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Unlucky number, unbeatable coffee

Thirteen Coffee & Eats is Cudgen's new cuppa joy.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Grab your KeepCup, we’re going on a (super quick) road trip! Pack your market bag and appetite too—because where we’re headed (a mere 15 minutes south of the border) serves more than just a good cup of joe.

Proudly perched on a fifth-generation Cudgen Road Farm, Thirteen Coffee & Eats has heritage roots as strong as the espresso itself. The concept of starting a coffee shop had been brewing for some time in the Prichard family—an idea tossed around over family dinners.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Then in February this year, farm co-owner and mother of two, Jane Prichard, decided she was ready for a new challenge. Because raising two boys and running two businesses wasn’t challenging enough! Within a fortnight they were headfirst into a (cappuccino) rabbit hole and a humble shipping container was en route to the rich red soils of the Cudgen plateau.

Project Thirteen was well and truly underway.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

The Prichard family is about as local as it gets, having owned the still operational Cudgen Road Farm for seventy-five years, supplying Australia with some fine-as-hell sweet potatoes. Twenty-odd years ago, the community-cherished produce shed, Mate & Matt’s, was born, supplying the best locally produced and freshest fruit and vegetables.

Now, in 2024, their third act—Thirteen Coffee & Eats—has burst onto the scene, blending history and hospitality seamlessly.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

The doors fly open at 5:30 a.m., and the rustic farm shipping container is buzzing. The shiny La Marzocco machine fires on all cylinders, ready to serve fair dinkum espresso to caffeine-craving locals. By closing time, they’re struggling to turn the coffee machine off as caffeine fiends continue to flow in.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats has only been open for two months and is already a community essential. Their long-standing community presence and prime location (right across from the new Tweed Hospital) undoubtedly contribute to Thirteen’s success. Still, we have to give credit where it’s due—their coffee supply.

Willy's Beans at Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Willy's Beans at Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Choosing the right coffee beans is crucial, coffee sustains lives, after all. Or is that just us? Thankfully for Thirteen (and us), finding a supplier, Willy’s Beans, was smooth as butter—love at first sip. What’s more, their partnership turned out to be more than just a superficial attraction.

Willy’s Beans is passionate about supporting local farmers, while Thirteen is equally committed to a community-driven coffee culture. We’re no relationship therapists, but that sounds like a match made in caffeine heaven to us.

Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Enter the market bag and appetite! If you’re anything like us and consider having a little sweet with your coffee a non-negotiable, you’ll be drooling with us when you discover their home-baked treats. Is there anything this family can’t do? A heads-up, arrive early. You may get stuck deciding between the gooey Choc Chip Cookies and the Pain Au Chocolat. Our favourite kind of first world problem!

If you’re more of a savory soul or around for lunch or brekkie, we’ve been told the Cheese & Bacon Sausage Rolls are the bomb.

Where: 752 Cudgen Road, Cudgen
When: Monday to Friday 5.30am – 1.30pm. Saturday to Sunday 6.30am – 1.30pm

Words by Chelsea Ipsen
Images by Mathilde Bouby
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Thirteen Coffee & Eats, Cudgen (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Five Sunday drive destinations

Sunflowers (image Courtney Cook via Unsplash)
Sunflowers (image Courtney Cook via Unsplash)

Sundays are reserved for one of three purposes; chilling with the fam and getting prepped for the week ahead, sneaking in a little Sunday sesh to delay Monday as long as humanly possible, and our fave, a spot of road trippin!

We’re lucky on the GC as we’re inundated with scenic drive options, and only need to travel an hour or two to find lots of beautiful, unique sights and activities.

We’ve broken it down to five destinations and provided a small snapshot of what you can find at each.

Toot toot!

Cauldron Distillery (Image: 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Cauldron Distillery (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Mt Tamborine

Gallery Walk
A trip up the mountain isn’t complete without a stroll along Gallery Walk. It’s a melting pot of eclectic finds, with over 70 shops in the one block. You’ll find everything from fashion, jewellery, arts and crafts, cellar door outlets, chocolate, fudge, food outlets, cafes…and even a cuckoo clock shop. If you’re looking for something unique or need to buy that friend who has everything a gift, chances are you’ll find something here.
Where: Long Road, Tamborine Mountain

Curtis Falls
Enjoy a beautiful walk through the rain-drenched Eucalyptus forest to the magical Curtis Falls. Wander past towering trees and through a canopy of ferns, down to this miniature and photogenic waterfall. The 1.1km walk should only talk half an hour or less to get down to the falls, but you will likely want to stay awhile and soak up the peacefulness. Top it off with a spot of morning tea at the Curtis Falls Cafe. Lovely!
Where: 16 Eagle Heights Road, North Tamborine – Get there via Eagle Heights Road and park right at the entrance to the walk.

Curtis Falls (image supplied by Tourism & Events Queensland)
Curtis Falls (image supplied by Tourism & Events Queensland)

Cauldron Distillery
This 18-acre working distillery is the darling of the Scenic Rim. A Prohibition-style space with an established vineyard, lush rolling meadows and of course, a generous gin and cocktail bar, there’s a lot to love. Settle in for a bev or a feed, or BYO picnic rug and chill amongst the vineyards. You can partake in complimentary lawn games if you so desire, and they’re pro pop here so Fido can come too!
Where: 89-123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain

The Glow Worm Caves
Take a guided half-hour walk through lush rainforest to a purpose-built cave, filled with thousands of shimmery glow worms! Everyone can get up close and personal with a glow worm here without damaging delicate wild habitats #CueApplause. And the best part? It’s conveniently located in the Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery, you can enjoy a tipple pre or post tour…or pre and post tour!
Where: Cedar Creek Estate, 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine

Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)
Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)

Canungra

Mountview Alpaca Farm
Located in O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, you can meet alpacas and drink wine and srsly, life made. Choose between 15 and 60 minute alpaca experiences where you can walk and feed these cute creatures, or go all out with an alpaca picnic, alpaca devonshire tea, or a wine, cheese and alpaca package (#us). Set in a boutique vineyard and historic Queenslander homestead, it’s as picturesque as it is fun.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

Farm & Co Restaurant (image supplied)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image supplied)

Cudgen

Farm & Co.
No doubt Instagram has informed you there is a field of sunflowers just a short 25 minute drive away where you can frolic, take selfies, pick said sunflowers and generally pretend you don’t have a care in the world. There’s also a coffee shop where you can sink into an oversized lounge chair while gazing at the sunflowers and contemplating a new career in farming, live music of a weekend, a tasty array of brunch eats and fresh veggies you can take home too.
Where: 529 Cudgen Road, Cudgen 

The Chindy
Check out restful riverside town Chinderah, stopping in for a refreshment and snack at The Chindy. Also known as Chinderah Tavern, The Chindy boasts a big old deck overlooking the widest river in the world (not a fact) and supplies all the cold beer, wine and tasty eats you could wish for on a Sunday afternoon. There’s live music, sunsets if you time it right, and just general non-city good times. Right next door is Cubby Bakehouse you can get yourself some dessert for the drive home.
Where: 156 Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah

The Farm, Byron Bay (image supplied)
The Farm, Byron Bay (image supplied)

Byron Region

The Farm Byron Bay
A must visit for everyone (especially anyone with a little person in tow), The Farm is a destination in itself. See how the farm operates and say hi to the animals, and meet the infamous mascots Braveheart the Scottish Highland cow and Bobby the rooster. Collect macadamia nuts from the macadamia trees, have a meal at Three Blue Ducks restaurant, or grab a little something from The Bread Social to eat outside on a picnic rug. There’s a playground for the anklebiters and plenty of beautiful open space to explore.
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale

The Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby
Instagood alert! Sit in an ancient amethyst cave, pose with rare and amazing giant crystals, and wander five hectares of subtropical, crystal-filled Shambhala Gardens and rainforest. You can even touch the World Peace Stupa, a project blessed by the Dalai Lama and join in Crystal Sound Healings at 12pm and 3pm! Grab a bite with a stunning hinterland view at Lotus Café and let the kids run amok in the playground.
Where: 81 Monet Drive, Montecollum

Shambhala Gardens, Crystal Castle (image supplied)
Shambhala Gardens, Crystal Castle (image supplied)

Hotel Brunswick
The heart of beautiful Brunswick Heads, swing in for a drink or a feed at this classic Aussie pub. Somewhat of an institution and a fave far and wide, relax under the beautiful Poinciana trees in the beer garden and soak up the ambience. Always busy on Sundays, if you can push the friendship and stay on till the early evening, you’ll generally be rewarded with live music and an even more awesome vibe. Pub grub at its best.
Where: Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads

Newrybar Merchants
A collective of creative local artisans and curators of fine goods who are passionate about what they do, this is our jam! Honouring the space and the essence of the Byron Bay Hinterland, Newrybar Merchants enables customers to experience rustic charm effortlessly blended with sophistication within a beautiful and unique retail space. Shop everything from faaarshion, to homewares, to wellness products and everything in between, it’s a must.
Where: 16 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar

Ivory Waterside (image supplied)
Ivory Waterside (image supplied)

The Tweed

The Ivory Waterside
Barely over the border but for the northern GC folk, it’s a Sunday drive to Tweed Heads so we’ll let this one fly. Recently undergoing a bit of a nip and tuck and overlooking the adjoining marina and picturesque Terra Creek, it’s the ultimate in casual waterside dining. The food is consistently delish and guys, you can even get your rad on with tons of vintage arcade games in Benny’s Arcade. Talk about a one-stop-good-times-shop! Add it to the list.
Where: 156 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads

Wollumbin National Park
This World Heritage-listed national treasure is well worth a look. Previously known as Mt Warning National Park, lose yourself in some of the largest and oldest tracts of sub-tropical rainforest on Earth. Wollumbin, which rises from the park to a height of 1,157 metres above sea level, is a remnant central vent of an ancient volcano and yep, that’s a drawcard right there. Note the Wollumbin (Mount Warning) summit track and the Aboriginal Place remains closed.
Where: About 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road, Mount Warning

River Terrace, Tweed River House (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
River Terrace, Tweed River House (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Tweed River House
This one is special! From the vantage point of the verdant riverbanks, settled at the tropical foothills of the Tweed Caldera in Murwillumbah, this century-old riverside plantation house has been lovingly restored to maintain its original character and charm. The elegant yet relaxed renovation creates a unique space that reflects the gentle pace of the Northern Rivers, oozing 1930s style with a French twist. They’ve even been nominated for a Chef Hat Award by the Australian Good Food Guide so if the aesthetics aren’t enough to get you there, the nosh will be!
Where: 131 River Street, South Murwillumbah

Baked at Ancora
Another one that’s close by when you’re a bit strapped for time is Baked at Ancora. Believers that sweet treats and waterside picnics go hand in hand, we concur and we can’t get enough of this Parisian style café bakery. From their signature croissants and traditional classics like pain-au-chocolat, to the more unique and inventive flavour combos, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in actual Paris. Well worth the waistline damage.
Where: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads 

Interior Wine Wall, Rob Roy Deli & Drinks (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Interior Wine Wall, Rob Roy Deli & Drinks (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre
There’s always something new to discover at the Tweed Regional Gallery, housed in a large, modern, architecturally award-winning building with views to Wollumbin/Mount Warning. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Claude Monet’s painting Meules, milieu du jour [Haystacks, midday] 1890, currently on loan from the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). While you’re there, a meal at the new in-house eats haunt Apex is an absolute non-negotiable. With a stunning outlook and design to reflect the vista, indulge in a unique combo of rustic French patisserie goodies and modern cafe plates with a very ‘now’ pan-Asian twist. Add a cocktail and instant happy place.
Where: 2 Mistral Road, South Murwillumbah

Husk Farm Distillery
Just a hop, skip and a jump over the border, a sneaky visit to the lush Husk grounds is certainly one of the more low effort, high reward outings Gold Coasters have at our fingertips. Our recommendation? Take your tastebuds on a very smooth sip around the signature Husk offerings with a tasting paddle to start. Not only have they mastered treats of the thirst quenching variety, the Husk Farm kitchen offers up a selection of top notch eats to rival their signature spirits selection.
Where: Dulguigan Rd, North Tumbulgum

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Dining room at Apex Dining (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Dining room at Apex Dining (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

This foodie destination has to be serene to be believed

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Nestled in the scenically-blessed Tweed Valley countryside, Farm & Co Restaurant is a foodie haven famous for its sunflower-studded expanses and its unique farm-to-plate dining experience. Cudgen’s gorgeous drive-and-dine destination boasts a star-studded group of hospitality gurus who have harnessed this organic working farm’s magic.

Now they’re cooking up a fresh batch of experiences and tastes for us to discover. And we are ready as ever to oblige! What better time to escape the hustle-bustle and explore the wide open spaces a little further afield?

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Farm & Co has been described as one of the locals’ best-kept secrets. We apologise in advance to the locals for spreading the word but locations this good can’t stay on the down low forever.

Inspired by a love for great food and top-notch service, Farm & Co Restaurant is dedicated to educating, nourishing, and inspiring its guests with sustainable produce and simple yet delicious cooking. Savoured alongside the paddocks where produce is grown. It’s a true taste of the Tweed Coast, perfect for family friendly outings and special events.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Jump in the car and head south for the weekly ‘Spritz and Sticks’. Hosted from 1pm-3pm every Sunday, diners can enjoy a delicious weekly rotation of $8 fire roasted skewers and spritzes. With options like Charred Pork Belly with House BBQ Glaze and Cucumber Pickle, Kingfish and Harissa with Mint Yoghurt or Oyster mushroom and miso butter with xo oil, all enjoyed with a selection of house-carbonated spritzes with house-made syrups. We’re there!

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Cementing Farm & Co’s status as a favourite among families and daytrippers, the recently revived ‘Day on the Lawn’ series bolsters the venue’s already popular restaurant and adjoining farmgate store and café offering. Hosted on the last Sunday of every month, the picture-perfect destination opens its gates for a day of picnicking and live music filled farm-style revelling on the restaurant lawn – and perhaps even a brush with farm’s resident rescue piggies Hank and Pepe, if we’re lucky!

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

But don’t put a fork in us yet, we’re not done.

Legendary restauranteur David Moyle has joined Farm & Co Restaurant’s team of culinary co-conspirators in an advisory capacity, working with venue manager Amy Brown to craft the restaurant’s new winter menu around the property’s anticipated seasonal spoils.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Joining perennial fan faves like the puffed-up Pizza Fritta bread and signature Wood-Smoked Lamb Shoulder, guests can expect a fresh wave of delights including the Roasted Gold Band Snapper with Leeks and Sunflower Seeds, and Ham Hock and Farm Cabbage Terrine with Gentlemans Relish. “We serve rustic, wholesome, good-quality food made with ingredients harvested daily from the farm as well as local organic produce, and David’s mentorship instils the confidence that what are doing is special, authentic and unique,” says Amy.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

Anyone else suddenly very keen for a weekend sojourn south of the border? If you’re craving a culinary adventure that’s as fresh as the produce on your plate, make your way to Farm & Co

When:
Farm & Co Restaurant
Dinner: Thursday – Saturday (reservations 4pm – 7pm)
Lunch: Friday – Sunday (reservations 12pm – 3pm)
+ Sunday Brunch, Sunday Picnics and Sunday Spritz & Sticks (walk ins only)

Farm Store Café
Wednesday – Friday 7am – 2pm
Saturday and Sunday – 7am – 3pm

Where: 529 Cudgen Rd, Cudgen

Pro tip: visit Friday – Sunday when you can add a farm stroll to your restaurant experience!

Words by Kellie Leader
Images by Mathilde Bouby

STORY SPONSORED BY FARM & CO RESTAURANT.

Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)
Farm & Co Restaurant (image by Mathilde Bouby Photography)

9 road trip worthy restaurants

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach (image supplied by Destination NSW)
Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach (image supplied by Destination NSW)

Every January the Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) bestows upon us its much anticipated Chef Hat Awards, a discerning and definitive ranking of culinary excellence. Aka, the foodie holy grail. For hardcore dining devotees, it feels a lot like Christmas morning. Our very own cheat sheet to work our way, hungry caterpillar style, around the most esteemed and decorated local destinations.

It leaves us with a lot to unpack and, in the case of our neighbouring Northern Rivers hat recipients, plenty of reasons to pack… our appetites and venture south, post-haste. Here are 9 of this year’s most road trip worthy restaurants.

Pipit, Pottsville (image supplied)
Pipit, Pottsville (image supplied)

Pipit
Founded by former Paper Daisy chef, Pipit owner Ben Devlin is no stranger to the art of crafting exquisite eats – nor has he pulled any punches when it comes to his first solo venture. And AGFG clearly agrees, with Pottsville’s Coronation Avenue darling taking out the coveted top spot among this year’s most noteworthy Northern Rivers Hat recipients.

Pipit’s near-perfect 17/20 score (an elusive 20/20 has never been seen in the award’s history) immediately propels it to pole position on the day trip priority list in our books, and also according to the AGFG ‘worth a detour’ designation.

Set aside a few hours and treat yourself to the revelatory set menu dining experience, a curated sequence of flavours, textures and ideas spanning over several hours, one which Ben likens to ‘a day trip around the Northern Rivers’ in and of itself.
Where: 8 Coronation Avenue, Pottsville

Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach (image supplied by Destination NSW)
Paper Daisy restaurant located within boutique hotel Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach (image supplied by Destination NSW)

Paper Daisy
Halcyon House’s beloved Paper Daisy of course also earned itself a nod, with an honourable 14. The esteemed and elegant eatery, sitting pretty against Cabarita Beach’s stunning shores – is mostly reserved for sandy-footed in-house guests, but it’s not all bad news for locals.

If you’ve got an arvo to kill, we’re all invited to see what the fuss is about courtesy of the bar, open from 3pm, or for dinner. Led by Jason Barratt, the kitchen shoots for ‘sophisticated simplicity’, where you can expect to delight in inventive and delectable dishes like Toasted macadamia kangaroo tartare or Riverina lamb rump, served with eggplant, green mango.

We’d recommend packing your appetite (and your towel, because, y’know, Caba #phwoar).
Where: 21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach

Raes on Wategos, Byron Bay (image by Madeleine Johnson / Sean Fennessy)
Raes on Wategos, Byron Bay (image by Madeleine Johnson / Sean Fennessy)

Rae’s Dining Room
Byron Bay institution, Raes on Wategos came in a close second, with a stellar score of 16, with the astute AGFG gang deeming it to be (very) ‘worth a detour’ – and yes, we did take some liberties with the parenthesis.

The chic, boutique retreat, an icon set amongst Byron’s idyllic beaches, delivers a fine dining experience in its Dining Room, headed by Executive Chef Jason Saxby. A culinary showcase of the region, curated with Mediterranean influences, the menu offers Caviar service, 3-course a la carte and 6-course Tasting Menu options.

A word of warning, though – after tasting dishes like Australian Bay Lobster (bug), glazed in fermented chilli, hand-rolled fregola pasta, and the Lemon Meringue Bombe, served with lemon aspen sorbet and lemon myrtle semifreddo, you might just want to move in.
Where: 6 – 8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay

Mcauley’s Road Beef, Tweed River House (image supplied)
Mcauley’s Road Beef, Tweed River House (image supplied)

Tweed River House
Murwillumbah’s aptly named Tweed River House, perched just a stone’s throw from its banks, also scored a hat – earning a rating of 14 for its gastronomic bistro and bar experience.

The venue, housed in a spruced up, century-old colonial-style mansion – offers a panoramic river vantage flanked by wraparound verandas, and elevated eats to match.

The luxurious and immaculately appointed interiors alone make it worth filling your tank, but decadent dishes like Confit tuna, brandy flambéd Australian Bay Lobster and pan-fried Spatchcock, served with Lyonnaise sauce certainly sweeten the deal.
Where: 131 River St, South Murwillumbah

Bistro Livi, Murwillumbah (image supplied)
Bistro Livi, Murwillumbah (image supplied)

Bistro Livi
Another noshery deemed to be one of the best in the Northern Rivers Restaurant category is Murwillumbah’s Bistro Livi, scoring the prestigious hat accolade with its total of 14.

A short 30km trek from Cooly and one of the fresher faces among its culinary cohort – if you’re yet to be acquainted with Livi, it’s an easy one to tick off the list when you’re looking for a low effort adventure snap you out of the Sunday lazies (or scaries).

Tucked within the arts precinct of the tight-knit Murbah community – the European-inspired venue radiates romance with rustic textures and an inviting, intimate ambience, while Spanish influences inform the menu. It’s certainly not just the AGFG critics that this regional gem has succeeded in winning over… #swoon.
Where: 1A 1-3 Brisbane St, Murwillumbah

Mavis Kitchen (image supplied)
Mavis Kitchen (image supplied)

Mavis Kitchen
Nestled in the foothills of Mt Warning, Mavis Kitchen & Cabins is a Tweed Valley culinary treasure, offering Modern Australian cuisine with a Middle-Eastern twist.

Set in an immaculately restored 120-year-old Queenslander and owned by Tindal Magnus and Sam McCormac – Mavis is the culinary pot of gold that awaits on the other side of a meandering day trip through the postcard-esque rolling hills of Wollumbin National Park.

Equally swoon-worthy are the signature bites, such as Grilled Kangaroo Loin and Tender Chickpea Gnocchi, crafted with love, and scoring the spot a commendable ranking of 12.
Where: 64 Mount Warning Road, Uki

Potager in Carool, in the Tweed hinterland (Liam Hardy Photography)
Potager in Carool, in the Tweed hinterland (Liam Hardy Photography)

Potager
Capitalising on Carool’s sweeping valley views, Potager – A Kitchen Garden has long been a favourite destination among locals and discerning visitors. The charming nosher is also somewhat of a teacher’s pet, earning a score of 13 for its Modern Australian style eats in this year’s Chef Hat Awards – along with a near-perfect 4.8 score on Google, might we add… and honestly, we’re not sure which is harder to pull off.

Set on a small 10-acre farm, the seasonal menu is informed by locally sourced produce, much of which is grown on the property. Dishes like the Macadamia & saltbush crusted Lamb backstrap, served with Stone & Wood pickled onion, are a testament to the community-minded culinary experience, while the Summer Stonefruit “Melba” Pavlova gets a mention, because #yum.
Where: 502 Carool Rd, Carool

Fins Restaurant and Bar, Kingscliff (image by Tweed Coast Guide)
Fins Restaurant and Bar, Kingscliff (image by Tweed Coast Guide)

Fins
Another ‘big fish’ in the Northern Rivers end of town, is Kingscliff’s seafoodie haven, Fins, which also earned another honorary hat for its rack with a ‘commended’ rating of 13.

Located by the beach at Salt, the Tweed Valley institution has been going strong for some 30 years now, netting a slew of awards along the way – officially Australia’s most-awarded regional seafood restaurant, if we’re getting technical.

Specialising in sustainably-minded ocean fare, the famed destination’s Degustation menu is a particular highlight, expertly paired with a curated selection of local and international wines and cocktails, of course.
Where: 5/6 Bells Boulevard, Salt Village, South Kingscliff

Harvest, Newrybar (image supplied)
Harvest, Newrybar (image supplied)

Harvest
Another Modern Australian nosher earning some serious cred is Newrybar’s garden gem, Harvest, awarded a hat, and an accompanying score of 13. Specialising in ‘simple and honest’ dishes with a focus on locally sourced, seasonal produce (are we sensing a theme here?) served with a side of spectacular surroundings.

Harvest’s whimsical, cottage garden residence falls right in the day trip sweet spot for those of us residing this side of the border – a scenic, one hour commute from Cooly, which is exactly enough time to work through a solid assortment of road trip bangers, if you ask us.

With everything from a hefty selection of Housemade digestif to Charred ballina prawns, served with prawn mousse & finger lime on the menu, you’ll want to take your ‘hat off’ to them, too.
18-22 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar Village

Words by Kellie Leader.

Pipit Restaurant in coastal Pottsville, north of Byron Bay (image by Sabine Bannard)
Pipit Restaurant in coastal Pottsville, north of Byron Bay (image by Sabine Bannard)
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