Hunter Valley restaurants for the ultimate foodie trip

One of Australia’s undisputed wine capitals also proves to have some of the best eateries in the world too!

While widely regarded for its wine, the Hunter Valley has emerged as a mecca for some of the best places to eat at too. With a diverse, delicious selection featuring all manner of cuisines, there’s something to excite and enchant everyone’s tastebuds here. There’s Mediterranean and contemporary Australian and everything in between, and virtually all of them have thriving business ties with the local produce vendors so it’s assured that you’ll eat the best food and drink the best wine. You can’t complete a trip without a visit to a couple of the award-winning vineyards scattered about. So, let’s take a look at the best eateries on offer. Feature image: Margan Restaurant

Hunter Valley restaurants


Restaurant Botanica

Nestled amongst its private vineyards and offering gorgeous panoramic views that extend out to the Brokenback Range, the award-winning Restaurant Botanica is the perfect setting for any star-crossed lovers’ dinner. Utilising its own garden of exquisite fruit and vegetables, the restaurant offers an eye-popping menu that focuses on the unique seasons of the Hunter Valley, paired with some of the best wines the area has to offer. A must for foodies that love an intimate and peaceful setting. 555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin NSW


Bistro Molines

With an appreciation for local produce and a passion for producing delicious food, no trip to the Hunter Valley would be complete without a lazy lunch at Bistro Molines. Owner Robert Molines has always retained his French roots in the exquisite dishes he produces, creating a menu that seamlessly blends delicious and distinctly French cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients. If you’re ready for noms overload you now have the place to set your sights on! Tallavera Grove, 749 Mount View Road, Mount View NSW


Margan Restaurant

Founded with the “estate made, estate grown” ethos at the forefront of Lisa Margan’s mind, the magnificent Margan Restaurant has gone on to become a pioneer of agri-dining within the Hunter Valley. With all ingredients harvested from its own one-acre orchard and garden, Margan Restaurant offers an exquisite array of seasonal-focused dishes. And since it’s attached to the established Margan winery, the restaurant has every aspect of an unforgettably delicious meal covered for you. 1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke NSW


Two Fat Blokes

Perched overlooking the gorgeous greenery that is the De Iuliis Winery, Two Fat Blokes is the ideal place for families, couples or anyone else to relax and indulge in the cornucopia of food and wine goodies it has. The deli adjacent has the romantically-inclined folk sorted, allowing you to ready all you need for a picnic within the rows of vines spread across the property. There are tours to be had, beautiful sights to be seen and oh so much tasty, tasty food to gorge on! De Iuliis Wines, 1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW


The Smelly Cheese Shop

With a cute name that leaves no ambiguity about what kind of goodies await you, The Smelly Cheese Shop is the foremost purveyor of cheese within an area renowned for its cheeses. With a cafe offering a showcase of its wide selection, there’s obviously cheese tastings to book (and be sure to book – they are highly sought after) but also, beyond its namesake, it is home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company. Come and peruse the huge collection of cheese, brunch or lunch within the family-friendly cafe and enjoy all the out-of-this-world food it has to offer. Hall Of Food, Roche Estate Complex, 2144 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW


Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar

What began as the pipe-dream for Sydneysiders Fernando and Renata Antao has developed into one of the most sought-after dessert eateries in the food-haven that is the Hunter Valley. Priding itself on its signature dishes, with recipes perfected over generations, Sabor in the Hunter is an essential stop for anyone with a sweet tooth and, to enhance the already sky-high level of awesomeness, it combines its selection of desserts with local award-winning wines. Brilliant! 2342 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW


Amanda’s On The Edge

As its name would suggest, Amanda’s On The Edge is located at the peak vantage point overlooking the magnificent Windsor’s Edge Vineyard. Here you can expect the very best of locally-sourced produce turned into the very best cuisine. And during the summer months, why not take full advantage of your breath-taking surroundings by dining alfresco in the adjacent gardens or relaxing on the sun-burnished verandah? Now that’s the best way to enjoy dinner! 1039 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW


Circa 1876

Rightfully earning its reputation as an iconic establishment in the Hunter Valley, dining at Circa 1876 is doing so in absolute luxury. Located far away from the hustle and bustle of city life in an idyllic tree-lined retreat, you’ll be seated in the restaurant’s sumptuously appointed dining hall complete with glass chandeliers and be treated to a scrumptious meal fit for royalty. Marvel at the furnishings as you salivate over the food placed before you and rest easy knowing that all is well and that a memory has been forged to last a lifetime. 64 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW



Located deep within the very heart of the Hunter Valley wine region lies Emerson’s, an eatery that will tantalise the tastebuds of any who grace it with their presence. Having established strong ties with the superlative produce sellers located within its vicinity, Emerson’s is the perfect setting for any occasion, be it a chilled late-week lunch or an intimate, contemporary Australian cuisine dining experience on a dusk-glazed evening. 492 Lovedale Road, Lovedale NSW


The Cellar Restaurant

Located smack-bang in the middle of Pokolbin, The Cellar Restaurant is the leading purveyor of Mediterranean-themed food within the broader Hunter Valley area. Much like in Tuscany, there is an appreciation for the fantastic climate, thus dining fresca is the name of the game. Seated in plush comfort, you’ll dine on a tantalising selection of all things delicious. With an emphasis on providing an intimate setting within an elegantly furnished space, The Cellar is perfect for families and couples looking to ease the evening away in food-stuffed luxury. Hunter Valley Gardens Village, Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW



Having rightfully garnered the prestige of being one of the Hunter Valley’s go-to nightspots, Goldfish is the perfect place to dedicate a night to great eating accompanied by the sipping of great cocktails. What better way to spend a weekend away than basking in your company’s attention in such a cool setting, as the ambient jazz washes over you and yours? Come for the tasty dishes and to-die-for cocktails, stay for the atmosphere – be a part of the rich night-life. Corner of Broke & McDonald Roads, Hunter Valley NSW


Fratelli Roma

Distinguishing itself as one of the preeminent purveyors of mouth-watering Italian cuisine is Fratelli Roma. The guys behind the dishes are gurus of some of the most amazing delicacies from the old country, including gnocchi, veal scaloppine, tiramisu and plenty more guaranteed to unleash many a tummy rumble. With an emphasis on enjoying a meal together, this is a haven for families who seek to enjoy one another’s company in a rich atmosphere full of laughter and happiness. Bellissimo Mangiare! 305 High Street, Maitland NSW


Cafe Enzo

A charming little place with a faithful Tuscan-villa theme, Cafe Enzo is one of the best places to brunch in the entire Hunter Valley. Wander around and marvel at the magnificent furnishings, including an antique 18th-century fireplace, before tucking into your hearty breakfast, brunch or lunch. Cafe Enzo is suitable for families and couples looking for an easy-going start to another glorious day exploring the wonders of the Hunter Valley. Broke & Ekerts Roads, Pokolbin NSW


EXP. restaurant

EXP. restaurant sets itself apart by striving to provide an interactive and enjoyable EXPerience (punny!). EXP., headed by head-chef and owner Frank Fawkner, does all that it can to make sure you leave with a tummy full of deliciousness and a head full of memories. Afterwards, recline in the chic dining room as you are treated to its array of wines straight from Oakvale Winery. 1596 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW


Bistro Vinden

As one of the pioneers of alfresco lunch, Bistro Vinden offers meals on verandahs overlooking the vineyards. The team focuses on providing a fantastic experience through a picturesque setting and some of the best seafood, among many other culinary delights. Come, recline and fine dine! 138 Gillards Road, Pokolbin NSW


Wollombi Tavern

Found within the historically-rich Wollombi, the Wollombi Tavern itself is a historic site, offering a chance to rub shoulders with the locals and have even the hungriest tummies satisfied with its delicious, hugely-portioned meals. This is the go-to for an authentic experience and food that is equally delicious and affordable. Take the family and wander around, taking in the gorgeous sights as you ease yourself out of a food coma. Not to be missed! 2994 Great N Road, Wollombi NSW


Il Cacciatore

The foremost authority on authentic Northern-Italian cuisine, the award-winning Il Cacciatore is located within the stunning Hermitage Lodge. Here you’ll find eye-popping specialities utilising the finest white truffles, parmesan cheese and ham and barolo that the North is world-renowned for, all washed down with a selection of Chianti wines. Catering to those with a taste for lovingly made Italian dishes, all ages are welcome. 609 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW


Hunters Quarter

This is a stand-out in an area internationally known for its unbelievable food. As the veritable high-end restaurant with head chef Brian Dennings at the helm, Hunters Quarter provides foodies with the holy grail of deliciousness. Showcasing the very best meats and seafood blended with the out-of-this-world local produce, no trip to the Hunter Valley can be classified as complete without a visit to Hunters Quarter. Be sure to book well in advance to avoid missing out. 576 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin NSW


Worn Out Wares

Great cafes that truly radiate a chilled and inviting atmosphere are hard to come by these days. Look no further than Worn Out Wares, a quaint little place that offers staples of delicious Australian breakfast and brunch, presented by a team of friendly faces to make you feel at home. Bring the family, settle in and enjoy the small-town hospitality. 41-43 George Street, Singleton NSW

Food tours and cooking classes

Naturally, a haven for professionally created food masterpieces should also have a wealth of classes for us amateur cooks to test our skills and learn the culinary ropes. From beginner to intermediate and advanced, to someone that’s prone to burning toast, all are welcome in these friendly, easygoing environments. Embark on your journey to becoming Australia’s next masterchef in these superb locales.

Hunter Valley and gardens day tour from Sydney
Hunter Valley and gardens day tour from Sydney


Full-day food and wine tour in Hunter Valley
Full-day food and wine tour in Hunter Valley


Luncheon-helicopter flight with wine tasting in Hunter Valley
Luncheon-helicopter flight with wine tasting in Hunter Valley

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Samuel Elliott

Having been blessed with finding myself in the Finder flock, I have been learning the ropes here while continuing my writing outside. Check out my author page for excerpts of my latest novel - 'Milan Milton: Heiress'

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