The Hunter Valley Region is famous for the many wineries but it is also a Foodies Paradise with lots of fine dinning & quant little cafes every where to suit all tastes.
Our own preference is to seek out the cafes in the more out of the way places so that we have a place where we can take a break while exploring the country side.
We have found some hidden gems with incredible food in the oddest of places, simply by taking a look around the next bend.
Two such places are Ling’s Café in Ellalong & The True Café at Lochinvar. Whilst in the area we also decide to try a couple of eateries in the more popular locations within the heart of the tourist districts Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar & Café Enzo at Polkobin.
Some of the antiques stores also had great little cafes attached to them & have been mentioned in that section of the magazine.
For the best burgers in town, head to “Ling’s Café” at Ellalong, a quaint little café in the tiny township of Ellalong just outside of Cessnock near Bellbird.
We made this one of our go-tos as the burger with the lot was delicious and soooo filling, complete with a hot cappuccino! On Saturdays it is themed cupcake day where a local young lady makes tasty iced moist cupcakes themed differently every week – the day we called in it was seashell blue iced cupcakes – soooo cute and yum! The staff are very friendly & a real pleasure to talk to them.
You can eat at the outside tables or you can take away as we did the first visit as it was cold, rainy and extremely windy – too windy to sit outdoors so we drove with our burgers for about five minutes into the bush, parked on the roadside and picnicked in the truck – beautiful views, warm and dry – what more could one ask for?
The original building was constructed in the late 1800s & located closer to the river a few streets away. It was a general store & post office but was moved to it’s present site on the back of a large truck some years ago after flooding in the area. It was retained as a store only but the old post boxes form a feature of the outside of the building.
“Ling’s Café”, open 7 days a week, has a good menu, great fast take away meals, sells papers, bread, some groceries and a few locally handmade jewellery items but it is a definite must as a food stop. The coffee is excellent as well.
Visit Lings https://www.facebook.com/ellalonggeneralstore/
True Café, Lochinvar
For a gourmet meal at a reasonable price you must lunch at this eclectic café in beautiful Lochinvar in the upper Hunter.
The “True Café & Chocolates” is solely owned and run by Edwin Rose, a gypsy chef, who has worked internationally, sharing his culinary delights with people from many cultures in exotic and interesting locations all over the world before deciding to permanently settle in Lochinvar cooking for locals in his unique, quaint and unusual café where you can meet friends, play games or just sit and read a vintage book or magazine from his amazing collection surrounded by his array of vintage style interior and curiosities. There is even a children’s playroom to entertain them while you enjoy a peaceful coffee break with a yummy snack!
This café is unlike anywhere I have eaten and Edwin specialises in gourmet pies (although my fav is his True café burger – delicious!), handmade artisan chocolate and handmade ice-cream with the flavours changing regularly. Local produce is sourced and used to cook all the meals at the “True Café”, which supports the local farmers whose products are superior, fresh and flavoursome while the milk for the cream and ice-cream is local sourced from the “Udder Farm” which is located around the corner from the café, fresh from the cows in the fields! Locals recommend the Coconut Cherry Ripe or the Mango & Cumquat Sorbet.
Edwin also does themed dinner nights where people dress in the cultural style of the food he is presenting – Amazing fun while enjoying a delicious dinner! Or you can hire the whole venue & he will cook up a memorable party for that special celebration or event.
Visit True Café https://www.facebook.com/TrueChocolates/
Special thanks Erin Kemmis for internal photos.