Best places to eat & drink in Rutherglen this summer

From coffee to cocktails, we've done a round-up of our favourite spots to eat and drink in and around Rutherglen. By no means an exhaustive list!

BREAKFAST

If you like strong coffee and genuine country hospitality, The Other Place on Rutherglen's Main Street delivers! Drop in for a coffee on your early morning walk, or grab a perch in their leafy courtyard.

Following a major renovation in 2020, Valentines has reopened their cafe and bakehouse with cooked breakfasts and lunches a new addition to their offering. Grab a booth or window perch on the Main Street to people watch the morning away.

With an industrial style layout featuring a classic car and vintage motorcycle display, Caffeine N Machine is a country-style bakery cafe with everything baked fresh daily (think cream buns, beestings and thick-cut toast) plus locally roasted coffee. Located at the roundabout on Rutherglen's Main Street.

Doc Yarrum
A great one for early-birds (breakfast from 7am) and worth the short drive over the river from Rutherglen to Corowa for good coffee and a menu with little twists on breakfast favourites.

Corowa cafe Docs

Image: Doc Yarrum

BRUNCH

Set in a beautifully restored 1920s flour mill, the Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory offers breakfast, lunch and some great whisky and gin cocktails! Mix up your wine touring with a Corowa Distilling whisky tasting. Gin lovers can also taste a selection of Reed & Co Distillery's gins from Bright.

Corowa Whisky and Chocolate

Image: Corowa Whisky & Chocolate Factory, credit Sue Davis Photography

Pickled Sisters
Did you know this Rutherglen foodie institution offers brunch from 10am? The welcome is always warm and chef Stewart’s cooking is local, seasonal and flavour-packed. Grab a sunny spot on the deck to enjoy dishes such as Butt’s Smoked Trout with scrambled eggs or Blue Ox Berries on toasted brioche with mascarpone. Glass of Cofield bubbles with breakfast, anyone?

Pickled Sisters Cafe Rutherglen
Image: Pickled Sisters

LUNCH

Terrace Restaurant
Terrace has been awarded a chef’s hat in The Good Food Guide for many years running - and with good reason. Chef Simon and the restaurant team weave their magic with so you can sit back and enjoy contemporary dishes including estate-grown pork and lamb in the relaxed terrace setting overlooking the grounds of All Saints Estate.

Terrace Restaurant All Saints Rutherglen
Image: Terrace Restaurant

Lake Moodemere Estate
The Chambers family grow their own lamb, wheat, honey, citrus, eggs, seasonal vegetables & herbs. Set in a majestic lakeside location, the Lakehouse Restaurant offers a five-course tasting menu inspired by their own family gatherings, sharing food, wine, company, the beauty of the landscape and the bounty of their estate-grown produce. You can even stay the night in the Moodemere Lake House on the estate.

Blacksmith
Located in Mulwala, a 40-minute drive west from Rutherglen along the Murray Valley Highway, Blacksmith make the best pizza dough going around, with a less-ingredients-is-more approach to toppings (the namesake Blacksmith pizza is our fave). The fit-out is beautiful, with a Miami-meets-Mulwala vibe going on, and there’s a tidy list of regional wines (all available by the glass) and cocktails to wash down that third round of pizza we know you’re going to want to order!

If you're holidaying on the lake, we also highly recommend Hardluck Coffee and Rich Glen Olives in Yarrawonga.

Yarrawonga Mulwala wine pizza bar Blacksmith
Image: Blacksmith

Jones
Self-described as “French country kitchen” in style, Jones Winery’s restaurant offers a two or three course menu with dishes such as Paperbark Roasted ‘Riverina’ Duck Breast, Eggplant, Cherry, Macadamias. Head Chef Briony Bradford’s approach to cooking is traditional French technique with a modern twist, nose-to-tail, seasonal, local and from scratch. 

Ripe
Ripe restaurant overlooks the 100-year-old Calliope Vineyard at Buller Wines. Chef Gavin Swalwell heads up the kitchen with a contemporary Australian menu including inventive dishes such as Milawa Duck, Stanley blackberries, charred pear, Scion honeycomb and sweet potato.

Pickled Sisters
As above, Pickled Sisters is a Rutherglen institution!

St Leonards
Open on weekends, St Leonards’ café offers a focused menu designed by Terrace Restaurant chef Simon Arkless. Expect simple dishes done well, such as Pasta, goats cheese, preserved lemon and spring vegetables, or Charcoal grilled steaks with Café de Paris butter and French fries. We love the relaxed vineyard setting down by the Murray River.

Parker Pies
Surely you've all frequented this Rutherglen institution? Parker Pies has a sunny courtyard out the back and the tables on the footpath out the front make for good people watching over your golden pie crust! Our picks are the Chunky Steak, Venison and the Thai curry prawn. 

AFTERNOON SWEET SPOT

Save room for a scoop or two from Rutherglen’s cute little gelato shop, Gelatina! Owner Tina makes everything in store with classic and seasonal flavours using local produce. She’s a master of flavour balance and her gelato hits the sweet spot but is never cloying. They say a gelato shop is only as good as its Pistachio... trust us, it's gooooood!

Gelato shop Rutherglen
Image: Gelatina

COCKTAIL HOUR

James & Co
James & Co.’s cellar door on the Main Street is one of our favourite spots to swing by for an afternoon vino (sparkling rosé, did you call my name again?) and a nibble of cheese. Do a full wine tasting of their range specialising in Sangiovese, or grab a glass and “cheese-your-own-adventure” from their well-stocked fridge. Over summer they'll be firing up a pizza oven to enjoy on their beautiful new deck in the back courtyard.

Thousand Pound
We love when Friday and Saturday nights roll around, when our favourite wine bar opens its doors! Thousand Pound brings city slick to the country in a relaxed, modern setting. You can sometimes smell the charcoal grill from the street, which makes it hard to go past the selection of steaks though everything on the menu (designed by Terrace restaurant’s Simon Arkless) is top notch. Also great simply for a glass of local wine and some bar snacks if you’re just popping in at cocktail hour!

Steak at Thousand Pound Rutherglen
Image: Thousand Pound

DINNER

Thousand Pound - see above!

Taste at Rutherglen
If you miss Ripe restaurant by day, never fear – chef Gavin is back behind the pans for dinner at Taste restaurant in Rutherglen’s main street. We often share a few entrees from the a la carte menu to enjoy lots of different flavours. Either way, Gav’s contemporary menu has bags of flavour!

Tuileries
Open 7 nights a week, Tuileries is another of Rutherglen’s dining institutions. The Rutherglen Vignerons gather here once a month for lots of wine chat as they open, share and taste masked wines from their cellars over a three-course meal. A lasting food and wine tradition!