regional restaurants

What Are Victoria’s Best Regional Restaurants?

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    Somehow, Melbourne has come to represent the pinnacle of dining in this state. This is not the case in all of regional Victoria, though.

    Of course you're familiar with Brae, as it has been featured on the World's Best Restaurants list not once but twice. You can see that there are many more restaurants that are worth the drive, no matter how long it is, just by browsing this list.

    Our advice? Make a weekend of it and stay the night; doing so will add to the specialness of the meal.

    The central business district of Melbourne, Australia, is home to some of the world's finest eateries, but if you're up for a drive, you'll find some of the best food in the whole state. To help you find the best regional dining experiences in Victoria, we have compiled this guide.

    The Best Regional Fine Diners In Victoria

    Celebrations of significance require the kind of lavish extravagance that, unless you're the Kardashians, you'll never be able to replicate in your own home.

    We commoners in Victoria are fortunate to have access to a wide variety of outstanding fine dining establishments. Escape the city and travel to regional Victoria to enjoy the finest foods the state has to offer, prepared by some of the world's most acclaimed chefs.

    What follows is a list of our favourite regional fine dining establishments in Victoria. A few of these places are listed in our guide to the top eateries in Melbourne.

    Lake House

    There are two dishes that we highly recommend ordering at Lake House, Daylesford's five-star restaurant. Get there early, first of all. Not that the accommodating host won't find you a seat if you're late, or that anyone will hold your punctuality against you if you are.

    The staff treats hospitality as second nature, so you can relax and feel cared for at all hours of the day or night. It's recommended that you get there early so that you can relax in the cosy Cape Cod-style library bar and enjoy a drink before dinner. The wine label features artwork by Lake House co-owner and husband of culinary genius Alla Wolf-Tasker, Allan Wolf-Tasker.

    If you do this, you can sit back in the sunlit room with a glass of excellent wine and day-dream about being Brooke Astor, Gloria Vanderbilt, or some other fabulously rich and glamorous person.

    Our second piece of advice is to give yourself plenty of lead time. This isn't somewhere you can pop into for a quick meal. This multi-hour course will teach you how to take the freshest ingredients and turn them into delicious meals. You should set aside at least three hours to enjoy a meal here in its entirety.

    And what precisely is it that requires so much time? Delighting in the finest things life has to offer. The nearby Dairy Flat Farm, owned by the Wolf-Taskers and part of the Lake House mini-empire, provides the bulk of the ingredients for the restaurant's seasonal, multi-course menu, which is updated frequently based on what's in season.

    Vegetables take centre stage on the menu, which celebrates local produce but is anything but austere. Meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes are available for each course. You can rest assured that whatever you order, it will be prepared with skill and care using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients.

    Lake House's culinary director, Alla Wolf-Tasker, is responsible for making sure each dish has a pleasing balance of flavours and textures.

    As an appetiser during our stay, we tried the Fraser Island spanner crab with cucumbers, yoghurt, and kimizu (an egg and vinegar dressing) from Dairy Flat Farm. The crunchy cucumber and tangy dressing made a great textural contrast to the smooth crab balls.

    For our second course, we ordered beef tartare, which came with kimchi (prepared in-house during the lockdown), radishes, cured egg yolk, and the very contemporary addition of puffed beef tendon. The tendon, through the alchemy of cooking, becomes a light and crisp cracker, the ideal vehicle for transporting the slippery pearls of beautifully marbled beef.

    Don't assume you're full after four courses of ingenious delight; the desserts are just as creative. For example, the baked brie on French toast with candied walnuts and honey is like a little slice of gooey, gooey, creamy heaven.

    Following dessert, you can indulge in some "sweet indulgences," which are miniature homemade treats that go great with a cup of St. Ali coffee or one of the other available teas. We tried the salted caramel made by the housekeeper, the mini "Oreos" made by the housekeeper, and the elderflower jelly made by the housekeeper, but there is no rule against trying anything on the menu.

    We have no doubt that the ever-generous service staff will not forbid you from ordering a second helping. So, don't rush.


    A meal at Brae can easily consume an entire day. In the time it takes to make the trip out to the gently sloping paddocks of Birregurra (just two hours from Melbourne) and enjoy a leisurely meal at Dan Hunter's celebrated farmhouse restaurant, you'll have had the equivalent of a mini vacation in Victoria.

    If you have the extra $635 for a night in one of the six guest suites, you can turn it into a real mini-break (breakfast included). A day trip devoted to sampling the country's exceptional cuisine is, however, hard to beat.

    The kind of hospitality you'll experience will leave you in a state of suspended happiness for the better part of five hours. Even though real life can be difficult, lunch at Brae is always perfect. All of you can enjoy the warmth of the wood fire without worrying about being overheard thanks to the placement of your table.

    Crisp pastry shells filled with tender rock lobster, topped with sea lettuce and sweetened with corn, serve as tasty reminders that the ocean is only 45 minutes away from these lush fields. Or a chargrilled prawn head served as a taco by wrapping it in a crisp slice of kohlrabi.

    Upon closer inspection, however, it turns out that was just the appetiser for the even stranger dish hiding in the bowl below: a chia broth spiked with sharp pops of dessert lime and scampi roe, in a shade of blue normally reserved for cruise ship cocktails and deadly pythons.

    The iced oyster is another coastal intruder into this rural area. The only thing fresh about this oyster shell in a rocky, seaweedy riparian diorama is the fact that it has been there for quite some time. Powdered sherry vinegar and sea lettuce from the oyster's grassy cap round out this inventive reinvention of the original oyster's refreshing qualities, which were achieved by dehydrating and grinding the meat into a powder.

    Experience an epic journey through your meal here, complete with flat sections, twisty bits, and steep inclines. A perfect fillet of rock flathead caught at sea served with a creamy butter sauce, butter-poached turnips, and Warrigal greens is an example of how a respect for tradition can balance out the most impressive feats of creative wizardry.

    Then the tide turns and you are presented with Dutch cream potato cakes—piping hot from the fryer so that the cultured cream you spread on top melts and you top them with Yarra Valley trout roe—a king hit of nostalgia.

    There is no aggression here to match even a whirlwind. The most complicated dishes still claim deliciousness as their territory. Some of the most divisive items are found in the non-alcoholic pairing, where sweet and savoury flavours are muddled together to create a drink that can take you from the divine (a pink-hued sipper of rosella, spiced pear, and coconut) to the earthy (a dashi-spiked lapsang souchong and bottlebrush).

    regional restaurants


    With its location in the historic Bank of Australasia building from the time of the gold rush, Provenance has lured many Melburnians to the High Country town of Beechworth for the past eight years. In spite of the fact that you might try one of the animals featured on our coat of arms while here, the cuisine bears the indelible stamp of the chef and co-owner, as well as the Australia he has fashioned for himself. It's so good it'll make your eyes water.

    You could order from the a la carte menu, but since you just spent the afternoon on the road, I'd recommend going all out with the tasting menu, which consists of six courses. You deserve the best. An appetiser is always available for those who would like it, and on this occasion it is a silken tofu dish made in-house and served just before service, topped with pickled pine mushrooms floating in dried mushroom dashi and accentuated with thin slices of ginger.

    Ryan always starts the meal with house-made sourdough accompanied by miso butter, never straying from his European training or the dining expectation in Australia (both the miso and the butter are also made in house). More, please! Don't fret. There is no additional cost involved.

    If you want to sample everything, you should stray from the tasting menu. Authentic duck lap Cheong, Ryan's take on Chinese sausage, prepared six months in advance and delivered to your table in its natural state is a must-order.

    Taking the traditional, typically prepackaged izakaya snack to a new level, strips of brined and dried squid are grilled and served with a dollop of kewpie. To follow, we have a butter-cooked Jerusalem artichoke bulb atop an onion-and-kombu (edible kelp) flavoured risotto made from sunflower seeds, brought to life with fresh Cara Cara orange segments, candied zest, onion flowers, and artichoke chips.

    The next course is a bright and tangy sashimi of hapuka marinated in a green tomato ponzu and served under a dashi jelly set with agar, a surprising touch of wasabi (for that much-needed smack in the face), and some marigold leaves. The absence of microherbs is noticeable. For Ryan, the best way to get healthy herbs is to just let them grow in your garden. After all, that's what gives them their signature taste. Aye, aye!

    Ryan's current cooking style is best reflected in his grilled onigiri, which consists of a rice ball that has been charred over the grill and is stick-to-your-teeth crunchy in the best way possible and is topped with raw mushroom slices, rare-cooked kangaroo, a slab of sea urchin butter, and shiso leaves that have been torn and salted and are six months old but still retain their bright and citric freshness.

    This single rice puck bridges the gap between Australian and Japanese ingredients and preparation styles. The result is a dish that has been carefully crafted, appearing uncomplicated to the naked eye but boasting a bold, clear flavour and complex textural layers.


    Although the phrase "farm-to-plate" has been used to death, it is the best way to sum up the work of the Bertoncello brothers, who run a small restaurant with only 25 seats in Beaconsfield, on the outskirts of Melbourne.

    After the November 2020 fire that destroyed the former Beaconsfield post office where O.My was located, this is the third location of the eatery. The restaurant had only been open for a day after the long second lockdown in Melbourne when disaster struck.

    The brothers were fortunate in that they had recently purchased a building on the Princes Highway's corner with the intention of opening a more laid-back pizzeria and pasta bar. They raised money through crowdfunding and finished the renovation in under a month, transforming it into the understatedly luxurious room you are sitting in now.

    The film does not contain any omissions or simplifications. Most of the food is still grown in-house, and the staff makes clever use of every part of the animal, plant, or food item. Every day, they create a new menu based on the freshest ingredients available. To this day, their smiles haven't faded.

    Located only 16 kilometres away, the O.My farm provides all of the fresh produce used in the restaurant's dishes, including all of the tomatoes, melons, passionfruit, beans, herbs, brassicas, and even honey. After being planted in 2013, just a few months after the original restaurant opened, the plot has now grown to an impressive one hectare.


    Oakridge, a family-owned estate, cellar door, and restaurant located in Victoria's oldest wine region, is known for serving some of the best food in the state.

    There's a good reason why we voted it 2019's best restaurant. At $95 per person, the four-course lunch menu is reasonably priced, and a wine tasting package featuring the estate's wines is available as an add-on.


    Near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula is the massive Pt. Leo Estate. The sculpture park costs $50 million and features a huge KAWS creation as well as a winery with panoramic views of the ocean.

    Check out Laura, the on-site fine dining establishment, where you can select from a four- or eight-course menu, both of which come with beverage pairings (including some of Pt Leo Estate's own wines) selected by master sommelier Andrew Murch. You can also pick and choose from the many options it provides.

    Royal Mail Hotel

    Restaurants as tourist attractions, huh? The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld is situated between two of the Grampians' most stunning sandstone peaks. Popular dishes include snails, parsley root and garlic mustard, and eel and beetroot, but the menu changes daily based on the season in the enormous kitchen garden.

    98 Parker Street Dunkeld;

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    It may be tiny, but its flavour is big. We can't get enough of Aaron Turner's Geelong restaurant, Igni, which has a fiery atmosphere. Your satisfaction is guaranteed if you leave the menu planning to the fire chief.

    Ryan Pl, Geelong; 

    Du Fermier

    Apparently, anything that Annie Smithers touches becomes profitable. This is most certainly the case in Trentham, where Smithers's quaint restaurant, Du Fermier, serves up some of the finest French provincial cuisine in Australia. It's like eating at a friend's house, only better because there is no menu and Smithers makes the most delicious and comforting dishes possible using only the freshest seasonal ingredients.

    42 High Street, Trentham; 


    Today's regional Victoria still has plenty of gold to offer, but it's in the form of excellent dining establishments. Housed in the beautiful art deco Theatre Royal in Castlemaine is Lola, an intimate and beautifully conceived dining space with contemporary dishes such as freshly made gnocchi with six-hour pork and beef ragu, and mushroom, hazelnut and goat’s curd cannelloni.

    30 Hargraves St, Castlemaine; 


    Fine Dining at Its Finest Across the Country. Some of the finest local restaurants in the state can be found on a list in Victoria. Get out of the city and visit rural Victoria for some of the best regional cuisine in the state. Our Melbourne Restaurants Guide features several of these establishments. Alla Wolf-Tasker, the Lake House's culinary director, is in charge of ensuring that each dish has a harmonious harmony of flavours and textures.

    All courses feature meat, fish, and vegetarian options. After the sweet course, relax with a cup of St. Ali coffee and a bite of a homemade treat. A day is easily wasted on a meal at Brae. Another coastal import into this inland region is the iced oyster. An impeccable fillet of rock flatfish caught at sea, served with butter-poached turnips, exemplifies how reverence for tradition can complement the most astounding displays of inventive brilliance.

    The building in which Provenance is housed dates back to the era of the gold rush and houses the Bank of Australasia. The chef's take on Chinese sausage is a must-order at Provenance; it is prepared six months in advance and served in its natural state. In Beaconsfield, just outside of Melbourne, you'll find O.My, headed up by chef Ryan Bertoncello but with only 25 seats. Onigiri cooked on the grill become charred and incredibly crunchy, almost to the point of sticking to your teeth. O.My, situated in Victoria's oldest wine region, continues to grow the vast majority of its own food.

    All parts of an animal, plant, or food item are put to good use by the staff. A wine tasting package can be added to the lunch menu's reasonable $95 price. Annie Smithers' Du Fermier in Trentham is home to some of Australia's best French provincial cuisine. The restaurant Igni owned by Aaron Turner in Geelong, Australia, is a hotspot. The stunning Art Deco Theatre Royal in Castlemaine is home to Lola.

    Content Summary

    • This guide has been compiled to assist you in discovering the finest regional dining experiences Victoria has to offer.
    • Here is a list of our top picks for Victoria's finest regional restaurants.
    • The restaurant's seasonal, multi-course menu is updated frequently based on what's in season, and the majority of its ingredients come from the nearby Dairy Flat Farm, which is owned by the Wolf-Taskers and is part of the Lake House mini-empire.
    • All courses feature meat, fish, and vegetarian options.
    • You can have a mini vacation in Victoria in the time it takes you to drive out to the gently sloping paddocks of Birregurra (just two hours from Melbourne) and eat at Dan Hunter's celebrated farmhouse restaurant.
    • Mini-breaks can be turned into real vacations by spending the extra $635 per night in one of the six guest suites (breakfast included).
    • Trying to sample everything will require ordering off the tasting menu.
    • The Bertoncello brothers, who run a 25-seat restaurant in the sleepy suburb of Beaconsfield on Melbourne's outskirts, have found that the phrase "farm-to-plate" best describes their approach to food and service.
    • This is the third location for O.My since the original was destroyed in a fire at the former Beaconsfield post office in November of 2020.
    • The estate, cellar door, and restaurant at Oakridge are all owned by the same family and are situated in Victoria's oldest wine region, which is also home to some of the best food in the state.
    • There's a reason it was chosen as the best restaurant of 2019.
    • This massive point is located near the end of the Mornington Peninsula.
    • You can find the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld between two of the most beautiful sandstone peaks in the Grampians.
    • One such place is Smithers' charming restaurant Du Fermier in Trentham, which is home to some of the best French provincial cuisine in all of Australia.

    FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants

    A regional food system consists of multiple marketing options for farms of all sizes that include local markets and broader regional supply chains, thereby providing farmers with more market opportunities that play out through various supply chain structures.

    Different regions have different food habits. Regional cuisines may vary based upon food availability, trade, varying climates, cooking traditions and practices and cultural differences. For example, a low diet may be based on fruits and vegetables, while a polar diet might rely more on meat and fish.

    Local and regional food systems, sometimes referred to as “community food systems,” are collaborative networks that integrate sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place. 

    These networks reflect growing public interest in restoring the vital connections between agriculture, food, environment and health. Local and regional food system networks engage many community partners in projects to promote more locally-based, self-reliant food economies. 

    Factors that influence a region's cuisine include the area's climate, the trade among different countries, religious or sumptuary laws and culinary culture exchange. For example, a low diet may be based on fruits and vegetables, while a polar diet might rely more on meat and fish.

    Factors that influence a region's cuisine include the area's climate, the trade among different countries, religious or sumptuary laws and culinary culture exchange. For example, a low diet may be based on fruits and vegetables, while a polar diet might rely more on meat and fish.

    The area's climate, in large measure, determines the native foods that are available. In addition, climate influences food preservation. For example, foods preserved for winter consumption by smoking, curing, and pickling have remained significant in world cuisines for altered gustatory properties.

    Restaurants can introduce diners to different cultures through food, music and décor. They also give diners a chance to eat foods they might not fix for themselves because it is difficult or expensive to make. For families with diverse tastes, the variety of a restaurant menu might offer something for everyone.

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