IF it's been a while since you made your way to Ballarat, you might want to hit the highway pronto and seek out some of these new kids on the culinary block.
12 seats. One chef. A chef's tasting menu inspired by the local surrounds. This new fine dining establishment is headed by Chef Derek Boath and will have you in food and wine heaven. Awarded a Chef's Hat at the Good Food Guide Awards, it's definitely one to suss out.
A newbie to Ballarat's cafe scene, Hydrant serves up a mean Seven Seeds coffee and a seasonal menu boasting all the goodness you could ever hope for in a breakfast, brunch or lunch.
Owned by David and Yuge Bromley, TPWTN serves up mouth-watering meats straight off the Argentine grill filled with carefully selected local and imported ingredients. Combine this with the pub's ecclectic ambience, curated by David and Yuge themselves, and you have a dining experience with all the trimmings.
Contemporary Asian eats in a sleek modern setting, with cocktails, mocktails, local wines and craft beer - this space oozes cool and classy with a super delicious menu to boot.
Located at the iconic Arch of Victory in Ballarat, The Arch View is an intimate cafe space with a menu that's warming and contemporary. Serving up classic breakfasts until 3pm, homemade focaccias, and delicious salads, it's the perfect space to indulge and soak up some sun with a tea or coffee in hand.
What was once the hatted restaurant Catfish has now transformed into the rustic Australian dining experience Mr Jones. Still headed by Chef Damien Jones and his partner-in-everything Danielle, this is a spot that needs to be discovered, if its predecessor was anything to go by!
Named after one of Ballarat's most influential goldfields characters - Lola Montez - this is one of the most glamorous and classy eateries you'll ever step foot in. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lola offers a locally-sourced, seasonally-driven menu with a European influence and is led under head chef Shaun Thomson who has worked alongside Peter Gilmore (Quay, Sydney), Neil Perry (Rockpool, Melbourne) and Peter Kuruvita (Flying Fish, Fiji). Lola's wine list has been created by former Ballarat boy Paul Ghaie - now owner of the hugely successful "Blackhearts & Sparrows" boutique wine stores - and perfectly completes your sit-down dining experience.