Mudgee over delivers on everything from fine-dining feasts and brunch-focused cafes to sophisticated wine bars, cosy cellar doors and even a relaxed microbrewery.
With over 40 family-owned cellar doors, a distillery, brewery and countless restaurants it’s little wonder that Mudgee has become a household name among Australian foodies. Explore the wining and dining scene with our pick of the best places to eat and drink in Mudgee below.
Arrive on the third Saturday of each month to enjoy the many local culinary delights found at the Mudgee Markets. Bring a basket to cart away the farm-fresh produce and artisan goods – and fill your stomach with edible samples along the way.
If you’re hungry for breakfast grab a bacon and egg roll, made using Putta Bucca Free Range Pork and Farmer Brown Eggs. Don’t miss the Spencer Cocoa Chocolate, it is single origin (sourced from Vanuatu) and made in Mudgee and comes in two varieties; milk and 72 per cent dark cocoa.
Find Alby & Esthers tucked away at the edge of a leafy vine-clad alleyway housed within an old stone terrace circa 1873.
Its Mudgee’s preferred venue to get your fix of everyone’s two favourite vices: wine and coffee. The intimate venue features simple and hearty comfort food, served alongside quality roast coffee, and 40 per cent of the wines sport a local label.
Don’t leave without trying the famous jaffle, made with local smoked ham and free range organic egg and topped with Swiss cheese and tomato relish.
Food at a brewery can go one of two ways: lacklustre pub grub or upscale regional fare. Thank goodness Mudgee Brewing Co. delivers the latter.
Gary Leonard left the coal mining industry to open Mudgee’s only microbrewery in 2007. The 100-year-old former wool store has served as one of the town’s favourite watering holes ever since with eight taps pouring the latest onsite craft brews.
Find an extensive food menu featuring beer snacks, pizzas and a variety of mains; confit duck, prawn pasta and mussels will satiate sophisticated appetites, while the fish and chips, schnitzel burgers and wings are for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Live music adds to the ambience and, unlike most breweries, this one goes the extra mile with table service.
The Zin House serves as the cellar door restaurant at Lowe Wines – the organic, small-batch producer that put Mudgee on the map.
Following a short hiatus, Chef, owner and regional food identity Kim Currie has returned with a new menu that continues to lean heavily on fresh produce from the garden and local region. The property’s extensive orchard and Zinfandel paddock supplies most of the restaurant’s organic produce which is then prepared from scratch using classic techniques. What they don’t grow themselves they source from local producers to provide a truly local experience.
Long lunch sittings are popular, so be sure to book in advance. The optional wine pairing is highly recommended, featuring a mix of regional and estate produced wines.
A schmick fitout has transformed the original 1896 Elton’s Pharmacy building into a modern hangout with a menu that delivers on its namesake – expect to do lots of eating and drinking at Eltons.
Take a seat in the main bar, the open air courtyard or on the sunny footpath out front. The share plate menu is packed with a variety of small bites, tacos and sides – perfectly portioned for enjoying during a day filled with Mudgee’s best wining and dining experiences.
The rustic Pipeclay Pumphouse restaurant at Robert Stein Vineyard takes its ‘paddock-to-plate’ philosophy seriously. Most of the veggies and herbs are grown on site; the cattle, chicken and sheep are farmed here; and they’ve started to make their own prosciutto and cured meats.
While the restaurant is well known for its dinner sittings, you needn’t overlook it’s impressive long lunch offering. The six course degustation, featuring a signature charcuterie, Salmon tartare with lemon, gnocchi with duck and mushroom ragu, beef short rib and lemon sorbet will have you rolling out the door. Add matching wines from nearby Robert Stein for an extra $40.
It’s also worth mentioning that Pipeclay shines for both lunch and dinner. Just don’t leave town without going!
Hearty Italian and modern Australian fare with a Mediterranean twist feature heavily on the menu at Palate.
Choose from a seasonal share menu that could span everything from a T-bone steak, coconut sesame prawns and veal saltimbocca to pizzas, pastas and a fisherman’s basket.
The restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to dine after a day spent on the cellar door trail. Patrons can opt to dine poolside by the barbecue area or indoors in the modern dining area for a more opulent experience.
If your winery bucket-list is too long to conquer you can always sample a local drop at Roth’s Wine Bar.
Robert Roth originally opened the space as general store, serving a sneaky tipple to thirsty farmers on occasion before licensing the premises as a wine bar in 1923. There are now over 100 premium local and regional wines on offer and the wine list changes fortnightly to showcase a variety of drops available from the surrounding central ranges.
Aside from wine, the bar serves craft beer, pizzas, tapas, cheese and charcuterie boards for the ultimate casual night out in Mudgee.
You’ll know you’ve arrived at Isabella’s Trattoria when you spot the sign that says you have found the “food you’ve been looking for.” This place ups the ante when it comes to upscale Italian fare.
Cloth maroon awnings feature cursive decal out the front, transporting customers from the get go. An open-plan kitchen allows customers to see the masters at work, manoeuvring around the kitchen with a beautifully European finesse. Match the risotto, garlic prawns and seafood pasta with a drop from the lengthy wine list. For dessert, the Tiramisu is as tasty and authentic as it gets.
We know you didn’t come to Mudgee just to eat. As well as premium dining fare, some of the aforementioned venues also provide a casual drinking atmosphere. Roth’s, Alby & Esthers and Elton’s are wine bars that serve an abundance of local drops.
Cade Kitchen and Bar is another ambient haunt, with exposed brick walls and timber furnishings.
If it’s a casual pub you seek, Club Mudgee is one of the biggest in the area; always brimming with good times. The Courthouse Hotel has a quiet grassed beer garden out back and Kelly’s Irish Pub has the best ice-cold lagers in town.