Foodies flock to this regional Victorian city

Bendigo is the first Australian city nominated by the United Nations as a creative city of gastronomy.

Bendigo is the first Australian city nominated by the United Nations as a creative city of gastronomy. Photo: Bendigo Tourism

If you’re looking for a regional escape to sink your teeth into it’s hard to beat Bendigo. The Victorian regional city is has a variety with great places to eat, from formal all the way through to on-the-go feeds.

Just two hours north-west of Melbourne, Bendigo lays claim to being the first Australian town nominated by the United Nations as a creative city of gastronomy. There are just 65 cities in the gastronomy category of the UN’s Creative Cities Network, which promotes creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

It’s a badge of honour Bendigo’s chefs, producers, wait staff, baristas, winegrowers, distillers and brewers all wear with pride.

Here, we shine a light on some of the town’s best places to eat. Consider it your go-to travel menu when it’s time for a romantic weekend away, girls’ trip, boys’ getaway or family get-together.

Fine foods

Bendigo has welcomed a swag of fine dining restaurants in the past decade. Masons of Bendigo is the place to start. It’s where Priscilla Presley reserved a table while in town to open the Elvis exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2022 and it’s also where every visiting foodie makes a beeline for. The degustation menu is a hit, likewise the pork belly.

The Dispensary Bendigo is tucked away down quaint Chancery Lane. It boasts a creative menu of dishes designed to be shared from edamame with Singapore curry butter to Cantonese roast duck. There’s an extensive drinks list including cocktails like the Toffee Apple Switchel, which tastes like a drinkable ginger and apple pie.

The Dispensary, Bendigo

A fully stocked bar at The Dispensary, Bendigo. Photo: Bendigo Tourism

Meatlovers can’t leave Bendigo without a visit to The Woodhouse – the town’s only steakhouse. Locally sourced meat is cooked over redgum on the grill to create natural smoky flavours and aromas. In the charcoal oven, its apple wood sourced from nearby Harcourt. The open fire is the plum spot to enjoy a pre-dinner craft beer or wine.

Casual eating and quick bites

Treacy Patisserie is the new kid in town, but already it’s winning over tastebuds with its modern French sweets. Think macarons of all colours and flavours, as well as a glitzy array of yummy little cakes that look almost too good to eat.

Delicate delectables at Treacy, Bendigo.

Who doesn’t love a country pub? The Old Boundary Hotel is a favourite with locals and does all the traditional meals such as chicken parmas and steak sandwiches, as well as some more gourmet dishes like duck spring rolls, prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast.

Brunch is a specialty at Percy and Percy. Breakfast is served all day, while baguettes, bagels and toasties are available until sold out. For lunch, try the Percy Cheeseburger or, for vegans, the Swiss Mushroom Burger.

A packed streetside dining scene is a dead giveaway that the coffee’s good and the eats are even better. At the Bendigo Corner Store, tucked away off the main roads, the eggs benedict is a hands-down favourite.

Savour the tastes of Bendigo for yourself this autumn.

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