Stanthorpe, in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt, is well known for its wineries, and we’ve spent plenty of time sipping and tasting wine out here. But it’s not all about the wine.
Did you know that the region also has more than its fair share of excellent cafes, restaurants, delis and foodie experiences too? Combine a stay in the Granite Belt with good food and wine and you’ll be booking your return visit before you even leave.
These are some of the best places to eat in Stanthorpe and our favourite places to eat too.
- Best wineries to visit on the Granite Belt
- Comprehensive guide of everything to see and do on the Granite Belt
- Where to stay on the Granite Belt including great places for groups
- Little Larder
- Zest Bakery
- Granite Belt Brewery
- St Judes Cellar Door and Bistro
- Varias Restaurant
- Balancing Heart Vineyard
- Ashbern Strawberry Farm
- Granite Belt Christmas Tree Farm and Cafe
- Heritage Estate Winery
- Barrelroom Wine Lounge – Ballandean Estate
- Wallangarra Railway Cafe
- Suttons Cafe
- Jersey Girls Cafe
- Vincenzo’s Cafe and Deli
- Anna’s Restaurant
- Persian Poppy
- Brinx Deli
- Hidden Creek Winery and Cafe
- Whiskey Gully Wines
The Little Larder in the centre of Stanthorpe is owned and operated by Cam Giddings, a former international airline crew member and Stanthorpe local. Having been grounded due to Covid, the Little Larder was a project to throw his energy into and it’s come up trumps.
With a modern Australian menu and a little New York inspiration too, the Little Larder is open six days a week for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Sit inside or out on the wide verandah. It’s also dog-friendly, so it gets a big tick from us.
Inside, you’ll find lots of tasty, locally made items, and if you are looking for something to do on Friday afternoon, there are happy hour cocktails and snacks.
Brunch is a hero occasion at Little Larder, with the signature dish actually a board! The Larder big breakfast board comes loaded with breakfast favourites including; bacon, pork sausage, eggs, hash browns, beef croquettes, tomato, halloumi, garlic mushrooms and feta. Make it even more special with a two-hour bottomless addition of mimosas, Aperol spritz, sparking wine and beer.
For accurate opening hours and teh latest events visit the Little Larder website.
LOCATION: 19 Railway St Stanthorpe
Tucked away in a residential street in Stanthorpe, award-winning Essen is where you’ll find great food cooked by a local family. There is a strong European influence here, focusing on sustainable eating and cooking methodologies.
On a cool night, sit inside the timber cottage, or when the weather turns warm, enjoy dinner and a glass of wine in the backyard. Either way, you’ll be eating some of the Granite Belt’s produce. It doesn’t get any more local than that.
There is no a la carte menu at Essen. Instead, the menu is planned weekly and reflects the changing and available seasonal produce.
For accurate opening times and to book, visit the Essen website. If you are visiting Stanthorpe, our advice is to book as far in advance as possible.
LOCATION: 2 McGregor Terrace Stanthorpe
Owner and Swiss-trained pastry maker Stephen Lambert left his childhood town with his family to hit the road and travel around Australia. He got as far as Stanthorpe, setting up Zest Bakery in the town’s main street.
It might be a fair way from France, but here, in this brightly painted retail shop, you will find a wonderful variety of French-inspired patisserie items. Stephen toils away out the back, making everything you find in this store from scratch and using fresh local ingredients where he can.
LOCATION: 54 Maryland St Stanthorpe
Looking for a quick takeaway coffee? Hole-in-the-wall Bean Better has got you covered.
Weeroona Park 48-50 Marsh St Stanthorpe
Granite Belt Brewery
Every town has a craft beer brewery these days, and Stanthorpe ticks this off its list as well with the Granite Belt Brewery.
This place goes off on a weekend, especially with live music on offer. Kick back with a glass of beer from their excellent range, or if you can’t choose, we can suggest the tasting paddle. There are easy-drinking pale ales, big meaty wheat beers, cider and alcoholic ginger beers. There’s plenty of pub grub to keep the munchies away.
Owner Geoff Davenport will gladly chew your ear off if you show some interest in his brewery, or you can watch them make beer through the glass window.
LOCATION: 146 Glenlyon Drive Stanthorpe
St Judes Cellar Door and Bistro
If you are in the Ballandean region, plan on a visit to St Jude’s. As well as being a really nice location to stop and have a bite to eat or a drink, chef and owner Robert Davidson has some of the best cafe food in town. Robert is also a vineyard owner so you’ll find his local blend, 4382 Terroir on hand.
St Judes serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner on a variety of days, and bookings are essential. For accurate opening hours, visit St Jude’s website.
Tip – keep an eye out for the daily specials board
LOCATION: 28200 New England Highway Ballandean
Varias is the restaurant at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism, a joint venture between the University of Southern Qld and the Queensland Government. The college is a training ground for those continuing their education in such things as tourism, hospitality, business and of course, viticulture. The restaurant is staffed with students who are studying and learning on the job.
Varias is modern a la carte dining using local ingredients where possible.
Opening times may vary. See the QCWT website for more information.
LOCATION: 22 Caves Road Stanthorpe
Balancing Heart Vineyard
The Balancing Heart Vineyard, so named because of the large heart-shaped rock sitting aloft another even larger rock, is a relatively new entrant on the wine scene in Stanthorpe, but it is fast making a name for itself.
Specialising in small-batch varietals, and with award-winning winemaker Mike Hayes at the helm, the cellar door has become one of the best places to visit in Stanthorpe.
It’s also a great place to enjoy a charcuterie board with a wine tasting, or if you are planning on hanging around for a while, a bottle or two. Relax outside on the deck of the cellar door building, or head down to the dam and take up a pew under the umbrellas, or spread your picnic blanket out on the grass.
Sunset wine and wood-fired pizzas are the go if you are in Stanthorpe on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Bookings are essential.
For more information visit the Balancing Heart Vineyard website.
Good to know: If you are in Brisbane, you can also visit the Balancing Heart satellite cellar. Balance and Blend Cafe is located at 186 Cavendish Rd, Coorparoo.
LOCATION: 221 Old Wallangarra Rd Wyberba
Ashbern Strawberry Farm
Once you’ve finished hanging out in the strawberry fields and you’ve picked enough to fill a punnet to take home, head into the cafe at Ashbern Farm for some of their fabulous strawberry ice cream. There are also many other goodies you can purchase – strawberry themed of course.
The Ashbern Farm is closed when strawberries are not in season. Check their website for accurate opening times.
LOCATION: 2 West Rd Stanthorpe
Granite Belt Christmas Tree Farm and Cafe
Visitors come to The Christmas Tree Farm in Stanthorpe as a destination for buying a special tree to take home.
But, it’s also where you can buy hot chocolate, made fresh every day on the real stuff. That’s right, the hot chocolate here is made by melting chocolate. It’s rich, thick and truly delicious on a cold day in the Granite Belt. Owner Katrina is also a very good chocolate maker so you’ll find plenty of tasty treats to pick up here before you leave.
LOCATION: 321 Aerodrome Rd Applethorpe
Heritage Estate Winery
There’s a touch of olde-worlde about this long-standing winery in Stanthorpe. If you have a special event happening, see if you can book the beautiful Rosewood table where parliament was formed in Qld in the 1850s. There’s plenty of dark timber and memorabilia. If you are lucky, you might hear owner Therese Fenwick play the pianola.
Lunch and dinner are available on the weekends. Check their website for special food-related events that occur throughout the year including degustations, the Vine + Dine Journey and cheese-making classes.
LOCATION: 747 Granite Belt Drive Cottonvale
Barrelroom Wine Lounge – Ballandean Estate
Ballandean Estate is perhaps one of the most well-known wineries in Stanthorpe but now it has a funky new wine bar to complement its incredible range of wines.
The Barrel Room earns its name from the huge wine barrels that surround the room. Its low-light, cosy interior is the perfect place to gather with friends and sip on one of many of the Ballandean Estate’s award-winning wines. It’s the perfect atmosphere for what many of us love to do in Stanthorpe; sink into leather lounges and drink good wine.
If you aren’t sure what to settle on, why not choose a tasting flight? Whatever your choice of tipple, be sure to complement it with a charcuterie plate of local goodies.
LOCATION: 354 Sundown Rd Ballandean
Wallangarra Railway Cafe
If you like a slice of history with your slice of cake, then be sure to have morning or afternoon tea on the platform of the Wallangarra Railway Station. Built right on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, you can also have a bit of fun on the way to y our cup of tea by standing with one foot on each side of the border. It might not be the same as standing on the line at Greenwich in London or standing with one foot in each of two countries, but it’s fun nonetheless.
Grab a hot drink and some homemade cake or a tasty pie and sit inside amongst the retro items on sale, or grab some fresh air out on the platform.
If you catch the once-a-month steam train from Warwick there is also an option to enjoy your lunch here.
LOCATION: Rockwell St Wallangarra
If you are driving from Brisbane to Stanthorpe, time your arrival for morning tea at Suttons. Here you can arm yourself with the largest slice of apple pie you’ll ever see, accompanied by homemade ice cream and cream. If you want, you can also buy a whole apple pie to take home.
There are other goodies available to buy from the cake cabinet, but honestly, do yourself a favour and order the apple pie. You won’t be disappointed.
LOCATION: 10 Halloran Drive Thulimbah
Jersey Girls Cafe
Visiting the Jersey Girls Cafe is a good way of multi-tasking. Here you can enjoy a range of homemade cakes and pastries along with locally made pies and sausage rolls. The cafe itself is nothing fancy but the food is good. If you love cheese then you can pop next door to Stanthorpe Cheese and do a tasting.
Love the cheese you tried? Cross back over into the Jersey Girls Cafe once more and treat yourself to a Ploughman’s Platter, with larger servings of your favourite Stanthorpe cheese. There’s a fridge in the cafe that stocks all of the Stanthorpe cheese for you to buy and take home.
LOCATION: 4 Duncan Lane Thulimbah
Vincenzo’s Cafe and Deli
As you approach Stanthorpe from the north – from Brisbane – then you won’t be able to miss the giant apple that stands out like a beacon on the highway.
For the past three years, the site has lay dormant. However, local Stanthorpe couple Shane and Anna have brought it back to life, much to the delight of locals.
Open for lunch daily, Vincenzo’s is an Italian-influenced cafe, bar and deli. You can also do wine-tastings here and trust me, you’ll need to allocate extra time to spend in their gourmet goodies shop. It’s one of the best I’ve seen in a regional town.
It’s also a gift shop where you can find a broad range of knick-knacks and locally made products to take home with you.
LOCATION: New England Highway and Amiens Rd Thulimbah
Anna’s was the first restaurant I ever went to in Stanthorpe, and it’s remained a favourite ever since. Quite possibly, it’s heavily influenced by the story that sits firmly behind this Granite Belt institution. Anna’s was brought to life in 1981, by Anna Pompetti, who was still at high school – grade 11 – at this time. With the full support of her Italian family, they created the restaurant, even moving the family home to house the restaurant. For all these passing years, Anna’s has provided locals and visitors to Stanthorpe with authentic, home-cooked Italian fare.
LOCATION: Cnr O’mara Tce and Wallangarra Rd
Stalwart winery Robert Channon Wines has food back on its menu with the opening of their middle-eastern cafe, Persian Poppy. I’m always happy to hang around a share plate of hommus, beetroot dip and flatbreads but it’s the slow-cooked camel tagine that will be an enduring favourite I’m sure.
LOCATION: 32 Bradley Lane Stanthorpe
The main street of Stanthorpe is home to a number of foodie delights, with the Brinx Deli joining in on the fun. Eat in for breakfast lunch or morning tea and afterwards peruse the substantial range of gourmet goodies from the tightly packed shelves.
LOCATION: 20 Maryland St Stanthorpe
Hidden Creek Winery and Cafe
Pet friendly, casual, a cafe with a dam view (always best when it’s full) and the opportunity to combine a coffee with a wine tasting. What more could you want?
LOCATION: 2271 Eukey Rd Ballandean
Whiskey Gully Wines
Whiskey Gully Wines is a winery with a difference. Located in a traditional colonial homestead dating back to the late 1880s, owners John and Denice Arlidge are consummate entertainers.
By appointment only, you can book in for dinner on a Saturday night for a degustation. During dinner, John will usually appear with his musical instruments and sing as you eat.
LOCATION: 25 Turner Rd Severnlea
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