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A dessert on the menu at the River Deck Café, Albury
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan | The River Deck Café

Top restaurants in Albury Wodonga

You can dine very well on a weekend away in these twin riverfront cities

By Time Out in association with Destination NSW and Visit Albury Wodonga

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When it comes to having the best of both worlds, a visit to Albury Wodonga, the twin cities facing each other from opposite banks of the mighty Murray River, provides dual bragging rights in a single mini-break location. 

Do you like to shake off the nine-to-five by getting out into nature? Albury Wodonga has the fresh air, big skies, wild swimming and bushwalking you’re looking for. Prefer to immerse yourself in local arts, crafts and history? Right this way, via galleries, markets and interactive museums. Big city life got you wound tighter than a clock spring? There are day spas to get you fresh and reset, or if you prefer an adrenaline rush, strap on a wakeboard for full throttle thrills on the lake. And if your idea of a holiday means accessing the best locally sourced food and drink, Albury Wodonga is at the heart of a regional beer trail, at the doorstep of the Riverina wine region, and is a dining destination for all tastes and budgets, from a casual brunch to a fine dining discovery off the beaten track. Here are five local gems worth seeking out on your next trip to the region.

Where: 46 Elgin Blvd, Wodonga
Open: Wed, Thu, Sat 6-11pm; Fri noon-3pm & 6-11pm

Chef David Kapay honed his European sensibilities under the tutelage of heavyweights like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay and brought them back to his hometown with his modern French bistro, Miss Amelie. The dining room is set within the historic former Wodonga train station, but those efficient timetables have been replaced by indulgence at three speeds: two courses, three courses, or a six-course tasting menu. Some come for the classics – rock oysters, steak tartare, market fish with buttered leeks, or a tender eye fillet. But there are new acquaintances to be made, like a lamb scotch fillet pairing its earthy richness with an autumnal palette of beetroot, rhubarb, peas and raspberry; or braised pork cheek made with local cider, celeriac and apple. You can have your cheese sweet (cheesecake) or savoury (cheeseboard) for dessert; order a riff on a lamington made with chocolate mud cake; or a souffle for that perfect French exit. If you're just dropping by for a drink or a drink and a nibble, the restaurant also has a luxurious bar extension, Little Miss, mixing cocktails and pouring world-class wines. 

Make it a holiday: Treat yourself to the elegant, modern art-themed boutique accommodation at Circa 1928, a spa hotel inside the old Commonwealth Bank building, and between meals and massages take in some cutting-edge contemporary art at the Murray Art Museum Albury.

Where: 500 Guinea St, Albury
Open: Wed-Sat noon-9pm

Carbs are king at this classic trattoria where they make four different pastas in house every day. There are wide, soft ribbons of pappardelle destined to be coated in a rich chicken ragù, braced with lemon and pecorino. Or perhaps you prefer Sicily’s curved twists (casarecce) to transport broccoli, anchovies and pine nuts from plate to palate. Few cold hearts or empty bellies can’t be won over by a classic spaghetti bolognaise, but for the ultimate holiday experience from home, try linguine with clams, parsley, butter and white wine and imagine you’re lost on the Ligurian coast. And it’s not all bad news for our gluten-free friends – the menu here is eminently adaptable to those avoiding wheat protein. 

Make it a holiday: The refreshed Astor Hotel Albury is channeling those white-and-pastel Palm Springs motel vibes, with an airy beer garden and steaks they dry-age on site for the bistro. Work up an appetite by taking in the scenery of the 15km return Wagirra Trail that follows the river and features 5km of sculpture installations by local Indigenous artists on the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk.


Where: 2/660 Dean St, Albury
Open: Tue-Sun noon-3pm & 5.30-9pm

How to have a dinner party with no fuss or cleaning at your end? Order paella from Albury Wodonga’s Spanish tapas bar, Saludos. It comes in three flavours: chicken, seafood, and vegetarian, and can be made for one person, or as many as 12. If you prefer lots of tiny bites throughout the night, the tapas menu covers broad terrain, from patatas bravas, halloumi skewers, croquettes and empanadillas, through to larger, meatier dishes like meatballs, braised lamb, and pork with crackling in a sherry glaze. Larger-format dishes include slow-cooked lamb shanks or confit chicken. The wine list is a near-and-far two step bouncing predominantly between nearby Rutherglen vineyards and Spanish drops, including Spain’s answer to prosecco, cava. And if you time your visit right you might catch a flamenco performance or live music hosted every Sunday.

Make it a holiday: There’s no chintz or cabbage print at the sharp, modern, design-loving Atura Hotel in Albury. They’re bringing a little taste of boutique city accommodation to this regional hub. But if swimming laps of the hotel pool doesn’t quite get your heart racing, head to Lake Hume where you can water ski, wakeboard, kneeboard or tube ride. Don’t need the adrenaline? Go for a dip or pack a picnic and recline by the shore.

Where: 1/467 Olive St, Albury 
Open: Tue-Sat 6.30-11.30pm

You might think you know what’s in store at Matthew Fuller’s refined, gently masculine, European bistro, but peek behind the sheer curtains of this mainstreet dining room and you’ll see that head chef Tara Davis is not afraid to mix things up on the short, seasonal menu. Some combinations are straight shooters from the playbook, like beef cheek with celeriac, mustard and Brussels sprouts. But then they go and flip the script at Bistro Selle, by pairing tripe with curry and blood sausage; running spicy, spreadable Calabrian salami through fresh pasta with lemon and mascarpone; or pairing the gentle anise fragrance of carraway seeds with pumpkin. Pair it with something from the well-travelled wine list that is curated from local offerings interspersed with international guests.

Make it a holiday: See how many little luxuries fit into a tiny house at the Attico loft, a garden guesthouse perfect for a romantic weekend away. If you just want to stay inside and nest, stock up on everything you need for a gourmet weekend of self-catering at the Essential Ingredient. But when the outside world comes calling, rug up for breakfast at Café Musette, who source much of their produce from their own farm, including their eggs, meat and preserves. 


Where: 48 Noreuil Pde, South Albury
Open: Daily 9am-3pm

For one of the most picturesque meals in Albury Wodonga, you can’t beat the location of the River Deck Café, jutting out into the gentle currents of the Murray River on a curve sheltered by old trees and carpeted by soft grass. There’s a playground for small humans with big energy, and a menu just for them featuring a mini cooked brekky, waffles and a snack plate. For bigger appetites, breakfast is where they play the hits, from local eggs your way, to avo on toast, banana bread and hotcakes. But it’s the little details that make a difference, like a breakfast quesadilla, vegan black rice pudding or the multi-condiment flavours added to eggs Hollandaise, featuring Japanese chilli, and pesto. More creative flair can be found on the lunch menu, which kicks off at 11.15am on the dot and includes duck leg spring rolls, escargot arancini, a massaman brisket curry and a cross between a satay stir fry and an Indonesian gado gado salad with vegetables, tofu and peanut sauce. Prefer to eat in theme? Fish and chips by the water’s edge is pretty hard to argue with.

Make it a holiday: The Waverley B&B is an elegant, Victorian, two-suite bed and breakfast right in the centre of Albury so you can ditch the car and immerse yourself in a close-knit community. After your complimentary continental breakfast, head out to the Albury Wodonga Farmers Market held every Saturday morning to stock up on local produce for the barbecue, or cool your heels at Temperance and General, an art deco laneway bar serving cocktails, wine and tapas.

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