When it comes to restaurants in Bendigo, it is almost impossible to compile a list of the top ten. The range of cuisine, and the quality of the dishes, on offer is immense. So many of Bendigo’s restaurateurs pride themselves on serving only the freshest food, with ingredients sourced from local farms, adopting a true paddock-to-plate approach to cooking.
Bendigo certainly has all types of cuisine on hand, sure to please even the pickiest of eaters; there’s Victoria’s best steakhouse, spicy and flavourful southern Indian, provincial French cuisine, traditional Italian fare, and plenty of fresh, modern Australian. And, for all you wine connoisseurs, Bendigo is even home to a restaurant that boasts a drinks list with more than a 1,000 choices.
So, in no particular order, we bring you ten of the best restaurants in Bendigo.
Address: 101 Williamson Street, Bendigo
Bendigo’s only steakhouse and Redgum grill, The Woodhouse serves premium cuts of steak and an array of other types of meat, as well as wood-fired pizzas. Their speciality is premium F1 Wagyu and free range dry aged beef, all of which is sourced from local farms throughout regional Victoria.
Executive Chef, Paul Pitcher, has more than 25 years experience in cooking and hospitality. He is an advocate of local produce, and has designed the menu at The Woodhouse to showcase some of regional Victoria’s best and freshest produce. It is this combination that has seen The Woodhouse quickly become one of Bendigo’s favourite local restaurants, awarded a 14.5 by the 2014 Age Good Food Guide; the highest score for a steakhouse anywhere in Victoria.
Address: 9 Chancery Lane, Bendigo
Established in 2009 by Bendigo local, Tim Baxter, The Dispensary is all about creating a comfortable, cosy, intimate bar and restaurant. Chef Brent Lougoon turns out dishes comprised of local fresh produce, most of which hails from the central Victorian region. The menu has a modern Australian feel to it, with flathead fillets, pork cutlets, duck breast, and wagyu all available.
It’s not just the menu that delights diners at the Dispensary Enoteca. This Bendigo restaurant boasts a drinks list with more than 1,000 different drinks, including 200 wines, 100 craft beers, and over 100 champagnes. All of which have been catalogued, and come complete with delightful tasting notes.
Address: 17 View Point, Bendigo
Between 1880 and 1910, Mr Beebe designed many of Bendigo’s landmark buildings (including the one in which this Bendigo restaurant resides). Legend has it that he was a man of many faces and untold talents, and was even been dubbed Bendigo’s best looking mayor.
The menu at Mr Beebe’s restaurant (or eating house, as the establishment likes to refer to itself) is designed to share. All the dishes are flexible, and you can eat as much or as little as your heart desires. Dishes include everything from barramundi ceviche and roasted duck sausage, to wild rabbit and porterhouse.
Address: 45 View Street, Bendigo
Located in a gorgeous, heritage listed building that was originally built in 1876, Wine Bank on View is a wine bar, as well as a wine merchant. It not surprisingly then, that this Bendigo restaurant offers an enormous range of international, domestic and local wine and craft beers.
Open for breakfast, lunch and the dinner, the menu at Wine Bank on View is extensive. Breakfast fare includes traditional dishes such as pancakes, scrambled eggs and eggs benedict, as well as more exotic choices like Huevos Rancheros. For lunch or dinner, why not sample the homemade gnocchi or chermola marinated swordfish. Or, there’s always a tried-and-true steak sandwich and a Black Angus rib eye.
Address: 38-42 High Street, Bendigo
If you’re in the mood for something a little spicier, then the Dhosa Hut should be your first port of call. The Dhosa Hut serves up southern Indian cuisine, particularly that of the city of Hyderabad. The style of cooking developed in Hyderabad is a mouth-watering combination of Arabic, Turkish, Tandoori, and Mughlai flavours. It is quite diverse in terms of flavour, as well as cooking techniques.
Established in 2009, the Dhosa Hut has been dubbed Bendigo’s Spice of Life. The menu is comprised of all your favourite Indian delicacies: samosas, prawn pakoras, butter chicken, and all the usual curries, from Korma and Rogan Josh to Tikka and Aloo.
Address: 61 High Street, Bendigo
Bouchon Bendigo can be summed up quite succinctly: provincial French cooking in the heart of Bendigo. Traditionally, the Bouchon is a type of restaurant found in Lyon, France, that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. Menus are comprised of sausages, duck pâté, and roast pork, dishes that are hearty and focused predominantly on meat.
Chef Travis Rodwell has brought this concept to Bendigo, where he has earned an excellent reputation for French classics, such as snails with garlic butter and chargrilled quail with bois boudran sauce. A particular favourite is the ‘Everything Wagyu’ menu item, which certainly lives up to its name. And, for those of you wishing to brush up on your Lyonnaise cooking skills, Bouchon Bendigo regularly offers cooking classes on-site.
Address: 25 Queens Street, Bendigo
This Bendigo treasure is located in the old WD Masons Glass shop, which was once the oldest family run business in Australia. Architects Russel & George worked to create an interior space that combines the rich history of the glass shop, with the new modern restaurant that now occupies the space. The result is a unique, modern, welcoming room.
The menu at Masons has been designed to highlight the exceptional local produce and is built upon the ethos of a paddock-to-plate approach. All dishes have a distinctly French or English flavour to them. The restaurant is run by husband and wife team, Nick and Sonia Anthony who between them have trained with Teage Ezard at Ezards, at the Ritz Carlton Millenia in Singapore, and under John Torode and Steven Thierry.
Address: 105 View Street, Bendigo
Located in the heart of Bendigo’s Arts Precinct, you’ll find the Borchelli Ristorante, a little slice of Italy in central Victoria. A big supporter of its neighbours, the Capital Theatre and the Bendigo Art Gallery, Borchelli offers reasonable prices, exceptional service, and delicious Italian meals.
The menu includes all the traditional Italian favourites. For entrée there’s bruschetta and antipasto, or Maryland with Panzanella. For main course, there’s pork loin wrapped in prosciutto, parmigiana, and an array of risottos and pastas. For dessert, it’s hard to go past their tiramisu or chocolate fondant.
Address: 12 View Street, Bendigo
Rocks on Rosalind was established by two firm friends, Finn Vedelsby and Ben Massey. Located in the centre of Bendigo, the restaurant overlooks both Bendigo’s Alexandra Fountain, and the Rosalind Park. Housed inside the National Bank building (constructed in 1863), the restaurant features original stone clad vaults, high ceilings and large arched windows.
The menu is designed to share, and changes regularly, often multiple times a week, with major changes seasonally. All dishes are modern, and all ingredients are sourced from local suppliers. Flavours are drawn from a wide variety of palettes, particularly European and Asian. Entrees include dishes such as ocean trout gravlax, parmesan pannacotta, peking duck pancakes and vichyssoise sponge. For main, choose from Thai yellow curry, saffron spanner crab linguine or Moroccan lamp rump.
Address: 60-64 Pall Mall, Bendigo
GPO prides itself on its subtle combination of relaxed dining, attentive service and a fantastic menu. The menu is modern Mediterranean inspired, and boasts only the freshest ingredients from local suppliers. The venue includes a number of different spaces including a main dining room, a courtyard, and a balcony room that overlooks one of Bendigo’s main streets.
GPO’s menu features a mouth-watering selection of tapas, hot stone pizza, Spanish and Mediterranean dishes, and an extensive number of gluten free dishes. Tapas dishes include croquettes, pulled pork sliders and wagyu chilli beef tacos, and there are three delectable paellas on offer. Desserts range from a chocolate garden, churros and crème brulee, to an extensive cheese selection.