Ok, so I need to preface these claims. These places have not necessarily been awarded the 'best' (although some have…). I have formed these opinions from over 20 years of visiting and discovering places around here. I also work for the tourism group so consider myself an expert on these things. They are the best in their speciality, and I've found that they do not disappoint and should be an excellent motivator for a tasty road trip.

Plan your trip
Make sure you call ahead and book to avoid disappointment.

Best Vanilla Slice

If you have ever been to Woodend, you are no doubt familiar with the iconic Bourkies Bakehouse. People line up around the block to get inside and devour their finest pies and bakery treats. They have been serving up their famous vanilla slice for 30 years, and if you have had one, you would understand that no road trip is complete without it.


Best Coffee

There is something deliciously comforting about visiting Coffee Basics and Das Kaffeehaus. You will smell the intoxicating smoke from the roasters, rising from the iconic brick chimney of the repurposed Woollen Mill in Castlemaine, before you enter. The Schaerf family has been a leading name in the European coffee industry for decades. Come for the beans, stay for their generous heart-warming food.


Best All-Day Breakfast

Some days you want to eat breakfast all day, and when it's from Larder, you might want to eat it all week. They take their offerings very seriously with traditional favourites like big breakfast, eggs benedict, brioche French toast, and mix it up with some surprising delights like Spanish baked eggs, vanilla bean rice pudding and Mexican farm style beans. Taste and service will have you coming back as soon as you can.


Best Cheeseboard

Winespeake is the coolest new spot to discover all things wine and cheese. They focus on highlighting little-known producers from around the region and the world. Head in and order a grazing cheese and charcuterie platter and a glass of local wine or be adventurous and try their signature wine and cheese flight, including four glasses of wine, paired perfectly with four specially matched cheeses.


Best Burger

In German, Dutch and South African' Super Lekker' means 'Super Tasty', and as soon as you try one of their burgers, you will understand why these guys chose the name. Super Lekker serves up delicious, juicy burgers made from natural pasture-fed beef and free-range chicken.


Best Pizza

These guys do Italian very well. Owners Sam and Liam, inspired by tradition, established Beppe last year, paying homage to the strong Italian influence in the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region. They pay special attention to the detail, making all their pizza dough in house, creating a crisp base and puffy crust. You'll enjoy all the traditional toppings with their own modern twist.


Best Parma

There has been a surge in 'parma and a pint' popularity since lock-down. It's a standard classic but can go very wrong. Daylesford Hotel serves it just right - crispy free-range chicken schnitzel, topped with mozzarella cheese, free-range ham and Napoli sauce. They pair it with tangy coleslaw, chunky chips and the best sunset views.


Best Bubbly

Now don't just take it from me, wine experts also think Curly Flat make freakishly good bubbly. Their vineyard is picture perfect and meticulously maintained, and their tasting room is a rustic, yet elegant setting - which makes for a great place to enjoy wine. There are typically a few vintages of pinot noir and chardonnay on tasting, known as a ‘vertical tasting’, which allows you to see what a current release may look like with a few years of age, an experience that not many other wineries offer.


Best Steak

Most people don't know that Bistro Terroir owner and chef Matthew Carnell worked in France in a two-star Michelin restaurant. He has brought this passion and love for French food to us. You will find the famous dish Steak Frites made with locally raised Sher Wagyu and served with a Café Paris Butter and shoestring fries on his menu. This steak will melt in your mouth and stick in your mind.


Best Beer

For those who love craft beer, a trip to Holgate Brewhouse needs to be on your agenda.  They’ve been making craft beer for over 20 years - before it became the trendy thing to do.  Their passion has led to building a state-of-the-art Taproom and Visitor Centre, where you can experience 16 taps of limited and special release brews. Grab the train from Melbourne for a pint, enjoy their country pub food and even stay in the brewhouse.


About the author

Narenna Bloomfield

Narenna is a country girl at heart, growing up on a dairy farm north of Bendigo. Now living in Kyneton, (her husband’s hometown) she is a busy mum of three littlies. She loves gardening, baking, photography and getting out and about in the area. A favourite day in the region would be a weekly shop at a farmers’ market, meandering through an open garden and finishing with a dinner in one of the acclaimed restaurants along Piper Street, Kyneton.

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