There's clearly something in the soil in The Tweed region of northern New South Wales.
The area's rich volcanic earth not only supports a growing number of farms and food and drink producers, it is also a mecca for Chefs and restaurateurs, drawn to the lush landscape, idyllic lifestyle and evolving food profile of the region.
A growing list of foodie hotspots, from relaxed bistros to elegant eateries, are serving up Tweed-made flavours year-round with many taking out hats in this year's Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat Awards
In celebration of The Tweed's good food and drink, take a seat and join us at the tasting table for a menu which is filled with local flavours and culinary flare.
We take our hats off to these Tweed winners:
Enduring Tweed favourites, as well as some new kids on the block, made it to the list in the 2022 Chef Hat Awards, reflecting the region's strong foodie appeal and growing reputation for exceptional dining experiences.
From seaside spaces to hinterland views, don't miss these stand-outs on your next visit to The Tweed.
A celebration of coastal lifestyle and sustainable food, Pipit in seaside Pottsville is a regular on awards lists for its distinctive wood-fired cooking and focus on seasonal local produce. Chef Ben Devlin and partner Yen have created a light, relaxed space with an open-plan kitchen that invites diners to watch the culinary process in action.
FINS at Salt Village, Kingscliff:
Synonymous with seafood and regarded as one of Australia's most awarded regional restaurants, FINS celebrated 30 years in 2021 and has well and truly earned its iconic status. Chef Steven Snow and Sommelier/Manager Morgan Snow are passionate about fresh produce, whole fish, quirky wine and pushing the boundaries of dining.
Paper Daisy, Halcyon House - Cabarita:
A few steps back from beautiful Cabarita Beach you'll find the sophisticated simplicity and swoon-worthy interiors of much-awarded Paper Daisy at Halcyon House. A refined but relaxed space, take a seat to relish Executive Chef Jason Barratt's satisfying, thoughtful and deeply memorable dishes, showcasing local produce and sustainably sourced seafood.
Tweed River House, Murwillumbah:
The Tweed River House is a stunning new addition to the region's evolving valley food scene, launched in late 2021 and going straight to the 2022 Chef Hat Awards list, also recognised as a 'Notable Opening' by judges. Set on the banks of the Tweed River in a beautifully restored, century-old manor with verandah views out to Wollumbin Mt Warning, the menu highlights seasonal flavours sourced from valley to coast.
Potager - A Kitchen Garden, Carool:
Set on a small, 10-acre farm up high in the picturesque hills of Carool, Potager - A Kitchen Garden has long been a favourite for locals and visitors from near and far. Select dishes that hero organic local produce, locally caught fish and grass-fed meat and wander around the flourishing food garden to see where much of the fresh produce is sourced from.
If you've been yearning for Greece and its mouth-watering flavours, Taverna is your best bet this side of the Mediterranean Sea. This Greek-inspired seaside spot has a festive bustle that contrasts with soothing interiors, and a menu that tempts diners into a long lunch, or share plated dinner. With a cocktail list that's also irresistible, it's time to say 'Yassou' in Kingscliff!
Season, Salt Village:
Fresh, local and seasonal is the mantra for Season restaurant in Salt Village, a hop, skip and jump from Kingscliff beach at Peppers Salt Resort. The team sources meat from surrounding farms and sweet fruits and freshly picked veggies from local orchards and crops, making for a true culinary journey around the Tweed and its neighbouring regions.
No 35 Kitchen and Bar, Cabarita:
While a relatively new addition to Cabarita Beach, No 35 arrived in mid-2021 and developed an instant following. With a team that brings impressive calibre from iconic Sydney hot spots, this casual but warm kitchen and bar serves up refreshing cocktails and authentic, flavour-filled dishes described simply as 'Italian-ish.
Stop the press: Bistro Livi now open in Murwillumbah!
Taking the food profile of the Tweed hinterland to the next level is Bistro Livi at M|Arts Precinct, a food-lovers dream brought to life by a trio formerly of Melbourne institution MoVida restaurant. Head Chef Ewen Crawford, together with twin sisters Chef Danni Wilson and front-of-house Nikki Wilson (who hail from the region) have created a relaxed but refined space that heroes simple, confident and delicious food. Book now!
Tweed-made drinks are winners too!
The Tweed's terroir is not only ideal for cultivating food, it is also the perfect place to grow, harvest and distil all manner of drinks.
Within short driving distances of one another and connecting the Tweed's valley and coastal landscapes, you'll find the home base for some of the best sips around.
Here are a few thoughts to quench your thirst!
It's impossible to resist the magnetic pull of Husk Distillery, makers of the famous Ink Gin and Agricole rum, along with distillery tours and a well-stocked cellar door. Take a seat indoors, on the terrace, or at a picnic rug on the grass to drink in the full Husk experience.
Not far from here is Earth Beer Company, a refreshingly rustic craft beer set-up that's taken an avocado farm and transformed it into one of the most sought-after local pours around. In the spirit of local collabs, the Earth Beer team provide spent grain to nearby Farm & Co to keep their pet farm friends well fed.
For wine-lovers, you're in luck too! No local vines in this part of the world, but a growing number of clever wine purveyors, stocking natural, organic and non-intervention drops that have been curated with care and are ready to take home.
Call into Rob Roy Deli and Drinks in Tweed Heads and chat with their resident Sommelier and try not to be tempted by the local cheeses, meats and crafted spirit mixers.
Book in for a wine flight at Brooklyn Tasting Room in Burringbar, a tiny space that has managed to fill itself to the hilt with natural wines from far and wide. Or if you're staying seaside, be sure to call into Emmanuel's Wine Store in Kingscliff to pick up a bottle for takeaway in or at a nearby BYO eatery.
You'll also find other locally made drops like Soltera Rum and Spangled Drongo beers dotted around take-home stores and restaurant drink lists.
The Tweed even has tea and coffee sorted. Growing in that rich volcanic soil of the region is the Madura Tea plantation, as well as an established coffee plantation providing Tweed beans to specialty roasters (onsite at Zeta's Coffee you can also wake up and smell the beans, with an overnight stay at Origin House.