Straight outta the streets of Melbourne, thank goodness you escaped the concrete jungle for a while, or, maybe you’re planning on it, but your trip has been smothered with a pillow by big Dan Andrews.
Well, lockdown or no lockdown, we’re going to offer you a smorgasbord of Beechworth restaurants, so once you get to the region, you’re not trying to figure it out on the job. We’ll talk a bit about the best Beechworth winery restaurants and some killer wineries in general – what kind of wine informational platform would we be if we didn’t.
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First off the hitlist (besides Dan Andrews) is a brief informational on the best wineries in Beechworth – for when you’re roaming the dusty back roads unsure of where to venture.
Eldorado has a back alley courtyard in Florence kind of vibe. Even though it’s not a winery per se, they do make wines and sell them there plus, this is our article, and we can say whatever we want. That escalated quickly. Anyway, this restaurant/wine bar/winery has won a heap of awards for best cellar door in Victoria bestowed unto thee by the one and only Gourmet Traveller.
If you’re visiting in the summer, try their 2021 Dreamfield Fiano; in the words of the winemaker, “Think peach, white flowers and grapefruit. A beautifully balanced wine”.
Star Lane Winery
Star Lane isn’t your typical winery; they are pioneering a new way of thinking and working among Australian vignerons (grape growers) and winemakers. The first Shiraz matured in Red Gum wood was created by Star Lane. The employment of indigenous materials reflects a sense of national pride for cultural identity and respect for the land and Custodians past, present and future.
The estate sits at the centre of gravity, surrounded by hills and vines. An idyllic perspective of what a winery should look like, they have stumbled on a slice of paradise and worked hard to transform the land into an abundant vineyard.
Indigo almost looks like a mirage as you approach its destination. The lush green vines of the oasis are nestled in the bushlands between Beechworth and Wangaratta, just a stone’s throw from the Victorian Alps.
Indigo provides a variety of activities. Their wine tour tastings, wine trail lunches, and the Indigo Mountainbike Trail are just a few options. It’d be a crime not to spend a day or two winding through the Indigo Vineyard trying their delectable gourmet platters and partaking in copious (but responsible) amounts of wine flowing freely.
Wine Regions Take on ‘the Best Beechworth Restaurants’
Now that you’ve been exposed to our take on the amazing wineries in Beechworth, you can tick that off the list. Yet still, you can guarantee that 90 % of wineries will close at night, so you need a solid plan on where you’re going to eat out, that’s is, if you’ve found some accommodation and you’re staying a few days.
Let’s take a look.
Project Forty Nine
This humble establishment collates the toil and prosperity of the local farmers, winemakers and artisans of the region, incorporating the ingredients on their menu and available for purchase in the deli.
They’ve ticked all boxes really. If you want to take a little slice of Beechworth back to the big smoke, grab a basket of goodies. If you wanted to adventure the surrounding rock formations in search of your very own million-dollar view, take a platter and a bottle. Or, if you’re weary from the day’s frivolities, just order in from their Italian deli styled menu.
Add this one to your hitlist of Beechworth restaurants for sure.
At the heart of the quaint little town, this Beechworth restaurant captures the benchmark of quality. A display of traditional Japanese cuisine (at its finest) Michael Ryan and his Wife Jeanette Henderson have done well to create an authentic culinary experience that in a way seems almost surreal.
There you are in a town of pubs, breweries, and wineries and nestled in amongst the rural normality is… actually another building that slots right into the decor. That’s right!, you couldn’t possibly anticipate a two-hatted Japanese restaurant.
You can tell that Michael’s passion is channelled through the meticulous nature of his menu and management. He’s even teamed up with Epicurious Tours, offering guided tours to Japan that include cooking classes, back-end food markets, and exclusive reservations at his favourite restaurants around Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Hiroshima and Naoshima Island.
There you have it, number 1 on our list of Beechworth restaurants. Then again, if you’d eaten there before, there’d be zero surprise – absolute banger.
The Empire Hotel is smart. They took the trend of quality put forth by the one and only Providence, and they evolved or ‘under-dressed’ the concept into a style of eating that you could certainly dabble in daily.
The menu showcases bold Japanese pub flavours and spins on classics like the ‘gruyere and kimchi mac’n cheese balls with gochujang mayo’. With the snack like format available, it’s definitely optimised for a day session, but that’s not to say the locals don’t turn it up at night.
Throw in some live entertainment, and a different sort at that – anything from open mic story nights, local and national comedy acts, and authentic folk music that you assume they’d be internationally acclaimed, but instead, they live in their van travelling to regional pubs putting on stellar shows.
Let your hair down for a night and visit the Empire Hotel, definitely one of the better restaurants in Beechworth.
The Ox and Hound
It’s as if you had stumbled across a quaint village restaurant on the outskirts of Bordeaux. There’s an artillery of exotic wines on their list, predominantly hailing from Europe, which pairs well with the authentic French flavours.
Expect a menu packed with inviting bistro classics such as chicken liver parfait, goat cheese souffle, and fettuccine with wild rabbit. The Ox and Hound, or to be more specific, Executive Chef Sean Ford, cultivates a kitchen garden procuring particular varieties of heirloom veggies and fruit exclusive to the restaurant.
You pay an extra penny or two for the sake of quality but, to be honest, if it means we don’t have to eat that steroid-filled, jacked-up fake produce that the conglomerates dish out, we’re happy!
We understand you can’t visit every Beechworth restaurant we mention, which is why you have an excuse to come back! Don’t overdo it… we find that tackling too much on a wine holiday results in needing a holiday from your holiday. Which sucks because you go back to work tired…
The Beechworth Bakery
You may scoff at this suggestion, and okay, it’s not a restaurant, but this place has a reputation far and wide for being one of the best bakeries around. Look, every regional town in Victoria will say that they have the best bakery going, but until you’ve tasted the Ned Kelly pie, you can’t diss their claim.
Buttery pastry, quality house-made fillings (none of that National Pie packet mix), and a selection on all the go-to flavours with the addition of a few spins like the butter chicken, smoky pork and bourbon, and the country chicken and leek.
Not bad for a quick bite before a big day of exploring.
Wine Region’s take on Beechworth Restaurants
Sometimes regional restaurants can be hit and miss, staff are complacent without hustle, and unless you’re old Joe or Bessie that come in every night for a counterie, you’re not going to get good service.
But the quiver of Beechworth restaurants that we’ve mentioned realise that producing absolute quality is imperative to the thriving hoards of tourists that bring vibrancy to their humble economy. 100 % would recommend a cheeky visit to this integral ode to wine culture in Australia.