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ON THE ROAD: Tickle your tastebuds in Armidale

There are lots of reasons to head to Armidale.

It’s the gateway to Waterfall Way. World Heritage areas are at your fingertips. Rolling hills are dotted with cute lambs. And they make some great booze here too. But the coffee…hallelujah!

I drank so much coffee in Armidale that I could see through time. The “highest city in Australia” really punches above its weight if you’re after a good brew. This little city/big town has certainly changed over the years and so has the number of quality food and beverage operations. 

Surrounded by some the best Beef and Lamb country in Australia means that this town is spoiled for choice. Whether it’s a ten buck rump lunch special or Aged Black Angus Beef Rib, most pubs are on the money when it comes to quality steaks.

Uni students, farmers and tourists alike gravitate to café/bakery The Goldfish Bowl for its welcoming atmosphere and to snap up delectable breads, pies and treats from the wood-fired oven.

The specials board provides seasonal choices. Pasta with Octopus, Pancetta, Olive, Tomato and Grana Padano looks as good as it tastes, showered in a crunchy breadcrumb pangrattato and slick with pan juices.

Friday is Wood Fired Pizza day with the heady Potato, Artichoke, Tallegio and Rosemary standing out. The number one reason to come to this café though is the coffee. The coffee is outstanding. Strong Guatemalan beans worked into a big fat crema, all silky in texture, the coffee felt like a warm hug followed by a pinch on the bum. 

Seesaw is another very popular café with a great deck to chill on over a bite from their small menu. Café Patisserie has two baristas working and a line out the door. Their handmade sweets are also popular amongst locals as well as their savoury crepes. 

Newly renovated Tattersalls Club is an absolute stunner. All of the bar deco characteristics have been preserved and the building is classy and beautiful. A happy hour beer in the front bar is good people watching, but the real fun happens in the Garden Bar, the classiest beer garden in Armidale by far. The Ladies Lounge is a great place to have a cocktail before dinner in the main restaurant, which serves the best quality beef in the town.

Black Angus Beef is Dry Aged in house and cooked over coal josper-style. The bar menu also dishes out great flavours from the same kitchen. 

There are quite a few pubs to choose from in Armidale. The Whitebull Hotel is the dependable local for a lot of people and we understand why.

A great range of regional, Aussie and imported beer on tap and a decent wine list featuring drops from the New England area.

The bistro serves the best pub grub in town. The front bar is huge and you will find sport tragics watching the tv’s for the latest results. 

Charlies Last Stand took us by surprise with some of the most delicious cocktails we have tried along with a nice wine list, a small selection of craft beer and spiked teas. A great spot to catch some local music and Sunday is BYO vinyl day. The other hole in the wall bar,

The Welders Dog is a great spot to watch the sun go down and have a chin wag with mates. They stock their own beer and the spirits list features local Dobson’s Distillery’s Gin. Try their vibrantly purple Sweet Pea gin for its knockout flavour. You can choose some good quality olives, cheeses and Charcuterie from the fridge to snack on or order in Pizza from next door. This bar is quite small but they have their priorities right- there is a band set up in the corner.

It has been a while since I’ve eaten goat. It is one of my favourite meats but I find that not a lot of people cook it well and thus it isn’t a readily available meat. Luniva Momo is a small Nepalese restaurant right in the middle of Armidale, and they know how to cook goat. 

Nepalese dumplings (Momo) disappeared quickly and the main “Set” was the Goat Curry, lentils, spinach and condiments. A fantastic way to share a meal, or completely hog it to yourself. There are plenty of options for vegetarians too.

Written by Kirra Hughes

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