We’re often asked by visitors to Best’s for our tips about the best places to eat in the local area. Many people travelling through the Grampians also stop off in Horsham, only an hour’s drive from Best’s cellar door. Horsham is the largest town in the Wimmera district, a major historical regional centre situated about halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne on the Western Highway.
Horsham is definitely worth a detour. It has a lively arts scene including one of the largest Australian contemporary photography collections in Victoria. See the exhibition at the Horsham Town Hall Gallery.
If art isn’t your thing, the town also boasts an abundance of public gardens and parks, including the Botanic Gardens, created in 1873 by William Guilfoyle, curator of Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens. Among other attractions is the Wimmera River, which winds through the southern part of the city. Here, ancient river red gums form a guard of honour along its banks, where you can picnic, do a spot of fishing or go boating.
The town has plenty of fabulous dining options, from classic pub meals to contemporary bistro fare and excellent coffee. So, whether you’re passing through on the way to visit us or stopping over for a longer stay, here are some of our favourite restaurants in Horsham.
This welcoming restaurant has been making its customers happy for more than 10 years, with its menu of authentic, expertly cooked Thai classics and friendly service.
Thai Basil is licensed and BYO (wine only) and open for lunch and dinner, and you can order takeaway, too. Even better – the wine list includes our very own Best’s Great Western Chardonnay and Great Western Riesling by the bottle – perfect matches for those punchy Thai flavours.
This modern-Australian restaurant, based at the Horsham International Hotel, is amazing. Husband and wife team, Hugh Goldson and wife Nicole, who head up the kitchen and front of house respectively, really know how to please a crowd. Baa 3400 has a relaxed atmosphere and is designed for communal dining. We met some lovely people when we had dinner there.
The shared plates are a great option for those who love trying a few different dishes. While they’re bigger than tapas, they’re not too large, so you can choose a selection. The wine list is simple and compact, but offers plenty of local drops, including Best’s Great Western Riesling, Gentle Blend and Pinot Meunier/Pinot Noir.
This popular watering hole on Wilson Street has a lively atmosphere and fabulous food, with The Bull’s Dain Mitchell offering generous servings of classic pub grub for lunch and dinner, from an Aussie chicken parmi to slow-cooked lamb shoulder. Plus, you can match them with Best’s Great Western Chardonnay and Bin No. 1 Shiraz, which are available by the glass.
If you’re visiting in summer, the beer garden is an awesome spot to while away a lazy afternoon, and there’s live music on most Saturday nights.
This is the place to head to for an early-morning heart-starter. During the week, Cheeky Fox café opens at 7am (8am at weekends) to serve up its 100% organic Fairtrade Veneziana coffee and a range of fantastic breakfast, brunch and lunchtime fare to its appreciative customers.
Try the housemade muesli if you’re feeling virtuous, or go the whole hog with a plate of New York waffles. Easy parking away from the main shopping precinct is another plus here.
Part of the well-located Comfort Inn Capital Horsham, situated just off the Great Western Highway, Capital Bistro, as its name suggests, offers bistro-style dining in smart, contemporary surrounds. The wine list includes a number of Best’s wines, including Great Western Rosé – perfect with a saffron, pumpkin, sage and burnt-butter risotto, perhaps.
Breakfast is also served here, with offerings as diverse as smashed avo with poached eggs, goat’s cheese and housemade dukkah, and indulgent Capital French toast, made with honey oat crumb, mixed berries and ice cream. This place also deserves a tick of approval for serving dinner till 10pm on weeknights, and ‘till late’ on a Saturday.
This rustic family-run restaurant and accommodation has been welcoming visitors since the 1970s. The Olde Horsham takes pride in its ‘good, old-fashioned service’, with a matching menu offering a range of old-school treasures – think a ‘Swagman’s Roast’ of slow-pot-roasted lamb shanks in rich Diane sauce topped with crisp bacon, or a classic prawn cocktail.
Add to this a ‘walk-in’ wine cellar well stocked with vintage and current-release wines, including a number of Best’s, such as our Sparkling Shiraz, and this is definitely a place to put on your Horsham bucket list. Don’t miss the chance to wander through the garden, with its native plantings, sculptures and curios, many of which have been repurposed into planters.
A heritage hotel that has been a Horsham fixture since 1864 and still draws an appreciative crowd of all ages, The Exchange is part pub, part wine bar, part restaurant, part café, part accommodation. The eclectic lunch and dinner menus reflect this, with plenty to suit all tastes, from ‘po’ boy’ burgers to homemade gnocchi.
On a summer’s night, you can sit alfresco street-side under the fairy lights, or when it’s cooler, get cosy in the wine bar over an antipasto plate.
So now you have your dining choices sorted, all you need is to hit the road to Horsham. You certainly won’t go hungry – or thirsty! For more ideas on where to eat and drink when you’re on the road in Victoria, check out our Geelong restaurant and bar round-up. Or, if you’re planning a Great Ocean Road-trip, our insider’s guide has all the best wining and dining spots.