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Guide to Ballarat

Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

We’ve spent the last few months getting to know and love our new home in Ballarat with everything it has to offer. Check out our guide of hidden gems below so you can make the most out of your Spilt Milk weekend!

BEST EATS

Hydrant Food Hall

The Hop Temple

Perfect for soul food and a beer. It has seating for the entire crew, ribs, pulled pork, jalapeno poppers and mac’n’cheese burgers (for real) to smash it out of the park. If you get a bit thirsty, they have over 100 beers available by the bottle and on tap.

The Forge Pizzeria

The Forge makes crazy good woodfired pizzas. They have a killer pumpkin, 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. 

Winner Winner

Deluxe fried chicken, hefty portions and sides to die for get you a little excited? Then don’t miss Winner Winner, one of the newest kids on the block in Ballarat. Cheap, cheerful & delicious fried awesomeness. Did we mention it’s happy hour there every day from 5pm-7pm? It’d be rude not to.

Moon & Mountain 

This is Spilt favourite, Moon & Mountain is a modern Asian bar & eatery in the heart of Ballarat. The team dish up some of the most delicious cocktails, with a food menu stacked to the nines. Think hand made dumplings, bao, fresh oysters, curries and more. It’s small and mighty, so book ahead if you’re keen to try it out.

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!

Hydrant food hall

Hydrant food hall is a renovated heritage warehouse space hidden in Ballarat’s laneways. It’s laid back and serves up Seven Seeds coffee with a solid range of breakfast and lunch options to get stuck into.

Mr Le 

Mr Le is a Vietnamese bakery, who not only make the classics (sausage rolls, donuts & vanilla slices). but also dish up some of the best Banh Mi & Pho in town. It’s tiny, so be prepared to hustle for a seat or grab a Banh Mi & a spot in the sun.

Europa Café

Europa Café has a massive menu with everything you’d ever want for a breakfast feast. The café has a real cosy vibe, serving up coffee, herbal teas, beer, and Bloody Marys. 

DAMN GOOD COFFEE

Yellow Espresso

FIKA

FIKA dish up some of the best brew in town. They use Melbourne’s fave St Ali coffee beans for the perfect coffee, with fresh brunch options, selection of pastries and you can also find Vegas & Rose doughnuts on the counter.

L’espresso Ballarat

L’espresso makes some of Ballarat’s best espressos and were the first to bring the Melbourne alley café style to the city. Grab a brew and check out the collection of vinyl in stock.

Yellow Espresso

The home of the most instagrammable food in Ballarat, it also houses picture-perfect coffee using freshly ground Melbourne favourite, Axil coffee beans.

LATE LATE NIGHT EATS

The Hop Temple

Ballarat Hamburger Cart

The most iconic late-night food stop in Ballarat. Whether you’re out on the town or craving a midnight snack, The Hamburger Cart will come to your rescue. Open as late as 2:30AM on weekends, they serve up burgers, hot dogs, chips and even donuts to tickle your fancy.

Kebabs

For those late night HSPs and Kebabs (we’ve all had one), Hot & Tasty Kebab and Country Kebabs are both open until 4am weekends.

Hop Temple

You’ve already heard us rave about the Hop Temple’s soul loving burgers. Lucky for you though (and us), they stay open until 11PM on weekends, perfect for a late dinner with mates!

Fast Foods

If you’re a sucker for fast food chains after a long night, then Ballarat has the usual HJ’s and Maccas that are open 24hrs for you to regret the morning after.

Pub Feed

If all you want is a good pub feed, Irish Murphys and The Western Hotel dish up the classic pub parmy’s, pizzas and burgers until late.

THINGS TO DO

Art Gallery of Ballarat

When you find yourself with a few hours spare, you can’t go past some of Ballarat’s local highlights.

Art Gallery of Ballarat

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest provincial gallery in Australia and is conveniently located in the middle of Central Ballarat. All of their permanent and most of their exhibits are free, making it the perfect spot for some downtime on your festi weekend.

Op Shopping

If you’re into bargain and vintage shopping for a good cause, there are a ton of op shops in Ballarat Central. Bridge Mall has a Vinnies and Salvos with Australia Red Cross and Light Lounge Opportunity shop close by as well.

Bridge Mall Farmers Market
Throughout the Bridge Mall is a Farmers Market where you can sample and buy fresh food from local makers and listen to some live music. Did we mention there’s a free pop up petting zoo?

Red Duck Brewery and Kilderkin Distillery

If you like gin, beer or both, you should check out the Red Duck Brewery and Kilderkin Distillery. Their cellar door open from 12-5pm every day with gin tasting flights, beer tasting paddles and cheese platters to line your stomach.

AFTER DARK

The Bluestone

If you want to hit the town Spilt Milk weekend Ballarat’s emerging night scene has got you covered with late-night bars and nightclubs pumping into the wee hours of the morning.

The Faux Social Club

Started by some of the best local bartenders in town, The Faux Social Club is a late-night haunt in the CBD. It’s a cosy bar, with DJ’s dishing up tunes into the early hours

The Bluestone

The Bluestone is the iconic uni nightclub in Ballarat. It houses 3 levels which never fail to fill on Wednesday Uni nights and weekends.

The Eastern

A local favourite, the Eastern is a Ballarat pub institution. They’ve got a great kitchen, your fav beers on tap, and almost always have local live bands on the go.

SHOPPING

Bridge Mall

Bridge Mall 

Bridge Mall is the shopping district in the hear of Ballarat.  There are over 100 shops & it’s conveniently located in the middle of town, right near the central Woolies & Coles.

Stockland Wendouree

For last-minute supplies and shopaholics, Stockland Wendouree is just 10 minutes from the city centre. It has a range of retail stores, food stops and specialty shops as well as Coles, Woolies and a Kmart!

 

To see the full list of things to eat, drink, see and do check out Visit Ballarat.

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