Mudgee – a little over 3 ½ hours northwest of Sydney – is home to some of the greatest food and wine on the planet. Not to mention the friendliest locals in the country. Talking of locals, here’s the hot list from a Mudgee local on where to eat in this beautiful country town.
Mudgee is one of those towns that – once you’ve been there – will always be on your mind to go back to. Everything about it, from its stunning mountain views and pastoral outlooks to its charmingly friendly locals and incredible food, summons you on a daily basis.
It’s been a while since we were here – far too long in fact – but thankfully we’re still friends with a couple of people we met there on our two-night visit. That’s right, we made friends there that fast.
These friends of ours, who by the way live and own the best place to stay in town (the Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse), gave us their count on where you can really get the best Mudgee produce and feel the passion of the people raising the bar on food, drink and hospitality in this country.
Here are Karen and Sean’s top tips on where’s good to eat, drink and find coffee in Mudgee, NSW.
A list of local secrets – where to eat in Mudgee, NSW
1. Alby & Esthers
For great cafe fare in a quaint setting (down a cobblestone alleyway in the heart of town). It transforms into a lovely wine bar on Friday and Saturday nights.
2. Artisan on Lewis Cafe
A lovely owner-operated cafe where everything is homemade. The menu changes regularly based on seasonality and availability of local produce. You often see locals bringing in fresh produce from their gardens to be used in the kitchen. A lovely sunny courtyard and an art space add to the cafe’s charm.
3. Yarrabin Road Roasters coffee station
Mark Newman of Yarrabin Road Roasters makes a fantastic coffee from his coffee station set up in the front of Warbehr — a funky artspace right in the heart of town… it feels like a bit of Melbourne coffee culture in Mudgee! Mark roasts his own beans and is very passionate about his coffee.
4. Pipeclay Pumphouse
This place was recommended to us by pretty much every local we spoke to. Its rural yet sophisticated interior blends perfectly with its location hanging over the lake of the Robert Stein vineyard. On a food level, it doesn’t get much better than this. Hearty yet elegant cuisine paired with a service that you’ll only find here in Mudgee.
Here’s our full review of the Pipeclay Pumphouse.
5. Zin House long lunch
Set in the homestead of the Lowe Estate winery, the Zin House – named because it’s positioned right next to the rows of Zinfandel grapes growing just out the window – is a delight for the senses. The long lunch they serve here is exquisite and incredibly filling. Our firm recommendation to go here comes with equally strong advice to go with an empty stomach and plenty of time.
Check out our review of our long lunch at the Zin House when we followed lots of locals’ suggestions.
Wineries to visit
Mudgee also has a wealth of wineries in its arsenal and it’d be wrong of me not to include some of our favourites here. After all, food without wine is only half divine!
Here are some top-line notes on our favourite Mudgee wineries, but for more info, here’s our full post on these beautiful cellar doors.
Probably the best–known of the Mudgee wineries, Logan is right at the edge of town as you drive in. There’s very little excuse to not come here and try some of their delicious wines. We certainly couldn’t think of any!
Tucked away from the road down a dusty track, this has to be the smallest cellar door we’ve ever visited. But don’t be fooled by its rustic demeanour or by the fact the owners refer to it as their ‘tasting shack’, the wine from this little place is awesome.
The wine here is excellent, the views are spectacular and the food is outstanding. If you’ve only got time for lunch and one winery while you’re in Mudgee, this is the place you should go. The Moore family are lovely and their veranda overlooking their lake and vines is perfect for a decadent lunch of wine, cheese, pies and ploughman’s.
Also home to the Zin House long lunch we mentioned earlier, David Lowe’s cellar door is well worth checking out. We tried to fit in one more glass here after our lunch at Zin House, but we just couldn’t do it. The atmosphere here is so magnetic though, it’s hard not to want to hang around and absorb the vibe and quaff a couple of glasses the day whiles away.
Where to stay
For us there’s only one place to stay in Mudgee: the Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse.
Its classic Australian run-around veranda overlooking the sweeping hills and vertiginous front lawn full of hopping kangaroos brings you to a very special spot.
The owners Karen and Sean – true to the Mudgee way – are incredible hosts. They even treat you to afternoon tea if you’re around. It’s also home to the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. A big statement, but I’ll stick to that.
The homestead itself has been renovated to be either that perfect romantic getaway or even better you can hire out all 7 rooms and have the run of the place with a group of friends. I’ve been eager to do this ever since we came here – how good would that be?
There’s a rec room downstairs with a full wet bar and pool table, there’s a lounge room with help-yourself port, board games and a lush open fire, and a dining room where the delicious breakfast Karen cooks for you is served.
Here’s our full review of this amazing place to stay in Mudgee.
For more of our posts on Mudgee, check out our previous stories here.
Have you ever been to Mudgee? Where’s the most comfortable bed you’ve ever slept in? Tell us in the comments!