Inspiration Destinations Australia Best Fine-Dining Restaurants in Regional Victoria 

Best Fine-Dining Restaurants in Regional Victoria 

June 26, 2023
A dish from the restaurant at lake House Daylesford, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria.

Discover inventive fine dining in Victoria's unassuming regional backyard, where experimental chefs serve up hyperlocal dishes from Ballarat to Beechworth and beyond. 

Venture into Victoria's verdant regional towns and discover a smorgasbord of delectable fine-dining experiences. With farm-fresh ingredients sourced from local growers, onsite gardens and cellar doors, and ethically sourced produce, these regional institutions hold their own despite being located hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Discover time-honoured fine-dining titans, intimate gems and endless chef’s hats sprinkled across Victoria’s rich outskirts.  

The Muse, Nagambie

Located within the stylish bones of The Mitchelton Hotel, The Muse is the bolthole's flagship restaurant. Open daily for dinner and lunch on weekends, The Muse focuses on modern farmhouse-style plates with chef Nigel Brown leading the charge at the kitchen pass. Provenance has a heavy hand in the seasonal menu, with ingredients sourced from nearby producers in Euroa, Seymour and Rushworth. Wild trout often comes from the Goulburn River. Diners can order a la carte or the indecisive may opt for a four-course chef's selection. No matter which route you take, a reservation at The Muse rewards with the likes of kangaroo loin with mushroom ketchup, housemade gnocchi and warrigal greens, slow-cooked Dorper lamb shoulder, and caramelised apple with wild fennel ice cream. Bon appetit.

Brae, Birregurra

Brae, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria - Luxury Escapes

Brae occupies an unassuming location in the small town of Birregurra, a 90-minute drive from the typical chef-hatted fine-dining venues you’d find in Melbourne CBD. Recognised as one of the World’s Top 50 restaurants, Brae is where you can find Australia’s finest hyperlocal fare, surrounded and fuelled by its own flourishing kitchen garden. Drawing from its pastoral surroundings, each dish is reminiscent of a leisurely Christmas lunch, crafted with fresh veggies, meat and seafood. But inside every inconspicuous dish is an inventive twist, from the famous Iced Oyster ice cream, topped with dehydrated oyster shavings, or the crispy smoked eel doughnut.  

Doot Doot Doot, Mornington Peninsula

Doot Doot Doot, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria - Luxury Escapes
Doot Doot Doot.

Doot Doot Doot invites you to indulge in a bit of luxury. The brooding 80-seat venue is gilded with a wash of gold from over 10,000 glimmering ceiling lights installed by artist Jan Flook, while views over the rolling vineyard add a perfect touch of romance. Fresh produce from the surrounding Mornington Peninsula (one hour from Melbourne) graces all five courses, which can include tomato tartare with goat’s curd, succulent roast lamb and poached blackberries. For drinks, the 1,200-bottle wine cellar is at your beck and call for the perfect pairing, but an equally impressive cocktail menu beckons for something a little stronger.

SARDINE Eatery + Bar, Gippsland  

Sardine Dining, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria - Luxury Escapes
Sardine Dining.

With one Chef Hat and ongoing accolades from The Age Good Food Guide under its belt, SARDINE Eatery + Bar in Paynesville (3.5 hours out of Melbourne) continues to prove its worth. The ethically sourced seafood menu changes constantly, championing local fish from a myriad of Gippsland watering holes. The sardines are hand-filleted, fresh and served simply, accompanied by salty locals such as abalone from Mallacoota and octopus from Lakes Entrance. If you are looking for ultra-fresh regional seafood, then Sardine Dining has all that and the sparkling sea views to match.  

Provenance, Beechworth  

Provenance, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria.

Three hours out of Melbourne in the former Bank of Australasia building, a scientist-turned-chef creates wow-inducing Japanese fare at Provenance. Tables are treated to 18 dishes over four courses, each produced with hyperlocal ingredients and marked by the chef’s inclination for experimentation. Secure a reservation and enjoy a colourful spread of braised and grilled octopus, mushroom tofu or hand-made Chinese sausage, arranged tantalisingly on ornate plates. Complete the experience with an expertly matched wine from the restaurant's own cellar, or a house-picked sake, served hot or cold to your liking. 

Tedesca Osteria, Mornington Peninsula

Tedesca Osteria, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria.
Tedesca Osteria.

Set in a 20th-century weatherboard home, with views that wouldn’t be amiss in the rolling valleys of southern Italy, Tedesca Osteria is the Mornington Peninsula’s organic fine-dining titan. Make the hour-long drive from Melbourne easily in a day or linger a little longer with a stay at the nearby RACV Cape Schanck Resort. Indulge in a hearty prix-fixe lunch on the Tedesca terrace, overlooking 27 spellbinding acres of Red Hill farmland, and expect fresh pasta and ethically sourced seafood. The menu changes fortnightly, but biodynamic, in-house-grown organics and selective local produce is guaranteed. Past dishes include pasta with zucchini flowers and duck-fat potatoes, conjured in an electric open kitchen with an impressive brick hearth at its centre.  

Lake House, Daylesford

The Lake House Daylesford, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria -Luxury Escapes
The Lake House.

The Lake House has pioneered Daylesford’s farm-to-table movement, with ingredients sourced primarily from its own Dairy Flat Farm that boasts an orchard of 300 trees, a vineyard and a bakehouse. Meanwhile, any remaining ingredients can be traced to local growers. With a location only 1.5 hours out of Melbourne, the elegant waterside jewel feels worlds away. Guests can be seen taking a breather on the Lagoon Deck between vegetable-laden courses, overlooking the lake with an internationally acclaimed wine in hand. With three Chefs Hats and countless accolades, it’s no surprise this Victorian institution is still a crowd favourite three decades on. 

Underbar, Ballarat 

Underbar, one of the best restaurants in regional Victoria - Luxury Escapes

Underbar is open two days a week with a mere 14 seats up for grabs, fostering an appropriate sense of exclusivity that’s well suited to its locale in the city of gold. Hidden behind an unassuming Ballarat shopfront 1.5 hours out of Melbourne, this intimate restaurant is a standout venture from Chef Derek Boath, a former multi-Michelin star restaurant alum. Embark on a culinary journey from Japan to France, with dishes championed by fresh ingredients from the region’s best mum-and-pop growers. The menu is ever-changing, but guests can expect an inventive experience that lingers long after the taste of oven-fresh cornbread leaves your mouth.  

The Shared Table, Buninyong

Journey 1.5 hours northwest from Melbourne CBD to Buninyong, where a quaint, community-centred restaurant experience awaits. The Shared Table is nestled in a cosy cottage-style shopfront with an open kitchen and charming exposed brick walls. Drawing inspiration from across the globe and using farm-fresh ingredients from local makers and growers, its ‘dine without decision’ menu is where tradition meets international flare. The three-course Asian-fusion menu rotates often but tasty BBQ buns, plum sauces, fresh vegetables and fruity desserts are deliciously consistent menu highlights. 

Feature image: Provenance, Beechworth.

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About Sofia Calvert
Travel and lifestyle writer → born in Australia, raised in Asia and the South Pacific. Loves craft cocktails and long walks to the hotel pool.

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