Eat & Drink

There's Hats galore from this year's SMH Good Food Guide Awards

The 2023 Good Food Guide Awards were announced on Monday 21st November and this year Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Central Coast scored a record number of ‘Hats’.

Newcastle and the Hunter region has always been represented with Bistro Molines, Margan, Muse and Muse Kitchen continuing to position the region as a foodie haven. The 2023 Good Food Guide awards saw the addition of five new hatted restaurants across the Newcastle, Central Coast and Hunter Valley region.

muse restaurant hunter valley

Muse Restaurant retained its super-star Two Hat status. Joining Muse with its Two Hats, the six One Hat restaurants are Bistro Molines, Margan, Muse Kitchen, and new entrants EXP and Yellow Billy from the Hunter Valley, Newcastle’s Flotilla and the Central Coast's Osteria il Coccia.

From a traditional French Bistro with spectacular vineyard views, modern woodfired cooking, paddock-to-plate dining, experimental cuisine, through to classical hatted dining. There is something for every kind of diner.

“After a couple of incredibly tricky years the entire industry is so pleased to be able to get back to some sense of normality, and these world-recognised awards will really help give the industry the lift they need, and recognition they deserve. These chefs and restaurateurs have been incredibly resilient, and many have spent their time innovating to stay afloat and plotting how they could catapult themselves back into the spotlight with creative ideas to again tempt us all into dining out,” comments Hunter Culinary Association Chair, Gus Maher.

osteria il coccia ettalong central coast

“The Hunter region’s leading eatery Muse Restaurant again led the way, and with Flotilla, EXP and Yellow Billy newly attaining Hat status, the Hunter Region is now a very credible food destination in its own right. The culinary scene in Newcastle has been simmering towards something special for some time, and to see The Flotilla attain a Hat will set the scene for years to come, with several of their contemporaries set to join them in the near future.”

exp restaurant hunter valley

“It’s an honour just to get in the Good Food Guide, with the plethora of great restaurants, and gruelling review process, led alone being awarded a hat. Basically, an independent reviewer determines whether a restaurant is worth your time and money. So it’s great to see these three new additions, and our region being recognised more than I’ve seen in my three decades in the Hunter, ” says Lisa Margan of Margan Restaurant.

Congratulations to all the restaurants reviewed, to view the full list of winners head to the Good Food Guide Awards for 2023.