The Best Restaurants You Will Find Outside of Sydney

best restaurants outside of sydney
Photo: @@rosielong.photography

Sydney is bursting with trendy, world-class restaurants, but so is the rest of the state. From the southern tablelands to the seaside towns serving salt air, within an hour Sydneysiders can find themselves immersed in a new world—and new food.

In the Blue Mountains, travellers will find the best pies and glasshouse cafes, whereas the southern highlands has their own calibre of fine dining establishments and casual cafes.

Get the car ready and take a road trip to find the best restaurants outside of Sydney.

best restaurants outside of sydney
Photo: @rosielong.photography

The Agrestic Grocer

This grocer cafe-hybrid also serves as a cellar door for Badlands Brewery and is one of the best places to grab breakfast. Whether you’re just passing by or have an hour to spare, the bacon and egg roll is a classic and a must. It comes with a chilli jam that you can buy from the grocer. They even have live music some nights. This is where you will find the locals on a Friday night.

best restaurants outside of sydney

Sorensen’s Glasshouse and Gardens

This glasshouse cafe is exactly what it says. The glass walls and interiors are made for Instagram, although the food is also up to par—a rarity when it comes to novelty cafes. From ricotta hotcakes to a healthy harvest bowl, this cafe is great for stopping into on your way up to the mountains or back down to Sydney.

best restaurants outside of sydney

Cafe 2773

Every weekend locals flock to this casual cafe, which is a good indicator that this is the place to be. Spend the day with friends and family munching on woodfire pizza or massive burgers. By night, the cafe turns into a restaurant, offering a romantic ambience. The all-day breakfast menu is always a winner, or for dinner try the baked garlic and rosemary camembert.

best restaurants outside of sydney


Inside this striking heritage-listed sandstone cottage is an award-winning French restaurant. Opened in 2003, Eschalot is still a favourite among locals and visitors. The gin cured King salmon is a winner and the dukkah crusted lamb shoulder will warm even the coldest of days in the area.

best restaurants outside of sydney


People are curious why a big-name chef decided to set up shop in a sleepy town, but for the renowned chef, Bee Satongun, Mittagong is home. Known for its exceptional dining experience in Bangkok, Paste is worth the 1hr 30-minute drive. Nothing bad can be said about this place and every dish is executed with flavour and finesse. Make this your priority on a visit to the Southern Highlands.

best restaurants outside of sydney
Photo: @davidgriffen

Rick Stein at Bannisters

Mollymook and Port Stephens
Whether you’re in Mollymook or Port Stephens, a Rick Stein venue is always a good idea. The seafood is the star of the menu. Expect local, freshly caught fish and shellfish, accompanied by wines by the glass or bottle. The cocktails are also great for those balmy summer afternoons.

best restaurants outside of sydney


The Hunter Valley has more than just great wine. Muse is a popular restaurant, serving farm to table dishes, using local produce. The husband and wife team behind the restaurant love good food and they serve it up like art. Expect a four course format with standouts including the pork or wood-fired kangaroo. The desserts are also a showstopper.

best restaurants outside of sydney


Newcastle West
Subo serves a seasonal five-course menu like you’ve never had before. They focus on interesting bistro food in a classy but casual setting. While the menu changes often, think beef cheeks with Jerusalem artichokes, tortellini, and an assortment of treats to start.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.