Heading for a sublime weekend away with your special someone or the family in the Southern Highlands’ most popular getaway spot? Make sure you book into at least one of these eateries…
Bowral is best known for three things: antiques, being a great winter getaway not too far from Sydney and the Bradman Museum. What it’s not historically known for is incredible cuisine – but over the last few years, thanks in large part to an influx in foodie-focused visitors, that’s all changed.
In fact, Bowral has some of the most sought-after dining options in not only the Southern Highlands, but NSW – and there’s plenty of great options for families, too.
**Biota Dining ceased trading March 2020 due to the impact of the bushfires and global pandemic**
Any foodie worth their fromage will have come across the famous Biota Dining in their travels. Many people make the two-hour drive from Sydney just to sample the modern Australian fare that ‘changes regularly, sometimes daily’.
The chefs at Biota cook depending on what their farmers and growers provide and believe that this is the ‘only true way to cook’. The best way to experience the brilliance of Biota is to order multiple dishes and share with your party.
Better still, finish off the bottle of vino you ordered and retreat to your accommodation at the estate, where you’ll find some of the comfiest beds and chicest surrounds, reminiscent of the meal you’ve just devoured.
What to order:
There are a few noteworthy mains – if you can get your hands on them – including the flash-fried prawns and the lamb ragu pasta.
Great for date night:
This spot is perfect for those wanting to celebrate an anniversary or enjoy an intimate meal in a romantic atmosphere. Celebrating the delights of Italian cuisine, buckle in at Onesta Cucina for a truly flavourful evening with a mix of classic dishes and modern twists on some of your favourites.
Best enjoyed share-style, you can also order your own main and choose to enjoy it all to yourself, if you’d prefer. And we can’t say we’d blame you. The chefs also change the menu daily, offering up specials depending on the produce available.
What to order:
It will depend heavily on the day you visit, but our recommendation is to start with the imported buffalo mozzarella with pickled beetroot insalata and then to get your hands on the homemade parpadelle with braised duck ragu or the osso bucco.
Perfect for families and friends:
If you’re after an inexpensive night out with a group of the family, the Imperial Hotel is a great choice. You can choose from pub classics in a laid back environment not as stuffy as some of the older-style hotels you can find during the drive out from Sydney, or you can visit Imperial Pizza.
Situated just out the back of the bistro, you can choose to order a delicious wood fired pizza, while your table mate enjoys their chicken schnitzel.
Complete with a pool table and a big bar, this serve-and-pay-yourself set-up allows everyone to suit themselves and their tastebuds without the annoyance of sorting out the bill at the end of the meal.
What to order:
The barbecue pork ribs or the Angus bangers ‘n’ mash from the bistro menu are seriously noteworthy, but if you’re after pizza, the Gamberetto with prawns, fresh chorizo, pesto and chilli is a definite winner. Make sure you follow it with one of its famous freshly baked Nutella pizzas with fruit, icing sugar and a scoop of vanilla gelato.
Best for brunch:
The Press Shop Bowral
Described as ‘that lovely little cafe in Bowral’ for a reason, The Press Shop is located in what was once an old bespoke letterpress studio. The entrance, though updated has remained the same, offering visitors a taste of the historical architecture.
Hugely Instagrammable, The Press Shop attracts a flurry of customers with an appreciation for both fine food and an excellent photo op. The cafe champions local produce, its owners working with small farmers and producers to create their menu.
It provides the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch, or brunch no matter what time you arrive: many breakfast-style dishes such as mini eggs benedict and waffles with local strawberries and vanilla ice-cream sneak their way onto the lunch menu, which begins promptly at 12pm.
What to order:
Breakfast potato gnocchi with chorizo, salsa verde and fried egg and the Taluca park pork sandwich on a milk bun with hot sauce aioli, lettuce, tomato and pork scratchings. YUM.
Be sure to wash it down with a coconut hot chocolate or minty matcha latte!