I decided to update this article because when I wrote it we were in the process of trying to move to the Blue Mountains. And now we have!
And as you well know, visiting cafes every now and then can be a very different experience from visiting them on a regular basis.
So although I don't want to take away from the cafes I have already covered what I have decided to do is to keep this up to date with my 5 Favourite Cafes from my current experiences and also tell you about the ones we like and would easily recommend.
We are slowly making our way around exploring the different villages and what each has to offer.
What I will base this post on is consistency in service and food and I will continue to let you know what their "hero" element is for me.
If you are a visitor to the area, I hope this guide helps you to choose a great place to eat. It can be hard when you have limited time in an area and you don't want to waste it looking for a place to eat.
And the other thing I hate is wasting my time, and money, on a below average meal. Unless you jump online and read all the reviews which can be time-consuming.
There are obviously more cafes to choose from, and I will write another post down the track when I have tried them, but at this time these are my favourites.
The top 5 Favourite cafes are in no particular order. We would happily eat regularly at each of them, depending on the experience we are looking for or what we are in the mood to eat.
I also eat gluten-free and have some friends and family who do as well, so I will include that in this article as well. Nothing annoys me more than heading out for the day, stopping for something to eat and finding nothing on the menu that I can enjoy, so if you have dietary intolerances, hopefully, this will help.
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Top 5 Favourite Cafes
Red Door Café, Leura
The Red Door Café is a favourite of ours for breakfast. Whenever we want to eat here we leave early to avoid the crowds in Leura. It has a rustic appeal and a cosy atmosphere.
And it is consistently good.
I have also eaten lunch here with a group tour I hosted, and we have also enjoyed their coffee and cake. What can I say but it is all great. I love it when a café has consistently good food and coffee, and the Red Door Café is.
Their service is quick, and the food is awesome with lots of choices and specials. And they offer a standard of food a bit of a step up from most cafes.
Everything I have eaten here has been delicious, but by far my favourite dish is from their All Day Breakfast Menu – Sauteed Mushrooms on toast. Oh my goodness! This dish is incredible. Naturally sautéed mushrooms but with the addition of hazelnut butter and a generous dollop of sour cream on top. And I order it with gluten-free bread, and for me this makes it.
Traditionally gluten free bread was about as exciting as eating a piece of cardboard, but this bread is locally made and utterly delicious. We have even bought a couple of loaves from the cafe to take home.
So even if you do not eat gluten-free, I would order this bread. It makes the entire dish amazing.
My partner Dan's sister rates the Sauteed Mushrooms on toast as one of the best breakfasts she has had, anywhere!
As mentioned they have gluten free bread available plus quite a lot of their dishes are gluten free too. And to top it off they do have one choice of cake. Yep, you guessed it Orange & Almond, but it is good.
Milk, Soy and Almond
The food. Everything I have tried here on numerous visits has been great. It can get very busy, but it is worth the wait for a table.
Located at 134 The Mall, Leura
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am – 4 pm
Megalong Valley Tea Rooms, Megalong Valley
This place is well worth the drive down, albeit on a winding road through pockets of rainforest. If you don’t mind the drive, you will love the scenery! And once down into the Megalong Valley the views are stunning looking back up at the mountains.
The Tea Rooms are something a little different. You can choose to sit inside or like most people take up a spot outside at a bench seat under the gum trees where you can see the cows in the neighbouring paddock, watch the Magpies play and enjoy nature.
The service here is exceptional and friendly. They have an extensive menu.
We often pop in here if we are exploring the Megalong Valley for a coffee and cake and we have also eaten breakfast (Dan tells me their homemade hash browns are delicious), and we have eaten lunch here on numerous occasions and enjoy the experience every time. The coffee was great too.
They have a few Gluten Free options available mainly including bread and some cakes including the Caramel Slice, Honey & Date Bread and yep you guessed it, Orange and Almond cake.
Milk and Soy
The location. Hands down. The food is great too, but the atmosphere here is something different and worth experiencing. Stunning natural setting. And the service was exceptional too.
Located on Megalong Road, Megalong Valley
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am – 5 pm.
For more information – Megalong Valley Tea Rooms
We have fallen in love with the Blackheath Deli.
Not only is the coffee good, but they have the BEST cakes and slices, including a good range of gluten-free, if you are looking for a sweet treat for morning or afternoon tea.
The passionfruit slice and double choc chip cookies are my favourites. They also have a great sandwich bar.
There isn't a lot of seating inside but if you can find a seat, grab it.
If you are looking for picnic supplies, this is the place to come to. A perfect stop before heading to the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, Mount Tomah.
It's one of our "go to" places when putting together an antipasto or cheese board.
The Blackheath Deli is a mecca for gluten-free products. They even have a whole section specifically set out for it.
The owners are such lovely people they make it a pleasure to shop there.
They have a lot of gluten-free options available from packaged products to fresh cakes and slices.
Milk, Soy and Almond.
The Owners! The Food! And the Coffee! Can you tell we just love it in there?
Located at 32 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath
Opening Hours: Daily 8 am - 5 pm.
Pomegranate Cafe, Katoomba
Before moving to the Blue Mountains, a local recommended this cafe.
What a great recommendation! I love this place but it gets incredibly busy particularly on the weekends when the majority of people visit. It is worth the wait though and it is my favourite cafe in Katoomba.
I will be honest, the majority of meals that I have seen and tried are good BUT the one dish that is truly amazing is the Mushroom Risotto. I cannot even begin to describe how flavourful this meal is. It is by far their standout dish.
And the coffee is good too, very important of course!
They have gluten-free options available, just ask the staff. And of course, the risotto is gluten-free.
Milk, Soy and Almond.
The Risotto! And the staff are super friendly and helpful. And because they do get very busy and the cafe is small they let you know if there will be a wait for the food so you can decide to stay.
Located at 49 Katoomba Street, Katoomba.
Opening Hours: Monday 8 am - 4 pm, Tuesday - Thursday 7.30 am - 4 pm, Friday – Sunday 8 am – 4 pm.
Blackheath General Store
The coffee is good, food great and staff are friendly.
Oh, and the scones! Do yourself a favour and try the scones - Pumpkin Scones and gluten-free Maple Syrup Scones. Both delicious and perfect for morning tea (or like we did on the weekend, a second breakfast).
Located at 249 Great Western Highway it has easy parking along the highway, perfect for a breakfast stop if you are making your way through the mountains. Or a nice place to get acquainted with if you are staying for some time in the area.
A lot of their meals are adaptable for gluten-free. And they make gluten free scones which are amazing.
Milk, Soy and Almond
The friendly staff and food. the atmosphere here is cosy and warm and Belinda makes everyone feel welcome.
Located at 249 Great Western Highway, Blackheath
Opening Hours: Daily from 8 am – 4 pm.
More Blue Mountains Cafes
The following cafes are wonderful too. We highly recommend you try them if you are in the area.
The Church, Glenbrook
Glenbrook is usually the first stop visitors to the Blue Mountains make. It is in the lower mountains and is host to a Visitor's Centre, which is why most people stop here.
Keep going into the village itself and down the main street, Ross Street, and you will come across The Church Cafe. You won't miss it, it's the one that looks like a church. Sorry, couldn't help myself.
I often stop here with my tour groups coming up from the South Coast because it's a good place to stop for a bathroom break, usually required after a long drive, and it has great coffee and plenty of tasty treats to choose from.
Inside the cafe, you will still find the original stained glass windows, which make a nice touch.
Gluten Free Options
There are quite a few gluten-free sweet treats to choose from but not too many savoury options.
But for a morning or afternoon tea stop it is perfect.
Milk, Soy & Almond
I love The Church's quirkiness. It is small inside but if you can get a seat in front of the church windows it adds to the atmosphere. The coffee is good too.
Located at 20 Ross Street, Glenbrook
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am – 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am - 4 pm
Scharwzes German Bakery, Wentworth Falls
This is a German bakery that also serves coffee, cake and light meals. The staff are friendly and helpful and efficient.
Where to start here, they have tortes and strudels, pastries and pretzels, and cakes both large and small and of course freshly baked bread.
The baked goods look and smell delicious (mmmm warm bread just out of the oven) and the pastries are divine as well. It is always busy in there with locals picking up fresh bread, so that is a good sign. And they have been here for 12 years.
The cafe/bakery lacks atmosphere, but it certainly makes up for that with the food. And then there is the coffee! That was amazing.
Gluten Free Options
They only have one gluten free cupcake, but it is sensational. I have eaten it twice, and yes, we can all get a bit sick of orange almond, but trust me and just try it. It seemed lighter than other orange and almond cakes, but with the icing, it was to die for.
If you are coeliac, you will want to give this a miss as the gluten-free cupcakes are stored side by side with all the other cakes. A bit of a bummer because it is delicious.
Milk, Soy & Almond
The hero at this place is the coffee. The cakes and pastries are great, but the coffee is really good.
Located at 30 Station Street, Wentworth Falls
Opening Hours: 7.30 am – 5 pm daily
Bon Ton, Leura
Just down past the main shopping area in Leura you will find Bon Ton. Once a butcher it is now a lovely bistro.
The food and coffee were good but what we were looking for was a pleasant outdoor dining experience, and that’s exactly what we got. Sitting under the dappled light filtering down through the large oak tree was just what we needed on a warm day. And the service we got was superb.
I will be honest they get mixed reviews, but our experience was fine. I would definitely go again and try something different. We shared the Peppered Rare Seared Kangaroo and finished with a slice of Chocolate Torte (GF) and coffee. The cake and coffee were great, and the main good, but not noteworthy. Next time we will try the Smoky Pulled Pork which looked divine.
They have gluten free bread available and at the time of our visit had the GF Chocolate Torte available. Some of their dishes could be adapted to be gluten-free.
Milk and Soy
The outdoor dining area. Great ambience sitting under the oak trees, a perfect place to relax away from the crowds on a hot summers day.
Located at 192 Leura Mall, cnr Megalong Street, Leura
Opening Hours: 7 days for Brunch & Lunch, weekdays from 11 am and weekends from 8.30 am. Dinner Friday – Wednesday from 5.30 pm.
For more information – Bon Ton
This cosy café has a warm rustic ambience and is a favourite of many Blackheath locals. It is located on the highway in Blackheath in the main part of the village.
I loved the décor. I found it inviting. And to top it off the food was excellent. We were with a family group, and everyone loved the coffee and cakes they ordered.
Gluten Free Options
Gluten-free bread and some cakes were available, but choices were limited to Carrot Cake and Chocolate Cake.
Milk and Soy
The food and coffee were all winners. We were there on a very wet day, and it was such a relief to be out of the rain. The service was very quick.
Located at 237-238 Great Western Highway, Blackheath
Opening Hours: Monday & Wednesday 7 am – 3 pm, Thursday – Saturday 7 am – 4 pm, Sunday 7.30 am – 3 pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Enjoy your time in the Blue Mountains. I hope this article makes it a bit easier to choose a cafe option while you are here. Have a great time!
Cindy Reid is the founder of Travel Charm. Cindy has travelled extensively both personally and with her groups. She has now combined her love of art, food and travel and hosts Painting Trips to Europe and continues to explore and roam in Australia.