regional roadstops : Merino Cafe Gunning

I’m always amazed when people say that the only option when taking a road trip is to stop at those well known franchise outlets which appear too often along the highways. Sure they’re well advertised with great big roadside billboards, but luckily for us there are still plenty of thriving towns, with good old fashion country cooking, just a hop skip and a jump from the main road.

This week driving from Sydney to Melbourne, my first stop was for a late lunch, breakfast, brunch or whatever you want to call it – after 1pm. I hadn’t eaten before I left home, and refused to stop at a golden arches or any of those similar style of places. Luckily I found a gem. Just two kilometres from the Hume Highway is the small town of Gunning which provided my nourishment and leg stretch on my drive to my overnight stop of Beechworth, Victoria.

The food was delicious. Being in the heart of sheep country I just had to try the famous Merino lamb burger. Not a regular burger eater (or not the chain store variety at least) this was serendipity. A moist and tasty lamb patty, with mint sauce and dollops of yoghurt, stacked high in a white sesame (and very lightly toasted and warmed) bun. All day breakfasts had an extra local menu item: Local organic lamb chop for an extra $4. There were plenty of beef burgers too like the Aussie Beef or the Truckers Burger (which had the extras of pineapple, fried egg and bacon) – both of these burgers came with house made tomato jam.

And, I couldn’t help eyeing off all the Aussie institutions – Passionfruit Slice, Lemon Coconut Slice, Caramel Slice, Fresh Raspberry Meringue Slice and Apple Rhubarb Meringue Slice – all only $4.50 and all house made (on the premises).

So next time you’re on the road, take a bit of time, help support small business and support your taste buds in the process. Everybody wins!

Merino Cafe & Catering Co.
62 Yass Street, Gunning NSW 2581 Australia
+ 61 2 4845 1250

Merino Cafe & Catering Co. on Urbanspoon

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Comments for this article

7 Responses to “regional roadstops : Merino Cafe Gunning”

  1. Enzo Guarino says:
    March 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Nothing beats those simple pleasures whilst in the country.

  2. Bruce says:
    June 23, 2011 at 1:16 am

    We had to drive back to Melbourne from Sydney due to the Volcanic Ash cancelling flights. We were attracted to the Merino Cafe because of the building’s old design, then had lunch. I had the lamb burger, and it was just sooo good. Definitely the best burger I have ever had around the world. Congratulations to them for providing world class food.

  3. Howard says:
    July 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

    We went to the Merino Cafe after finding this site. The Merino Cafe is one of the best on the Hume Highway and highly recommend it to other people. I had the lamb burger also…. yummo is right!
    Hot chocolate was terrific also. Call in folks and keep them busy so we don’t have to eat fast food! We will be back soon.

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      July 24, 2011 at 3:52 am

      I’m with your Howard. The only way to keep places like this open is to support them!

  4. Sean Lander says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Yep, the burgers are something else. But…..the real treat is breakfast, with an extra chop, or two, it’s more than enough to keep you going until tea time!

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      May 17, 2012 at 11:09 am

      chops for brekkie! very country Australian … thanks for the info Sean

  5. Jenny says:
    May 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I had a wonderful breakfast at the Merino Cafe a while ago and I can recommend the friendly service too. Matter of fact, the atmosphere in town was lovely, including the very nice lady at the petrol station. Why oh why would anyone bother to turn off at those awful fast food fuel stops instead?

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