Where to eat in the Hunter Valley in 2023
Not sure where to eat in the Hunter Valley? Just two hours north of Sydney, this bountiful region is home to some of Australia’s most renowned spots to wine and dine. Its acclaimed vineyards are surrounded by exceptional eateries, serving up everything from fine dining feasts to relaxed farm-to-table spreads.
Bursting with an abundance of scrumptious produce, the growing season guides our plates. With fresh local fare flavoured to delight every foodie, Hunter Valley restaurants have taken regional gastronomy to the next level. So, prime your taste buds for some delicious meals in between wine tastings.
To make your culinary experience here as delectable as can be, we’ve gathered a list of the best restaurants in the Hunter Valley for 2023. Read on to discover where to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on your next countryside getaway.
10 best restaurants in Hunter Valley
A must for any foodie, there’s no better place to relish in the region’s cuisine than NINETEEN. Tucked away within The Vintage Estate in Pokolbin, this relaxed restaurant is the freshest addition to Hunter Valley’s food scene. And it’s already a firm favourite.
From succulent rump steak to roast pumpkin salad, NINETEEN specialises in local dishes, expertly prepared with quality seasonal ingredients. Savour every bite in a laid-back ambience.
And if you’d like to dance off your meal, visit the downstairs beer garden to enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the year.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Hunter Valley seven days a week, walk-ins are welcome at any time. That said, bookings are recommended for larger social groups.
2. Restaurant Botanica
Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Retreat boasts beautiful vistas of the Broken Back Mountain Range. Blending contemporary Australian dining and traditional French techniques with Hunter Valley ingredients, this sophisticated establishment pairs each farm-to-paddock plate with the perfect local wine.
Delight in Head Chef Chris Rhoney’s innovative dishes, which are inspired by the restaurant’s expansive kitchen garden. When it comes to drinks, ask the sommelier for a trusted recommendation or choose from the carefully-curated cocktail list, which showcases the best of their botanical spirits.
Restaurant Botanica is open for breakfast every day, lunch on the weekends and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday nights. You can also book an elegant private dining room for up to 12 guests, with the choice of a three or five-course menu.
3. Cafe Enzo
Situated in Peppers Creek Village within a stunning sandstone building, there are a few reasons why Café Enzo is always bustling.
Since 1996, this enchanting eatery has been a go-to for its fantastic coffee and no-fuss menu, which features delicious ingredients sourced from the local markets.
Take a seat at a communal table in the quaint courtyard and tuck into a mouth-watering breakfast board or moist slice of cake.
Café Enzo is open between 8am and 4pm Sunday to Thursday, and 8am and 5pm Friday to Saturday. Don’t miss it on your next weekend break in the Hunter Valley.
4. Leaves & Fishes
Perched over a lily pad pond in Lovedale, Leaves & Fishes offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the Hunter Valley.
Inside, the considered medley of colourful, antique decor whisks you away to another time, while a selection of casual seafood packs a flavourful kick. Keeping its menu fresh and simple with an Asian twist, this eatery is the ideal setting for a scenic snack or a truly memorable meal.
Leaves & Fishes is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. While you’re there, pop into the on-site boutique to browse a gorgeous collection of local artisanal homeware.
5. Muse Kitchen
Set on the grounds of Keith Tulloch Winery, the award-winning Muse Kitchen sources ingredients from local farmers and serves them up with a European flair.
From a milk-braised pork shoulder to a charcoal-roasted lamb rack, you can enjoy simple yet sensational dishes. Plus, treat yourself to the three-course menu if you’re feeling particularly ravenous.
The cherry on top? Adorned in provincial-inspired interiors, the crisp-white dining space enjoys views of neighbouring mountain ranges.
Muse Kitchen is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Catering to up to 70 guests, this Hunter Valley restaurant can also host private dining events upon request.
An inviting place to indulge in your love of food with family and friends, Pescara is Polkolbin’s neighbourhood Italian joint. Gather around the table for a fresh meal among the vines of Hermitage Lodge.
Taking inspiration from the village of Pescara and Hunter Valley’s local produce, Head Chef Kelvin Foster has created a simple and seasonal menu sure to impress. Featuring dishes like carpaccio, gnocchi and tiramisu, you will find Italian classics to satisfy any craving.
Pescara is open Friday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, plus Monday and Thursday nights for dinner. Choose from a two or three-course menu, depending on your group’s hunger levels.
Based in the Ben Ean Winery, Baumé restaurant centres its mouth-watering menu around fresh Mediterranean flavours.
Feast on an array of share plates that draw delicious inspiration from Italian and Greek cuisine, such as the signature dish: slow-braised Italian lamb shoulder served with a red wine, garlic and rosemary jus.
Prefer a pizza? You’ve come to the right place. Baumé’s light-as-air dough is made from scratch in-house and baked in a Moretti pizza oven for a true Italian taste. With three gourmet pizza specials to try each day, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Baumé is open for lunch every day of the week, and dinner Thursday to Monday.
8. The Deck Café
Set amongst forest bushland at Gartelmann Wines, The Deck Café is a postcard-perfect café with a touch of fine dining.
Breakfast is the real showstopper, with options ranging from French toast with sweet strawberries and chantilly cream to a streaky bacon and egg roll with tangy BBQ sauce and peppery rocket. Or visit later in the day for a tasty tapas-inspired menu with views of the nearby dam.
Plus, partake in a French or Italian cooking class while you’re at it, taking home a hamper packed with finger-licking ingredients like quince jam and preserved lemon.
The Deck Café is open every day for breakfast and lunch.
9. The Hunters Quarter
The Hunters Quarter is a relaxed yet refined restaurant in the Cockfighters Ghost Vineyard.
With a focus on modern Australian cuisine, its menu is prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. Awarded 2022 Australia Prestige Award for Contemporary Restaurant of the Year, you can be confident in the quality of each dish.
And whichever seat you take, you’ll enjoy panoramas of the surrounding vineyards. The adjoining outdoor deck also provides a wonderful spot to sip on wine from some of the best Hunter Valley cellar doors.
This Hunter Valley restaurant is open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday, and dinner on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.
10. Sabor Dessert Bar
Last but not least, let’s finish with the final course. Located in lovely Lambloch Estate, Sabor Dessert Bar is a dream place to eat in the Hunter Valley for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Each paired with a local wine, the assortment of over 50 different treats includes so much more than its award-winning cakes and tarts. Think mousses and macarons, scones and souffles.
The perfect way to garnish your culinary experience in the Hunter Valley, this indulgent dessert bar is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended.
Discover unique holiday accommodation in the Hunter Valley
With everything from fine dining experiences to charming cafes on the menu, there is plenty of local produce to please your palate. And now that you know where to eat in the Hunter Valley, you’ll need somewhere to sleep off all of those sensational seasonal dishes.
Book a stay at The Vintage Holiday Houses. Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, each privately-owned villa offers a luxurious home away from home.
Relax, entertain and enjoy the wealth of amenities on your doorstep, including a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course.
Explore our wonderful holiday rentals in the Hunter Valley to check what’s available or get in touch for more information.