The Best Cafes to Visit in the Blue Mountains

Take a break from hiking and sightseeing, and refuel at one of these top-notch cafes.
Natalie Carroll
Published on April 18, 2018

The Best Cafes to Visit in the Blue Mountains

Take a break from hiking and sightseeing, and refuel at one of these top-notch cafes.

You go to the Blue Mountains to see the stunning sights (hi, Three Sisters). You go to the Blue Mountains to hike past waterfalls and through ancient forests. You go to the Blue Mountains to bathe in natural hot springs. You might even go to the Blue Mountains to visit outdoor exhibitions and catch a ride on the world's steepest passenger railway at Scenic World.

But did you know you could go the Blue Mountains to drink some standout brews — single origin, cold drip and Aeropress — and eat impressive brunch (all day)? From an eatery in a renovated mechanic's workshop to a cafe with stunning views across treetops, we've rounded up our favourite places to eat and drink during the day in this picturesque NSW region. These are the best cafes in the Blue Mountains.

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    Lily's Pad Cafe

    This quaint cafe in Leura is known for its standout breads baked in-house. It also makes jams, cakes, chutneys, curds and a heap of gluten free alternatives too — so there’s something for everyone.

    Grab an egg and bacon roll (or some freshly baked gluten-free walnut and fig bread) and a table in the courtyard, which is covered and has heat lamps during winter. And bring your dog — four legged friends are welcome here.

    Serving both breakfast and lunch all day, you can either start your day here, or end it.

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    Red Door Cafe

    Set in a prime location on Leura’s main drag, the Red Door cafe is a homey cafe with a red and black interior, a large mirror hanging on one side of the wall and green garden vines reaching down towards the floor on the other. It’s an ideal spot for those who are seeking a healthy alternative.

    Standouts include the zucchini and feta fritters with cumin yoghurt and mesclun salad ($16) and the smoked rainbow trout salad with lentils, rocket and a poached egg ($18.50). For something heartier, try the cafe’s take on bangers and mash ($19) — Tuscan-style sausages atop creamy mash and caramelised onion — or the steak sanga ($19). While drinks are less inventive (coffee, tea, milkshakes and sodas), they stay true to the cafe’s the-healthier-the-better mantra, with both the sodas and coffee being organic and the juices freshly squeezed.

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  • 5

    The menu at this Katoomba eatery draws inspiration from a range of countries and regions: South East Asia, North American, Africa and the Mediterranean. French-born chef Misha Laurent, whose career in hospitality began at the Sheraton Hotel in Munich, has combined this eclectic range of cuisines to create a compact menu of “street food”.

    The menu starts with tofu fries with sambal, moves on to pulled lamb-stuffed tacos, Cuban sandwiches and NYC-style cheese burgers. It also has heartier dishes such as the nasi goreng ($16), Jamaican jerk chicken ($16) and a New Caledonian Ceviche ($18) with green papaya, ginger, coconut milk and coriander.

    While the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, it’s BYO — so remember to grab a bottle of your favourite drop before heading in (it’s well-deserved after all that antique shopping and hiking, after all).

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  • 4
    Anonymous Cafe - CLOSED

    Coffees made from Campos and single origin beans. An extensive tea list (single estate Chinese peony white tea, anyone?). Inventive dishes made from locally sourced and seasonal produce.

    Anonymous Cafe in Blackheath ticks a lot of the right boxes. It provides Blackheath visitors and locals alike with speciality coffee and seasonal fare. A lot of the products are made in-house, too, including the fresh loaves of bread, pickles and relishes.

    The menu changes depending what produce is in season, but expect dishes like brioche french toast with seasonal poached fruit ($16.5), sautéed mushrooms on garlic and herb toasted sourdough ($16.5) and a fresh and tangy Vietnamese pork meatball salad ($17). And if you’re taking a trip to Medlow Bath, check out the sister cafe Synonymous which has a different menu but the same local and seasonal passion.

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  • 3
    The Potager Mount Tomah - CLOSED

    We’re all about mixing exercise and leisure, which is easy with Sydney’s extensive activity offering, like sunrise yoga at the Opera House and the wine fun run in the Hunter Valley. The latest addition to that list is The Potager at Mount Tomah, a kitchen built into the Blue Mountains, where after a long hike in the hot sun you can treat yourself to lunch with a view.

    Refreshed by local interior designer Joanne Wilbow of Black Pebble Design, the open space has been given a fresh look of soft pink hues and delicate furnishings. Providing a relaxed connection between the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and the manmade cafe, The Potager pays homage to its stunning surrounds.

    It may have a to-die-for view, but the menu has been given a lot of thought. For breakfast, dine outside on the terrace and enjoy honey ricotta with spiced poached pear on sourdough drizzled with locally sourced honey, or something more simple like eggs Benedict ($15.90). If you’ve arrived in time for lunch, enjoy The Potager Pie ($18.50), which changes daily (and is paired with a local Hillbilly cider).

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    Leura Garage - CLOSED

    An award-winning restaurant, cafe and bar located in an old mechanic’s workshop, Leura Garage has a seasonal and local ingredient-focused menu. It covers a range of cuisines, too, with everything from paellas to pizzas and souvlaki to baked camembert making an appearance.

    And to top it off, the cafe is environmentally conscious. Locally sourced produce features in share plates — such as 12-hour braised lamb shoulder with pomegranate glaze, confit garlic and rosemary — and mains, including the pork sausage wheel with crispy potatoes, caramelised onion and sauerkraut. The wine list is big on drops from Orange and Mudgee.

    The restaurant is self-sustainable for its water needs. It has a 22,000-litre rainwater tank that supplies water for its coffee machine, dishwasher, drinking water and the bathroom. It also has a giant composter that can chew through 200 kilograms of waste per week. Plus, instead of bringing in fancy furniture, the car hoist — leftover from the mechanic — was transformed into a bar and a bunch of tyres into a dividing wall.

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    To those whose days don’t truly start until there is caffeine in their system, take note. Kickaboom, a cheery cafe in Glenbrook, lives up to its quirky name putting a pep in your step with premium brews and tasty bites.

    The drinks menu is a lengthy affair featuring Mörk hot chocolate; a turmeric, ginger and honey latte; and a Speculatte (a hot milk beverage made with a Dutch spiced biscuit). But coffee is the main game here. For milk-based coffees, expect the OG blend by Reuben Hills. Meanwhile, black, filter and single origin offerings change regularly, often featuring roasts from Seven Seeds, Wood and Co and Sample.

    The food is not your run-of-the-mill cafe fare. Southeast Asian influences are evident in the black sticky rice bircher and sticky pork bibimbap. The fried chicken waffle brings the American vibes (via Paramount Coffee Project). Produce is locally sourced from the Hawkesbury region and many ingredients are made from scratch, including soft serve, syrups, butter, almond and macadamia milks and baked treats. 

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Top image: The Potager Mount Tomah

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