Karen shares her favourite local produce sourced from the fertile lands and waters of the Manning Valley, together with some eateries where you can enjoy this nature’s bounty.
The Barrington Coast region is renowned for its quality local produce, especially the Manning Valley. From award-winning fresh produce to award-winning cafes, our region is full of foodie experiences with a story to tell. These are my picks for the best local produce across the Manning Valley and where to enjoy them.
Stone’s Oysters is a family-owned and operated oyster farmer with a seafood retail outlet in Coopernook. The oyster farming business started 30 years ago and they are one of the finest cultivators of Manning River and Wallis Lake oysters. Selling directly from their two farms ensures the oysters are guaranteed freshness and quality. They are also famous for their supply of fresh locally caught fish, prawns, crabs and lobsters. You can pre-order a seafood platter for your holiday lunch or enjoy cooked-to-order fresh seafood, for a super easy and super delicious meal in the Barrington Coast
Bent On Food
Bent On Food’s philosophy is about being not just a café but a destination! This multi-award winning café in the Manning Valley’s historical heart of Wingham has been serving up local, fresh, sustainable food to visitors and locals for over 18 years. Owned and founded by Donna Carrier, a passionate local who not just loves her café but is absolutely passionate about our region and what it has to offer. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or just coffee and a sweet thing, you’ll be pleased you did.
The Secret Farmers Market
Held each Thursday morning in Taree Park, some of the best local growers bring along their freshest harvest and condiments. Locals love to shop here regularly as they get to know the producer and they understand just how fresh their products are. This is the whole garden/paddock to plate experience.
Valley View Farm & Co
This organic garlic farm was established in 2016 by husband and wife team Adam & Karina. Their commitment to growing fresh, delicious, homegrown produce is second to none. Karina has also established a farmgate kitchen café on the 40 hectare property, one of her lifelong dreams. Valley View Farm works with a heartfelt focus on their personal passions: 'know your farmer', 'slow food' and 'paddock to plate' with low food miles. The farmgate kitchen embraces this by supporting many other local producers, with daily specials made with locally raised lamb, chicken, eggs, pork, salad greens, mushrooms, buffalo cheese and more.
Julie-Ann, chef and owner, loves what she does and loves serving her customers.
The cafes menu consists of seasonally sourced, fresh produce and her and her small team, are passionate about creating healthy meals so when you leave you feel rejuvenated. The café is tucked away in the quaint Centrepoint Arcade in central Taree, a great spot for a break from the busy main street. Julie-Ann is also passionate about recycling food scraps and coffee grounds via the local community gardens, and she also loves to mentor her young, and enthusiastic staff.
Mentges Master Meats (Rudi’s)
This traditional and genuine German master meat shop is located in the heart of Taree and produces over 40 different types of traditional continental meat products, using only the finest ingredients. Starting out in 1965, Rudi served the great tastes of German sausages and meats to the public back in his homeland and now brings that experience and tradition to our community. People come from far and wide to taste his locally manufactured products and recipes. All of Rudi’s meats do not contain any artificial colour or flavours.
Comboyne Culture started out life on the Comboyne Plateau above the Manning Valley. Relocating some years ago to a shop within Mentges Meats complex has given them an opportunity to expand their brand and sell directly to the public, with easy access to their shop. Using only the finest NSW Jersey cow milk, they make French style, handmade boutique, hard and soft cheeses that tantalises the taste buds.
Wild Feast Grazing Co
This new and exciting business in the Manning Valley started with supplying local customers with beautifully curated gourmet grazing boxes. They’ve now expanded the business to give the whole ‘wild luxe’ experience with grazing tables, fully catered picnic experiences and wedding banquets. Business owner Heidi grew up surrounded by a family of artists, so it was only a matter of time before she found her own canvas creating art through food, nature, colour and style. Wild Feast Grazing Co also works with a range of other local business to include locally grown flowers and decorations for the ultimate Instagram worthy al-fresco dining experiences.
Manning Valley Beef
Another over-achiever in the Manning Valley fresh produce stakes, Manning Valley Beef has won gold medals multiple times at different fine food competitions. The judges always note the clarity of flavour, juiciness and tenderness as the winning benefits… which is good enough for me! The cattle are raised in our glorious rolling green hinterland where the deep fertile soils provide the perfect grass-fed natural nourishment – no second rate grain feedlots for this beef! For the meat connoisseur, you’ll love that this world class beef is raised without growth hormones or antibiotics, with marbling that ensures your meat is succulent, tender and full of flavour…. so fire up the barbecue soon.
This delightful café in the heart of Nabiac is situated in a 104-year-old cottage known as the Greenhouse, and yes, it’s painted green. The owners’ mission is to promote the freshest, healthiest, enjoyable experience and they deliver this perfectly with delicious organic based, vegetarian dishes. There are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options too. From the local handmade cakes and pastries to the exceptional locally sourced produce that appears on the daily specials, this is one café that’s worth pulling off the A1 highway to visit.
Flow Bar and boutique accommodation
This ticks all the boxes for a great place to visit. A family-friendly café, funky bar with live music, with a 7 room music-themed boutique accommodation called the Boogie Woogie Beach House. Enjoy excellent coffee and scrumptious breakfast, lunches and nibbles all inspired by quality and seasonal local produce. This café is warm and welcoming with a real seaside vibe… it’s just 100 metres to the beach. For visitors and locals this is a ‘must do’ destination to see local and touring bands and musicians.