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New places to eat out in Ballarat

Eat & Drink

From a Gatsby-style distillery to new cellar doors and extensions of old favourites, here’s your guide to what’s new in and around Ballarat.


Ballarat’s newest 26-seat fine dining experience at Hotel Vera will champion the region’s best growers and producers.

Opening later this month, Babae’s menu will feature an ever-changing selection of dishes reflecting the season, with ingredients sourced from produce grown in the Goldfields region. Think of a contemporary interpretation of classic cooking techniques.

Wine pairings will match the rotating menu items and introduce diners to barrel samples and small production releases from across Victoria.

Babae – a name derived from the Latin meaning of an exclamation of surprise, amazement, wow – will be open for dinner Thursday-Saturday and lunch Friday-Sunday. The menu will be prix fixe from $90 per person, depending on the sitting.

Hotel Vera’s new restaurant, Babae. Image: Emma Duzhnikov.

Bagels and More

When Bagels and More owners Milia and Jamil Mansour made a treechange to the region two years ago, they quickly realised there was a distinct lack of dedicated spots to go to for bagels. This has now been rectified with the opening of their new Sturt Street business late last year.

With more than 15 New York-style offerings on the menu, this bagel cafe has become an instant hit with locals looking for a fresh boiled bread treat.

Our recommendation: The Snitzy (chicken schnitzel, cheese, lettuce, tomato and dijon mayo).

Flying Chillies

This Ballarat market favourite has a permanent new home at 6 Coliseum Walk in the Bridge Mall.

Owner Lilly Wright says the menu reflects a combination of lively cultures – Malaysian and Indonesian.

The menu even features Ballarat’s Best Pie for 2023 – babi pongteh (nyonya braised pork in fermented soy bean sauce).

Grainery Lane

A saloon-style cocktail bar is bringing back the glitz and glamour of Ballarat’s gold rush era.

Grainery Lane is the latest offering from local hospitality leader Brian Taylor (Hop TempleAunty Jacks and Roy Hammond).

Now open at 35 Armstrong Street North, the lavish distillery and cocktail bar harks back to a time of true excess and decadence – think Peaky Blinders meets The Great Gatsby.

Grainery Lane owes its name to the once-bustling laneway it sits upon, where grain and malt were sold and milled. Its luxe line-up includes five locally-brewed beers on tap, an extensive wine and cocktail list, plus an eclectic menu of south-east Asian and Latin-American share plates.

And keep an eye out for the hidden staircase leading up to the speakeasy, where the real fun begins!

Grainery Lane, Armstrong Street. Image: Common Wanderer.

Itinerant Spirits, Nolans and Boom Time Dumplings at The Goods Shed

The distilling theme continues just a stone’s throw away at Itinerant Spirits.

This multi-spirit destination is located within the 160-year-old heritage-listed Goods Shed in the train station precinct.

Itinerant Spirits’ world-class distilling operation produces three different spirits – Gallivanter Gin, Vansetter Vodka and Wayfarer Whiskey – using locally-grown grains, botanicals and natural volcanic spring water.

You can learn more about their unique distilling methods at a spirits masterclass. The Explorer Session presents an opportunity to not only sample the distillery’s craft spirits but also learn more about the raw ingredients it sources from across western Victoria.

Along with pizza and pasta plus cheese and charcuterie boards, the 140-seat venue also offers up share plates from neighbouring restaurants Nolans and Boom Time Dumplings

Itinerant Spirits at The Goods Shed. Image Tony Evans.

Magnolia Restaurant

Indulge in a semi-fine dining experience in the historic township of Beaufort. A half-an-hour drive from Ballarat, Magnolia Restaurant will hero modern European cuisine paired with Pyrenees wines.

With 17 years of culinary experience, chef Anjal is committed to using locally-sourced produce, ensuring each dish tells a story of freshness and sustainability.

Located at 12 Lawrence Street, Magnolia will soon open Thursday-Saturday 5pm-9pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm.

Mt Coghill Vineyard

Opening a new cellar door in February is the team behind small batch winery, Mt Coghill Vineyard.

Owners Tracey and Adam Adamczyk took over this 20-year old vineyard in 2020 and have spent the last few years building a new cellar door onsite for visitors to enjoy their cold climate rose, pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wines.

Original 100-year-old roof trusses from the old Kodak House in Collins Street Melbourne will be a feature of the new space, with the team now working on a menu and event calendar – think local produce platters, food and wine events and food trucks.


Popular Latin American bar and eatery Pancho has a new home to start the new year.

It’s now open just around the corner in a much bigger space at 213 Mair Street (next to Renard).

Get your empanada and margarita fix every Wednesday-Thursday from 5pm and Friday-Sunday from 11.30am until late.

Pancho. Image: Liam Neal.

Sip Champagne Bar

Champagne lovers are in for a real treat with the recent unveiling of Ballarat’s newest bar.

The art deco-inspired Sip Champagne Bar on Sturt Street is open Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm-11pm plus Thursdays and Sundays from 12pm-7pm.

Its extensive selection of the finest champagnes and sparkling wines is complemented by French and European-influenced food pairings.

The Turret Bakehouse

If you enjoy fresh loaves of bread, pies and pastries then you’re in for a treat (literally!).

The team behind The Turret Cafe, which has become a crowd favourite for their extensive toastie menu, have been working on a new venture which will open this year. Keep an eye out for more information about their forthcoming opening.

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11 Jan 2024

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