Sometimes, it feels like Melbourne is the be-all and end-all of dining in this state. But visit certain parts of regional Victoria and that illusion quickly falls away. You’ve probably heard of Brae, which has twice appeared on the World’s Best Restaurants list. Browse this group of restaurants and you’ll see there are plenty more places worth taking a road trip for, regardless of how many hours the drive is. Our tip? Stay the night and make a weekend of it – it’ll only make the meal that much more memorable and special.

Do not travel to regional Victoria if you are feeling unwell. The Covid-19 situation is evolving and public health recommendations are subject to change. Masks are mandatory on public transport and indoors. If you have concerns about visiting businesses or public spaces, or questions about self-isolation or coronavirus testing, see the latest updates from the Victorian Government.

Related pages:
Best Accommodation in Regional Victoria
Best Restaurants in Melbourne
Guide to the Mornington Peninsula
Guide to Geelong

Brae

Restaurant

It’s one of world’s finest restaurants, but this country cottage also has a comforting, familial character that makes chef Dan Hunter’s creative food that much more enjoyable. Don’t leave without strolling the extensive grounds, where much of the restaurant’s produce is grown.

4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra

Igni

Restaurant

This discreet 28-seat room, off an unremarkable side street in central Geelong, doesn’t look like much from the outside. It’s actually one of Australia’s best restaurants. Visit for six sublime courses, nearly every one licked by flame somehow (Igni means “fire” in Latin).

Ryan Place, Geelong

Underbar

Restaurant

Just 32 diners per week are admitted to this intimate restaurant, where veteran chef Derek Boath prepares degustations using hyperlocal produce, some of which he forages himself.

3 Doveton Street North, Ballarat Central

Tedesca Osteria

Restaurant

This rustic, intimate 30-seater by acclaimed chef Brigitte Hafner feels less like a restaurant and more like a friend’s house – if your friend had access to farm-fresh produce and a cellar full of wines from Victoria’s most interesting new producers. A prime long-lunch destination.

1175 Mornington-Flinders Road, Red Hill

Provenance

Restaurant

House-made dashi, miso, pickles and ferments are the hallmarks of this decade-old fine diner by chef Michael Ryan, who spins hyperlocal produce into creative, Japanese-inspired dishes. On the floor, his wife Jeanette Henderson pours matched sakes and local wines.

86 Ford Street, Beechworth

Greasy Zoe’s

Restaurant

Just two people work at this tiny eight-seat fine diner. They do everything: wash the dishes, pour the wines, and cook the outstanding multi-course, daily-changing menu. This is one of the best – and most intimate – dining experiences Victoria has to offer.

3/850 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge

Lake House

Restaurant

Long, slow lunches and degustation dinners at the edge of the lake – Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker have been doing their thing since 1979 and it's never lost relevance.

4 King Street, Daylesford

Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel

Restaurant

The dining room of this sleek, matchbox-shaped building has one of the most impressive restaurant views in Australia. The regional menu showcases the Grampians just as well.

98 Parker Street, Dunkeld

Laura

Restaurant

Point Leo Estate’s in-house fine diner is up there with the Peninsula’s best culinary experiences. Chef Josep Espuga and his team are renowned for their commitment to local produce, so the only constant to the changeable menu is that most ingredients will have come from the Mornington Peninsula, if not from Point Leo itself.

3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks

Paringa Estate

Restaurant

This stalwart winery has some of the oldest vines on the Mornington Peninsula, and some of the most impressive dining. Although the restaurant was originally built to help showcase the maturing range of wines, it's since grown an esteemed reputation of its own.

44 Paringa Road, Red Hill South

Doot Doot Doot

Restaurant

Jackalope’s in-house fine diner is just as extravagant and eccentric as the rest of the sprawling complex. But it's grounded by a steadfast commitment to local produce and seasonality. And caviar.

166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North

TarraWarra Estate

Restaurant

TarraWarra's head chef, Mark Ebbels, worked in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck in the UK. Now, he's brought his wild creativity and an infectious passion for farming to this Yarra Valley estate. Expect an unpredictable, invigorating and veg-heavy menu.

311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Yarra Glen

Seville Estate

Restaurant

A restaurant championing homegrown produce and world-class wine, in a beautiful setting. The menu has an unshowy and rustic ethos, designed to highlight the high quality of the ingredients used (many of which are grown in the kitchen garden).

65 Linwood Road, Seville

Levantine Hill

Restaurant

From the helipad to the high-profile architect, no expense has been spared at Levantine Hill. At the restaurant, a Levant-inspired menu that leans into the owners’ heritage. Settle into a wine-barrel-shaped booth for Middle Eastern snack plates, Beluga caviar for an eye-popping $340, three-wine flights and more.

882 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

O.My

Restaurant

This farm-to-table diner isn’t as far-flung as some of the others on this list, but it wholly deserves to be here. Wildly inventive degustations featuring produce from the restaurant's own Cardinia farm take place in a light-filled, spacious dining room. It also has a mood-lit wine bar for casual but no-less-inventive bar snacks and Victorian wines.

70 Princes Highway, Beaconsfield