If you think weekends are for brunch, start your day at Higher Society, a popular café on Sturt Street in the heart of the city. There are all the breakfast favourites, like smashed avocado on toast, here, but you can also try something slightly outside the canon with white chocolate-raspberry chia pudding or vegetarian black bean chilli. Even in the depths of winter Higher Society's iced lattes are popular, which proves just how cosy it is inside.
Slept in and missed brunch? Nearby café Johnny Alloo serves breakfast until a very respectable 3pm, with an overlapping lunch menu of things like Reuben sandwiches and Wagyu beef burgers providing heartier fare after 11am.
One of Ballarat's newest restaurants, Dr Fill, is your go-to spot for good-time food like tacos, loaded fries and hot dogs, with cocktails and beer available to round it all off.
A must-stop in the region for oenophiles is Mitchell Harris Wines, which specialises in cool-climate drops. The best seat in the house is by the open fireplace, which is the perfect spot in which to taste your way through the winery's pours and enjoy a gourmet lunch. For those who are really serious about wine, Mitchell Harris offers a personal tour through the vineyards with winemaker John Harris and his business partner, Craig Mitchell. Book in advance for that one.
If you want to stay in the city to seek out sustenance, Armstrong Street North is a foodie's paradise. When you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Ballarat, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice in Armstrong Street North. There's South American eatery Pancho (don't miss the grilled corn), upscale pizzeria the Forge (pancetta with Meredith Dairy goat cheese is our pick) and shrine to craft beer Hop Temple, which also has plenty of brew-friendly nibbles.
If you're up for a night of adventurous drinking, Moon and Mountain prides itself on its cocktail list, as well as its Asian fusion share plate menu.
With not all venues able to operate at full capacity due to government restrictions, make sure you ring ahead to make a booking. Heaven forefend you end up hungry.
If you're up for a bit of a foodie adventure, Black Cat Truffles is just 20 minutes outside of Ballarat and is taking bookings for winter truffle hunts. Accompanied by fearless truffle dogs Winston and Lottie, you will find these black gold treasures beneath the French and English oak trees planted throughout the property. And yes, at the end of the hunt experience you get to taste your bounty in various forms, such as truffled cheese, pasta and even dessert.