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Since its 19th century beginnings Leura has been a 'watering hole' for locals and visitors.
Yes, the number of venues has increased greatly since those early days. Up and down The Mall, along Megalong Street and Railway Parade, gastronomic options are plentiful, but don't overlook arcade interiors or shop fronts adjacent to the Leura Carpark. You will find charming possibilities here also. Bakeries, delis, cafés and fine dining bistros and restaurants are abundant in Leura. Along the escarpment between Leura and Katoomba (Cliff Drive and Merriwa Street) 'top drawer' dining can be found. So many choices, you'll need time to ponder!
Address: 48 Merriwa Street, Katoomba
Phone: 02 4782 1206
Hours: Open Daily - Breakfast 8am-10am
Music: weeknights and long weekends
Located midway between Leura and Katoomba, The Rooster, built 125 years ago and looking very European, sits on the cusp of the escarpment. Perhaps the most stunning unimpeded view of Jamison Valley and the escarpment belongs to The Rooster. Out front, tables and umbrellas offer a casual lunch setting for trekkers and backpackers - or perhaps that celebratory glass of champagne after a successful rock climb.
Inside, windows open out to the escarpment, and a fully stocked and beautifully polished timber bar creates an impressive reception area. In the dining area, period chandeliers, fresh flowers and white linens continue to impress.
Imbued with Edwardian style, the Rooster is elegant, yet inviting - lunch is informal - formality is reserved for evenings where the traditional French menu is superb: slow cooked veal, duck comfit gently and slowly cooked and served with lentils in potato baskets, grain-fed beef with onion compote and of course, desserts to throw all diets to the wind: Chocolat, Crèpes Suzette, Crème brulee or Gènoise with fresh berries. Fresh flowers at each table add to the ambience and excellence that Rooster's patrons have come to expect over many years.
Musicians softly accompany your dinner Friday and Saturday evenings - another touch of elegance and style. And we love the sounds of many languages as the international staff converse with their distinct accents: French, Italian, and German. They are a lovely bunch - attentive, friendly and charming.
The Rooster hosts special events - a birthday, a wedding or graduation party - for up to 40 people in the main dining room or for a smaller venue, a private exquisite room for up to 20 is available.
"Perfection on a Plate"… "A Taste of France with super fast and friendly service"… "Brilliant"… "Delicious food and wonderful view…"
Address: 192 The Mall, Leura
Phone: 02 4782 4377
Hours: Open daily
Weekdays 11am to closing
Weekends 8.30am to closing
Bon Ton is a European-style bistro capturing a prominent corner of Leura Mall and Megalong Street. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, there are indoor and alfresco tables in the beautiful tree-lined terrace - one of our favourite Leura spots. Here when weather permits, tables quickly fill in this shaded garden courtyard.
In winter or wet weather, there's no argument about being drawn inside to the Edwardian-style dining room: white linens on cosy tables complete with an open fire.
In the early evening and on into the dining hours, Bon Ton has an upmarket yet casual ambience. Tapas and wine or beer are popular with the locals - wine is available by a glass or carafe. In milder months, most unwind in the Bon Ton courtyard after work. Fridays a crowd gathers for the $10 Grazing Menu or cheeseburgers and chips and, of course, a beer.
Monday through Friday, a fixed price selection - two or three course - is on the menu offering various dishes from hearty soups and large salads to full mains and delicate desserts. This is substantial European bistro food with a French influence.
Read more about Bon Ton's history in the Leura Walking Tour & Guidebook, for sale at Megalong Books.
Hana Japanese is that little gem that locals love and visitors wish they had found. Located at the top of The Mall, just off the Great Western Highway roundabout, the quirky building resembles a 1970s ski lodge where my kids searched under tables for coins dropped by skiers. Today, you will find a crowd here - minus the skis - and empty tables are often rare. For dinner, we recommend bookings.
Today, it is my grandchildren who love the seafood selections and they always check out the 'specials board' for the daily menu changes - the freshest of seafood dictates the menu for Chef Takeshi Shabata. In the tiny kitchen, he creates some unique and authentic Japanese dishes you won't want to overlook. Our best recommendation is Takeshi-san's consistency in the cuisine he offers.
Hana maintains quality and modest pricing. Takeaway is also available. Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Hana is a great option for families and is always crowded during school holidays.
Address: 62 Great Western Highway, Leura
Phone: 02 4782 4422
Hours: Open daily
Weekdays 12pm-2pm, 5.30pm-9pm
Weekends 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-9pm
We love the ambience of 'The Alex' as it is fondly called by locals. Out on the terrace, families occupy large picnic tables on a sunny school holiday. Our weather has been unusual this autumn and the terrace, an incredible setting - you can see the whole of Leura below and the added bonus: you can watch passengers debark on the Blue Mountains trains. Railway travel entrances our little ones.
Inside, the Redfern Bistro is abuzz - seems travellers got an early start for the weekend and they fill the charming Queen Anne style room. The Redfern is casual yet the lovely bar, the white linens and the fire, when the weather is nippy, give a touch of class to Leura dining.
Our guests from America sampled the pub food - a huge stacked gourmet burger with all the trimmings and a generous serving of chips, which they graciously shared! Definitely a hit after a day of trekking. We return to our favourite at The Alex - the warm Thai Beef Salad… always consistently good!
"A lovely hotel with old world charm"…"Excellent establishment"… "Friendly staff and great choice of beers"… A delicious dinner and great value for the eight of us who arrived without a booking"… "Outside dining with a view of the town [Leura]…"
Address: 1 Sublime Point Road, Leura
Phone: 02 4785 0000
The Fairmont with a staff of 15 chefs cooks up a wide range of cuisine and ambience. We list them below - with so many options, you should find exactly what your tummy craves. Please visit the Fairmont Resort website for full details. Several options require bookings.
Jamison's - open daily for breakfast, and Saturday dinner buffet (dinner bookings required)
Embers Bar - open daily for dinner, fireside dining and Tapas shared plates
The Terrace - open Thu-Sun Enclosed terrace overlooking Jamison Valley. Casual family setting
Sublime Lounge - open daily for tea, coffee and sweets. Check out the special Fairmont High Tea
Eucalypt - open Fri-Sat only. An intimate dinner setting and exquisite dining (bookings required)
Golf Club Bistro - open for lunch Wed-Sun, and dinner Wed-Sat
Address: Cnr Grose & Megalong Streets, Leura
Phone: 02 4784 3117
Hours: Open daily 10am-5.30pm
Bookings essential for High Tea
Carpark and Lift - wheelchair accessible
The charm of Leura's Edwardian period is best found in this lovely historic building - aptly named Bygone Beautys. Lunch or light refreshments or Devonshire Tea - all are served with the graciousness of a bygone era. But it is the elegant Traditional High Tea that the staff serves up panache down to the last detail. Great for a special treat or that memorable occasion! Delicious and charming and, you are surrounded by amazing teapots and tea accoutrements.
The impressive collection of 5500 teapots unquestionably found its home when in 2015, Maurice Cooper, OAM built a spacious purpose-built addition to house his amazing collection. We're amazed that the collection had resided in Bygone Beautys prior to this addition. Read more about the Treasured Teapot Museum in Stay and Play.
A touch of Bygone's history: built in 1913 the large brick bungalow was a private residence. The owners must have had wealth as brick was a rare commodity at that time.
The Wayzgoose is a bastion of Leura, one of Leura's Edwardian buildings that has maintained its heritage while surviving and enjoying many lives over the decades. In 1910, publisher Peter Giles Hart established the Federal Printing Works. This historic building has an unusual shape - perfect for booths and tables of customers today yet we can imagine the long room filled with presses of the past.
Today, behind what could have been the customer counter in 1910, home-made brownies, cupcakes, tarts and flowerless orange and almond cakes beckon. Along with the famous 'Flower-Pot Scone', all are made in-house. The espresso machine is constantly in motion as locals stop by in the early morning for a sweet and a shot of caffeine.
Around the lunch hour - 11.30am to 2pm soups are a specialty along with other seasonal dishes. Children's menus are always listed on the blackboard and gluten-free options are available for most dishes. Just ask the staff.
Wayzgoose takes its name from an old printing tradition - an outing and dinner for printing staff before summer ends and the printing must be done by candlelight in the winter months. And, Wayzgoose continues in Leura's historic tradition of local shopkeepers serving and 'chatting up' visitors. If you stop by just before closing (5pm) you are likely to catch up on local gossip and a story or two about the day's activities.