Exploring Victoria's stunning High Country is hungry work and you're bound to need to top up with caffeination and a plateful of something substantive. At any of dozens of cafes and bakeries in towns and villages across the region, sample treats still warm from the oven, or stash them in a daypack as you blaze your own exploratory trail through the naturally stunning scenery.

History and hearty fare

Whether it's the likes of historic Beechworth in the heart of the High Country that takes your fancy, the gourmet trail around Milawa and the King Valley, the ski fields at Falls Creek and Dinner Plain, the unspoilt beauty of Mansfield and Jamieson, or the picturesque regional centres of Benalla and Wangaratta, a table awaits with a menu filled with hearty, warming treats. 

Beautiful Bright is a deserved favourite with visitors and a great base to sample all of the region's delights. Start with a cup of liquid sunshine in hand from Sixpence Coffee Roasters, now also producing artisanal breads and pastries, in addition to their trademark roasting operations. Or pull up at Ginger Baker, on the banks of the gorgeous Ovens River. Nearby, the Riverdeck Kitchen is a brunch and lunch favourite.

Fans of history flock to bucolic Beechworth and there's no better way to recall the village's gold-era heritage than with a proper English-style High Tea, at Moments and Memories Tea Room. At the other end of the scale, quirky TINY brings a playful ethic to cafe culture that has earned a cult following. 

An option for every itinerary

Heading south, there's options aplenty in Mansfield. The Produce Store is a favourite with locals, or try the famous vanilla slice at Cafe Forty One. Sample the sweet, sweet treats of Alpine Pattiserie, or just savour the heady scent of coffee straight from the onsite roaster at Mansfield Coffee Merchant.

For the snow-going set, don't miss Snonuts Donuts at Falls Creek with their famed donuts and decadent milkshakes. Over at Dinner Plain, The Stables @ DP offers packed lunches for intrepid mountain bikers.

Charming Chiltern is headlined by the charismatic Golden Ball Cafe & Gelato Bar, while Rutherglen sports a plethora of worthy options including The Other Place, The Pickled Sisters Cafe or vintage motorbike-themed Caffeine N Machine.   

If health-focused vegan, keto, paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free options matter, there's no going past Benalla's Rustik Cafe and Foodstore. For history lovers, the tiny Bootmaker's Cafe celebrates the site of one of Ned Kelly's most famous altercations with the police.

At Wangaratta, a stop at Old Faithfulls Brew Bar on the banks of the Ovens River is a must.


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