Italian food at this lively, family-run restaurant. Every dish proudly features fresh, regional produce. 

Biota

Treat yourself to a fine dining meal at the Highlands’ hatted – and arguably most iconic – eatery. Biota plucks produce straight from the region’s vegetable growers, dairy and livestock farms, and the best way to sample it all is by going for the 10-course tasting menu.

The Grand Bistro

This bistro serves up rustic, satisfying plates all day (the ricotta hotcakes and the 7-hour roasted lamb sandwich are musts!). It hosts pop-up restaurants from time to time, too, dishing up anything from Mexican to Asian food.

Eccetera

Do as the locals do and go to this trattoria for a traditional Italian meal (you can choose a set menu or order a la carte). Trust us when we say every woodfired pizza and homemade pasta pairs well with a glass of Italian wine.

Sol-Food

East meets West at this eatery, which whips up vegetarian fare with a Taiwanese twist. The team creates new plates all the time, so even if you’ve been before, chances are you’ll get to try something new.

Colosseum Pizza & Ribs

This restaurant is all about simple pleasures: gourmet pizzas, wings, ribs and pasta. It caters to vegetarians and gluten-free diners, and has a colourful array of gelato on offer for dessert.

Hickory’s Restaurant & Bar

Tucked inside Peppers Craigieburn, this restaurant is known for a few things: its ever-changing Modern Australian menu, its sustainability ethos, and its high tea. If the weather’s warm, enjoy it on the sunny terrace.

Horderns Restaurant

At the Milton Park Country House Hotel, this fine dining restaurant sticks to classic French food, and does it well. While you’re there, ask the sommelier to dip into the private cellar for the perfect drop.

The Bowral Brasserie

A little slice of Paris in Bowral, this brasserie has a tres bien menu of French food with a modern Australian influence.

Imperial Hotel

A crowd pleaser, this watering hole serves up gourmet pub grub and woodfired pizzas. On weekends, you can eat while listening to live music.

CAFES

Café Rosso

This local haunt scooped up the AGFG Reader’s Choice Award 2018, so you knowit’s good. Authentic Italian dishes and desserts sail out of the open kitchen all day. Café Rosso has a liquor license, but you can BYO on Thursday nights. 

2 Park Road

This gem of a café serves simple, fuss-free sandwiches and pre-made treats to eat in or take away. PS. Its ham off the bone is the best in the Highlands.

Rush Roastery

This boutique roastery is buzzing every morning of the week, and for good reason: it’s known for serving the best cup in town. 

Ludo

The interiors of this café are stunning – and the food is amazing, too. For brekkie and lunch, the chefs whip up creative dishes that go outside the box.

The Press Shop

This chic café is also a couture stationery store, so you can browse for gorgeous invites, cards and pens while sipping on a coffee.

Harry’s on Green Lane

 Part of the shiny new Acre precinct, this stunning, plant-filled space is a café by day and a wine bar by night.

Raw and Wild

A one-stop-shop for delicious and nutritious food, this café doubles as a market so you can stock up the same goodies you feasted on. Try the carrot pancakes!

Dirty Jane

This tea salon (and antiques shop) is famous for its high tea, where you can nibble on tiers of sandwiches and fluffy, homemade scones with freshly clotted cream.

Elephant Boy Café

Ask locals about the place that pioneered Bowral’s café culture, and they’ll say Elephant Boy. It’s known for its excellent coffee and pies, and there are books on the shelves, too.

Janek’s Café

To take your tastebuds on a trip around the world, head to Janek’s. The menu is inspired by the owners’ travels, and the coffee beans rotate all the time.

Hunger Therapy

Sometimes, you just need a burger. When the cravings hit, this casual eatery will satisfy them. All burgers are made with locally sourced meat and produce.

DESSERTS & SWEETS

Gumnut Patisserie

The line to this patisserie usually wraps around the block, but trust us when we say it’s worth the wait. The pastries are incredible.

Stones Patisserie

Master Patissier Mark Stone whips up a huge range of sweet treats, from chocolate cakes and tarts to croquembouche.

Ms Peacock Fine Chocolates

Tempt the chocoholic within you with Lisa Morley’s (aka Ms Peacock) handcrafted chocolates. She uses only the best French chocolate.

Bowral’s Sweets and Treats

This old-school confectionary store stocks a colourful array of chocolates and lollies from around the globe.

EXPERIENCES

Southern Highlands Food & Wine Festival

Every year, local producers and personalities come together to celebrate the region’s food and wine scene. Along with food stalls, the festival offers wine tasting, educational talks and live entertainment.

The Mill

On the third Friday of each month, this foodie hub hosts a Street Feast in its courtyard. You’ll dine on artisanal food, sip on local wine, and meet the farmers and growers.

Biota‘Gather & Cook Adventures.'

Sign up for this monthly workshop, and you’ll spend the morning with Biota’s chefs gathering – and learning about – fresh produce. You’ll then cook up your ingredients by the campfire.

The Cook’s Cooking School

The brainchild of a Bowral local, this cooking school has an impressive line-up of classes and guest teachers. There’s even a class for parents and kids – one of our top activity picks if you’re going on a family holiday to the Southern Highlands!

Tertini

Tertini makes small-batch, boutique drops, and has won awards for its pinot noir and Riesling. This vineyard is bursting with country charm, so make an afternoon of it.

Centennial Vineyards

On the outskirts of Bowral, this award-winning cellar door overlooks 80 acres of vineyards. Thanks to its cool climate, it produces rich, fruity varieties of chardonnay, Riesling and pinot noir. For the best experience, enjoy a long lunch at the on-site restaurant.

Highlands Food and Wine Tours

Get an insider’s peek at the region’s food and wine scene with these intimate tours. We like the Pamper Tour, which includes a massage/facial as well as a trip to four cellar doors, and the Truffle Tour.

Farm Club Australia

On Sundays, the farm opens to the public. Don’t leave without a ‘farm box’ filled with fruit and veggies, milk, butter, cheese, eggs and preserves.

Sara Jane Cleland Cooking

To learn how to cook healthy, balanced meals, turn to this local naturopath. She runs a range of fun cooking classes, on everything from raw and gluten-free foods to paleo and pescetarian eating.

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