Moreton Bay Region is full of beautiful vistas, scenic drives and natural attractions, but did you know it’s also home to a galore of tucked away foodie havens, just waiting to be discovered?
Autumn is coming to a close and with it, your last opportunity to enjoy a warm and sun filled hinterland restaurant and café food trail expedition before the winter chills and misty weather roll in over the lush hills and through the fertile valleys.
So don’t delay, take your taste buds on an exploration and enjoy day trips from Brisbane away from the city, inland from the coast and get off the beaten track into the Moreton Bay Region hinterland for a full day and evening of foodie tours out and about while the weather is still pleasantly agreeable.
You will be surprised at the delectably tasty hidden gems which await you in this stretch of nature paradise located within an hour of the Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
The Flying Nun Cafe is a unique café wonder tucked inside a renovated old uniting church home boasting stained glass windows and other vestiges harking back to its original purpose as a place of worship.
These days the only thing worshipped at The Flying Nun is its incredible food. This is a great brekky spot for kicking-off foodie tours (as well as lunch and dinner locale) and arguably Samford’s top place for affordable gourmet dining. An inspired menu using only the best, freshest local produce weaves flair into modern Australian breakfast staples and a few choice overseas imports.
Try the Canadian breakfast of buttermilk pancakes with smoked bacon, caramelised banana and vanilla bean ice-cream topped with maple syrup if you’re feeling famished. Otherwise, play it safe and start off small with the Petite Breakfast of 1 fried egg, tomato, rösti with a slice of pumpkin sourdough toast, or opt for the super healthy choice of warm quinoa, coconut and pineapple breakfast bowl with almonds, roasted macadamias and a touch of shaved dark chocolate.
Other tasty brekky meals include smashed avo on rustic sourdough, eggs benedict, a hearty big breakfast and much more. If you are dining on a Sunday, you can walk across the road to The Samford District Museum to learn more about the humble beginnings of this town. The Samford Museum is only open on Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
Ocean View Estates is the region’s only hinterland winery and vineyard estate so make sure you don’t skip a quick visit, or pull over to enjoy lunch.
You can get busy wine tasting with your someone special in the cellar, or take a fun and interactive vineyard and winery tour from 11am (by appointment only). You can even kick back for a picnic with the family out in the grapevines, or beside the lake complete with an Ocean View Estates hinterland winery picnic hamper.
Alternatively, if you’re already feeling famished again, take a seat in this hinterland restaurant overlooking the lake and vineyards and enjoy a delicious lunch from the à l carte menu, or lunch menu put together by Head Chef Tony Tierney, hailing from past Head Chef positions at famed Brisbane eateries Brett’s Wharf and Tank.
The menus are designed especially to complement the plethora of Ocean View Estate wines made on the premises. Many of the sumptuous dishes incorporate a selection of their fine ports and wines.
Try the oriental Japanese spiced chicken salad with yuzu mayonnaise, or go with something more familiar such as slow cooked beef check with potato whip and beans, or a sour dough fillet sandwich with mushrooms, jarslberg cheese, garlic combu butter and onion jam, plus chips and salad.
Pair your food trail lunch choice with a recommended complementing wine. A kids menu is also available for the littlies.
To completely spoil yourself rotten, stop by Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge and indulge on a fine dining, high tea. Set on one of the highest points in Clear Mountain, you can dine alfresco on the deck of Lakeview Restaurant overlooking Lake Samsonvale, Glass House Mountains and the Moreton Bay Islands.
Alternatively, you can get a heartier meal in Mandy's on the Mountain Restaurant where you can dig into a delicious gourmet serving of fresh, seasonal local produce from the Chef's own kitchen garden.
If you're looking to extend your foodie adventure, Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge has a range of accommodation options that offer peace and tranquillity in the natural hinterland surroundings. With 51 rooms and suites with private balconies, your food trail could turn into a romantic hinterland getaway. While you're visiting, check out the swimming pool, gym and tennis court, and don't forget to drop by the vineyard.
To enjoy one of the best views on the mountain pull over for a bite of afternoon tea at Pitstop Café on Mt Mee. This aptly named establishment is a favourite ‘pit stop’ for day tripping weekend bikers and car club members.
Each month you’ll find this hinterland biker and car enthusiast haunt featuring a different vintage motorcycle, or vehicle on display from the owner’s personal collection along with various classic car and motorcycle memorabilia, plus related crafts and collectibles for sale.
Try a snack from the humble and scrumptious menu. Grab a seat inside and let your eyes rove around the interior inspecting the vast array of auto memorabilia, or pull up at a table on the lawn outside to gaze across the Moreton Bay Region to the Glass House Mountains, Brisbane and beyond.
The Place 2 B Café & Restaurant is another café style, gardens restaurant well worth discovering for a food trail end to your day trips from Brisbane escapade. Located about 10 minutes north of Birches Restaurant, this BYO alcohol only quaint and cute family run breakfast, lunch and dinner venue is a wonderful rural foodie gem which sits beside a peaceful dam teeming with life.
Open into the evening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy the hospitality of owners Trish and Neil at their picturesque establishment nestled in the midst of rural hinterland. Sit inside, or outdoors to overlook the dam and bathe in the last rays of sunlight as the yellow orb dips beneath the horizon.
Dig into delectable dinners including Italian cream and tomato based pastas, a range of salads, grilled steaks and seafood, as well as hot rocks meals offering meaty samplings from around the world including a Mexican Fiesta and Grecian Feast to spice up your food trail.
Traditional Indian cuisine served up on Thursday nights and any dietary needs will be taken care of by the accommodating café restaurant team.