Crisp cornflake leaves that crunch underfoot, gift shops adorned with boldly coloured homewares and a nip in the air that says “it’s time to go get a coffee”. The cafe culture is well and truly alive among the villages within the Blue Mountains, each bringing its own flavours and quirks.
While there are many of the typical must-visits, it’s sometimes nice to go off the beaten path and explore something new, like going where the locals go. In our top five guide, we share some of best kept secret cafes throughout this stunning neck of the woods.
Established in 2006, Cassiopeia is a specialty coffee roaster in the Blue Mountains, with three espresso bars located at Springwood, Katoomba and one at Windsor in the Hawkesbury region. Their minimalist and relaxed approach to producing high-quality coffee is one of the reasons why they are such a hit with local coffee lovers. This is the kind of place where you can pull up a barstool, listen to some beats and take your time having a good catch up with a mate.
If you want to enjoy a little flavour of Cassiopeia at home, their blends and wares are available at the bars or through their online store.
2/127 Macquarie Road, Springwood
Mon - Fri 6am - 2pm
Sat 6am - 1pm Sat
Sun 6am - midday
79 Lurline Street, Katoomba
Mon - Fri 6am - 2pm
Sat-Sun 6.30am - 1pm
It's hard to think of a better combination than a steaming cup of tea or coffee, a page-turner and freshly baked scones straight from the oven. At Chapters and Leaves in Faulconbridge, treat yourself to a selection of over 150 varieties of teas from across the globe, which are also available to purchase.
Among the tea leaves there's a wide selection of books, teawares and work from local artists. The ever-changing selection of cakes, slice and baked delights are worth breaking the diet for. They often feature anything from cheesecakes to classic upside-down cake and chocolate slices.
Shop 3, 7-9 St Georges Crescent, Faulconbridge
Bookings recommended: for dine in call on 0411 385 117
Mon - Wed 9.30am - 2pm
Thu - Fri 9.30am - 4pm
Sat 9.30am - 2.00pm
Away from the hustle of the main shops of Hazelbrook is the cosy and inviting The Parade Cafe located just near the station. The quirky adorned walls tell a story of the owners of their passion all things food, travel and producing high-quality meals and coffee.
This is the perfect spot to while away some time, especially on a rainy Saturday morning with a bowl of the Spanish breakfast with chorizo, topped with oozing golden eggs and a side of crusty bread to soak up all the goodness.
Homemade ready-to-eat meals are also available for take-away and can feature anything from stir-fries to hearty pasta feasts, and something sweet for dessert as well of course!
39 Railway Parade, Hazelbrook
Wed - Sat 9am - 4pm
With all the charm of an inner-city cafe, Cortado brings some of the best beans to the funky village of Lawson. Grab one for the road or pull up a seat to enjoy the relaxed vibes of mountain life with a plate of something to fuel the soul.
The food is a limited range of choices featuring gourmet toasties, hand-crafted baked sweets and seasonal salads using local produce. Cortado also specialises in a range of well-known roasters so caffeine fans can stock up bags of goodness and coffee accessories.
1/11 Staples Crescent, Lawson
Mon - Fri 7am - 3pm
Sat - Sun 7.30am - 3pm
This isn’t your everyday, run of the mill cafe, so don’t expect to find caramel lattes and your bacon and egg muffins here! As the name suggests, Plantbased Wholefoods is where you go to eat and embrace cafe dining that leaves you feeling healthy, satisfied and ready to tackle anything the world throws at you.
The wholesome falafel wrap is brimming with goodness, and is cooked to perfection. Push your boundaries and try the dandelion late, full of earthy and nutty flavours or the refreshing housemade kombucha.
Keep an eye on their Facebook for regular live performances from local artists.
97 Katoomba Street, Katoomba
Wed - Thu 10am - 3pm
Fri 10am - 10pm
Sat 10am - 3pm
Sun 9am - 2pm
Photographs are of Parade Hazelbrook and courtesy of Chloe Grabham Clovar Creative.