Being a short 90 minute drive from Melbourne, the towns Hepburn Springs & Daylesford have become a staple holiday location for many people. The two close towns have many things to offer, from the iconic mineral springs bath house in Hepburn to the fantastic art galleries show casing some incredible artists in Daylesford.

Whether you’re here for school holidays, or just need a chance to unwind from the city life, this ultimate guide to the best cafés in the area will help you find the perfect way to start your morning (or afternoon if you feel like sleeping in) 

Note: there will be a summary at the end of each section 🙂

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cafe’s in Daylesford & Hepburn Springs

Table of Contents:

 

1. Harry’s Hepburn: Best Café for Families, Large Parties, & Working 

Open 7 Days a week 8am-3pm, kitchen closing at 2:30pm
115 Main Road, Hepburn Springs

Seating & Atmosphere

Although I find the café on the smaller end compared to the ones I visit at home, Harry’s Hepurn is one of the largest cafes on this list, with a variety of seating options. 

There are numerous tables capable of seating larger parties (4-8 people) and many smaller tables available, though you may have to squeeze at some points. If you make a booking, they can accommodate large parties (10-14 people if not more). 

In the summer, the coffee shop also has a lovely courtyard / beer garden where you can take your dogs and enjoy the sunshine if you don’t feel like sitting at one of the outdoor tables along the front of the cafe. 

If you’re visiting on a weekend, I highly recommend making a booking through the Harry’s Hepburn website as it can become very chaotic quickly.

Seating from the front window

 

Coffees & Other Beverages

The coffees are a standard size here with a regular/cup (single shot $4.50) and large/mug (double shot, $5.50) with upcharges for any alternative milks or additions. P.S. they have some of the best hot chocolate in the area!

Additionally, the café has six milks in total so you are sure to find the right milk for your drink!

Milks offered: Full Cream, Skim, Soy, Oat, Lactose free & Almond

Harry’s also has one of the larger ranges of drinks I have seen with not only coffees, but juices and alcoholic beverages as well for those who want to get the party started early in the morning. 

The prices on the drinks vary but range between $9-$18 

Coffee from the front window

Food & Small Bites ($15-$30)

Like many cafes in the area, Harry serves what I would consider the food selection at Harry’s to be high end café cuisine. 

The menu, created by the chef of Frank and Connies down the road (highly recommend this restaurant for dinner as well), features popular items such as the Salmon & Potato Croquette and the Open-Faced Steak Sanga, an absolute beast of a sandwich. 

This café also serves the classics such as crumpets and eggs on toast for those who don’t want to stray too far away from a normal breakfast. 

There is also a small kids menu option with basics of eggs on toast and fried chicken & chips (which is absolutely delicious)  

Prices vary for the food items but tend to sit on the higher range of $15-30 depending on add on’s or substitutions.  

If you’re not after a full meal, there is a number of house made cakes and treats to choose from such as Portuguese tarts, duck pies, cinnamon scrolls (my favorite) and more. 

Vegan, Veggie & other health-conscious options 

The menu contains a variety (that’s right, more than just one or two!) of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free AND dairy free items! As far as the cake & treats section goes, I know of two gluten free options (the citrus teacake & brownie), but no dairy or vegan options at the moment. 

Summary:

  • Pros:
    • Great place to get work done, study, or have a meeting at. There are plenty of outlets if needed!
    • Accommodates large parties
    • Kids menu available (only booster seats available, no high chairs)
    • Local Special on Thursdays: A big breakfast + a standard coffee/tea for $25
  • Cons:
    • Can get very loud if busy
    • Small upcharges like a side of cream (+$3) or scrambled eggs (+$2) can add up quickly
    • Can be cold in the winter due to no central heating

 

2. Harvest Café- Best for healthy drinks/specialty coffees

Open Mon-Friday 9am-3pm, store open until 4pm, Sat 9am-2pm, store open until 3

Located: 29 Albert Street, Daylesford, Victoria

Located on the main street in central Daylesford, Harvest Café is a health food store & coffee shop rolled into one. You will be greeted with great customer service and overall good vibes from this heart healthy coffee shop.

Seating & Atmosphere

The entirety of the store is also a shop where you can find local favorites like beautiful soaps, wine and a number of other organic wholesale items.

With my first visit I initially thought this cafe wouldn’t be a good place to sit down and work, but after returning I found the indoor seating to be quite open & welcoming, especially when they have incense burning.

One big plus I found was there are two main seating areas, one with a couch and a more relaxed “friends” style vibe to it, while the other seating area is a larger room with much more seating. In this main seating area, there are a number of tables without it feeling cramped, and there is room to seat larger parties of 6 people if not more. 

There are window/bar style seating in both rooms with outlets available if you feel like getting some work done!

An example of the selection of wines & books in the seating area

Coffees & Other Drinks:

This is where the Harvest Cafe shines… here you will find the perfect drinks or coffees for if you want to add an extra health kick to your morning such as

  • Turmeric latte (coconut milk, ginger, honey, turmeric, cinnamon) – $5.50
  • Bulletproof latte (double organic espresso, organic coconut oil) – $6.00
  • Blue Mermaid Smoothie (E3 live, banana, dates, coconut oil, sea salt, & almond milk) – $10.50

among so many other drinks to choose from, you can even add protein or cholorphyll ($3 each) to a juice as well to kick it up a notch.

I do not believe they sell alcoholic beverages to drink on site. I only saw some, mainly wine, for sale in their extensive retail section.

My Blue Najik latte

 

Food & Small Bites ($10-20)

The food selection at this cafe comes across as more “earthy” to me, with items such as:

  • Thunderstorm porridge – $16
  • Dynamite mushroom toast – $22
  • Pumpkin & tarragon rice cakes – $3/each

This cafe splits up their food service by serving breakfast items from 9-11am and the lunch items (mainly soups and salads) until 3pm.

They also have a variety of other miscellaneous items such as the beef & veggie pastie, which I got and absolutely loved, as well as the savory slice which was on special for $5. 

Their small snacks in the cooler section by the front till are UNBELIEVABLE. They have salads, wrapped dates, and a number of other items. Just absolutely excellent food here.

You can peak at their full menu via their website online here if you want to plan ahead!

The beef & veggie pastie with a carrot relish

 

Vegan, Veggie & other health-conscious options 

To no one’s surprise, Harvest Cafe caters wildly to the vegan and dietary restrictive community with the majority of their menu items and snacks being vegan or gluten free. 

Summary:

  • Pros:
    • Bubbly customer service
    • LOADS of healthy options & very dietary friendly
    • Lower price point than other cafes for food
    • Fantastic retail selection with local wines, vitamins, snack guides and more
  • Cons:
    • Not as cozy as some cafes

 

3. Larder – best for starting your morning on a positive note, work friendly 

Open Friday-Tuesday 7:30am-3:30pm

Located: 57A Vincent Street, Daylesford, Victoria

Seating & Atmosphere

Larder is one of the only cafes that I have been to that radiates the exact happy energy you hope to start your morning with.

Between the upbeat but not annoying music and the abstract art and scattered bright colors around the cafe, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere right after I walked in the door. Once of my favourite parts were the colorful umbrellas they have hanging on the ceiling above some of the tables!

View from the back of the cafe

In the main cafe area, there are only around 4 or 5 tables, most sitting 4 or more people. There is also some window seating avaiable as well as outdoor street seating for those who want to enjoy the weather.

In the second portion of the cafe, there is a much larger range of seating, both window and tables. This section has less of the cafe feeling and is more like a sit down restaurant in my opinion with a much more structured seating chart.

 

Coffees & Other Drinks

Larder has a range of coffee and alcoholic drinks similar to the other cafe’s in the area. This cafe has great coffee, some of my favorite in the area, and a big plus was that it came with some beautiful latte art.

I actually did not grab enough intel on the exact selection of cocktails and wine that this cafe offers but I know the price point is similar to other locations.

Some gorgeous latte art from the baristas!

Food & Small Bites ($15-$35) 

Larder is cafe in Daylesford with yet another impressive food menu, with a larger selection of options with both Mexican and Asian inspired dishes alongside some of the breakfast classics. 

They have unique dishes such as:

  • Huevos La Flamenca (2 eggs baked in a braise of tomato, chorizo, & potato) – $23
  • Asian fried tofu & noodle salad – $22
  • Buttermilk Hotcakes – $18

They also have some of the classic all day breakfast items such as eggs on toast, for a reasonable price which I love to see. 

Note: Larder does NOT allow any substitutions on their menu items

Vegan, Veggie & other health-conscious options 

Larder has loads of options for a variety of dietary restrictions, especially if you have a nut or diary allergy. You can make a number of the menu items vegetarian, but there doesn’t seem to be as many good vegan options in comparison to other cafes in the area.

Summary:

  • Pros:
    • fantastic coffee
    • this cafe supports local artists
    • best of both worlds with a cafe side & a more structured restaurant side
  • Cons:
    • less seating in the actual cafe area
    • NO substitutions on the menu


4. Cliffy’s Emporium  – Best for a breakfast or brunch date, best cafe overall (in my opinion)

Open: Mon-Friday 7:30-3pm, Sat & Sun 8-3pm (kitchen closes @ 2:30pm)

Located: 30 Raglan St., Daylesford, Victoria

This is a cafe I visited on a rare Sunday morning when I wasn’t working. Sunday’s for the breakfast/cafe industry can be incredibly chaotic and thus I had prepared myself for a more rushed coffee but was I totally wrong….  Cliffy’s was my personal favourite cafe out of the ones I visited and is a cafe i give a full 10/10 for everything.

Seating & Atmosphere

Note: I was sat in the entry way dining area, I later found out there was a 2nd inside dining area but I was unable to take a look while I visited, so, keep in mind this is just my experience in this first dining area.

This cafe would be the perfect place to have a brunch or breakfast date after your relaxing weekend in Daylesford or Hepburn Springs. The set up in the initial dining area provides a surprisingly intimate & cozy dining spot, with the majority of tables seating two people and the first dining area seating only about 20 in total.

The atmosphere was the definition of cozy with the heating at the perfect temperature and the noise volume low, even on a busy sunday. The walls were all completely filled up with a large variety of retail products, a plethra of flowers, and various knick-nacks contributing to the welcoming and cozy feeling.

One of my favorite parts were the herbs or ingredients hanging above the kitchen way. I’m unsure if these were actual ingredients the kitchen uses or if it was just for decoration but regardless, it adds such a warm feeling to the area.

There additionally is a massive outdoor seating area that can definitely sit larger parties as well as some undercover street side seating available for smaller parties.

Note: There is a second inside dining area I was unable to see that I believe can seat larger parties

Coffees & Other Drinks

This cafe serves exceptional coffee, using beans from Rosso Roasting Company. They charge the standard amount of the coffees, around $4.50 for a typical espresso drink.

Milk Offered: ​Full cream, Soy, Almond or Oat. 

Cliffy’s does NOT offer skim or lactose free milk

The rest of the drink menu consists of a range of beers ($9-$14), wines ($13/glass, $55/bottle), and cocktails ($14-$20).

If you’re after a soft drink, they do have big brands such as coca-cola which some cafe’s in the area do not.

One of the cocktails they offer that I think looks fantastic is the breakfast martini (Campari, gin, orange marmalade) $20. This one is definitely on my list for when I go back.

 

Food & Small Bites ($19-$40)

Expect to spend a fair amount if you plan on dining here, the food prices are much higher than the other cafes in the area, averaging around $30/dish. In return you can expect high quality ingredients & the overall fantatsic tasting food that matches the pricing.  

Cliffy has a wide range of food items of their 16 item menu with a number of options that can be made veggie or vegan. They also offer gluten free for about half the menu options

If you’re interested in grabbing a meal here (which I highly suggest) expect an upscale breakfast or brunch menu with a wide range of options from the classic Cliffy’s benedict to a Japanese curry.

I ordered a Vego roll, which consisted of pumpkin, almond tarator, cheddar cheese & rocket and it was absolutely delicious, though the pumpkin might have been cut a bit thick. It was served with rosemary fries which were done perfectly. 

A vego roll with rosemary chips

 

Vegan, Veggie & other health-conscious options 

Overall, they offer a fair amount of gluten free options and many vegetarian options as well. They have a few vegan options, but nothing too crazy in that department. 

Summary:

  • Pros:
    • Such a warm and welcoming environment and so cozy
    • Fantastic food & coffee
    • Relaxing & quiet even when busy
  • Cons
    • Much higher price point than many cafes

 

5. Wombat Hill House – Best for Pastries & Nature/Natural Light Seating

Open: Friday-Tuesday 9am-3:30pm

Location: Enter off Central Springs Road, Daylesford, Victoria

 

Seating & Atmosphere

The Wombat Hill House Cafe has some beautiful seating options, with a few tables indoors, some by the cozy fireplace and the majority outside in their greenhouse styled outdoor seating. I did visit in the winter so once the plants and vines come back to life in the summer, its sure to be even more beautiful.

Though there is definitely space for larger parties, I think there is room to seat 2-6 the most comfortably, but when in doubt, be sure to call and make a reservation!

The inside is welcoming from the moment you step in, complete with a delicious smell, something my partner wanted me to mention.

Something small that i loved was the beautifully written signs around the cafe as well. There really wasn’t a “rough” part to this must-visit destination at all. The nature decorations on the wall, including some butterflies hanging from the ceiling over one of the larger tables, paired with the table numbers staked in small potted plants all add to this nature centered cafe.

An example of their cute “outdoor” seating

Coffees & Other Drinks

The coffees are again, pretty standard in both price and size (cup vs. mug) but come in these beautiful red matte cups (the small details matter!)

I found my coffee to taste almost a bit watery in comparison to some of the others from cafes but it was still delicious. 

Wombat Hill House also offers a number of wines all produced in the state of Victoria, as well as beers, ciders, and cocktails ranging ($7-$18)

Alternative milks Offered: Full cream, Skim, Soy, Almond, Oat

Food & Small Bites

As stated above, I highly recommend this cafe for their pastries & delicious treats. They bake 5 days a week at the Dairy Flat Farm, the location wheere they also make all of their sourdough bread! The quality truly shines through on these as they are absolutely fantastic.  

One notable thing about this particular cafe is that Alla Wolf-Tasker, a culinary genius from the area responsible for the awards behind the Lake House also found in Daylesford, supplies some of the produce used in the kitchen.

As stated on the Wombat Hill House website, the kitchen menu is seasonal and changes rather frequenty. However, the menu seems to feature some of the typical brunch food found in the cafes in the Daylesford.

Big breakfasts, and delicious avocado on sourdough as well as some more upscale classic foods like, proscuttio & roasted fig pizza, waygu burgers were found on the menu.

Vegan, Veggie & other health-conscious options 

Again, it’s hard to say what exactly they will have as the menu changes, but the website also states they will always have some options that are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Including fresh sandwhiches if that is what you’re feeling!

 Summary:

  • Pros:
    • Delicious Pastries
    • Surrounded by the beautiful wombat botanical gardens so you can have a quick walk before/after your meal!
    • Beautiful & relaxing atmosphere
    • Heated outside seating
  • Cons:
    • None to mention!

 

The Best Cafes in Daylesford: Summary

There are so many great options for coffee and food when visiting the Daylesford area. I am happy to share these five cafes & coffee shops to be my favorite during my time in the town.  You can see more photos of the discussed cafes on the Procaffinator Instagram here!

I hope you have a chance to visit one of them and enjoy the fantastic food and coffee during your holiday or stop through the area!

If you plan on staying in the area a while, check out these related articles for some ideas on things to do 🙂

  • Love chocolate? Be sure to check out the wildly popular Chocolate Mill
  • Check out 16 things to do in the city of Daylesford here!
  • Australia Good Food Guide’s recommendations for dinners in Daylesford here!

As always, safe travels and happy procaffinating!

Do you have a favorite cafe in Daylesford? Drop it below!


Annelise Tucker

Hi there! My name is Annelise. I've lived on coffee and in coffee shops ever since 2016 when I was getting a degree in Biomedical Engineering. After graduating in 2021, I decided to travel to Australia instead of starting a full-time job. It was during this trip that I decided to start this coffee blog to learn more about coffee and find great cafes to relax and work at! I hope you stick around and enjoy procaffinating with me! :)

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