In 1867, when the Southern Railway from Sydney was extended to Mittagong, the Southern Highlands became a destination for city folk wanting to “take the air”. About 110 kilometres south-west of Sydney and rising to 900 metres, the region became known as the Sanatorium of the South, attracting genteel society, who built impressive country retreats. Guesthouses popped up in villages overlooking farms dating back to the 1820s.
The region was officially designated a wine region in 1999, with some 60 wineries producing premium small batches of wine. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are staples on the dining menu
Busy city life and ever-increasing property prices have seen an exodus of renowned Sydney chefs to the Southern Highlands. Damien Monley (ex-Flat White Cafe and Madam Char Char), Nicola Coccia (Quay and QT) and Nathan West (Chiswick at the Gallery and Bathers Pavilion), along with Lynne Derwin (Roundstone Vineyard) from Victoria’s Yarra Valley, are among the professional foodies who have moved to the region, which now has impressive 80-plus restaurants.
Situated in the centre of Bowral, this delightful indoor/outdoor restaurant knows how to do casual dining in smart, minimalist surroundings.
The bistro is in what was once part of a hotel built in 1888 and has been refurbished by its current owners, Justine and Damien Monley. They opened their doors in 2016 and chef Damien’s menu is unusual and innovative. How about Baghdad egg on toast with pea hummus, pickled red onions, sumac, mint, tahini and yoghurt for breakfast? Or lamb-backstrap chimichurri, Puy lentils and freekeh for dinner. 2017 SMH Good Food Guide Awards - Two Chef Hats
Biota Dining has brought high-quality food and service to the Southern Highlands, with a menu that's as modern as its Scandinavian-inspired decor. The restaurant takes the words "locally-produced" to a new level; many of the ingredients on the Biota menu are grown metres from patrons' tables. Located a stone’s throw from the centre of Bowral and local hotels, Biota is worth the trip - try timing your visit with the monthly farmers' market, which calls for a special 'celebration Sunday' picnic menu.
Harry’s is located in Green Lane close to the famous Dirty Janes in Bowral and should not be missed. Opened daily from 10am for coffee and snacks, with lunch from 12 noon. In the afternoons and into the evening Harry's Bar Menu features share plates and delicious bar snacks until 5pm Sunday through Thursday and until 11pm Friday and Saturday. It is also licensed so you can enjoy a beer or wine with your alfresco lunch and dinner.
Café Rosso has an open kitchen, marble pizza bar, pizza by the slice, unique Italian biscuits and pastries along with our unique style and character of our indoor or alfresco dining always impresses.
The food is unpretentious modern Italian at a moderate price. Antipastos, pastas, risottos, game, fish, desserts and of course great coffee. Enjoy a great glass of Italian wine and watch the world go by!