Wye River is a one-horse town on the Great Ocean Road, but luckily for that horse, it’s got the very best in food and drink within trotting distance.
The town’s general store came under new ownership in 2009 and had a massive renovation. Ladies and gentlemen, witness the General Store with capital letters. It’s now a gastronomically excellent café, a bar, a bakery (as well as loaves like seeded sourdough, you’ll find pastries and croissants on offer, made with generous amounts of French butter) and a general store with post office.
Its Melburnian owners opened it up on three sides with large windows that give every diner a vantage point of both mountains and sea. In summer the spacious decking is crammed with cyclists and families and there’s an additional kiosk open churning out coffees and fish and chips. Inside it’s just as roomy, with wood stoves burning throughout the colder months.
Drop in for the lunch specials, or all-day brekkie fortification, including sautéed Italian greens, chili, scrambled eggs and Meredith Dairy goats cheese on sourdough, and braised cannellini beans in tomato sugo with Istra chorizo, fetta and sourdough (we can vouch for both of those). That ethos of using fine ingredients is extended to the bar, which stocks Hendricks and Sailor Jerry as well as fine wines.
The store itself has freshly baked bread, fine Italian deli items, local produce, and all the practical bits and pieces you’d need if you were camping. It’s all displayed in wicker baskets and the large wooden shelving of general stores of yesteryear. You’ll often find both high-end products to appease the wealthy locals, and more functional versions for holidaymakers.
Outside, completely unattached to the General Store but convenient nonetheless, there’s a rustic playground at the foot of the mountain and a barbecue area.
Opening days and times vary, so check the website. Visit the Great Ocean Road over a long weekend and experience Monday's the New Sunday