Located just over two hours from Sydney, famous for its impeccable coastal drives, pristine beaches and quaint towns the Shoalhaven area in South NSW is a tourist destination full of top-notch ‘must-visit’ venues. With popular towns like Berry, Milton, Ulladulla and Jervis Bay, Shoalhaven has many foodie institutions to try and countless gems to discover and sink your teeth into!
Located in Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast – family owned and run Cupitt’s is a MUST visit to pop on the ol’ bucket list. Griff and Rosie Cupitt purchased the 193-acre Washburton Farm in 2003 which is currently operating as a winery, brewery, restaurant, bar, fromagerie, wedding venue * takes a breath * and accommodation business – (wow!). The original structure apparently dates back to 1851 and used to be a creamery. We visited on a beautiful blue-skied winters day that was absolutely hopping with cheerful patrons. We tucked into their tasting plate of cheeses and sat in awe – lazily taking in the sprawling green lawns overlooking the postcard-worthy vineyards, green acres and restaurant brewery and bar. The cheese plate (made with love by Cupitt’s owner Rosie) featured a Tomme De Chèvre – a 20 month aged hard goat’s cheese that was full of personality and bite. Also an alpine style cheese named Croobyar that has a nutty and buttery taste. Our personal favourite was the cow’s milk feta that was smooth, salty and extremely moooo-rish! Whilst sampling we got to chatting with wine connoisseur – and all round legend – Wally (head winemaker and son of Rosie and Griff). He walked us through the amazing selections starting with a citrusy Riesling, a florally and vibrant Viognier, and a crisp oaky Chardonnay with beautiful minerality and freshness. We then moved on to their popular ‘Rosie’s’ Rosé that was clean, dry and refreshing. Then came the reds (this writer’s personal favourite) where we sampled their Barbera (a medium bodied cool climate Italian varietal, matured in Hungarian oak), ‘Dusty Dog’ (a spicy, aromatic, soft and refined shiraz) and the Nebbiolo (another Italian, savoury and balanced Shiraz.) Just when we thought we couldn’t be happier, Wally brought us over a sampling paddle of beers from their very own brewery. We were big fans of the IPA but honestly could have stayed all day and tried every last one. Cupid(tt)’s arrow has definitely found our hearts! #love
Address: 58 Washburton Rd, Ulladulla NSW 2539
Situated in the picturesque seaside community of Milton with breathtaking views of rolling green hills & ocean, Harvest Bar is a definite hot-spot to try. The walls are covered in rusty coloured vines as you walk by and their amber golden lighting is welcoming and warm. The fit out is rustic-chic (neon signs and art deco mirrors) and the staff are welcoming and friendly as they busily wait on their happy patrons. Famous for their cocktails (the menu boasts some quality classics with edgy twists) we ordered a Bloody Mary and settled in to watch the gorgeous clouds roll by and listen to their epic 80’s and old school playlists. The Bloody Mary did not disappoint – served in a large ornate glass garnished with a dried orange slice and fresh pepper with a citrusy kick and salty spice. Harvest Bar offers a plethora of local & international wines and craft beers (we enjoyed a frosty one with our meal and could have easily made a night of it!). Their tapas inspired dishes smelt amazing coming from the kitchen and we couldn’t help but drool at the sight of the burgers and tacos. Our favourite was the salt and pepper squid with it’s light salty batter and zesty aioli (the servings were nice and generous too!) Whether you’re looking to settle in for a chilled afternoon with mates or relaxed romantic date spot, Harvest Bar has you covered.
Address: 4/23 Wason Street, Milton NSW
Award-winning boutique cafe Hungry Monkeys has two locations – one in Kiama that was launched in 2015 and the second in Berry which opened in 2019. As soon as we parked, we noted crowds of people waiting outside the doors to come in. Very glad we had a reservation! We slipped upstairs to the mezzanine and took a seat at a sleek hardwood table, admiring the view down onto the kitchen and bar below. The pretty venue is filled with light and fun artworks and the staff were a delight. We enjoyed a glass of rosé and chardonnay as we perused the menus. With an all day breakfast offering we jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the purple toast (with beetroot relish, Persian feta, house made dukkah on soy & linseed sourdough with free range perfectly poached eggs) and balanced this out with the Bad Boy Burger. The ‘Bad Boy’ is a burger beast made from ground angus, pacifico battered onion rings, bacon & monteray jack drizzled with chipotle aioli. We simply had to try a bowl of beer battered chips (rude not to really?). We can understand why there was a queue out the door for this place, Hungry Monkeys is a top notch place for all hungry animals out there!
Address: 23 Prince Alfred Street, Berry, NSW
Pilgrims Vegetarian cafe founded in 1980 is famous for their fresh offerings and great coffee. Having just opened a brand new venue in Bronte its not hard to see why the place is an institution in NSW. Known for their epic burgers and insanely tasty and filling veggie breakfasts (and fluffy pancakes) the real trouble is choosing what to try! They also offer flavourful wraps, toasties, pies and salads and have a whole mexican menu should you feel that way inclined #bueno. Their baked goods include mouthwatering cakes, ANZAC biccies, brownies and breads (served with homemade preserves of course) as well as their lip-smackingly good homemade banana bread served with fresh ricotta & local honey. They also offer flavourful juices, shakes and smoothies if looking for something a little lighter. We finally settled on their locals fast favourite – the Bliss Burger of mixed grain pattie, fried onion, avocado, cheese, tabouli, sprouts, special sauce & peanut sauce on a toasted wholemeal roll – and our tastebuds were singing. If even only for a delicious coffee, a pilgrimage to Pilgrims is a must try for road-trippers and holiday makers.
Address: Shop 8/9 Princes Hwy, Milton 2538
Some honourable mentions and locals picks are:
Healthy farm-to-fork feed with a great ambiance and picturesque gardens – Milkhaus – 170 Woodstock Rd, Woodstock NSW 2538.
A little fancy and a LOT of fun for sundowner cocktails and stunning views – Banisters Mollymook – 191Mitchell Parade Mollymook NSW 2539
Ace coffee. Full. Stop. Mic. Drop. – Mavericks Coffee Roasters – Shop 8, 171 Princes Highway (179.76 km) 2539 Ulladulla, New South Wales