Bells Line / Hawkesbury / Putty

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Monkey Creek Cafe – Bell    
Run by the Mad Hatter, this relatively new cafe is incredibly well positioned, with great views, an environmentally friendly design and good coffee. Unfortunately it’s a bit overpriced, charging gourmet prices for what is still fairly ordinary tucker. Open Fri – Sun.
(02) 4567 2222 – 227 Chifley Road

Restaurant Tomah – Mt Tomah    
Set in the middle of the stunning Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, it has good food in a spectacular setting. Now that the park entry fee has been scrapped it makes this a handy place to stop after visiting the nearby canyons.
(02) 4567 2060 – Bells Line of Road

Apple Bar – Bilpin     
Overpriced food aimed at the weekend trendies, they don’t much like stinky canyoners. I’ve twice been ushered outside, including on a very cold night, so we wouldn’t upset the more fancy clientele. Unsurprisingly we took our business elsewhere. I’ve had some feedback from a couple people who disagree with me.
(02) 4567 0335 – 2488 Bells Line of Road

Cottage Orchard Caffe – Bilpin    
They don’t serve meals, but if you’re after a good espresso coffee on the way back from Mt Wilson and great home-made apple pies, baked daily, you can’t go wrong. Often the last shop open on Bells.
(02) 4567 2193 – 3158 Bells Line of Road

Kurrajong Heights Hotel     
The City View Bistro serves generous sized reasonably priced meals. Service isn’t always quick but gives you the chance to enjoy a beer and the sparkling lights of Sydney. Very canyoner friendly.
(02) 4567 7140 – 1349 Bells Line of Road

Thai Lai Krarm – North Richmond    
Well priced, delicious food. Thai mains for $12.50. Great service, even when you work up in filthy clothes and with leech bloodied feet!
(02) 4571 3654 – 4 / 30 Bells Line of Road

The Bakehouse – North Richmond     
Great meeting place, but after two bouts of food poisoning from their pies I prefer to buy from My Dad’s Bakery 50m away in the shopping centre. Both have a good selection of pastries. Open early.
(02) 4571 1545 – 6/35 Bells Line of Road

My Dad’s Bakery – North Richmond    
A reasonably good bakery, with everything you need for a quick breakfast on the drive through.
(02) 4571 1661 – Shop 12 / 21 Bells Line of Road

Redskins Burger Hut – North Richmond    
Fine purveyors of well priced grease. I once went here on the way to a long weekend of canyoning after being ill for a few days and their burger completely cured me.
Shop 1&2 / 21 Bells Line of Road

Royal Family Hotel – Richmond    
Large wooden tables, perfect for a large group, and massive meals. The scotch fillet comes highly recommended and they’re not precious about dress codes.
(02) 4578 1011 – 163 Windsor Street

Macquarie Pizza Place – Richmond    
Late night option on Windsor St. Open until 11pm Sunday to Thurday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.
(02) 4578 3686 – 144 Windsor Street

Tandoori Village – Richmond    
A nice alternative to a pub. Very acceptable Indian and not too fussed by attire. Air-conditioning can be a bit overpowering.
(02) 4578 7788 – 16 – 24 East Market Street

Aldo’s – Richmond    
Fully licensed pizza and pasta place. Very big servings and not fazed by what you’re wearing.
(02) 4578 1525 – 296 Windsor Street

McDonalds – Richmond    
No beer and bad food, but a good meeting place, open late, and you couldn’t look / smell any worse than their usual clientele.
Cnr East Market St & March Streets

Macquarie Arms Hotel – Windsor    
Good grub, if a little pricey. Allegedly home to the world’s best mushroom sauce with the Sunday roast. The outback bakery is meant to be pretty good.
(02) 4577 2206 – 99 George Street

Wombat Cafe – Gunderman (near Wisemans Ferry)    
Claims to sell Australia’s biggest burger (size options go up to the 2.4kg ‘Big Double Wombat’) as well as an epic 1.1kg bacon and egg roll. Only open weekends and public holidays.
(02) 4566 3181 – 6135 Wisemans Ferry Road

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7 thoughts on “Bells Line / Hawkesbury / Putty

  1. Couldn’t disagree more re Apple Bar and Cottage Orchard.
    Apple Bar: Our traditional post-canyon stop. At least 15 visits. Never any problems/good food/licensed/garlic bread (like a pizza base)/crushed potato “wedges” all good.
    Cottage Orchard: Staffed by beligerent teens who would clearly like to be elsewhere. Probably children of the owner. Prepare to stand at the counter and be ignored. After 5 minutes of studious lack of eye contact I left (TWICE) I do not reward such behaviour with my hard-earned.
    Steve- Hawkesbury Hospital canyonisters

    • Well now I agree with you and LYNDA (below). Apple Bar has gone downhill. Too crowded and therefore slow. Pie in the Sky further east recommended. Cottage Orchard still sucks .

  2. Factory Thai in Nth Richmond (not the real name, it’s something like Thai Lai Krarm).
    It’s delicious food, well priced (Dinner is $12.50 for standard Thai mains, $2 for rice that keeps coming, $2 cans of soft drinks for energy for the drive home), great service and they never care when I rock up in filthy clothes and ugg boots (or my mates with leech bloodied feet in thongs), they have since given us menus to keep in the car glove box to order ahead coming down Bells Line of Rd.
    I used to eat at the Thai place in Kurmond but it’s on the ban list since they turned us away once even though there was room to sit down. Perhaps we looked too scruffy for them.

  3. I was one who used to disagree with you about the Apple Bar, but as they have become more popular the service has slowed and the place is too croweded. I’ve crossed it off my list too. That’s a pity because the food used to be good back when they were so desperate for customers that they let us stinkies in.
    Our new post canyon stop is now Pie in the Sky.
    Very simple, but great pies, good coffee, cakes and FUDGE. Nice, reasonably priced fudge. Friendly owners too.

  4. Lynda / Steve,
    Thanks for that feedback. My view is there are plenty of places in the mountains more than welcoming of bushwalkers and canyoners, so no point wasting time on places that don’t really want you there!
    As for Pie in the Sky, I’ve heard good things too. We’ll have to get there soon!

  5. Some feedback on Kurrajong pub on the way up to the Mountains. The food is overpriced and actually inedible. I’ve never known a pub chef to screw up a dish as simple as nachos, however, our expensive nachos were undercooked – cheese not melted and hard, unripened avocado chunks he tried to pass off as guacamole. Revolting. Full of kids running riot around the dining room and crawling under your table while adults ignore them annoying other patrons.

    I also agree re the Apple Bar. The middle aged woman at the bar who may have been an owner or a manager looked down her nose at us because we looked a bit bedraggled after hiking all day and of course we were in our hiking gear. I may have been clad in North Face but it could have been St Vinnie’s for all she cared. When I returned to the office on the Monday I told my colleague we didn’t eat there as we weren’t dressed up enough and she was really surprised by the attitude we received.

  6. We were at the City View yesterday and unfortunately a lot has changed. They got new management, renamed it to “Archibald Hotel” and changed the food. I have the feeling they “US-Americanised” their style of cooking.

    The Pizzas are super cheesy and comparable to what you would get at Pizza Hut. I could only force myself to eat half of it and I’m surely not gonna order another one.

    I also tried a few bites of Chicken Parmigana and the batter was not very good. I have to admit it was the Gluten Free version, so the real thing might be better.

    Not sure what the rest of the food tastes like, but I fear the “Americanisation” of the food makes it a less appealing destination for a good feed. 😦

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