• Rhonda Norman

Best places to eat - or where to fill your esky in Dubbo…

Updated: Jun 15


Dubbo has a big range of places to eat, and if you are just passing through, to fill your esky. I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to, draw great surprise from this statement. Dubbo has a large choice of cafes, restaurants, and a good selection of butchers and grocers. All of which sell local produce from the Orana region, which reaches north out toward Cobar and Bourke. Dubbo is also infamous for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. However, to sustain you on your visit here are some places to grab a bite to eat or fill your esky.

Breakfast or Lunch in Dubbo

If you are looking for a great coffee and a relaxed atmosphere away from the main street here are some choices. Press on Bultje Street, pronounced bulch, provides a lovely modern atmosphere to enjoy breakfast, brunch or lunch. It is nestled in an old Victorian style home with an airy covered outdoor area out the back. Inside the historic features of this former home, fireplaces, archways and décor, have been maintained. Out back there is a hidden oasis where you can hang out all year round. There is an abundance of greenery, with lush hanging baskets and planters adorning the areas. There are large fans for hot days and a large wood fire for the cold ones. The menu is modern, and you would think that you were eating in a café in Sydney or Melbourne. Except that you are breathing fresh country air and eating locally sourced produce.


Another option is the Short Street Store, which is in a renovated old Victorian shopfront. It has a large range of cakes, great coffee, focaccia, and burgers to choose from. Again, it has a protected outdoor area that is nice to relax in. This place certainly has a nice rustic feel about it. Its located in a back street on the eastern side of Dubbo, less than 3 kilometres from the town centre. You will be greeted with a cheerful smile and good country hospitality.

If you are after a wood fired pizza, then Alchemy on Victoria café, on the western edge of Dubbo is a good choice. They are also a providore so you can pick up a range of gourmet items while you are there. Again, the coffee is good, the service is friendly, and it has a large outdoor area to sit in. Between Thursday and Sunday, you can also grab dinner. They fire up the outdoor pizza oven for lunch onwards. They also have a fascinating range of metal art that you can enjoy in their garden area.

Dinner in Dubbo

When it comes to dinner again there are plenty of choices. These are my favourites, but please don’t be limited by the ones I’ve highlighted here. If you want a good pub (hotel) meal, then I would head to the Milestone Hotel which is on the Southern end of Macquarie street. I can recommend the Lamb Shanks or the Chicken parmigiana for dinner. The serves are generous, and good if you have worked up an appetite at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Another choice is the Pastoral Hotel, which is a classic old two storey hotel, complete with an upstairs veranda. The bistro area is upstairs, with a range of different areas to find a spot to relax. There is also a sports bar and a place for the kids to escape to and play. They have a great range of food, from share plates and kids’ meals to classic pub favourites. The service is always prompt and friendly and the atmosphere relaxed.

If you are after a tasty Thai meal, then a good choice is Rose Garden Thai in West Dubbo. It has an extensive choice on the menu and the food is always fresh. The service is very good and the staff a really helpful and friendly. However, if you are after a good Indian curry, then the Royal Indian Restrobar in Bultje Street in the town centre is the place to go. They are renowned for their butter chicken.

If you are looking for a special evening, then Reflections Restaurant at the Quality Inn Dubbo International is a very good choice. It is a small restaurant with a beautiful menu that looks out over a lit pool and courtyard area. I can recommend the Salt Bush Lamb Racks and the Sichuan Spice Pork Belly for main, both locally sourced.

Another choice is Veldt at the Orana Motel on Cobra Street. Again, the food is beautifully and creatively presented and locally sourced. I’ve had the ten-hour slow cooked beef cheek on truffle infused potato puree with glazed carrots and onion jus. This meal is gluten free as ordered and it melted in my mouth. Both of these are hidden gems, nestled in motels but open to the public.

Filling the Esky in Dubbo

Bourke Street Butchery is a top place for good quality grass fed beef and lamb, and free-range pork and chicken. Try the Chicken Kiev sausages, a take on the traditional Chicken Kiev, I will be going back for more! Their meat is sourced from local farmers and they have a good range of quality cuts. They also sell a range of rubs and sauces to accompany your choices that are also produced in the region.


For fruit and vegetables, you can’t go past Mick and Paul’s Fruit and Veg, they are fourth generation Market gardeners. Who strive to provide the Orana area with fresh and local produce at the best possible prices. They have a good range, including locally grow apples, pomegranates, and local honey and eggs. They have caring and friendly staff who are very helpful and friendly.

There is also the Dubbo Farmers Markets that are usually on every first and third Saturday of the month. There is always a good range of fresh produce, including fruit and vegetables, Olive oils, wild bush flowers, cheese and salami. Sadly, during the tight restrictions imposed during the height of COVID-19 they have had to suspend the markets. However, as restrictions lift, I’ll be looking forward to them opening again.

Links:

- The Orana Region - http://www.lovethelifewelive.com.au

- Press - https://www.pressdubbo.com.au

- Short Street Store - https://www.facebook.com/shortstreetstore/

- Alchemy on Victoria - https://www.facebook.com/alchemyonvictoria/

- Milestone Hotel - https://milestonehoteldubbo.com.au

- Pastoral Hotel - https://www.pastoralhotel.com.au

- Reflections - https://reflectionsrestaurant.com.au

- Veldt - https://www.veldtrestaurant.com.au

- Rose Garden Thai - https://www.rosegardenwestdubbo.com.au

- Royal Indian Restobar - https://www.royalindiarestobar.com.au

- Bourke Street Butchery - https://www.bourkestbutchery.com.au

- Mick and Paul’s Fruit and Veg https://www.facebook.com/dubbogrowersretailandwholesale/

- Dubbo Farmers Market - http://www.dubbofarmersmarket.org.au

Dubbo is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with a population of approx.. 40,0000. The city is located at the intersection of the Newell, Mitchell, and Golden highways. The nearest city, Orange, is about 144 km away.

Written by: Janet K Scott, Owner of Janet K Scott Photography, based in Dubbo, NSW

May 2020

Title: Best places to eat - or where to fill your esky in Dubbo!

@janetkscottphotography

https://www.janetkscottphotography.com/about/

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