• Natalie

7 places to go for a long lunch in the Hills District this summer

Hills District restaurants perfect for lunch this summer.

No two ways about it, folks. Summer’s here. Rain or no rain, it’s that time of year again. The sun: he out.

And much like winter brings out the cold weather whingers (*cough* me), this region of the calendar places humans in two distinct categories. Those who complain about the face melting heat. And those of us who wish they would shush it and people who enjoy a good face melting to do so.

But one thing we can all agree on is summer is a time for lazy hazy days and long indulgent lunches out. I mean, we’ve been working all year. We’re exhausted. Let’s get out there, spend some quality time together and tuck into some quality grub in Sydney’s Hills.

Wild Pear Cafe
(Image: @wildpearcafe)

Wild Pear Cafe, Dural

Feast your peepers on this hidden gem! When you discover Wild Pear Café, you’ll feel like a damn fool because when you walk in and it’s packed to the rafters with patrons you’ll realise you were the last to know.

Located smack bang in the middle of an impressive neighbourhood nursery means not only do they source their fresh ingredients for their innovative comfort food from the onsite garden and local farmers, but you can pick up a palm on the way out. #handy

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Glenorie Bakery

Glenorie Bakery, Glennorie

Glenorie Bakery gives you the warm and fuzzies. It’s got so much love to give – from the charming, rustic interior to the pull-up-a-pew and make yourself at home outdoor eating areas. In fact, they have two al fresco dining options. One is in the centre’s courtyard, and the other is what can only be described as a beer garden. For coffee. And beer and wine. Because Glenorie Bakery also has a bar. (Yep!)

Old school pastries, cakes, pies and other baked goods rule the day as Glenorie Bakery is a real celebration of the simple things in life. It is a perfect place to catch up and cool out (although I hear it is jammers on weekends). There’s always something going on at GB. They have Sunday session live music, coffee car meets, high teas, events and functions and I hear there is a book club in the planning.

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(image: Crinitis)

Crinitis, Castle Hill

Inspired by traditional Criniti family recipes, this food is a fusion of traditional, southern Italian, and contemporary Australian cuisine. The menus are crazy extensive. I could recommend the Linguine Frank Sinatra or, if you haven’t eaten for about a week there are 3 metre wood-fire pizzas with every and any topping known to humankind. (Seriously).

According to their website, Crinitis was voted Australia's favourite Italian (and who are we to doubt). You can really make a day of it in the beautiful Castle Towers piazza getting stuck in to their woodfire pizza, steaks, burgers, and seafood, as well as gourmet pastas and salads. In short; something for everyone.

Winston Hills Hotel
(Image: @thewinsto)

The Winston, Winston Hills

I almost didn’t include The Winsto in this list. Probably because when I first moved to this area, it felt like every time my husband and I ate out it was at The Winston. It seemed too obvious for this list, which is the very reason it has to be on it. This local institution is big and family friendly. The food is more fancy (and slightly exxy) than ususual pub food. It has natural light in spades and the staff make you feel Norm Peterson walking in to Cheers-level welcome.

Oh, and they have a courtesy bus.

Wolf and Co
(Image: Wolf & Co)

Wolf & Co, Dural

There seem to be a disproportionate number of Dural restaurants that are contenders for this list, but I’m not going to discriminate. I mean, Dural can’t help it if insanely talented restaurant people gravitate there, can it?

Wolf & Co is a great spot for a first date, business meeting, brunch with the fam bam, or a girls lunch. They source fruit, vegetables and herbs from local growers. The eatery décor is classic and charming. Inside, there is a tiled bar, mounted leather couches and an open kitchen (so slick and clean it almost looks staged). Reserve yourself a table (or wander in) and dine on a multi-course meal from the all-day menu, wine list and the sweets menu. Make an afternoon of it!

The Local Shed

The Local Shed, Rouse Hill

Definitely one of my favourite foodie discoveries this year.

This place is amazeballs. Especially if you like a restaurant/café/bar set in a historic 17th century house with beautiful, spacious, parky surrounds (which I do).

Housed within Rouse Hill's iconic Mungerie House, The Local Shed sets the scene for a relaxed casual dining experience. Whether you are meeting up with friends for a freshly brewed coffee in the morning, or ending your week sharing a plate of Tapas after work, this shed hits the spot.

Oh, and it’s dog friendly.

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Bavarian Bier Cafe, Castle Hill

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Castle Hill and Rouse Hill

The Bavarian Bier Cafe has made its way to Castle Hill and it is flamin’ wunderbar!

Located in the totally refurbed space that used to house the Hog’s Breath, the thing that stays with me about the Castle Hill Bavarian is the light. The place is filled with gorgeous natural light that plays to the strengths of the smart, sassy décor. All in all, this is a great place to hang.

Their crispy pork knuckle is legendary, as is their range of gourmet sausages. Even if you’re not totally bowled over by German food, the meals are hearty and tasty and they often have discounts, specials and happy hours. As the name suggests, if you like beer, The Bavarian has you covered to the tune of 17 beers they have on tap.

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