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Beth McFadden3 years ago

Chilli dishes and restaurants to spice up your weekend

This Saturday is the much-awaited Sawtell Chilli Festival—a whole day of fun surrounding the spiciest flavours that the region has to offer. This annual event draws a huge crowd, giving you the opportunity wander around and taste the best chilli flavours from local stallholders. With just a gold-coin donation for entry and varying prices depending on the stall, this is a great day out if you have a family or group of friends all looking for a bit of fun. If you can't get enough of that chilli-goodness, or you can't make it to Sawtell on Saturday, we've also found some great Coffs Harbour restaurants that serve up spicy food!

Sawtell Chilli Festival

This year there are more than 80 stallholders at the Sawtell Chilli Festival, where you can sample spicy food from all over the region! Looking to taste some good old spicy meals? Check out The Original German Sausage Hut and try a spicy sanga, or head to Nacho Man for some spicy Mexican goodness. Are you after something sweet with a spicy twist? Seatonfire Chilli Chocolate will be there at this year’s festival, selling their incredible goods such as their spicy wild chilli chocolate, mild chai chilli chocolate and moreish liquorice and lime chilli chocolate. With a huge range of products for sale (including a chilli liqueur) this is a festival not to be missed if you’re a true chilli lover!

Sawtell Taste Restaurant

Try the delicious A La Carte menu, Taste Restaurant - Sawtell
Try the delicious A La Carte menu, Taste Restaurant – Sawtell

This award-winning restaurant is located in the heart of Sawtell, and is right in the middle of the action throughout the Sawtell Chilli Festival. While they generally have an a la carte, modern Australian menu, the chef has been preparing a special chilli dish for the event since Wednesday; so you know it’s going to be good!

Step inside this modernly decorated restaurant for a special nachos treat over the weekend, or pop back in after the event and try some of their signature dishes. Highly recommended is the roast pumpkin and blue cheese arancini balls for an entrée, followed by twice cooked duck on potato rosti with bok choy, drizzled with plum and orange sauce.
Where: 11 First Avenue, Sawtell NSW 2452

Mana Chita

The warm decor matches the spicy dishes, Mana Chita - Coffs Harbour
The warm decor matches the spicy dishes, Mana Chita – Coffs Harbour

If you’d love to try spicy cuisine from a different culture, head to Mana Chita in Coffs. This Ethiopian restaurant serves up traditional dishes from the region to tantalise your tastebuds. If you love spicy food, this is the restaurant for you, with a range of hot dishes from starters right through to desserts. To begin, we recommend you try the duba kufa—fried pumpkin and rice balls served with a generous side of chilli sauce.

Not hot enough for you? For your main, order the mana chita special ukamsa—made from slow-cooked minced beef with chillies, onions and garlic, served with injera (an Ethiopian flat bread). This dish is so spicy it comes with a warning, so be prepared to feel the heat! Visiting Mana Chita is the perfect way to flavour some of the best spicy dishes in the Coffs region. Re-opening on Monday July 5th, give them a call and book your table for delicious food!
Where: 5/44-52 Moonee Street, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

La Hacienda 101

The vibrant Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda 101 - Emerald Beach
The vibrant Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda 101 – Emerald Beach

For a spicy meal in a vibrant location, head to La Hacienda 101. This is the perfect restaurant if you live north of Coffs Harbour and can’t make it to the Sawtell Chilli Festival, as it’s located in Emerald Beach. Serving up a variety of traditional and modern takes on spicy Mexican dishes and drinks, it’s a highly rated restaurant that you need to visit at least once in your life!

For a spicy dish, order a serving of the Ceviche de Callos de Hacha—a spicy seafood dish made from scallops marinated in lime, tomatoes, onion and jalapeños. They also have a range of Mexican street-food dishes, and Tex Mex dishes, so you can try a bit of everything. Although it’s not spicy, we recommend you end the night by ordering the chocolate nachos, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and dolloped with cream.
Where: 101 Fiddaman Road, Emerald Beach NSW 2456

Do you want some more award-winning food in Coffs? Check out this blog post!

Have we missed your favourite spicy food in Coffs Harbour? Comment and let us know!