Salinger’s is in an 1860s building that served as the Stawell general store, which was owned by local merchant Emmanuel Salinger. His daughter Eleanor married French winemaker Charles Pierlot – the man who would introduce méthode champenoise to Henry Irvine of Seppelt winery and bring sparkling wine to the region.

The historic building’s exposed redbrick interiors, timber floorboards, church archway and detailed facade have all been kept in top condition. Minor renovations uncovered a living bees’ nest inside the walls, which is now set behind a Perspex plate and cared for by a local apiarist. Visitors can now marvel at the hive producing honey, which inevitably winds up in the sweets and cakes lining the fridge.

Hyper-local honey plays well into Salinger’s zero-waste, zero-food-miles ambitions and chef Bryden Buckingham sources much of the cafe’s ingredients from the on-site kitchen garden or from Grampians-based producers. These ingredients pepper the modern cafe menu, as well as Salinger’s popular takeaway grazing boxes.

An all-day breakfast menu plays tried-and-true favourites against inventive dishes, such as scrambled Harissa tofu with a cucumber and avocado salad on sourdough; and buttermilk pancakes with mixed berry, vanilla anglaise, lemon myrtle meringue and ice cream. For lunch, expect crispy chicken soft tacos (plant-based fillings are available) with slaw, jalapeno and cucumbers, steak and caramelised onion ciabatta, and a Reuben toastie. All bread is baked by the Great Western Granary.

You’ll also find coffee by Melbourne roaster Dimattina, as well as a Grampians-heavy wine list to enjoy in the afternoon.

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Updated: January 31st, 2022

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