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, LUNCH + DINNER!
Opening this month in Rutherglen's Main St, Grace is a new eatery and canteen "turning out dishes that lean European, with a dash of Melbourne - part restaurant, part deli, part pantry, part bar". Matt and Erica Miller, the gun hospo couple behind Grace kept Rutherglen and surrounds well fed throughout 2020 with their COVID-era restaurant-quality home delivery, Milkin Eats.
Grace will open for breakfast and lunch five days a week and dinners on Friday and Saturdays. Also on offer will be grab-and-go menu of fancy sandwiches & toasties, salads & breakfast options, as well as take-home meals to heat at home or your accommodation!
Image: Grace by Milkin Kitchen
Rutherglen institution Pickled Sisters has just relocated to the Main Street (the space that formerly housed Tastes restaurant), where they already look right at home! The welcome is always warm and chef Stewart’s cooking is local, seasonal and flavour-packed.
Pickled Sisters are open for breakfast and lunch Friday to Monday, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. They are also running cooking classes over winter and spring.
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.
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 Whisky and Chocolate
Set in a beautifully restored 1920s flour mill, Corowa Whisky and Chocolate offers breakfast, lunch and some great whisky and gin cocktails! Mix up your wine touring with a whisky tasting. Gin lovers can also taste a selection of Reed & Co Distillery's gins from Bright.
Terrace has been awarded a chef’s hat in The Good Food Guide for many years running - and with good reason. Enjoy contemporary dishes including estate-grown pork and lamb in the relaxed terrace setting overlooking the grounds of All Saints Estate.
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 (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.
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.
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.
Open on weekends, St Leonards’ café offers a focused menu designed by the chefs at Terrace Restaurant (All Saints Estate). 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.
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! This new venue will be the kind of place for a working breakfast, a first date, to grab an afternoon aperitif or settle in for a long lunch.
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 new deck in the back courtyard.
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 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 location to the Main Street, dinners are now a thing!
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!
Image: Thousand Pound