Spend a day in the Dandenong Ranges, where you can enjoy picturesque views, charming shops, and a variety of exciting attractions. Victoria's finest eateries and cafes can be found in the city's hills.
The Dandenong Ranges are a scenic drive, and there are many restaurants in the area if you get hungry. Which one, though, is the best? Listed below are some of the best cafes in the area, as chosen by their customers.
You can find a place that suits your mood and needs, whether that's a calm cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee in peace or a lively restaurant to get a bite to eat in a hurry. Finally, without further ado, here are some of the finest cafes in the Dandenong Ranges! best cafes in the Dandenong Ranges!
16 Brunch Spots In The Dandenong Ranges
The fresh produce here is bursting with flavour and has low food miles because it comes from market gardens and orchards all over the region or the nearby Yarra Valley.
The General Food Store
Located in a quiet neighbourhood of Emerald, the General Food Store is a great place to check out the work of up-and-coming musicians and visual artists. The menu changes monthly to reflect the seasons, and fresh baked goods are always a tempting option. Sustainability and supporting regional farmers are priorities for the venue.
If you head to The General Food Store in Emerald first thing in the morning, you can avoid the crowds. Paul Douglas is a chef, and his wife Belinda is a graphic designer, so they work together to create a seasonal menu for each month. The Age Good Food has given their tiny restaurant multiple awards.
Dishes like "Grab a Granny" (apple granola with rhubarb swimming in pistachio yoghurt) and "Heading South" (eggs with the works including chilli jam) have names that are just as inventive as the culinary creativity behind them.
The owners of this café take their responsibility to the environment very seriously, as evidenced by the worm farm in the courtyard.
Café de Beaumarchais
Chandeliers and ornate goldwork hang from the high black ceilings at Café de Beaumarchais, evoking images of a Parisian salon. The menu, which features various French pastries, contributes to the cafe's overall Parisian ambience. The cafe offers a wide variety of decadent desserts, but the hot chocolate is where it's at.
With a working record player and retro decor, the Grunge Cafe is a cool place to hang out. The best tasting coffee in Belgrave is waiting for you, so bring your records and relax with a cup of something from the extensive record collection while you listen. Breakfasts and cakes are delicious, and there is a simple selection.
Grunge's liquids and milkshakes are delicious because they are made with only natural ingredients. There are a wide variety of vegan and gluten-free options available. For larger groups, the Village Idiot, located right next door, can accommodate them.
The Deli Platter
By providing both a breakfast menu and a variety of deli and cheese platters, The Deli Platter gives its customers the best of both worlds. Fresh and original homemade fare, such as artisan bread and speciality provisions, are the focus at The Deli Platter. Allergy sufferers, vegans, and vegetarians are all accommodated on the menu. After that, stop by the deli and pick out some tasty treats to enjoy at home.
The menu is just as imaginative as the food, with punny names like "Peachy Keen" for honey-roasted juicy peaches and "Heading South" for eggs with the works, including chilli jam, and "Grab a Granny" for apple granola with rhubarb swimming in pistachio yoghurt. Check out the worm farm in the café's courtyard; it shows the business's dedication to environmental sustainability and making life easier for those with food allergies.
Earthly Pleasures Cafe
The Earthly Pleasures Cafe looks like a quaint cottage from the front, while the Belgrave hills provide a beautiful backdrop. On the menu, you'll find delectable homemade dishes as well as vegan options. Staff at Earthly Pleasures are steadfast in their commitment to using only sustainable food.
Miss Marple’s Tearoom
The exterior of Miss Marple's Tearoom looks like a traditional English cottage, inviting onlookers to stop in for a mug of tea and escape the hustle and bustle of the street. Miss Marple memorabilia and a treasure trove of teapots can be found in the cottage.
Sunday brunch at Miss Marple's is known for its traditional English desserts, including her world-famous scones.
Evolve Fair Food Store
There is a lot of attention paid to Evolve Fair Food Store's reputation for selling organic and environmentally friendly groceries. This restaurant caters to vegetarians, vegans, celiacs, and paleo eaters alike.
Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe
The Emerald Village Bakery and Café offers more than 200 different kinds of baked goods, desserts, pies, and pizzas. Because everything is made as well as baked in-house, you can really taste the care and attention that went into making each dish. Conveniently located on a street, the cafe and juice bar is ideal for people on the go who need a quick pick-me-up.
Spencers Store's walls, floors, and counter are all panelled in wood to create a warm, country-inspired atmosphere. A huge open area with picnic benches and a simple vegetable garden can be found in the back of the cafe, where the cafe's summer menu can be enjoyed. In addition to the delicious baked goods, the store sells a wide range of other items.
There is no better place than Ripe for a leisurely brunch, whether it's a chilly winter morning or a warm summer afternoon. B aked beans made in-house are on the menu at Ripe, which is a throwback to simpler times.
However, the hot chocolate is the star of the show. For their hot chocolates, Ripe relies on the grating of their chocolate to make this delicious beverage.
Burnham Beeches, a local landmark and lavish three-story Art Deco mansion and surrounding gardens built in 1933, has been revitalised thanks to $65 million invested by chef Shannon Bennett (by the founding family of Aspro, incidentally).
Burnham Bakery And Piggery Cafe
The first phase, represented by the Burnham Bakery and Piggery Café, is located in a converted pigsty and features a typically provincial aesthetic, complete with hay bales, marble, chequered shirts for the wait staff, and a parking lot that is already full by 9 a.m.
The plan for the rumored'six-star' accommodations is to give guests an experience that money can't buy, such as helping out in the bakery and going on a truffle hunt with the resident dog. To top it all off, your efforts will be rewarded with a lower final invoice.
Seven days a week customers can get something to eat from the café. The cassoulet and corn fritters for breakfast are not to be missed, and the pork belly BLT and a glass of wine from a nearby Yarra Valley vineyard makes for a delicious lunch.
Ranges In Olinda
If you're still hungry after that, head to Ranges in Olinda. The restaurant's head chef, Garth Talbot, has a background in French cuisine and the requisite pedigree in Melbourne hospitality, having worked at the legendary Koots Salle a Manger. His new venture, while casual, serves a serious range of food in a lovely leafy setting.
Le Voltaire Bistro Francais In Belgrave
Even as night falls, communication with France is unbroken. Le Voltaire Bistro Francais in Belgrave, which only appeared in June of this year, is the kind of venue you wish had launched in your community for special occasions like dinner.
The locals feel this way about the quaint eatery operated by newbie Jean-Noel Langlet, who previously worked as a waiter at Melbourne landmark France-Soir for twenty or so years.
Although his menu lacks originality, it does include all the classic French dishes. It has, however, won over a large number of fans, as evidenced by the fact that weekend reservations are always fully booked.
You can always count on freshly bread baked from scratch, and a wine list that offers a good mix of new and old world varieties, along with the standard fare of canard à l'orange, oysters shucked in front of you, and snails.
Basically the same as the neighbourhood, in fact.
Elevation @ Emerald
Seafood, steak, burgers, and even wood-fired pizza and pasta are just some of the options available at Elevation @ Emerald. Both levels of this restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the Dandenong Ranges, providing a picturesque setting for a meal.
A former hardware store has been transformed into a stylish restaurant. The Independent's menu is designed to be enjoyed by large parties, with many tasty options available for sharing in a variety of sizes.
If you're looking for a restaurant where you can eat and watch a show, look no further than the renowned Cuckoo Restaurant. The Cuckoo is famous for its buffet, floor shows, and German Goulash, as well as its traditional and modern European cuisine and good old-fashioned family entertainment.
Things To Do In The Dandenong Ranges That Aren’t Eating Scones.
The name "The Dandenongs" is pronounced differently than the name of the city, "Dandenong," so visitors should be aware of this. You should keep them apart. For two, the Dandenong Ranges are more than just a place for lace doilies, big tour buses, and scones with jam and cream.
Although those things are plentiful there, a conversation with someone who actually lives "on the mountain" will reveal a very different impression. This part of Melbs is like a fern-covered wildlife retreat, with high oxygen levels, abundant fruit, and excellent cafes.
Browse Antiques At Mangana
Everything you see on Postcards on a Sunday afternoon in Mangana is exactly how it is. This antiques and homegoods store in the heart of Olinda is a total gem. Anyone passing through The Dandenong Ranges can count on Mangana's aisles being crammed to capacity.
You can never have too many wooden mallards, so if you are market for some, or if you are interested in globes, reproductions of antique furniture, wooden mallards, oriental rugs, jewellery, chess boards, or vintage, industrial curios, this is the place to go.
Grab A Pie From Pie In The Sky
The city of Olinda's other primary draw. If you'd like to avoid the wait for a table on the weekends, consider picking up some pizzas to go. Take your picnic to one of the nearby gardens, or eat it on the bench by the major road.
Much like every other nation pie bakery in Victoria, the slogan "Victoria's official #1 pie shop" is prominently displayed on the windows of Pie In The Sky. The validity of the judge's ruling has not been confirmed, but the pies sure taste good. The classic "Australian Meat Pie" (rumoured to be an Olympic gold medal winner) and a backup pie made with beef and mushrooms are safe bets. Delicious.
Wander The Alfred Nicholas Gardens
A shining star among The Dandenong's attractions. The Alfred Nicholas Gardens are so discreetly tucked away in the Ranges that few people ever hear of them unless they specifically go looking for them. Just before the Sassafras intersection, take the Sherbrooke exit off the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Rd. and keep going straight to reach the parking lot on the property.
These gardens were designed by Alfonso Nicholas and George, who developed the pain reliever Aspro. There is a sloping forest of trees consisting of mountain ash, ginkgoes, maples, and liquid ambers. Our favourite part is the small lake built for aesthetic purposes at the bottom of the hill which provides a wonderful backdrop for pictures.
Open Mic Night At The Mt Dandenong Hotel
Although the township of Mt. Dandenong is only a few minutes further on, many visitors to the Dandenongs give up when they reach Olinda. Get greeted warmly at the Mt. Dandenong Hotel.
The food is your regular pub offerings, but they have a wide variety of beers and ciders. One of its most appealing features is that it has been hosting a local open mic night for longer than any other venue in the region. All you need to do is bring your own instruments, find a spot on the stage, and also get set to rock the Ranges. We have a weekly open mic night on Sundays where anyone can come and share their talents.
Brunch At Destiny Point Cafe
This brings us to the second distinctive feature of Kalorama. Destiny Point is the best cafe in Melbourne for people-watching. Guests can enjoy brunch on the restaurant's beautiful patio while listening to the kookaburras sing, and the view from the restaurant's large bay windows, which look out over Kalorama Lookout, is breathtaking.
The menu may not be on the cutting edge of Melbourne cuisine (pesto is still popular in the Dandenongs), but it is reliable and the servings are generous (the smashed avo must arrive with $5 value of snow-white goats cheese alone). Most highly recommended for a Dandy midday meal.
Go Plant Shopping At Sassafras
Excellent greenhouses can be found in the Dandenongs. We gardeners love to stop at Conifer Gardens Nursery on the way into Sassafras.
Conifer specialises in trees, such as Japanese maples (which can be found in abundance on the Hillside), Black Pines, and rare conifers, as opposed to the more typical house plants and delicate flowers sold by other nurseries. Melbourne homeowners who dream of turning their outdoor space into a magical forest paradise need look no further.
Walk/Struggle Up The 1000 Steps
Take a few deep breaths before starting up or going down the stairs. Our persistent enemy. One thousand of these monuments were built to remember the men and women who gave their lives for us on Kokoda. While you wheezed and clutched at the rail, the cocky folks in sportswear sprinted past you. The ANZACs on Kokoda, however, had more important things on their minds.
The 1000 Steps, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, is one of the city's most well-known tourist attractions. People travel from far away to see this, so getting there early is recommended. Get going early in the morning if you'd like to have the trail all to yourself.
By 10 a.m., the location is already teeming with Lululemon devotees, baby strollers, lattes, families with 20 kids, Olympic athletes, and senior citizens. Read the plaques along the trail to learn about the area's fascinating history and to give yourself an acceptable excuse to quietly regret getting out of bed.
The Dandenong Ranges are home to some of Victoria's best restaurants and cafes. Here are some of the best cafes in the area, as voted on by their regulars. Inclusions include The General Food Store, Café de Beaumarchais, and The Age Good Food. Foodies in Belgrave should check out Grunge Cafe, The Deli Platter, Miss Marple's Tearoom, and Evolve Fair Food Store. Earthly Pleasures Cafe and The Village Idiot both serve vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options to their customers.
More than 200 types of baked goods, desserts, pies, and pizzas are available at the Emerald Village Bakery and Café. All of Spencers Store's interior surfaces are made of wood, including the counter, walls, and floors. Chef Shannon Bennett has invested $65 million in the revitalisation of Burnham Beeches. This is the kind of restaurant you'd like to see open up in your neighbourhood. The Dandenong Ranges can be seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows of Elevation @ Emerald.
Known for its buffet and floor shows, the Cuckoo Restaurant is the place to be. Mangana is a treasure trove of antiques and home goods in Olinda's heart. In the Dandenong Ranges, you'll find the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. The pies from Pie In The Sky are said to be a gold medal contender. For more than a decade, the Mt. Dandenong Hotel has hosted an open mic night.
The best cafe in Melbourne for people-watching is Destiny Point Cafe. Just the $5 worth of snow-white goats cheese must accompany the mashed avocado. Recommend for a lunchtime meal. Japanese maples and Black Pines are some of the trees that Conifer Gardens Nursery specialises in. The city's most popular tourist attraction is the 1000 Steps. If you want the trail to yourself, you'll have to get there early in the morning.
- Victoria's finest eateries and cafes can be found in the city's hills.
- The Dandenong Ranges are a scenic drive, and there are many restaurants in the area if you get hungry.
- The fresh produce here is bursting with flavour and has low food miles because it comes from market gardens and orchards all over the region or the nearby Yarra Valley.
- With a working record player and retro decor, the Grunge Cafe is a cool place to hang out.
- By providing both a breakfast menu and a variety of deli and cheese platters, The Deli Platter gives its customers the best of both worlds.
- The Emerald Village Bakery and Café offers more than 200 different kinds of baked goods, desserts, pies, and pizzas.
- Even as night falls, communication with France is unbroken.
- Grab A Pie From Pie In The Sky
- The city of Olinda's other primary draw.
- A shining star among The Dandenong's attractions.
- Get greeted warmly at the Mt. Dandenong Hotel.
- This brings us to the second distinctive feature of Kalorama.
- Destiny Point is the best cafe in Melbourne for people-watching.
- Take a few deep breaths before starting up or going down the stairs.
- The 1000 Steps, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, is one of the city's most well-known tourist attractions.
- Get going early in the morning if you'd like to have the trail all to yourself.
FAQs About Melbourne Cafes
The area includes the towns and villages of Belgrave, Cockatoo, Dandenong, Emerald, Gembrook, Kallista, Kalorama, Lilydale, Menzies Creek, Monbulk, Montrose, Mount Dandenong, Mount Evelyn, Olinda, Packenham Sassafras, Selby, Sherbrooke, Silvan, Tecoma, The Basin and Upper Ferntree Gully.
There are parts of the Dandenong Ranges that are now safely accessible by roads and welcoming visitors back! See the friendly faces in Belgrave, Sassafras, Kallista, Emerald and more.
A comfortable suburb on the upswing. Dandenong has a high violent crime rate and a high property crime rate for Melbourne.
Dandenong has been considered a low socio-economic suburb for some time. With all these improvements made by the government and council, it's only a matter of time people will be coming to move here by busload.
The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just The Dandenongs) are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km (22 mi) east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.