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Goulburn’s Best Pit-Stop Gems for Travellers

When stopping by Goulburn, many weary drivers will never venture beyond the Big Merino in search of a good bite to eat.

But for the savvy traveller looking for a hearty dose of the local flavor and willing to skip the bypass, Goulburn holds a variety of hidden gems only slightly off the beaten track.

Below are four potential culinary candidates which, with a little bit of looking, might just turn your next pit stop into fifteen minutes in heaven.

Cafe Book

Located right on the main street of Goulburn and right on the path of travellers heading through,  Cafe Book looks to offer it’s patrons a good read and a good feed, with a wall lined in books for you to browse as you await your meal. While it’s cosy atmosphere won’t do the trick for everyone, I can’t argue that there’s something unquestionably relaxing about being able to curl up in a corner, a book in one hand and a slice of cake in the other.

While it’s relatively common menu of breakfast, lunchtime and cafe options isn’t going to light the world on fire,  the reliable quality of the meals and the welcoming nature of it’s staff more than justify a visit.

With almost all of the books in the cafe’s collection on sale, you might just walk in looking to soothe a rumbling stomach and walk out with a new favourite page-turner for the end of your journey,

Empire Takeaway

Of course, sometimes after a long drive, you’re just looking for a nice, quick, no-frills, uncomplicated meal. Similarly found right on Goulburn’s main road, Empire Takeaway seeks to continue the proud tradition of good, local fish and chips shops in Australia. From the old-fashioned decor to the slightly faded chiko roll posters on the wall, it’s hard to step in and not immediately feel the nostalgia. If the ambience doesn’t win you over, then the menu of  takeaway classics featuring genrous helpings of chicken salt certainly might.

This presentation does have it’s limitations, however. Available seats inside can be counted on one hand and it’s a long walk to find some public seating elsewhere, but with food coming quickly and going down easily, those who are quick on the draw can find a seat inside.

If you’re looking for a quick stop-and-go meal to get you through the next stint of your travels, then Empire Takeaway might just be the best option for those who’ve tired of Goulburn’s big-name fast food options.

The Paragon Cafe

A dining institution in Goulburn that has been running since 1940, The Paragon claims to provide a dining experience that will remind you of a nice lunchtime in the 1960s, complete with black and white photos of days of yore on the walls, a traditional atmosphere and a full swathe of comfort food available, running the full gamut from tea and cakes all the way up to homemade pizza and king-size T-bone steaks to try and fit whatever your hunger desires.

That being said, The Paragon has both the longest service times and the highest prices of the options on this list, with even a small chips setting you back $8, if you aren’t on board with the price, the old-fashioned decor or the longer wait to get your hot food, you may want to look elsewhere.

But if you have the money and the time and the time to make the most of The Paragon, then it could become your new favourite as it is the favourite of many Goulburnians.

The Roses Cafe

Slightly off the main road and overlooking Belmore Park, The Roses Cafe aims to be purpose-built for providing a quality stop-over meal that takes advantage of the wonderful ambience of Goulburn’s outdoor space. Its menu is the shortest of the cafes on this list, made up of all-day breakfast and sandwich options alongside homemade quiche, potato bake and lasagna options for feeding a full group, as well as traditional cafe offerings of coffee, cakes and milkshakes.

Seating options inside the cafe are generous, but cramped on a busy day. Be ready to practise some smooth moves to get to the counter and back without bumping into anyone. If you can, try and get a seat outside in the fresh air to avoid any mild claustrophobia.

However, if you’re looking for a spot with a view, The Roses Cafe has all you need to get some fresh air, recharge your batteries, and be back on the road in good time.

Check the map below for the main route through Goulburn and it’s best pit-stops along the way.

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