Holly Bradley, Melissa Harms and Caleb McKinnon from Urban Paddock are celebrating their major prize win at the QLD & NT Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence.
Holly Bradley, Melissa Harms and Caleb McKinnon from Urban Paddock are celebrating their major prize win at the QLD & NT Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence. Emily Bradfield

Small town cafe beats big city rivals for state award

COUNTRY town underdogs Urban Paddock proved there's nothing like country hospitality, taking out the top prize at the Queensland and Northern Territory Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence against big city cafes.

Going up against more than 130 restaurants from across the state, Urban Paddock came out on top for Best Cafe Dining and made finalist again for Best Breakfast, the prize they won in 2018.

The biggest shock of the night however came when Urban Paddock was announced Cafe of the Year, one of the most highly sought after prizes on the night. Owners Mark and Melissa Harms said the award was a nice surprise.

"We're definitely stoked, it puts Dalby on the map as well to show regional towns can produce the coffee shops and the settings that Brisbane lifestyle is used to," Melissa Harms said.

Two and a half years ago, Mrs Harms and her two sisters created Urban Paddock with the aim of giving Dalby a family-friendly place to have a coffee and relax.

Set up in an old Queenslander, Mrs Harms said the atmosphere is part of the cafe's charm.

"It's probably more of a destination than just a coffee shop... A lot of the locals know it's such an old house, you hear a lot of stories from what it was and when they used to visit so it's always nice to hear those stories as well," she said.

Mrs Harms said the award was credit to Urban Paddock's friendly staff and creative chef.

"Our chef Caleb McKinnon, he's the backbone of it all, it's his ideas and creations, and the staff they make it what it is as well," she said.