The Best Restaurants and Cafes in Daylesford, Victoria

Lake House Daylesford

From hatted restaurants to laid-back cafes, these are the best places to eat in Daylesford.

Arriving in Daylesford, a distinct atmosphere of a different ecosystem unfolds — one where leisurely lunches and a slowed sense of time prevail. The charming town has become renowned for its diverse gastronomic landscape, with each restaurant, café, and winery adding to the flavourful tapestry that characterises Victoria’s Spa Country culinary scene. If you’re spending a weekend in Daylesford, or a week exploring its glorious countryside, this guide offers the scoop on the best eats in Daylesford, from fine dining to casual cafes. 

Good to know: All this gourmet goodness can be found just over an hour from Melbourne.

Best Fine Dining Restaurants Daylesford:

Romantic dining experiences abound in Daylesford, where world-class chefs work their magic with exceptional local produce. From lakeside icons to Japanese treasures, here are some of the best Daylesford fine dining restaurants. Our tip? Don’t stop at one … and remember to book ahead!

Sault

Sault is a real regional gem: a 125-acre private estate just outside Daylesford with lavender fields, manicured gardens, and an exquisite restaurant at its heart. The French village of Sault (known for its lavender) inspires the restaurant and reflects its relaxed atmosphere, local food, and wine. Head chef Liam Scott presents a seasonal contemporary Australian menu featuring the freshest produce from the region. The idyllic country setting offers a haven for culinary brilliance, delivering panoramic views and an unforgettable farm-to-table experience.

Le-Bouchon-at-Attwoods

Le Bouchon at Attwoods

Founded by sommelier-turned-winemaker Troy Walsh and chef Sean Marshall, Le Bouchon at Attwoods combines Walsh’s 15 years of London fine-dining expertise with Marshall’s culinary journey through France, New York City, and Melbourne. 

Each month, a new five-course lunch menu with French influences is curated, utilising seasonal produce often sourced from the kitchen garden. Accompanied by European-inspired wines selected by Troy, the menu fosters a warm and inviting atmosphere. As the onsite restaurant of Attwoods Wines, the intimate and elegant dining space, adorned with expansive windows overlooking lush surroundings, accommodates only 30 seats per service. Book ahead to enjoy a special lunch for two in Daylesford.

The Lakehouse Daylesford
The Lakehouse Daylesford

Lake House

Lake House stands as a culinary institution, gracefully positioned along the tranquil shores of Lake Daylesford amongst six acres of beautiful country gardens. Owners Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker pioneered the farm-to-table movement in Daylesford, and today, Lake House continues to uphold a commitment to seasonal ingredients. 

The refined dining area exudes sophistication with its white linens and plush carpets, complemented by formally dressed and attentive waitstaff who are only too happy to guide you through the extensive food and wine menus. Ten minutes down the road, their five-acre farm enriches the culinary offerings, boasting vegetable gardens, a barn for classes, hoop houses, a glasshouse, a 300-tree orchard, an olive grove, and a vineyard.

With 2 Chefs Hats, a distinguished standing in the Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants, and recognition in the Australian Wine List of the Year Hall of Fame, Lake House beckons discerning travellers seeking refinement and gastronomic excellence. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight stays, it offers an unforgettable experience.

Kadota Restaurant Food - Daylesford
Kadota Restaurant

Kadota

For lovers of Japanese cuisine, Kadota Restaurant is a must for your culinary itinerary. Chef Aaron Schembri was trained in Japan and has worked at prestigious restaurants including a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Osaka, Press Club and Saxe. He has created a serene and welcoming atmosphere in Daylesford with his wife and Front of House Director Risa Kadota. The Kaiseki-style (Japanese degustation) menu showcases pleasures such as fresh sashimi, XO pork dumplings, and wagyu sirloin steak. Kadota’s philosophy revolves around the Japanese Omotenashi concept, emphasising sincere service and authentic cuisine.

Bistro Terroir

You’ll wish this was your neighbourhood French bistro. The chic interior (think dark timbers, exposed brick and Parisian cafe chairs) and sun-dappled courtyard of Bistro Terroir serve as the backdrop for classic French dishes like beef tartare, steak frites, and crème brûlée. The restaurant adopts an elegant yet unpretentious approach, led by chef/owner Matthew Carnell, positioning itself as one of the town’s more relaxed fine dining options. Offering an à la carte experience, diners enjoy flexibility without mandatory course constraints — don’t be surprised if you plan a return visit before the second course.

du Fermier Daylesford

du Fermier

In the heart of Trentham, not far from Daylesford, du Fermier offers a deliciously cosy dining experience that feels like a shared meal among friends. As an extension of Annie Smithers’ renowned Bistrot in Kyneton, du Fermier specialises in French farmhouse-style cooking and has been highly praised in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide and secured a hat in the Good Food Guide for 2023. Chef Annie creates a weekly seasonal menu that combines plated and shared dishes inspired by the garden’s bounty or pantry essentials, reflecting the essence of classic French farmhouse cuisine meant for communal enjoyment, complemented by a diverse wine selection. 

Discover the best things to do in Daylesford for 2024

Best Cafés Daylesford:

If you’re looking for a memorable brunch, lunch or coffee hit, Daylesford and its surrounds are dotted with excellent options. Here are some of the best cafes, eateries and farm experiences in Daylesford.

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm

Experience the rustic charm of Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Enjoy freshly baked goods, aromatic coffee, and a serene ambience amidst the lavender fields at the onsite cafe La Trattoria Bar & Eatery. Shaded tables offer a perfect spot to unwind while a glass of Lavender Champagne or a scoop of ice-cream are ideal accompaniments. Alternatively, you can bring your own picnic to enjoy amongst the 100 acres of gorgeous gardens.  

Cliffy’s Emporium

Cliffy Hauser’s Daylesford general store came to fame in the 1950s for its diverse range of produce, groceries, and farm supplies. Over 60 years later, it has evolved into Cliffy’s Emporium, a renowned cafe attracting locals and visitors for exceptional coffee and Cliffy’s famous Gruyere hash browns. The adjacent old bike shop blends seamlessly with the cafe, featuring comfortable seating and a cosy fireplace for patrons to enjoy

Wombat Hill House Cafe
Wombat Hill House Cafe

Wombat Hill House Café & Kitchen Garden

Wombat Hill House is the delightful vision of Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker, the couple behind Lake House (see above). Their dream? “To create a casual country cafe where people could enjoy all-day dining in a relaxed and pretty setting.” Tucked away in the enchanting Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, this café well and truly aces the brief. 

Inside the former caretaker’s cottage, artist Allan’s whimsical mural sets the scene, depicting mythical creatures that might inhabit the gardens. For those who prefer a dose of fresh country air, the front courtyard and quiet rear terrace beckon. The menu includes all-day breakfast and lunch options, and it is crafted in collaboration with five local organic farms. Our tip? Get in early for the pick of slow-fermented sourdough loaves, baguettes, doughnuts and pastries from Dairy Flat Farm. 

The Covent Daylesford
The Convent Daylesford

Located within Daylesford’s iconic Convent Gallery, a beautiful 19th-century building with four levels of art, history, and architecture, Bad Habits Café serves up delicious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea options. The café has a stunning high glass-fronted atrium, turquoise walls, serene palms, and a creative menu with a mix of daily specials and timeless favourites influenced by the charm of the Daylesford region.

Wineries around Daylesford:

The climate and elevation of the Macedon Ranges wine region, just minutes from downtown Daylesford, offers excellent conditions for cool-climate varieties including chardonnay and pinot noir. Sip your way around the boutique cellar doors and beautiful dining rooms of this endlessly scenic region with our pick of the best wineries near Daylesford. We’ve even thrown in a cidery!

Passing Clouds Winery
Passing Clouds Winery

Passing Clouds

A picturesque wine-tasting experience awaits at the evocatively named Passing Clouds Winery in Musk, seven minutes from Daylesford. Renowned for premium pinot, cool-climate chardonnay and gorgeous views, it’s well worth a stop. And if you plan to visit between Friday and Monday, allow time to indulge in lunch at the newly renovated Passing Clouds Dining Room. Situated against the beautiful vineyard backdrop, it delivers a seamless blend of gastronomic delights and exquisite wines. The three-course set menu includes artfully prepared meats, seasonal sides, and a sweet conclusion … and is perfect for two.

Captains Creek Winery
Captains Creek Winery

Captains Creek Organic Wines

Around ten minutes from Daylesford towards Ballarat, you’ll find the beautiful Captains Creek Organic Wines. The cellar door welcomes weekend visitors, providing an immersive experience with a spotlight on Captains Creek’s certified organic and vegan wines and ciders. On weekends, treat yourselves to delectable platters of local produce sourced from the rich food-growing region, such as Istra prosciutto, salami, hot chorizo, olives, pickled vegetables, dips, and local sourdough bread.

Wombat Forest Vineyard and Winery
Wombat Forest Vineyard and Winery

Wombat Forest Vineyard and Winery

Don’t miss this little treasure on the outskirts of the Wombat State Forest, just 15 minutes from Daylesford. Wombat Forest’s cellar door and courtyard offer stunning forest views and guests can linger and enjoy a glass (or two!) of their elegant, cool-climate wines and seasonal platters either next to a wood fire or on the deck. 

Daylesford Cider
Daylesford Cider

Daylesford Cider

Daylesford Cider crafts a range of award-winning ciders using organic heritage apples and locally sourced fruits. Their English tavern-themed cellar door welcomes visitors for daily tastings, drinks, and takeaways with wood-fired pizzas on the weekend menu. Enjoy sweeping views of the original orchard while you relax at the cellar door, which, when the weather is warm, transforms into a summer haven complete with lawn games and shaded bocce. In the winter, snuggle up next to the open log fire while sipping a warm glass of spiced cider. We recommend booking ahead for this tasty stop, located just five kilometres east of Daylesford.

Hungry for more? Unwrap Victoria’s best regional gourmet getaways 

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