Fall into step with the flavours of the season. From breezy beachside bars to sun-dappled vineyards and places to stock up your picnic basket, here’s where to get your foodie fix this spring.
The forecast is sunny this spring with vibrant wining and dining experiences that shrug off the grey of winter and make the most of the season.
Cafe dining is a national pastime in Australia and springtime makes the proposition of embracing an early morning outing all the more inviting.
Hazelhurst Cafe screams spring, with bunches of blooms, pots of upturned paint and trailing plants setting the scene for the colourful cafe, an offshoot of Hazelhurst arts centre, in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
Indulge yourself with sweet treats at Hazelhurst Cafe.
Sit on a lipstick-pink table on the terrace to enjoy a light lunch of crispy duck salad, spritzer on the side.
Hazelhurst Cafe has a chic and airy al fresco dining setup.
Beguiling from every angle, Little Bay is a light, bright cafe that is all swing chairs and sunshine just metres away from Perth’s Watermans Bay. Fill your keep cup at the coffee window and sit with your toes in the sand, or settle in for Turkish eggs and peach bellinis.
Laneway Specialty Coffee
Laneway Specialty Coffee is a microcosm of modern Darwin, with its motley mix of sunburned backpackers and laid-back locals. Much like Darwin itself, the cafe in Parap is surrounded by jungle-green foliage. Order the smashed avo on sourdough.
Springtime fare will be taking centre stage on menus around the country and now is the perfect time to try somewhere new.
Ippin Japanese Dining
Ippin Japanese Dining is the new 140-seater oasis in West Village in Brisbane’s bustling West End.
Ippin Japanese Dining is a casual fine dining restaurant in the heart of West End.
This temple to traditional Japanese fare overlooks lush gardens in a space that is as beautifully conceived as its bento boxes and sashimi platters.
Dine authentic Japanese cuisine at Ippin Japanese Dining.
Lunch or dinner at Mona’s swish restaurant The Source is as immersive as a visit to the museum itself.
Take your date to the al fresco garden dining at The Source. (Image: Adam Gibson)
There are living table runners made from moss and herbs, cutlery and chairs worth coveting and dreamy views over Hobart’s River Derwent. Best for dishes such as wallaby tartare and crab risotto that celebrate Tassie’s terroir.
Feast on healthy dishes at The Source. (Image: Adam Gibson)
Join Lavender Bay locals at neighbourhood bistro Loulou to fantasise about your next visit to France over quiche du jour, salade frisée and a glass of rosé.
Loulou Bistro has a sophisticated dining interior. (Image: Steven Woodburn)
You can also procure provisions from the boulangerie (bakery) and traiteur (deli) for a chic-nic in nearby Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden.
Pull up a chair at Loulou Bistro. (Image: Steven Woodburn)
Restaurants with rooms
Once spring arrives the desire to hit the road and explore dials up a notch. Pair your dining with your accommodation and make it an even more memorable spring getaway at any of these restaurants with rooms.
Visit Bundanon art museum (also home to Arthur Boyd’s Studio) on the NSW South Coast and then slow down on your way back to Sydney with a stay at Bangalay luxury villas.
Slurp down the oysters at Bangalay Dining.
Enjoy a set menu curated by executive chef Simon Evans at hatted restaurant Bangalay Dining or order a gourmet pasta pack.
Bangalay Dining is a firm Shoalhaven fave.
The Wild Flower Bar & Dining
The abundant kitchen garden at Bells at Killcare informs the menu made up of ‘food of the sun’ at The Wild Flower Bar & Dining. Stick to the seasonal theme with a post-prandial walk to see the wildflowers in nearby Bouddi National Park.
The cocktails are fresh and pack a punch at Wild Flower Bar & Dining. (Image: Nikki To)
Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel
See what degustation Robin Wickens and team rustle up from their kitchen garden’s spring harvest at Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel. Sleep well in one of the Dunkeld property’s luxe rooms or cottages at the foothills of Victoria’s Grampians/Gariwerd.
Dine at Wickens in the Royal Mail Hotel for a memorable meal this spring. (Image: Emily Weaving)
Sundowners and warm spring nights are a match made in heaven which makes these beachside bars the perfect sunset setting.
The framed views of Mooloolaba Beach make a bigger statement than any artwork at the Pavilion Mooloolaba. It’s the perfect place to perch and people-watch over cocktails at Sunset Hour (weekdays from 3–5pm).
Manly Pacific engaged Luchetti Krelle to mix things up in Manly with 55 North, the coolest new cocktail lounge on the east coast.
Refresh your spirits with 55 North cocktails.
Bunker down in a banquette in the marvellously maximalist space, which is all soft mauves, terrazzo tiling and toast and terracotta tones.
55 North in Manly is the new beachside bar of our dreams.
It’s all seagulls and salty air at The Shorehouse, one of the best places for a bevvy in Perth. The Swanbourne locale gets kudos for its award-winning wine list and an in-between menu of small bites such as salted cod and potato croquettes. It’s a great place to bend the elbow while watching the sunset.
From farm-grown picnic hamper supplies to greenhouse production tours, agritourism is delivering fruit of the earth experiences that go down a treat come spring.
Check into one of Upland Farm’s four serene cabins located on a working cattle farm in Western Australia’s emerging town of Denmark.
Settle into a cosy cabin at Upland Farm. (Image: Paris CabinWren)
Order a picnic hamper, packed with goodies from local growers and producers, to enjoy under the property’s towering karri trees. Or roll out a blanket on the grass at nearby Singlefile Wines and graze over a wine tasting.
Take advantage of the delicious product on offer. (Image: Rachel Claire)
The Agrarian Kitchen
Learn about no-dig methods, composting and greenhouse production during a tour of the walled garden at The Agrarian Kitchen, where patients at the former psychiatric hospital used to exercise. Enjoy the garden’s very ingredients harvested fresh for your lunch at this award-winning institution in the Tasmanian town of New Norfolk.
Finniss River Lodge
Time your visit to Finniss River Lodge to coincide with the start of peak barra-fishing season in September.
Finniss River Lodge has a spacious deck to laze around. (Image: Richard Lyons)
You can then enjoy a luxe stay on the working Top End cattle farm, which is defined by a gourmet dining experience overseen by head chef Lachlan Raineri.
Sip cocktails at Finniss River Lodge. (Image: Richard Lyons)
Where else can you see spring bloom from above? Position yourself in one of the country’s top rooftop bars and see the city change season before your eyes.
Charlie’s of Darwin
Finding the hidden doorway to Charlie’s of Darwin is half the fun. The NT capital’s first gin bar takes visitors on a wild ride, with creative dishes such as croc dumplings providing a true taste of the Territory. Order Charlie’s margaritas to enjoy on the terrace festooned with colourful lanterns.
W Brisbane – WET Deck
It’s not technically on the rooftop. But WET Deck on level 4 of the W Brisbane deserves a big-up for its views over the serpentine Brisbane River, which is emblematic of the city’s ongoing revival.
Cocktails under an open sky are quintessential in Sydney over the springtime.
Spend a romantic evening at Aster Bar with views of the city skyline. (Image: InterContinental Sydney)
Aster is the sky-high bar set atop the InterContinental Sydney, which has undergone a multimillion-dollar refurbishment and boasts views over all the icons of Sydney Harbour.
A winery lunch is always a good idea and it’s an even better one in springtime. Where else will you get such a specialised wine pairing to your meal? Sign us up!
T’Gallant Vineyard has reopened its doors on the Mornington Peninsula after a refurbishment.
The menu here is designed to share. (Image: Griffin Simm)
Enjoy rectangular slabs of wood-fired pizza paired with a crisp white in the sun-soaked La Barraca dining space overlooking rolling hills embroidered with vines.
Bond over pizza at T’Gallant Vineyard. (Image: Griffin Simm)
Lowe Family Wine Co
Lunch at the Lowe Family Wine Co estate is a lavish yet low-key affair relying on ingredients sourced from the kitchen garden and wines produced at the Mudgee region vineyard. All The Zin House dishes pair perfectly with drops bearing the Lowe Family Wine Co label.
Dine at The Zin House on the Lowe Family Wine Co. vineyard. (Image: Destination NSW)
The best seat in the house for a tasting is in the Barrel Room at the newly reimagined cellar door at Nepenthe wines in the Adelaide Hills. You can also opt for a self-guided tasting paired with a plate of charcuterie on the estate’s lovely manicured lawns.
You can taste the flavours of the season at any number of markets, food festivals, and local foodie trails around the nation but if you need somewhere to start, we have three top tips for you…
Kiama Farmers Market
Start your food tour of the NSW South Coast with a visit to the Kiama Farmers Market, which has a cult following. Pick up some pantry staples at this one-stop-shop or go further afield to visit producers such as The Pines Pantry or Buena Vista Farm, which runs a roster of cooking classes.
Kiama Farmers Markets is a one-stop shop for fresh and delicious produce. (Image: Destination NSW)
Noosa Country Food Trail
Pack your picnic hamper with everything from farm-fresh eggs to local wood-smoked bacon, oyster mushrooms, goat’s cheese and ginger beer when you devise your own self-drive itinerary along the Noosa Country Food Trail route.
Tasting Trail Tasmania
Connect the dots between some of Tassie’s artisan producers while road-tripping around the north-west of the island state. The producers along the self-guided Tasting Trail range from truffle farms to cider houses, dairy doors and a raspberry farm.
Find fresh raspberries on Tasmania’s foodie trail.