Some prefer to get up early and call it ‘breakfast’, others prefer a more leisurely ‘brunch’.

Either way you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to that all important first meal of the day, when visiting Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.  

In Daylesford start the day at Pancho, a warm intimate café with plants cascading from the ceiling. Choose a seat with a kitchen view or work your way up the spiral staircase. Order the curried omelette with tamarind date chutney or for those with a sweet tooth, select a slice of their iconic carrot cake. Known for its almost 50% ratio of icing to cake!

Further along Daylesford’s Vincent Street, pull up a seat in the window at Larder Daylesford. Try their famous BLAT, a constant on the menu since day one, or head next door to sister café L1 where according to owners Luke and Sarah, “coffee is God”. You’ll find Luke behind the coffee machine.

No visit to Daylesford is complete without brunch at Cliffy’s Emporium. The Shakshuka is a dish you’ll be talking about for eternity, as are the Turkish eggs with smoked chilli butter, fried halloumi, cardamon yoghurt and roti. The alfresco dining makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a small Italian alpine village.

An easy five-minute drive away, you’ll find the hamlet of Hepburn Springs where you can order a Bloody Mary at Harry’s Hepburn and indulge in the mortadella with creamed leek and crumbed poached egg. Alternatively, head to Virgin Café at Bellinzona and sit amongst the gardens and enjoy their decadent crispy chicken benedict.

Le Peche Gourmand Chris Turner Photography 17 e1664846916594 uai
Le Peche Gourmand photo by Chris Turner Photography

Drive in any direction from Daylesford and you’re spoilt for choice. Le Péché Gourmand in Creswick transports you to the patisseries of France. Get comfy on a Parisian-style café chair and take your pick of French classics. The almond croissant dipped in sugar syrup and filled with frangipane is perfection. The crispy exterior is perfect for dunking into your morning coffee.

Head to Trentham General, where the interior’s warm green hues make your worries float away. A must try is the eggs benny, complete with confit pressed pork shoulder, perfectly poached eggs, and duck fat roasted hash brown. Nearby, Redbeard Historic Bakery never disappoints; a perfect pastry or their signature ‘nice bun’ is all the comfort you need.

Fox in the Chamber is a little bit of Melbourne in the country. Housed in the old council chambers, this art deco beauty is a must visit next time you’re in Woodend. Friendly faces greet you at the door. Settle in for a tower of crumpets adorned with avocado and chilli salt or indulge in the house made granola with gingerbread spices that feels like Christmas.

For the socially minded, The Social Foundry in Kyneton fills your belly and your soul. By simply eating breakfast you are helping disadvantaged youth. The Canadian pancakes served with Istra bacon and maple syrup, or the corn and zucchini fritters, provide all you need to tackle Piper Street on a Saturday afternoon.

LARDER 8 e1664846951205 uai
Larder Daylesford

About the author

Michelle Symes
Michelle Symes

Michelle Symes is a marketing specialist in the fields of food, wine and gastronomy. A Daylesford local Michelle loves nothing better than sharing the culinary secrets of our region. A perfect day consists of visiting a local farmers market, filling her basket to the brim with local produce and heading back to the kitchen to spend the afternoon, wine glass in hand cooking for friends.