In a region renowned for lush rolling farmlands, pretty villages with friendly locals and an abundance of local produce, options for dining are never in short supply. In no particular order, we have curated our list of the Top 5 Daylesford lunch spots that are sure to tempt the tastebuds and leave you craving for more!
1. Cliffy’s Emporium, Daylesford
Back in the 1950’s Cliffy’s was a local general store providing groceries and farm supplies to the local townsfolk. Seemingly untouched by time, the rustic timber and corrugated iron building, complete with original advertising artwork still visible on the windows, has now been transformed into one of the region’s most well-known Daylesford lunch café’s loved by locals and visitors alike.
True to its history as a general merchant, the store’s shelves are once again full of local produce which also stars on the café menu along with exceptional coffee and regional wine.
Cliffy’s latest offering is the Bottomless Boozy Brunch. Perfect for those lazy weekends when sleep-ins are a must. Overflowing with classic country charm, brunch-goers will delight in 1.5 hours of free-flowing Bloody Marys, Breakfast Negroni’s and Cliffy’s signature Mimosa while brunching under the grapevine-laden veranda or at a cosy table inside. Tables of four or fewer people will have the choice of Cliffy’s classic brunch dishes while larger tables will be treated to a spread of incredible local produce served sharing-style with an instagram-worthy table setting.
Open seven days for breakfast and lunch.
2. Boathouse Restaurant, Daylesford
Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Daylesford with unmatched lake views, Boathouse Restaurant offers a sophisticated Daylesford lunch experience.
In summer, take in the views from the deck and enjoy the gentle breeze off the water, and in winter relax inside near the fire in the cosy indoor dining area. The relaxed yet professional service makes it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine over a meal shared with family and friends.
Open for lunch Wednesday – Sunday, reservations are not required.
3. Frank & Connie’s Kitchen, Hepburn Springs
‘Whatever comes out of the pot’ is the philosophy at Frank & Connie’s Kitchen. Named for Chef/Owner Caliopi’s Greek grandparents, Frank & Connie’s has become a firm favourite with the Daylesford lunch set.
With a blackboard menu changing daily according to the fresh produce available, Caliopi produces seasonal dishes drawing upon French, Greek, Middle Eastern and South American cuisine.
Everyone is catered for, with smaller and larger plates designed to share. Favourites that are almost always on the blackboard include pan fried-saganaki with honey and peppered currants, house-made organic pork rilletts served with lavosh and cornichons and, if you have the chance, be sure to try ‘Nana’s biscuits’ for dessert!
Lunch is available Friday – Sunday (Dinner Wednesday – Sunday) and reservations are recommended.
4. Annie Smithers du Fermier, Trentham
Located only 20 minutes southeast of Daylesford in the pretty village of Trentham is Annie Smithers du Fermier. Eating at du Fermier is a little like eating at someone’s home and when that someone is Annie Smithers, you can be sure it will be a meal to remember.
Food is harvested straight from Annie’s garden with a menu inspired by classic French farmhouse food. Sometimes the dishes are plated, other times shared but always intended to be enjoyed with friends and family. Each weekend Annie lovingly creates a menu that features things that are ready in the garden and some of the finest meats and/or poultry from the surrounding region. This is comfortable honest food for sharing with friends.
Lunch is available Friday – Monday and reservations are essential. With limited space available du Fermier can be booked weeks in advance so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!