The Good Food team share their favourite places to eat and drink in their second homes.
I was lucky as a kid, growing up splitting my time between the Blue Mountains and Byron Bay. Most of my family still lives in the Blue Mountains, and it will always occupy a special place in my heart. Once a mountains kid, always a mountains kid. Thanks to a slew of recent openings, it's more delicious than ever.
Amara Restaurant, located within Spicers Sangoma Retreat in Bowen Mountain, has opened to the public. You no longer need to be a hotel guest to enjoy Will Houia's "harvest menu", a daily changing degustation highlighting the best of local growers and producers.
In Blackheath, discover new Turkish restaurant Ates on the old Fumo site. It heralds a new era of dining in the area with a menu of Middle Eastern share plates, while Mountain Culture Beer Co. has brought strong small-batch brew vibes to town. The craft brewery and bar, set inside an old video shop in Katoomba, is currently serving some of the most exciting and delicious beers in the state.
All the Blue Mountains classics are still going strong. Darleys Restaurant, within the plush surrounds of Lilianfels Katoomba, remains the upper mountains benchmark for fine dining, while one of the best sandwiches for miles is to be found at Yellow Deli. Hominy Bakery is one of the original Blue Mountains sourdough companies and does fantastic bread as well as a brown sugar pear and ginger cake to cross town for. Anonymous Cafe in Blackheath is the best place in the upper mountains for a coffee, and if you're doing the Airbnb thing, check out The Carrington Cellars and Deli for all your specialty pantry, wine and beer needs.
Insider's tip: "I wish this wasn't my favourite place because a daily croissant habit can't be healthy but Black Cockatoo truly do the best croissants this side of Paris, not to mention sourdoughs and other pastries. They've opened up a new [bigger] shop on Katoomba Street," says DJ McCready of Mountain Culture Beer Co.
Anonymous Cafe, 237-238 Great Western Highway, Blackheath, anonymouscafeblackheath.com.au
Ates, 33 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath, atesblackheath.com
The Carrington Cellars and Deli, Parke Street, Katoomba, thecarrington.com.au/cellars-deli
Darley's Restaurant, Lilianfels Resort & Spa, 19 Lilianfels Avenue, Katoomba, darleysrestaurant.com.au
Hominy Bakery, 185 Katoomba Street, Katoomba
Mountain Culture, 23-25 Parke Street, Katoomba, mountainculture.com.au
The Yellow Deli, 214 Katoomba Street, Katoomba, yellowdeli.com/katoomba