Start your day right with breakfast at Yellow Espresso. You can get all your brekky faves like scrambled eggs, smashed avo and eggs benny as well as ‘grammable delights (hello salted caramel matcha pancakes). Ballarat might be a long way away from Italy (or even Lygon Street), but that doesn’t stop the Forge Pizzeria. Since 2010 the pizzeria has been serving up woodfired pizzas, with vegetarians and vegans very welcome.
Of course, many come to regional cities for good old-fashioned county cooking, and Ballarat doesn't disappoint. Get your dose of pub grub at the Highlander pub (formerly the Pub With Two Names). Unsurprisingly, the menu does lean towards carnivores and those not concerned with their waistline – but surely that's the point of pubs? Find more home cooking at Café Sidra on the banks of Lake Learmonth, where wholesome pies and chunks of carrot cake are paired with lots of cider (local options available).
On the opposite end of the dining spectrum, fine food in Ballarat doesn’t come much better than Underbar. Dinners are limited to 12 guests per night, and there’s just one long table – so brush up on your small talk. Chef and owner Derek Boath is formerly of three-Michelin-starred New York restaurant Per Se. Come hungry, this degustation will have you rolling out the door full and happy.