The best Victorian holiday destinations for food lovers

A person dipping a cracker into dip on a laden cheese platter at Bassine Specialty Cheeses

Nicola Dowse

Posted July 21, 2023

Looking for a foodie stop on a day trip? Discover the best restaurants, cafes, wineries and more with a trip to one of Victoria’s top gourmet destinations.

Victorians take their food very seriously, so it’s no surprise that the state is home to more than 15,000 cafes and restaurants. In every corner of Victoria, you can find fine dining restaurants, cafes serving premium coffee, wineries showcasing the state’s formidable viticultural scene and all manner of artisanal food producers. If you’re planning your next Victorian holiday around your stomach, these are some of the best destinations to try. 

RACV Resorts are the ultimate base from which to explore Victoria’s world-class food and wine industries.  

Gourmet Victorian holiday destinations

The Yarra Valley

If you’ve only got time to visit one Yarra Valley winery, make it Chandon. The renowned makers of sparkling wines have a glamourous tastings room where you can try all five of their signature wine styles. To learn about how Chandon makes its wine ‘méthode traditionnelle’ you can book into a behind the scenes experience (with an optional-pre-experience brunch) or simply head to the restaurant for a three or four-course menu designed to complement the wines.

A visit to Yering Station means visiting the oldest winery in the Yarra Valley with the vines first planted here in 1838. The winery is known for its chardonnay, shiraz viognier, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. Taste the wines in the original (built 1859) winery building or enjoy them with a two or thre-course lunch in the restaurant.

For high tea with a twist, try Olinda Tea House. The venue combines the dainty cakes and sandwiches of a traditional high tea with flavours and techniques from Asian cuisines – alongside your egg ribbon sandwiches and scones, you’ll be served peach oolong trifle and bite-sized barbecue pork buns. The restaurant also offers a Chinese lunch and dinner menu (vegan and gluten-free options available).  

The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is a family-run business that’s been so loved and successful since opening in 2012 that it’s opened two more locations (on the Mornington Peninsula and Great Ocean Road). You can expect a chocolate tasting on arrival, tasting sessions, workshops for all ages, plenty of chocolate treats from the café and more than 400 chocolate products which you can see made on-site.

Also try:

  • Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms, Sassafras

  • Banyalla, Healesville

  • De Bortoli, Dixons Creek  

  • Four Pillars Distillery, Healesville

People enjoying a drink in the Chandon winery vineyards, Yarra Valley

Chandon is one of the biggest and most luxurious wineries to visit in the Yarra Valley. Photo: Visit Victoria.

The Mornington Peninsula 

Haute cuisine can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with it, but Cape restaurant at RACV Cape Schanck Resort is all about bringing the fun back to fine dining. The award-winning restaurant sources food locally and seasonally (you might be eating ingredients gathered less than a kilometre from your table) and presents it playfully – expect creative twists on everything from chicken wings to prawn crackers.  

Tuck into smokey, Southern-style barbecue at Red Gum BBQ. The authentic barbecue restaurant is now a destination for free-range barbecued meat – everything from 12-hour pulled pork and beef brisket to 6-hour pork ribs and smoked chicken breast. Cornbread, mac n cheese and coleslaw complete the Southern feast with options for vegetarians too.  


Discover Cape Schanck's hidden culinary gem | RACV


Green Olive at Red Hill is far more than just a winery and olive farm. The family business also produces its own vegetables, herbs, bush foods and hops, as well as raising sheep and chickens. Sample the farm grown ingredients in the restaurant open for brunch and lunch - homemade dog biscuits are even available if you bring along your pooch. Picnic packages are available too. 

The cute as a button Le Capucin is your little taste of France in Portsea. Owner Loïc is a French native who brings his love of cuisine to the café and providore. Pastries come from Noisette while the take home pies (like the boeuf bourguignon), quiches and take-home meals are made in house.  

Also try: 

  • Laura, Merricks 

  • Point Leo Estate, Merricks 

  • The Vegan Dairy, Dromana 

  • Flinders Sourdough, Flinders 

Various meats and side dishes at Red Gum BBQ on the Mornington Peninsula

Red Gum BBQ provides an authentic taste of smokey, Southern-style barbecue. Photo: Visit Victoria.

The High Country 

Good food meets good wine in the High Country, a fact immediately apparent at Jones Winery and Restaurant. The vineyard might have been running for six generations (since 1860), but the Jones family keeps things current with modern approaches to sustainability, agriculture and wine science to every drop. Shiraz and muscat are the stars here – enjoy them alongside French-inspired seasonal dishes at the restaurant, cellar door or in a picnic. 

Brown Brothers are a household name when it comes to Australian wines and for good reason. The winery has been in business since 1889 and these days sports a cellar door (open seven days) and an acclaimed restaurant serving light meals through to leisurely long lunches with matching wines. Brown Brothers also offer Prosecco brunches where you can taste their entire Prosecco range alongside sweet and savoury snacks.  

It might be a staple brand on Australian supermarket shelves but you’ll be surprised just how many more varieties are available to sample at the Beechworth Honey flagship store. There are more than 40 types of honey to sample at the Beechworth Honey Shop, including single varietals, infused honeys and creamed honeys (try the cinnamon-spiced version for a decadent toast topping). 

Also try:  

  • Billson’s Brewery, Beechworth 

  • Milawa Cheese, Milawa 

  • Provenance, Beechworth 

  • The Pickled Sisters Café, Rutherglen  

A dish at Jones Winery and Restaurant, Rutherglen

Enjoy a shiraz or muscat alongside French-inspired dishes at Jones Winery and Restaurant. Photo: Visit Victoria.

The Goldfields

Underbar is Ballarat’s ultimate intimate fine diner. Founded by a chef with three Michelin Stars under his belt, Underbar’s tasting menu inspired by the region’s local produce and seasons two nights a week. No modifications to the menu are allowed, though a special vegetarian event is offered every quarter.  

Dining at Du Fermier is like dining at the home of a friend who also just happens to be an excellent cook and has a bountiful garden. Small French farmhouse-style lunches are the speciality at Du Fermier for over a decade, with an emphasis on paddock-to-plate dining.  

Truffle hunts are offered during both winter and summer at Black Cat Truffles where you’ll join Farmer Tom and his truffle dogs as you search for the gourmet fungus. Each hunt is followed by truffle lunch or grazing platter showcasing the elusive ingredient (Perigord truffles in winter and tuber aestivum in summer).  

Visit the home of Larrikin Gin at Kilderkin Distillery. Located in the oldest residential area of Ballarat, this distillery welcomes guests for gin flights, cocktails or maybe just a simple G&T alongside a selection of bar snacks. Kilderkin produces five standard types of gin as well as special releases and gin liqueurs (including a bottled espresso martini).

Also try:

A selection of dishes as Black Cat Truffles in Wattle Flat, Victoria

Go hunting for truffles before lunch (or skip straight to eating) at Black Cat Truffles. Photo: Matt Harvey.

Geelong and the Surf Coast

Brae is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants to visit in Victoria and for good reason. A true dining destination, Brae comprises of a fine dining restaurant, organic farm and guest accommodation. You’ll be eating straight from the slopes of Birregurra, with regeneratively grown vegetables, stone fruits, citrus, nuts, berries, olives, honey and wheat all ending up on the restaurants’ seasonal menu. Book well in advance.

You’ll find the food at Moonah just as fine and matched only by the natural wetlands the restaurant resides in at Minya Winery. The restaurant serves a single set menu for lunch (and from August 2023, for breakfast as well) with all produce coming from within a 200km radius of the restaurant.  

For something a little more casual (but still exceptional) head to Fish by Moonlite in Anglesea. This fishmonger and fish and chippery sells seafood fresh from the ocean each day, with staff happy to talk you through the best ways to cook it. The chippery menu is kept simple, offering either flake or fish of the day fried battered or grilled and served with either chips or salad. Ordering one of the crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside potato cakes is also highly advised.

No corners are cut in making the specialty, completely gluten and wheat-free breads at Otway Artisan Gluten Free. Baker Justin Garner uses a mix of maize, starch, rice flour and soy flour in his selection of generously sized breads, rolls and pizza bases. Breads are also low sugar, vegan and can be delivered to large towns and cities throughout the state.

Also try:

  • The Store, Deans Marsh 

  • Jack Rabbit Winery, Bellarine

  • Ipsos Restaurant and Bar, Lorne

  • A La Grecque, Airey’s Inlet

Best regional pies - The Store Deans Marsh | RACV


Bassine Specialty Cheese has been operational since 1966 but only opened the cheese shop in 2012. Visit The-small scale operation churns out award-winning cheeses like brie, camembert, haloumi, ricotta, feta, washed rind, parmesan, colby, gouda and quark. Watch the cheese being made from the viewing window in the café or simply enjoy the spoils – the menu lets you sample the farm’s cheeses as well as scones made with fresh cream.

When the winemakers at Dirty Three Wines first started their vineyards they realised they had three different types of dirt to grow their grapes in – hence the name. The Inverloch winery (just five kilometres from RACV Inverloch Resort) specialises in pinot noir made with minimal interventions, allowing the terroir of the wines to shine through in each bottle. Visit the cellar door for wine flights and light lunches.  

You can be sure of two things when dining at the Coffee Collective: that your coffee will be exceptional and that you’ll be supporting the local community and environment. The café has three bean choices including a rotating single origin option and makes a concerted effort to reduce and repurpose food waste where possible (the business has provided more than two tonnes of coffee grounds to local growers to use as compost).  

If you’re visiting the Gippsland Lakes region, you’re no doubt expecting seafood. Sardine Dining in Paynesville doesn’t disappoint, with the adults-only restaurant and bar focusing on fresh, local seafood and produce. Let the chefs decide your menu for you (choose from four courses or a degustation) or dine a la carte on dishes like whole John Dory with capers, anchovies and nduja or Corner Inlet calamari with ink risotto and fennel.  

Also try:

Looking for a world class foodie experience?
Book a stay at an RACV Resort→