The Criterion Hotel is a classic corner pub, but it makes the most of its prime Lake Mulwala location by offering lakeside dining on its outdoor deck. Heaters come out in the cooler months, while a robust deck-top smoker is responsible for mouth-watering meat extravaganzas like Bavarian-style pork knuckle and Cajun lamb shank.

Shuttered in 2020 but since reopened as part of the Australian Venue Co. portfolio, The Criterion has tapped head chef Dylan Egan to oversee a strong menu of quintessential pub fare, with a few notable twists.

Look out for plant-based burgers starring the Beyond Meat patty, gnocchi with smoked pumpkin sauce, cheeseburger spring rolls, and buffalo-style chicken ribs served with blue cheese mayo. Nine different pizzas – also available for takeaway – range from pepperoni, to meatball; and mushroom to roasted pumpkin.

The craft beer selection includes brews by Bridge Road from nearby Beechworth, while wines from Rutherglen keep up the regional connection. The cocktail menu especially shines, composed of sun-friendly spritzes and winter warmers alike. Tuesday is usually trivia night if you’re around midweek, and families can look forward to a shaded outdoor playground – if the kids can tear themselves away from those far-reaching lake views.

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Updated: March 29th, 2022

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