Jindabyne is a postcard perfect mountain town.
The hills might not have the elevation of those in Japan, Europe, North America, or New Zealand. But the town could easily rival our favourite ski destinations – like Wanaka, for example – in beauty. Snowy peaks are visible from the middle of town. The namesake lake sparkles in the sunshine. There’s a lot to like about the heart of Australia’s alpine playground.
So what about the food? Any self-respecting holiday destination has a range of cuisines on offer and Jindabyne is no exception. There are local institutions. There are fun twists on classics. There are cosy hideaways. Here are five of the most interesting places to eat in town.
When the cold seeps into your bones
Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery
At the end of a long day on the slopes, when the cold has seeped into your bones, there’s nothing better than hot chocolate. Except hot chocolate with a shot of butterscotch schnapps, when it’s paired with a beautiful flourless chocolate torte. Wildbrumby distils award-winning schnapps and gin and serves an Austrian-inspired menu, making it perfect for lunch, afternoon tea, or apres-ski. The grounds include plenty of picnic tables as well as a contemporary sculpture garden, so it’s also family-friendly.
When you’re in need of a sweet treat
Nimmitabel is a tiny town about an hour east of Jindabyne, but it’s home to a chain of local bakeries that includes a location right in the middle of town. The collection of baked goods is second to none – so good, in fact, that you can’t visit without trying one of the caramel macadamia tarts. It’s like sunshine in shortcrust pastry. Also good, however, are the lemon tarts and brownies (yes, I’ve been multiple times – let’s call it journalistic integrity). If you’re in a savoury mood, don’t miss the curry chicken pie.
When you’re looking for a killer cocktail
Cocina Grill & Cantina
Mexican cuisine is having a moment. It’s surged in popularity in recent years and Jindabyne is no different. Cocina Grill & Cantina has a great selection of food based on the idea of creative Mexican-style tapas. Don’t miss the cauliflower and mushroom tostadas or the fish tacos, made with fresh south coast fish of the day, chipotle mayo, pico de gallo, cabbage, and lime. Also impressive is the drinks list – but it’s hard to go past a marg. Order the Tommy Margarita with Herradurra Plata tequila, lime, agave, and salt.
When you’re eating out with a group
When it’s cold outside and you’re dining with your friends or family, you can’t go past Ela Messa. Hosts Sonya and Daniel provide home-cooked Mediterranean style food, which includes dips with pita, small plates, large plates, and most importantly, a soul-warming and delicious range of pizzas served beside a roaring fire. The lamb kofta is especially good, made with Napoli sauce, lamb, spinach, onion, feta, BBQ, tzatziki, and mozzarella. There’s a good wine list and seasonal cocktails – the spiced apple cider with rum is a must-try.
When you need a cosy spot for date night
It’s hard to beat Japanese food when you’re at the snow. Takayama is an intimate space perfect for close conversations. The menu includes all the warming classics that will instantly make you feel transported to the villages of Hakuba or Niseko. Be sure to try the pork gyoza and share a large plate of tataki beef, made from sliced rare grass-fed eye fillet with miso mustard, grilled pear, and daikon salad. And dessert? Daifuku, a soft strawberry mochi ball.
This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced