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Deep dive: The best new restaurants and bars in regional NSW

Flee the city and taste a regional dining scene that is more exciting than it has ever been

The regions are ours again to explore. And waiting out there, on our coastlines, in our countryside and our thriving regional towns, is quite possibly the most exciting food and drink scene this state has ever seen.

A city exodus is seeing restaurant talent flowing out to all points of the regional compass. Many are returning to their childhood regions, equipped with big city knowledge and skills to pour into new businesses at their place of origin. Why? COVID played a part, for sure. But among this flock of talented homing pigeons there’s also a longing for something meaningful, a deeper connection, belonging.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Very happy trails, as we taste and sip and savour every beautiful corner of the land we’ve missed for too long.

Modus Merewether with seated patrons
Modus Merewether

The northern beaches’ Modus Brewing has just opened a spectacular new headquarters in the beachside Newcastle suburb Merewether. It’s a homecoming for co-founder Grant Wearin, who grew up there, and with his life/business partner Jaz has converted a former panel beater’s into a glorious temple to beer and sustainability run on 100 percent green energy. With space for 300 people, the new Modus features 36 ever-changing taps and vast steel tanks that resemble rockets preparing for launch. Share plates, a touch of Mex and plenty of seafood add to the many attractions of what Wearin hopes will be a community centrepiece, offering employment and entertainment to his beloved home town.



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