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!
HOTTEST NEW EATERY IN TOWN
Opened in mid-2021, Grace is a new eatery by gun hospo couple Matt and Erica Miller "turning out dishes that lean European, with a dash of Melbourne - part restaurant, part deli, part pantry, part bar". They're open for lunch and dinner Friday to Mondays. Enjoy a multi-course meal or selection of snacks with a glass from their considered and extensive selection of wines, as well as killer cocktails!
Located next to Thousand Pound (another fave local haunt) on the Main St, Grace's canteen is also well stocked with cheese & charcuterie as well as take-home meals to heat at home or your self-contained accommodation!
COFFEE + BREAKFAST
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.
Grab a perch in the leafy courtyard of The Other Place for strong coffee and a cooked breakfast to set you up for a day of wine tasting.
Following a major renovation in 2020, Valentines reopened their cafe and bakehouse with cooked breakfasts a new addition to their offering. Grab a booth or window perch to people watch the morning away.
Worth the 10-minute drive over the river from Rutherglen to Corowa for good coffee and a menu with little twists on breakfast favourites.
If you're not an early riser, then brunch is the go at The Pickled Sisters!
Catch up with friends among the gum trees overlooking our working winery. Seasonal Picnic Hampers and Grazing Platters by Savoy Truffle Co are available by pre-order, September to April. Minimum 24 hrs notice is required.
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 (among other options) 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.
This Rutherglen institution is now at home in its new location on Main Street. The welcome is always warm and chef Stewart’s cooking is local, seasonal and flavour-packed. Pickled Sisters is open for lunch (and late breakfast) Friday to Monday, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. If you're planning to Reverse BYO at Scion, Pickled Sisters have some great cheese and vineyard platter options available by pre-order on their "menu to go".
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.
Opened in January 2022, Bonnie is a casual eatery with outdoor lakeside dining at All Saints Estate. The menu is focused around wood-fired pizza - try the "Matilda" (estate olives, tomato, white anchovies, capers, goat’s cheese) or the "Camilla" (spiced lamb mince, dukkah, labneh, Manchego, coriander) - as well as a handful of salads, and charcuterie and cheese platters made from estate and local produce. Open for lunch and dinner!
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
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! Closed over winter.
Grace - See above! Make a beeline for some delicious bar snacks with an afternoon aperitif or settle in for dinner.
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 often fire up the pizza oven to enjoy on their beautiful deck in the back courtyard.
We love when Friday and Saturday nights roll around, when Thousand Pound flings open 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 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.
Pickled Sisters - see above! With their relocation to the Main Street, dinners are now a thing!
Bonnie - as above, this new casual eatery is pumping out the wood-fired pizzas Thursdays to Sundays.
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!