The pre-hike coffee or the post-climb feed is an essential ritual, and the region surrounding Gariwerd/The Grampians is crammed full of A-grade eateries. Use this list to guarantee a tasty time.
Let’s get one thing straight — there’s no better meal than one with mates ’round the campfire (or Jetboil), in beautiful scenery. But then there’s also that incredible feeling you get when you round the last bend of an overnighter and the bakery you’ve been dreaming of all day rolls into view. That first bite of a hot meal (or sip of a cold pint) after an epic trip is spectacular. So, with post-expedition nutrition in mind, this is the first in a series of the best food spots and cafes in and around Australia’s great outdoors.
We’re starting with Gariwerd/the Grampians, so whether you’re looking for a Halls Gap restaurant, or a cafe in Dunkeld, you’re in the right place. Let’s get to it!
Where To Eat in Halls Gap
Situated right in the heart of Gariwerd, Halls Gaps is the adventure capital of the national park. It’s the starting point to many a good hike, and has a range of eateries to suit every budget. Here are some of our favourites.
Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co.
Right in the heart of Halls Gap, Paper Scissors Rock is the Grampians’ very own brewery. It’s metres from the trail as you head back into town after a couple of nights on the Grampians Peaks Trail — and with an ever-rotating list of freshly brewed beverages on offer you might well settle in for the evening. They’re open Thursday to Monday, with a decent food menu for the hungry hiker.
Flame Brothers Restaurant and Bar
On the banks of Stoney Creek you’ll find the Grampians’ take on an American smokehouse and bar. It’s a stone’s throw from the main Halls Gap campsites, and offers a menu that evolves throughout the day — from brunch to brisket. Their brekkie roll and coffee combo is a personal favourite before setting off on an adventure.
Halls Gap Hotel
Just beneath Mount William, and with kangaroos often frequenting the fields beyond the beer garden, the Halls Gap Hotel is the perfect spot for a great meal with the crew. If you’ve still got some fuel in the tank after your day out, there’s a lovely bush walk from the middle of town — if not, it’s a two-minute drive.
Halls Gap Bakery
Another spot in the group of restaurants and cafes next to Stoney Creek in the centre of Halls Gap. Famed for their vanilla slice, it’s an ideal stop off to load up on carbs to fuel your Gariwerd adventures.
Where To Eat in Pomonal
To the east of Gariwerd you’ll find Pomonal. The village is a short drive from the mountains and has beautiful rolling views of the countryside. With mellower slopes comes great wine growing country, and Pomonal has a few excellent wineries to explore.
Fallen Giants Vineyard
No trip to country Vic is complete without sampling some local vino, and Fallen Giants is one of the best vineyards in Gariwerd to do just that. It’s a short drive from Halls Gap on the eastern slopes of the Grampians and they offer tastings, platters of locally sourced produce, and a beautiful setting to relax among the vineyards.
After a trip to Fallen Giants, Pomonal Estate has the added bonus of a brewery and cider house onsite. Chuck in the great views (and the fact that Barneys Bistro is a short amble for any pub crawl fans) and this place is a winner in our books.
Barneys Bistro Bar
‘For when you want to go full country.’ – Their words, not ours. This unique restaurant near Halls Gap is housed in a converted barn in the village of Pomonal. With views up to the Grampians, a pool table, and good country grub, it’s a great spot to kick back after a long day in the mountains.
Where To Eat in Dunkeld
South of the Gariwerd/Grampians National Park and beneath Mount Sturgeon you’ll find Dunkeld. Famed for its views of Mt Abrupt, and being a bit of a gourmet hotspot, you’re more likely to find fine dining than a campfire dinner in this part of Victoria.
The Royal Mail Hotel
The Royal Mail Hotel is one of Dunkeld’s foodie highlights, and up there with regional Victoria’s all-stars. Situated at the southern end of the Gariwerd/Grampians National Park, this spot doesn’t just do fine dining (with a two-hatted restaurant), rooms are available if you really want to treat yourself pre or post-expedition.
Dunkeld Old Bakery and Cafe
If fine dining is off the menu then this Dunkeld cafe and bakery should hit the spot. A classic Australian bakery with pies, sandwiches and great coffee on the menu, it’s well worth a pit stop. They also have rooms if you’re looking for places to stay in Dunkeld.
Serving ‘ST. ALi’ coffee and brunch in a beautifully restored garage, Koopmans is a little slice of Melbourne’s inner north with a Grampians twist. The warehouse-style space is an experience in itself, and the menu has plenty of great vegan options available — you really could be in Collingwood!
The Wander Inn, Wartook
A little off the beaten track in northwestern Gariwerd, this country pub and restaurant is well worth the trip. The building started life some 30 years ago as a pottery and is now home to an excellent menu and a gallery for art fans.
All photos thanks to Visit Victoria