Hitting up Ballarat for Spilt this December? Why not make a weekend out of it and check out these local gems? Read on for our favourite places to eat, drink, dance, get coffee and more.
BALLARAT’S SANDWICH BARS
THE FORGE PIZZERIA
The Forge makes crazy good woodfired pizzas. They have a killer pumpkin and goat’s cheese number that’s hard to go past and a Salt Kitchen bacon pizza for something meatier. Once you’re done with dinner, treat yourself to a Nutella dessert pizza straight out of the fire. We’re not drooling, you’re drooling. Maybe we’re both drooling.
Pancho is a tiny Latin American restaurant in the heart of Ballarat. Pancho takes you on a cultural journey through their food and cocktail menus, serving up some of the best Central and South American flavours.
For all your Vietnamese food cravings, Saigon Allee has you sorted. If you’re in a hurry, grab a banh mi to go. If you have some time, order a cocktail and sample some of their delicious menu items like Vietnamese-style swordfish ceviche.
CHAT FOR TEA
Your humble abode for vegetarian and plant-based food options in Ballarat. Chat for Tea is a vegetarian Japanese restaurant (you heard that right) which dishes up all the classics, just without the meat. How good!
LAST MINUTE SUPPLIES
CENTRAL SQUARE BALLARAT
Located in the heart of Ballarat, Central Square is home to Target and Myer plus more than 40 specialty stores spread across three levels.
Stockland Wendouree is just 10 minutes from the city centre and features a range of retail stores (including Kmart), food stops and specialty shops.
BEST BARS AND BREWERIES
Perfect for soul food and a beer. Hop Temple has seating for the entire crew, ribs, pulled pork, jalapeno poppers and smoked meats that smash it out of the park. If you get a bit thirsty, they have over 220 craft beers and ciders available by the bottle and on tap. If you’ve very thirsty, you could probably try a fair few of those.
The 1950s meets steampunk at Aunty Jacks – an eclectic brewpub created from repurposed materials. With a huge selection of beers on tap, why not try something new in the beer garden or, if you’re interested, take a tour through the brewery to learn about what goes on behind the scenes.
Roy Hammond is a spirit and wine bar boasting more than 100 gins on hand and an Asian fusion kitchen dishing up your favourite street foods. It does both very well. A perfect place for a date night, nightcap and anything in between.
Fancy a cocktail or three? Head down to Renard for your fix of booze alongside contemporary bistro dishes. This disco-themed bar and social club is an ideal place to eat, drink and socialise.
If you enjoy gin, Kilderkin Distillery is a must-see. Drop by for a tasting if you’re toward the deep end of the gin nerd spectrum, or just stick to the usual suspects if you’re more of a casual fan. If gin isn’t your thing at all, it’s still a nice place to enjoy a range of cocktails, beer and wine.
THE SPORTING GLOBE
This CBD bar is packed full of modern Australian and pub classics, with more than 60 HD screens broadcasting your favourite sports. Or head to one of The Sporting Globe‘s booths where you can watch up to four different live TV feeds on your own private touch screen.
If you want to hit the town over Spilt Milk weekend, Ballarat’s night scene has got you covered with bars and nightclubs pumping into the early hours of the morning.
Warehouse is Ballarat’s biggest nightclub. We’re talking three levels blasting all types of music. Depending on what you’re in the mood for: head all the way upstairs for throwbacks; aim for the middle if live bands are more your jam; or the hit the bottom floor for your dance and DJ fix.
Volta is an iconic Ballarat live music venue, showcasing a huge range of local talent and touring acts. It’s always worth checking out who’s on, especially over Spilt Milk weekend.
The Deck gives off a low-key vibe where you can grab some food before the DJs come out and the lights go down on Friday and Saturday nights. Playing all your favourite top 40 tunes, throwbacks and more.
If you’re looking for singalongs, check out Piano Bar to hear the best local musicians. They even take song requests! Shoot for the stars.
LATE NIGHT EATS
BALLARAT HAMBURGER CART
Guilty pleasure alert! This right here is the most iconic late-night food stop in Ballarat. Whether you’re out on the town or craving a midnight snack, The Hamburger Cart is a game changer. Open until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, they serve up burgers, hot dogs, chips and even donuts to tickle your fancy.
HOT & TASTY KEBAB STOP
The name Hot & Tasty Kebab Stop speaks for itself. This is your one-stop shop for all your menu favourites and is open until late. You can’t go wrong with a kebab or HSP. You *literally* can’t go wrong.
What’s better than one kebab shop? Two kebab shops! Talking real late night hours, Gravy Spot is open until 4am serving up delicious chips, cheese and gravy, kebabs, nachos and plenty more.
DAMN GOOD COFFEE
HYDRANT FOOD HALL
Hydrant Food Hall is a renovated heritage warehouse space hidden down one of Ballarat’s laneways. It’s super laid back and serves up its own house-roasted coffee with a solid range of breakfast and lunch options to get stuck into. It’s a damn fine spot to get in your most important meal of the day.
L’espresso makes some of Ballarat’s best espressos and proudly hold the mantle as the first to bring the Melbourne-style alley café vibe to regional hub. Grab a brew and (seeing as you’re in town for a music festival) check out the very impressive vinyl collection. A hidden gem for sure.
Serving up Melbourne fave St Ali coffee, FIKA is a great spot for your caffeine fix but we’re also big fans of its fresh brunch options and pastries.
The home of the most Instagramable food in Ballarat, Yellow Espresso‘s picture-perfect philosophy goes for its coffee, too. Don’t miss!
Cobb’s Coffee is your neighbourhood cafe from the same people who brought you Rumble Coffee. Pairing a satisfying drop with superb service, do yourself a favour and drop by Cobb’s for a coffee and a sandwich.
To see the full list of things to eat, drink, see and do, check out Visit Ballarat.