Hats for local restaurants


Fleet in Brunswick Heads has again been named best restaurant in regional NSW, scoring two hats in the 2019 Good Food Guide, the same rating it achieved in the last two years. It’s also recognised as the number one regional NSW restaurant by Gourmet Traveller magazine. Paper Daisy at Cabarita also scored two hats in the 2019 Good Food Guide (up on its single hat last year), with a further three in the region each receiving a hat.

To receive top honours as NSW’s Best Regional Restaurant in the guide, Fleet received a score of 17.5/20. Just a handful of restaurants in Australia get more: the ‘three-hat’ awards that cut in at 18 were given out to just seven establishments nationwide. 

However the great depth of excellent dining in the northern rivers was shown by the one-hatters this year that were each awarded 15 points. 

Shelter, Lennox Head

Lennox Head’s Shelter, run by owners Andrew Love and Troy Noonan, scored their hat after being open for just 18 months, and were also cited as one of the top 12 Hot New Restaurants in the country. Ideally situated just across from the surf in Pacific Pde, Lennox Head, the restaurant has a relaxed vibe but top-notch food under head chef Dennis Baker.

Byron at Byron

New executive chef Matt Kemp at Byron at Byron has taken the restaurant, refurbished at the end of last year, up a notch, to secure its first-ever hat. Matt serves up a crafted and continuously evolving menu, with local produce reflecting the changing climate and seasons with Asian, modern Australian and European influences.

Harvest, Newrybar

Newrybar’s Harvest has continued to find hats. The innovative restaurant has not only scored Best Small Wine List of the year award two years running from Gourmet Traveller, but provides a unique experience with wild food forager Peter Hardwick, and also runs the excellent Wild Harvest series with guest chefs (for example 28 November Zeb Gilbert from Noosa’s Wasabi will be at Harvest). Harvest head chef Alastair Waddell acknowledged the role that committed staff and amazing local producers played in ensuring a consistently remarkable experience for guests.

More than 500 restaurants from across the country were reviewed for this year’s Guide, with 264 of these receiving hat status, ranging from one to three. To secure a spot in the Guide, restaurants in New South Wales and Victoria must score at least 14 out of 20, while all other states must score a minimum of 15. Bangalow’s Town made it into the guide but missed out on a hat with a score of 14.5. 

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