After the one-two hit of the summer bushfires and lockdown restrictions, Orange is once again open for business. The regional New South Wales city has a charm all its own, and the best way to take it in is to eat and drink your way across town.
These are the 11 incredible food experiences to have on your Orange bucket list.
Orange F.O.O.D Week
Australia's longest running regional food festival returns to Orange in April 2021. Orange F.O.O.D Week showcases the region's best producers and vignerons. The 10-day festival includes events at some of the region's most lauded restaurants and wineries, with group foraging adventures, cheese tastings and sausage-making masterclasses. There's no better time of the year, we think, to experience Orange. (And while you're there, why not try your hand at fruit picking at one of Orange's famed apple orchards?)
9–18 April, 2021, orangefoodweek.com.au
The team behind Orange's go-to special occasion restaurant Lolli Redini has just opened Birdie, its casual counterpart, around the corner. The all-day menu moves from brunch classics to small plates of Batemans Bay oysters, chicken-liver parfait, and antipasti platters; plus there's a short, sharp list of wines and beers. Desserts, thankfully, are available throughout the day.
120-122 Summer St, Orange, birdienosherydrinkingest.com
Byng Street Local Store
Start the day at Byng Street Local, a breakfast stop for locals and visitors alike. The menu changes seasonally, and highlights could include the apple crumble porridge, a classic egg and bacon roll, and the Gruyère soufflé.
47 Byng St, Orange, byngstreet.com.au
Such was the demand for the chef Shaun Arantz's bread at the now-closed Racine Restaurant, he and his wife Willa Arantz opened Racine Bakery. Their range of sourdough bread and pastries regularly sell out, so head in early to avoid disappointment.
166B Summer St, Orange, (enter via Woolworths carpark), racinerestaurant.com.au
Spilt Milk Bar
After spending three months in Italy learning the art of gelato-making, Sarah Quigley and Andrew Hamilton opened this "cow-to-cone" gelateria. Flavours change seasonally – you might find the rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla flavour, or a milk gelato shot through with tangy lemon curd.
45 Sale St, Orange, spiltmilkbar.com
The Schoolhouse Restaurant
With former Rockpool chef Dom Aboud leading the kitchen charge, you can rely on The Schoolhouse Restaurant for its mod-bistro fare. You might find house-made Italian sausage on a bed of soft white beans, a pork chop with apple, cabbage and mustard trimmings, or apple empanadas for dessert. The restaurant opened in late 2019 at the heritage-listed Union Bank hotel, making it a cosy place to linger for a long lunch.
The Schoolhouse Restaurant at The Union Bank, 84 Byng St, Orange, theunionbank.com.au
Charred Kitchen & Bar
The custom-made woodfire and charcoal oven forms the beating heart of the kitchen here. On the menu, you might find fire-roasted beetroot and spanner crab with smoked bonito butter for entrées, and charred lamb rump with sheep's milk yoghurt for mains. Desserts are a spectacle.
1-5 New St, Orange, charred.com.au
Philip Shaw Wines
Head to this photogenic cellar door of this celebrated Mount Canobolas vineyard. Book ahead for their popular wine tasting, which comes a cheeseboard of double brie from Second Mouse Cheese Co, house-made lavosh, marinated olives, roasted walnuts, and fruit accompaniments.
100 Shiralee Rd, Orange, philipshaw.com.au
Sister's Rock Restaurant at Borrodell
This former commercial orchard has evolved into a vineyard, truffière and heritage apple and plum orchard, and its restaurant has sprawling views over the Central West slopes and plains. Expect dishes such as roast cauliflower with fresh cheese and Borrodell truffle, and poached rhubarb with liquorice and blood orange.
298 Lake Canobolas Rd, Orange, borrodell.com.au
The Agrestic Grocer
This stylish grocer and café also serves as a cellar door for the on-site Badlands Brewery, where local hazelnuts and black truffles have been known to make their way into their beer creations. Stop by on a Tuesday night for a taste of live music too.
426 Molong Rd, Orange, theagresticgrocer.com.au
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