Nicknamed the Garden State, Victoria is home to an abundance of nurseries, many of which have flourished with cafés and gift shops. Culture Trip has weeded out the shrubs and gives a green thumbs up to this bunch. These are the best nursery cafés in Victoria.
Cafe, Australian, $$$
McGain’s Nursery, Café and Food Store, Anglesea | Courtesy of McGain's
Situated on an unassuming street in Anglesea, on the surf coast, owners Peter and Pam opened McGain’s nursery in 2000 and added a food store five years later. In 2012, they opened the café, nestled in the vegetable garden. The café is open for breakfast and lunch and features a feast of organic meals, including their famous magic mushroom dish, ploughman’s lunch and a selection of cakes. Next door, the food store is bursting with fresh produce, and the nursery has a variety of fruit trees and native plants.
Opened in 1981, Rivers of Yarrambat has flourished from a small nursery to an expansive complex, which now includes a café and food store, health and wellness centre, event rooms, and a gift shop. Adjacent to the pond, Rivers café is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and offers a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes made with locally sourced produce. Favourites on the menu include the cheese and fresh herb pot bread—which is served in a flower pot—and their decadent hot chocolate.
Gill's Nursery, Cheltenham | Courtsey of Gill's Nursery
Bayside’s largest garden centre has been a part of the community since 1920. Nowadays, Gill’s Nursery specialises in mature trees and exotic plants, and their expert horticulturalists are always on hand to lend expert advice. Set on almost two acres, the kid-friendly nursery also includes a lifestyle centre and Il Giardino Cafe, which can seat more than 140 guests and overlooks a display pool. The café serves all-day breakfast with a traditional Mediterranean-inspired menu and will cater special events.
The renowned Acorn Nursery is a family business that has been around for more than 30 years. Their collection of plants will add colour to any garden. With seven qualified horticulturalists, led by veteran nursery manager Tony, all your gardening questions will be answered. The nursery’s café, The Oaks Café, was established in 1996 and is open for breakfast and lunch. They’re famous for their free-range scrambled eggs during breakfast and lunchtime ribbon sandwiches, which are not to be missed.
Bay Road in Sandringham is an award-winning nursery which incorporates inspirational display gardens, landscaping solutions, a licensed café and a gift shop. Browse their range of gifts and homewares before visiting the café, which is housed in a Federation Cottage and features exhibitions from local artists. The café is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch and can be booked for functions. You can even bring home Bay Road’s own range of preserves and jams.