A guide to French cuisine in regional Victoria

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A guide to French cuisine in regional Victoria

Words by Staff Writer

As Bastille Day hits this month on 14 July, we look at the French cuisine available on our doorstep all year around.

Croissants to Coq au vin; you don’t have to jet all the way to Europe to taste the delicacies of the French food world. Regional Victoria has an abundance of French bistros, restaurants and patisseries to make you say oh-la-la.

Whether you want to celebrate Bastille Day in style or simple want to trial something new, here is our guide to some of the best French hospitality hotspots in Regional Victoria.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

La Cachette

Nestled into Geelong’s waterfront, is intimate, family-run, French bistro, La Cachette. Designed to have a menu that changes every three weeks, owner and Chef Patron Matthew Podbury creates an elevated dining experience with a casual ‘neighbourhood bistro’ feel, complete with incredible food, drink pairings and naturally generous hospitality. It’s a space that has adopted the bistronomy model, aiming for relaxed casual dining experiences with a  flair for attention to detail. You just need to look at their evolving menu to determine the type of quality of the French cuisine. From main meal selection of fillet of snapper ‘à la vapeur’ with mussels and bergamot to dessert ‘île flottante’ with lemon myrtle and rhubarb sorbet, it’s superb. For $90 for three courses, and $110 for four, La Cachette is great value with French class. Unfortunately La Cachette will be closing their doors permanently from 11 August so get in while you still can.

Where: Shop 10, Steampacket Place, Eastern Beach Road, Geelong CBD

When: Open Tuesday – Sunday, 5:30 – 10:30pm, Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 2:30pm


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Tucked up Downes Lane off Little Malop Street’s bustling hospitality precinct in Geelong sits Felix Restaurant. Having opened in 2021, the restaurant has established itself as a favourite for French dining. Felix serves a modern interpretation of French classics with warm service, and a relaxed atmosphere across both a lunch and diner service. The offering of a 2 course dinner at $59pp (only available at lunch) or a three course set menu at $89pp is well worth the spend. On the drinks side, Felix specialises in cocktails but has a generous beer and cellar list. From Violet Beauregard to a glass of Château du Cedre “Marcel” Malbec, they have endless options for elevated dining.

Where: 9 Downes Ln, Geelong

When: Lunch service: Friday, Saturday 12.00pm – 2.30pm, Sunday 12.00pm – 4.00pm.

Dinner services: Wednesday – Saturday 5.30pm – 10.00pm


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Bistro Plume

On the stretching Mt Pleasant Road in Belmont, tucked into a corner shop is Bistrot Plume. Bistrot Plume is an elegant French-Australian eatery determined to deliver the finery of France in Geelong. Owners Ben McLachlan and Jackson Fort are seasoned hospitality professionals with an eye for the attention to detail. Also running Local Geelong and its by-night wine bar, Enoteca, Chef Fort earned his stripes at fine diners like Tulip, Igni and Cutler & Co, and has transferred his knowledge into Bistro Plume, raising the bar of French dining in the region. With options for a Menu Du Jour or individual selections the menu is made of the fresh produce the region has to offer. With a long list of wines to pair, the Bistro Plume experience is undeniable. 

Where: 56A Mt Pleasant Road, Belmont

When: Thursday: 5:45pm – late, Friday: 11:30am – 3pm // 5:45pm – late, Saturday: 11:30am – 3pm // 5:45pm – late, Sunday: 11:30am – 3pm


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A fixture of the Hotel Provincial on Ballarat’s main road of Lydiard Street North is the elegant, lavish European-inspired dining of Lola. From your morning coffee, to lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and dinner seven-days, Lola is a stunning 55 seat dining room that provides an elegant yet relaxed experience, beautifully styled to reflect the heritage hotels elevated design. With a menu shaped each season selected using the region’s best locally sourced produce, Lola’s features glorious grazings of French cuisine. From the top item of the entree menu of twice baked aged gruyere soufflé, daikon remoulade and candied pecan nuts all the way through to the vanilla bean panna cotta with poached nashi pears and macadamia praline, the tastes are tantalising.

Where: 121 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat 

When: Monday, Tuesday 7.30am – 11am, 5.30pm – 10.00pm, Wednesday – Sunday 7.30am – 10.00pm


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Le Peche Gourmand

Macarons, madeleines, petit-fours, croissants, pain au chocolat, Le Peche Gourmand in Creswick is a haven for dessert lovers. Specialising in French pastry, this patisserie is overflowing with flavour and dessert options. Paired with a coffee made on site, Le Peche Gourmand is a slice of provincial France for the tastebuds. Christmas is a spectacular time for the establishment as they bring France home with buche de Noel, homemade gateau and joyeux noel. Not fair from Ballarat and Daylesford, this is a great stop! 

Where: 73 Albert St, Creswick VIC 3363

When: Monday – Saturday 7am – 3pm


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Treacy Pâtisserie

Located in the heart of Bendigo is modern French patisserie Treacy Pâtisserie. 

Established with the simple goal of creating contemporary and innovative desserts, using the best ingredients possible, this quaint gem is only opened two days per week to ensure excellence is being served. From their signature blueberry lemon and violet cake, to the humble macaron, petit gateaux, artisan bite-sized fancies and confectionery, Treacy Pâtisserie is just as appealing for the eyes as it is for the mouth. The boutique destination is simply stunning with their dessert creations. 

Where: 2/3 Queen St, Bendigo, Victoria 3550

When: Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm

What are you waiting for, treat your French foodie!