Berry is one of those New South Wales towns that could have been lifted straight from the pages of a storybook. A charming main street is dotted with cutesy boutique stores and fabulous restaurants. Lush, green foliage abounds every direction you look in and the town sits against a backdrop of sprawling valleys, windy laneways and densely forested mountains.
The name Berry suits the quaint town too, a nod to its celebrated food culture. The Hungry Duck and the Berry Sourdough Cafe have long held a reputation as the spots at which to dine when in Berry. Both still pull crowds for good reason, but a bunch of newcomers are putting Berry on the food map, cementing its reputation as a gastronomy hub on the South Coast.
EAT SOUTH on albany SOUTH on albany is a casually elegant restaurant that fills up day-in, day-out. Partners in both life and crime, John Evans and Sonia Greig make a perfect combo. Evans cooks creative, seasonal, local fare (tangy lime-cured kingfish alongside a pert salad of avocado, pickled cucumber, tomato and herbs or ribbons of tagliatelle pasta teamed with Mittagong mushrooms and creamy goat’s curd), while Sonia’s background in food styling lends the plating of the food its flare. 3/65 Queen Street (02) 4464 2005 southonalbany.com
Littlefork Another newbie, Littlefork is one of the few players in town that opens early to serve the breakfast crowd. The shakshuska eggs topped with crumbly feta is excellent, but it’s crucial (whatever time of day) that space is saved for dessert. Part owner Emma Davis was a pastry chef and the sweets really showcase what she can do. Partner Brett Taylor works the front of house. Shop 2, 89 Queen Street (02) 4464 1131
The Famous Berry Donut Van
The Famous Berry Donut Van (yes, that’s its official name) has been open for more than 55 years and it’s still going strong. What to order? That’s simple – cinnamon donuts. The team here makes them to order so they come out hot – the way all good donuts should. 73 Queen Street 0423 319 413
The Treat Factory One of the few shops located off the main drag, about one kilometre out of town, The Treat Factory is another oldie but a goodie when it comes to stocking up on sweets. Ninety per cent of its wares are made on site, and on some weekends you can watch the action in person. Lot 1, Old Creamery Lane (02) 4464 1112 treatfactory.com.au
Pompadour’s Chocolate House Another chocolate place that’s a must-visit on any food-centric itinerary is Pompadour’s Chocolate House. Business partners Belinda Morris and Keith Shreece sell wonderful gourmet chocolates, all crafted by hand. The salted caramel truffles have just the right ratio of chocolate to caramel to salt, which, let’s face it, is crucial. 113 Queen Street (02) 4464 3383 pompadours.com.au
Il Locale Exclusively serving gelato from The Pines in nearby Kiama (The Pines is known for its farm fresh gelato which is made from 70 per cent Holstein cow’s milk). It also serves great coffee. 114 Queen Street 0414 407 907
DRINK The Berry Pub The Berry Pub is housed in a historic building that still maintains its old-school charm. Locals come here for the decent drops and hearty meals served at The Coach House Restaurant, which is home to the famous alpaca burger. 120 Queen Street (02) 4464 1011 berryhotel.com
The Great Southern Hotel For cheap beer teamed with country atmosphere, The Great Southern Hotel beckons locals and visitors alike. There’s a cute courtyard with a sandpit for kids to play in, and there’s beer and wine for the grown ups. 95 Queen Street (02) 4464 1009
SHOP Nortje by Geraldine Housed in the same building as Il Locale, Nortje by Geraldine is yet another newcomer. Designer Geraldine Nortje is from South Africa and opened up shop in December to offer visitors a tast of her home country. Most of the stock is of her own design; she fuses South African style with Australian elements. The result is contemporary, cool clothing made with lovely-to-touch fabric. She also stocks textiles that are designed and made by local designers. 114 Queen Street 0415 995 241
Little Rae Berry Go to Little Rae Berry to find a bit of everything; an eclectic collection of homewares, textiles and clothing sourced from all around the world in a modern shop space. Litte Rae renovated in early 2015 to include a coffee bar - sip on an Allpress roasted coffee, Somage teas, or snack on the house baked goods while you shop. 1/65 Queen Street (02) 4464 2544
Mossnest For boutique vintage finds and unique wedding paraphernalia, Mossnest has it all. The fabulous and diverse assortment of bric-a-brac on the floor could mean hours spent browsing ¬– not necessarily a bad thing. 69 Queen Street (02) 4464 2203 mossnest.com.au
STAY Silos Estate As if you wouldn’t stay at a winery given the chance? At Silos Estate you’ve got some of the best local wines right at your door. It’s bed-and-breakfast style and there’s a restaurant on the grounds. Princes Highway (02) 4448 6082 thesilos.com
Broughton Mill Farm Guesthouse Located in a rural setting just outside of Berry, this is another luxury guesthouse doing things right. There are views and things to do (a pool, tennis court and late check out if you prefer to spend your mornings in). And the wandering chickens really make you feel like you’ve escaped the city. 78 Woodhill Mountain Road (02) 4464 2446 broughtonmillfarm.com.au