Quilpie may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about culinary delights. However, this quaint Queensland outback town has a surprising array of delectable food and drink options that are sure to satisfy your taste buds, whether you’re passing through or staying for a few days.
Here are our top tips for filling yourself with delicious food and drinks in the Quilpie Shire, which is blessed to have some classic outback pubs in its midst!
Opening image: Courtesy of Unstable Coffee.
For a true taste of outback life, head to the Imperial Hotel, a local watering hole that has been a beloved institution in Quilpie for decades. The pub exudes old-world charm and offers a friendly atmosphere that will instantly make you feel like a part of the community.
While you’re there, be sure to try their classic pub grub, including juicy steaks, succulent lamb chops, and hearty meat pies. Pair your meal with a locally brewed beer or a glass of chilled Aussie wine to complete the experience.
Quilpie Heritage Inn
Located right in the thick of the main street, the Quilpie Heritage Inn has a beautiful timeless appeal. This historic inn, once known as the Quilpie Hotel, was built in 1921, destroyed by a fire in 1925 and rebuilt in 1926 by local man Jimmy Corones – and you’ll still find some locals calling the Inn by its original name; ‘the Brick’.
The Inn has been described as “an oasis amongst the dirt and dust of the west Queensland outback”. The chefs take great pride in their menu and manage to seamlessly combine the charm of traditional pub food with modern cuisine.
You’ll have the choice of dining in the Inn’s elegant dining room or enjoy alfresco seating under the stars. The Inn offers a truly unique dining experience, making it a treasured destination for locals and visitors. Is there anything better than having a drink or two and enjoying an outback sunset from the veranda? It sounds ideal to us.
Old Empire Café
Tucked at the back of a service station in Quilpie, the Old Empire Café stands as a true testament to the adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” A well-kept local secret, this unassuming eatery is a treasure trove of culinary delights.
The café is famous for its mouth-watering burgers, fried chicken and the best coffee in town!
The Quilpie Club
The Quilpie Club really embodies the heart and soul of the local community. If you’re after simple pub-style food, TK’s at the Club serves all the crowd-pleasing favourites, from chicken parmigiana, steaks, chips and salads.
The friendly atmosphere, combined with live entertainment on certain nights, creates an inviting ambiance for visitors to unwind and mingle with locals.
If you’re looking for a delicious home made sandwich or some mouth-watering sausage rolls, pasties, and pies, then drop in to Offshears – where at least one of the bakers is a former prize-winning shearer. The coffee is great, the bread is fresh and delicious and make sure you grab yourself an Aussie classic: the vanilla slice and lamingtons are said to be absolutely perfect!
As you make your way around town, look out for Unstable Coffee – a coffee cart which is a horse float turned into a coffee cart! We’re told the owner not only makes great coffee and hot chocolates, she also sells delicious healthy treats.
South Western Hotel
Located in the Quilpie Shire, the South Western Hotel in Toompine is known as “the pub with no town.” Built in 1893, the pub was said to have done great business thanks to the nearby Duck Creek and Coparella opal fields.
The Toompine Pub has not only managed to uphold its reputation as a great watering hole with excellent pub food, it has also stayed open even while the actual town of Toompine no longer exists (which is why it is known as the “pub with no town.”)
Back in the early days, the pub served as a Cobb & Co. staging post and also doubled up as the town’s post office. The pub has recently had a change in management so make sure you pop in for a beer and try some of their delicious hearty meals and snacks with your beverage of choice…and soak up the atmosphere of a classic Queensland outback pub.
For more to explore in Quilpie, the Outback’s hidden gem, click here!