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Photograph: Supplied/Penrith City Council

All the hottest city and riverside eats in Penrith

Discover a new side to Penrith this summer with these top cafés, restaurants and bars

By Melissa Woodley for Time Out in association with Penrith City Council

Penrith is ready to party this summer and the bustling suburb is turning up the heat with fresh eats and funky drinks from sunrise to sunset. Escape the city and head to the waterfront for breezy bottomless brunch, lively sundowner sessions and a fancy floating bar on the Nepean River. Alternatively, head straight to the city centre where you’ll find a fresh new bar and bistro, or one of Penrith’s best-kept secrets – a hidden underground speakeasy-inspired bar. Here are the hottest places to drink and dine this summer.

Penrith’s hot spots for summer

Get a little bit cheeky with a boozy brunch on the magical banks of the Nepean River at Laughin’ Boy. This playful all-day eatery will have you grinning with its $79 Saturday bottomless brunch package, serving up cheeseburger spring rolls, lobster and prawn sliders, and prawn toast, plus unlimited Margaritas, Cosmos, bubbles and beer. If you’re dropping by midweek, treat yourself to a royal feast at Laughin’ Boy’s beautiful high tea, with sessions daily from 11am. For something more casual, there’s the café’s feel-good breakfast and lunch menus with chilli crab scrambled eggs, pork belly bao buns and steak sandwiches. You can also watch the sun go down over the river with a selection of share plates from Laughin’ Boy’s dinner menu, including sticky maple pork ribs, chargrilled octopus and spicy sausage ragu pappardelle.

This lively cafe by day and garden bar by night offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere with shaded alfresco seating, a sunny picnic lawn, a kid’s playground and even an orange orchard. Head to The Farmhouse within The Orchard for home-style favourites, ranging from Biscoff waffles and spaghetti jaffles in the morning, to spiced fried chicken burgers and chicken schnitzel at lunch or dinner. The Orchard really turns on its charm for summer with $5 happy hour and live acoustic music in the garden every Friday to Sunday from 4-6pm. 

All aboard the first floating bar in Western Sydney for a leisurely yet lush night of dinner, drinks and dancing. Anchored on the tranquil waters of the Nepean River, this two-storey river boat is home to three luxe bars. The party starts downstairs on the light and bright lower deck, where you can kick back with Spicy Margaritas, Long River Iced Teas, Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris and more. For that extra something special, reserve the upper deck VIP lounge and pre-order a fancy grazing platter with more cheese, deli meats and antipasti than you can imagine. The River Boat is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and bookings are highly recommended. 

Penrith just scored itself a fresh contemporary bar and bistro in the brand-new, five-star Pullman Hotel. Celebrate summer with Marcel’s elegant, seasonal menu where you’ll find Sydney Rock oysters, stuffed zucchini flowers, artichoke ravioli and steak frites. Experience Marcel Bar and Bistro’s take on romance with a theatrical cocktail from the bar’s resident mixologist, such as the signature Jean-Claude Pandan with rum, pandan, pineapple and coconut. Finish the night on a sweet note with a passionfruit and mango cream pavlova or an artisan cheeseboard, plus a glass of organic and biodynamic Australian wine. 

Inspired by the prohibition-era speakeasies of the 20th century, this underground playground is one of Penrith’s best-kept secrets. Shake up date night by heading downstairs for drinks and nibbles inspired by the villages of Tuscany and the cobbled streets of Paris. The Flower Shop offers handy pairings to get you started, including blue swimmer crab arancini to match its Clarified Pina Colada, or Raspberry Garden chocolate mousse to go with its Smoked Rye Old Fashioned.

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