Where to eat in the Scenic Rim
Tomatoes, pecans, finger limes, crayfish, verjuice, sheep cheese, beef, milk, vodka and greens – all this produce and more – i.e. carrot beer – is made in the Scenic Rim area. Take the opportunity to taste the fruits of the region at its cafes, restaurants and bars. If you’re lucky you may even meet the farmer, wine marker or artisan.
Given that the Scenic Rim is such a large area, we’ve split this guide into the different locations where you can eat and drink.
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Closest to the coastline, the Tamborine area is the busiest in the Scenic Rim with lots to do, see, explore and eat.
For a fancy feast, rainforest retreat Songbirds serves lunch daily and dinner Friday to Sunday using organic produce where possible and seasonal flavours. Nearby Pethers is another all-star fine-dining restaurant and retreat where head chef Obie Faulkner grows the food he serves. Last but not least, The Old Church is worthy of celebrating special occasions.
Say g’day to the welcome dog at St Bernard’s Hotel and tuck into a Guinness pie. The mountain-side restaurant has spectacular views and excellent pub-style food. Speaking of Guinness, drop in to Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant for a hearty stew and pint at this local institution. For the classic British pub experience, Fox & Hounds Country Inn has specially imported English and Irish beers on tap. Also one for the vistas, Eagle Heights Mountain Resort enjoys spectacular views to the coast. Tucked away, The Bearded Dragon Boutique Hotel serves local Scenic Rim Brewery beers on tap.
For a casual bite, the Three Little Pigs serves share plates and tapas and Hickory is smoking the best ribs on the mountain. Guests at Mason Wines’ Eden Restaurant will dine in the winery’s former barrel room or soak in the view from Long Road Bistro with a blanket and picnic basket. Refuel at Hilltop on Tamborine after wandering through the art gallery or enjoy authentic Italian flavours at Belvedere on Main – they’ve been serving homemade pastas and wood-fired pizza since 1925.
Those looking for breakfast, brunch or lunch (yes, there is a difference) try Cafe Ella, Tea & Niceties, Laurel Cottage Garden Cafe, Drift Cafe or Spice of Life Cafe & Deli. Anyone just after a cup of life-giving liquid, head to Mt Tamborine Coffee Plantation or The Mountain Brew Coffee.
For a meal you won’t forget any time soon, join Terri at Mt Tamborine Cooking School for a day and learn new skills using local ingredients.
Canungra & Beechmont
O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyard
At 800m above sea level and nestled amid subtropical rainforest, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge is a gem. Dine at the Clifftop Dining Room (yes, the views are epic) or stroll over to the Lamington Teahouse for Devonshire tea and cafe meals.
High in the sky, O'Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is home to four dining spots – Gran’s Kitchen, Gran’s Pantry, the Dining Room and Rainforest Bar – which are open to all guests, including day visitors. If the homemade pie is on offer, don’t think twice – just order it.
Down the hill, sit on the wrap-around verandah of O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard or pick up a picnic hamper and relax by the creek. Stay long enough and you might spot the local platypus.
Another vineyard in the nearby Canungra area is Sarabah Estate. The casual bistro here is perfect for a weekend garden lunch with cellar door tastings. Drop into the Tudor-style Canungra Hotel for a wood-fired pizza before – or after – a visit to the nearby Witches Falls Winery. For freshly baked homemade pies, stop by The Outpost Cafe that has been feeding the area since 1946. For coffee, head next door to Bean In, across the road to Six Oaks, Cafe Metz or Canungra Hub.
Beaudesert, Rathdowney & Lost World Valley
In Beaudesert, Bean To? is a quirky and cute cafe pouring an Amore Organic blend, or sit in the courtyard at Everyday’s Cafe with espresso and a book in hand. Stop by Rathlogan Grove & Shed Cafe for breakfast and coffee, followed by a browse through the store for a bottle of olive oil, table olives or Rathlogan Grove Honey.
Sit on the back verandah and let the fresh air fill your lungs (and coffee fill your belly) at Kooralbyn Valley Kitchen or enjoy a picnic by the water with a wine in hand at the Barney Creek Vineyard (no, you don’t have to pack the picnic yourself).
For a classic pub meal, stop in at Railway Hotel Steak House or Beaudesert Hotel. Logan & Albert Hotel does a mean $15 steak on Tuesdays and the hotel has maintained its original facade from the 1930s.
Challenge yourself with a two-hour class at Wild Lime Cooking School. The end result is a three-course lunch paired with local wine, to be enjoyed on the deck with spectacular views. That sounds like the great Australian dream.
Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm
Known affectionately to locals at "The Dugie", the Dugandan Hotel dates back to 1886 where it was first a general store and a hotel since 1913. Stop in for the New York Wings (there’s six flavours to choose from) with a side of one of the 13 beers on tap. On the main street of Boonah, The Commercial Hotel is a favourite among locals, and just down the road the classic Australian Hotel – standing since 1888 – is the spot for an afternoon round of pool.
Flavours Cafe is housed inside the former offices of the Boonah Butter Factory, built in 1916. Stop in at Cafe 17 for a damn fine milkshake or grab breakfast before picking up some local produce from the fruit shop. Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian? Look no further than Poppi’s Wholefood Cafe – we hear it does a mean acai bowl. Settle into one of the armchairs with a second-hand book, homemade cake and a cup of tea at the Story Tree and maybe even pick up a gift for someone (or gift for self).
Arthur Clive’s Family Bakehouse has been baking daily since 1936 and today creates goodies that will delight every carb-lover and sweet tooth. Think cheesecake, brownies, nacho pies (yes, you read that correctly) and its take on a Monte Carlo. Speaking of sweet treats, pick up an apple turnover from Sugarloaf Bakery.
Take part in a cooking experience at Bunyip Resort’s Scenic Kitchen, or relax on the deck at Vue overlooking the landscape that is different shades of green.
Ever tried lavender ice-cream? This is your chance. Wander through the lavender and sample wines from the cellar door at Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm before settling in for a fine meal at the restaurant or cheeseboard and tapas on the terrace.
Aratula, Kalbar & Harrisville
Spicers Peak Lodge
When hunger strikes, the Hunter, the Gatherer or the BLAT at Bittersweet Symphony sounds like the ultimate solution. For a classic Australian pub experience, stop in at the Royal Hotel in Kalbar (est. 1900) or the historic Royal Hotel Harrisville (est. 1875) – it’s one of the oldest pubs in the region.
If you’re working your way around the region and particularly enjoyed your visit to Arthur Clive’s, there’s two more bakeries in Kalbar and Aratula to visit. Aratula Cafe does an all-day breakfast and has a fresh juice bar, and a coffee or milkshake at One Stop Halfway Cafe is best followed up with browsing through the art, craft and antique store next door.
If you’re really keen to go all out and treat yo’self, a degustation at Spicers Peak Lodge will not disappoint. Luxurious is the best way to describe this Spicers experience.