Best restaurant: Elm Dining
Best coffee: Sixpence Coffee
Best breakfast: Food Wine Friends
Best wine bar: Billy Button Cellar Door
Best lunch: Gum Tree Pies
Best brewery: Bright Brewery
Best out of town spot: The Wandi Pub
Best pizza: Hometown Pizza
Best distillery: Reed & Co Distillery
Best vegan & veggie food: Wild Thyme Cafe
Bright may be a small alpine town three hours drive from Melbourne, but it’s gaining a name for itself as a serious foodie destination.
From seasonal fine dining to locally roasted coffee and pine needle-infused gin, there’s something for every palate in beautiful Bright.
Best Restaurant in Bright: Elm Dining
Elm Dining is the best restaurant in Bright.
The restaurant is found in the old Victorian doctor’s cottage, which was Bright’s medical surgery for over 100 years.
The historically significant building has been lovingly transformed into a restaurant, whilst still maintaining the original period features.
Sat by the Victorian fireplace lined with candles, you’ll enjoy a nine-course tasting menu that champions fresh seasonal produce from local growers.
Even better, the in-house sommelier will recommend perfectly matched wines from the extensive wine list.
A trip to Elm Dining isn’t cheap, but it will make your trip to Bright truly special.
Alternatively, if you want a low-key restaurant in Bright definitely eat at Tomahawks.
Tomahawks offers Asian-influenced small plates, burgers, cocktails and good vibes.
Best Coffee in Bright: Sixpence Coffee
For the best coffee in Bright you need to go to Sixpence Coffee.
Found at the foothills of the Australian Alps, Sixpence is a family owned and run small batch roastery famous across the state of Victoria.
The beans are highly regarded as the best in the high country, with small coffee shops across the region buying their supplies from the roastery in Bright.
But the Sixpence Coffee Bar, found in an old mechanics garage in the centre of town, is where the magic happens.
Head in for a cup at the brew bar, and don’t forget to buy a bag so you can enjoy the Sixpence experience at home.
You don’t have to be in Melbourne to get excellent coffee anymore – the coffee scene in regional Victoria is a real vibe.
Best Breakfast in Bright: Food Wine Friends
For the best breakfast and brunch in Bright, head to Food Wine Friends.
And no, I’m not encouraging you to drink wine in the morning.
Despite the name, Food Wine Friends is actually a breakfast spot popular with locals.
Here, they serve up classic Aussie brunch dishes like poached eggs on sourdough, avocado and crispy bacon fritters, homemade waffles and pastries.
Their coffee is great too.
If you do want to put the Wine in Food Wine Friends, visit at lunch time for homemade frittata paired with a glass of local pinot gris.
Best Wine Bar in Bright: Billy Button Cellar Door
Billy Button Wines is the best wine bar in Bright, and one of the best cellar doors in the Alpine Valley.
With 7 wine tasting awards under the belt, expect excellent local varietals in an intimate cellar door setting.
Wine tastings are free, so pull up a stool at the bar and allow the owners to talk you through their current releases.
Wines can also be purchased by the glass, accompanied by a local cheese or charcuterie board from the deli fridge.
Alternatively, buy a bottle to takeaway and drink it on the banks of the Ovens River, just a short walk from the cellar door.
Best Lunch in Bright: Gum Tree Pies
You can pick up a pie in every town in Australia, but Gum Tree Pies are probably the best you will find in the whole country.
Trained chef Sebastian started experimenting with pie making back in 2007, and they became so popular that he couldn’t stop.
Since then, Gum Tree Pies has won gold at the Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition.
To try one of the gourmet pies for yourself, head to their pie store in the heart of Bright.
Here, you can grab a table and tuck into steak and red wine pie, panang curry pumpkin, or chicken and mushroom amongst many others.
Fancy something lighter for lunch?
For a healthy nourishing lunch in Bright, head to Clean Bowled for poke bowls and smoothies packed with goodness.
Best Brewery in Bright: Bright Brewery
Bright Brewery is the best spot for a cold craft beer in Bright.
Opened in the early noughties, Bright Brewery was originally two small tin sheds, with the micro brewery on one side and the tiny adjoining bar on the other.
Years later, the brewery was transformed into a huge spacious venue, complete with a Hop Terrace for outdoor live music.
Bright Brewery beer is ‘mountain crafted’, meaning hops are grown locally in the nearby valley and pristine mountain water is used in the process too.
Grab yourself a tasting paddle to sample the best beers on offer, including the Blowhard Pale Ale, the Alpine Lager and the Bright Sour.
Of course, Bright Brewery has an excellent pizza menu to accompany their brews.
Alternatively, you can choose indulgent rainbow trout with salmon roe or prosciutto wrapped chicken if you want to upgrade your beer munchies.
If you love local craft beer, I can definitely recommend including Beechworth in your high country road trip to try the epic brews at Bridge Road Brewers.
Best Out of Town Spot: The Wandi Pub
If you have a couple of days in Bright, definitely take the drive to The Wandiligong Hotel for lunch one day.
Located in the tiny town of Wandiligong just a 10 minute drive outside of Bright, ‘The Wandi Pub’ is a charming old country inn which has been open since 1864.
Complete with old wooden beams and a bar made of tin roof, Wandi Pub is rustic with cold beer and bloody good food.
Menu highlights include giant snags with smashed spuds and braised onion gravy, or harissa braised lentils with pitta and sumac labna.
Bookings are essential – you can book online here.
Best Pizza in Bright: Hometown Pizza
You’ll find the best pizza in Bright at Hometown Pizza.
This place has only recently opened but is well worth a spot in the Bright Foodie Guide 2022.
If authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with beer/cocktails sounds like your kinda place, you won’t be let down.
The maggie with vodka sauce, fior di latte, pecorino, basil and evoo is a classic for a reason, but to be honest everything on the menu is top notch.
They also do vegan scamorza so you can build your own dairy-free pizza.
Best Distillery in Bright: Reed & Co Distillery
Of course, a foodie destination wouldn’t be complete without a craft distillery on the map, and Reed & Co does not disappoint.
The family-run business specialises in ‘bush gins’ made with botanicals from the local landscape, including pine needles from the forests around town.
At the distillery door & cocktail bar, you can try a range of gin paddles and gin cocktails in a cosy neighbourhood atmosphere.
Reed & Co also does excellent food, offering an Izakaya style food menu to compliment the spirits on offer.
Best Vegan & Veggie Food in Bright: Wild Thyme Cafe
The best vegan & vegetarian food in Bright can be found at Wild Thyme Cafe.
The wholefoods eatery offers dishes that are good for the soul and the planet, in a relaxing setting.
For breakfast, choose the buckwheat banana pancakes.
For lunch, the pad thai or loaded smokey bean nachos is a great shout.
Plant-based desserts are also available at Wild Thyme Cafe.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best food in Bright 2022. Don’t miss my Foodie’s Guide to Beechworth, another serious foodie town just a 45 min drive from Bright.