Eat the rainbow in Maitland. This city is home to an abundance of delicious fresh produce and gourmet food that can be enjoyed in restaurants, markets and artisanal delis. For the most avid foodies the best time to visit the city is the weekend of Maitland Taste which is taking place on Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May 2023.
Hidden in plain sight on menus across Maitland are vegetarian dishes that make our local produce the star. You just need to know where to look. I’m talking so good it can satisfy even the keenest of carnivores. I’ve seen it happen! One such place is the gorgeous Muse Kitchen Lorn. This intimate French bistro boasts a dedicated vegetarian menu. Delight in not needing to search for the “V’s” next to the items on this menu.
Fine dining sensations can also be found at Boydell’s Cellar Door and Restaurant in Morpeth. Here you’ll experience decadent dining at its best and savour some of the best wine in the region. Their seasonal menu lets you enjoy the best of what’s growing right now. Another classy option is Duke’s Restaurant and Bar in East Maitland set in a stunning heritage building. Their current offering is a delicious king brown mushroom risotto with crème fraiche.
Whether I’m in the mood for a quick bite, a long lunch that turns into dinner or some take away comfort food these local hot spots have me covered. Absolute burger gold can be found in Rudy’s American BBQ at The Family Hotel. I’ve got to admit these guys love their meats but any burger can be ordered with a beyond beef patty. These succulent burgers come with nostalgic curly fries and I always have one of their yummy mocktails to boot.
But what about the sweets? If you think there’s only one type of Turkish delight, think again. Mustafa’s Kebab House and Café will make choosing hard with their dozens of house made traditional Turkish delight in varying flavours. As a bonus they’re vegan! Nestled besides the Turkish Delight is a plate full of sticky baklava, they even make their own flavoured ice cream!
Ometto Pizza Bar’s wood fired pizzas are an addiction in my house. Their Taleggio e Porcini is an institution for any mushroom lover and we always have their Ortolana with the house made chilli oil for a fiery hit. Their menu features some faux meat options and they recently added a decadent vegetarian lasagne.
Unfortunately, one can’t eat out all the time. But for the avid cooks wanting to cook up a feast there’s inspiration a plenty at the Earth Market Maitland. Taking place on the first and third Thursday of each month at The Levee, I can get a huge range of seasonal, healthy, and quality produce. I love shopping sustainably and discovering new and unusual fruit and veg to cook with. For more ethical and organic fare there’s Organic Feast Wholefoods Market and Café. I can get my shopping needs, as well as my essential caffeine and brownie hit in their adjoining café.
I’ve got to say, I’m not the only one in Maitland that is food obsessed. Every year Maitland Taste packs The Levee in Central Maitland with flavour. Celebrating food from paddock to plate this festival revels in the amazing food, wine and produce of Maitland. Rumour is there’s going to be an entire laneway dedicated to noodles and other delicious delicacies! There’s always a great program of children’s activities, cooking and gardening demonstrations, as well as vibrant light installations, and live music. The festival always boasts a dedicated vegan and vegetarian vendor or two. As ever there’s almost always a sneak vego treat on every menu.
Get out this autumn and warm yourself within the delights of the foodie heaven that is Maitland. With Maitland Taste just around the corner, it’s the tastiest time of year.