With Sydney brimful of Good Food Month events this October, it might get a little packed in the city. So, it’s the perfect chance to escape the hustle and bustle and explore the culinary sensations beyond the harbour.

We’ve put together a list of restaurants that are off the beaten path, but they’re certainly on the right side of the gastronomic trail. To access these delicious destinations, you’ll need a car. If you don’t have your own, we’ve got you covered with our Sydney car hire locations.

And don’t worry, Melbournians – we’re coming out with some recommendations for you, too. Watch this space.

For now, here are our recommendations for the best foodie road trips close enough for a day trip from Sydney. This food is worth the drive.

The Boathouse, Palm Beach

55 km north of Sydney | 1 hour drive

Situated on the Pittwater Peninsula in heavenly Palm Beach, this iconic waterfront restaurant is a foodie experience to remember.

The menu easily caters to all kinds of taste buds. Enjoy a light brunch with classics such as green eggs and ham or partake in a seafood platter with friends for a leisurely lunch. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

The Boathouse is as much a visual delight as a culinary one. The views are there, no matter which way you turn – not to mention one of NSW’s best beaches is just a short walk or drive away.

Rustic furnishings, beautifully designed interiors and an abundance of fresh flowers give this casual beach café an almost enchanting vibe.

Tip: The Boathouse holds the prestigious title of Best Coffee in the Peninsula, so be sure to grab a latte before hitting the road, and look out for their famous anchor imprint!

A post shared by The Boathouse Group (@theboathousegroup_) on 

Biota Dining, Bowral

118 km south of Sydney | 1.5-hour drive

Biota Dining is indicative of the burgeoning gastro scene in the Southern Highlands.

Chef James Ville’s menu, inspired by the ingredients of the landscape and diverse micro-climate, has been touted as groundbreaking. The modern Australian cuisine pushes gastronomic boundaries whilst remaining true to traditional cooking styles.

The Scandinavian inspired décor sets a calming scene – an ideal setting for one of the degustation menus on offer. Choose from 3, 5 or 9 tantalising courses.

Tip: Time your visit with the monthly farmers’ markets and get access to the same produce as the two-hatted restaurant.

A post shared by DINING • ACCOMODATION • BOWRAL (@biotadining) on 

Circa 1876, Hunter Valley

164 km north of Sydney | 2 hours and 10-minute-drive

Set on one of Australia’s most picturesque hinterlands, Circa celebrates fine dining with premium fresh produce and local wine, whilst encompassing global influences.

The family-run restaurant, located in a historic cottage dating back to the year of its namesake, is one of the Hunter Valley’s most beloved culinary destinations.

Their ‘farm to fork’ ethos is brought to life with guests overlooking the 1.2 hectare organic garden where their dishes are grown. The set-menus range from 2 to 7 courses and highlights such as Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin and the Wagyu 5+ MB rib eye on the bone are every bit enticing as they sound. They even make their own Truffle Honey. Enough said.

Tip: Book in advance as Executive Chef Trent Barret and his team were recently awarded WINNERS 2017 NSW Regional FINE DINING award from Savour Australia.

A post shared by Five star decadence ✈️ (@theconventhuntervalley) on 

The Zin House, Mudgee

273 km north east of Sydney | 3-hour drive

This destination restaurant is a Mudgee must do. Foodies come from near and far to experience the renowned long lunch of organic produce from the Tinja farmlands. Coupled with the biodynamic wine of the same region, the entire affair is on point.

The farmhouse-come-hatted-restaurant, offers a friendly, almost Zen-like vibe, with huge windows looking out onto the sprawling orchards and vines. It’s inviting, to say the least.

The menu changes regularly, and guests are encouraged to graze slowly over the five courses, or even stroll through the lush fields between each one.

Tip: A few times a year guests can experience Open Kitchen and Garden days with Owner and Chef Kim Currie. Dates are listed on their events calendar.

Beetroot & pomegranate tartare, horseradish and rice crisp #newmenu #beetroot #vegan

A post shared by The Zin House (@thezinhouse) on 

Hungry yet? Thought so. Grab your rental car and go! Just make sure to beat Sydney’s traffic queues by getting on the road early. Most of our Sydney car rental locations are open from 7.30am to 5.30pm during the week and 7.30am to 4pm during the weekend.

Bon Appétit!