The Riverina’s culinary scene has most certainly come of age. From old grand establishments through to pioneering new haunts, the region is quite literally littered with eateries. Full to the brim of delectable delights, Wagga’s restaurants have something for everyone.
With a focus on seasonal produce, provenance, and downright delicious food, the foodie culture in Wagga is thriving. Indeed, our local restaurants are up there with some of the state’s and dare we say the nation’s best.
Whether you wish to tantalise the palette, soak up a stunning view, or simply enjoy the atmosphere, our restaurants have it all. But with so many options how can one possibly make their way through them all?
Fear not, we are here to help. Be it far flung inspiration an ethos of seasonal provenance, a select few restaurants are at the top of their game. For the special occasion or simply just because, check out our pick of Wagga’s absolute best.
What makes a great restaurant?
Great restaurants are a culinary home away from home, loved by patrons and visited time and time again. Although what defines a great restaurant is often subjective, there are a few common traits that separate the best from the rest:
- Glorious gastronomy. An undeniably great restaurant naturally comes down to consistently glorious food. Be it a flavourful burst, impeccable execution, or plating perfection these dishes are well worth it. Whatever the food mantra may be, the best restaurants live up to their ambitions time and time again. Here the reputation of both restaurant and head chef are worth investigating.
- Perfectly paired. No dining experience is complete without a perfectly paired beverage to enjoy alongside the meal. Whether it be an appetite inducing aperitif, a deep warm red, or a sweet concoction thereafter, these pairings shine. Be sure to peruse a restaurant’s drinks menu or social accounts for a look behind the bar before attending. Look for carefully curated cocktail lists, extensive regional or worldwide wines, and alcohol-free alternatives.
- Attentive service. Great restaurants deliver more than simply great food; they are masters of executing the overall dining experience. From the first reservation phone call right through to the final farewell a great restaurant’s service shines. Orchestrating this front of house experience are a team of attentive staff. Be it the waitstaff, sommelier, or maitre d’, each play an integral role delivering service in space.
- Welcoming. Many great restaurants have one thing in common – and that is a welcoming vibe. Like a warm hug, this welcoming atmosphere envelopes diners, rounding out the senses and heightening the overall experience. Welcoming restaurants ensure their patrons feel comfortable. From seating to the sounds, the lights, and overall ambiance each aspect is purposefully constructed.
- Memorable. Memorable restaurants are often some of our most loved, yet what makes it memorable differs from person to person. For some it is simple fare cooked well, while for others it is defined by something further. Be it a journey through nostalgia, refined cuisine, or a nod to new age eating, they are something to remember. A memorable service ensures your visit is one of many to come.
The best restaurants in Wagga
Region Riverina has combed through online reviews and recommendations to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Wagga series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Region Riverina and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Thaigga offers a new dining experience for Wagga. Its Thai fusion menu features a unique twist on favorites, combined with dishes prepared the traditional way, promising diners a unique culinary experience. With newly renovated premises and a relaxed setting, diners indulge in dishes created with love and quality seasonal produce. Watch the happenings at the open kitchen as the team at Thaigga prepare and carefully plate each menu item.
Delectable entrees include coconut prawns, salt and pepper crispy soft-shell crab and Thaigga’s famous duck pancakes. Mains include curries, noodle dishes, and wok stir-fried dishes. Diners rave about Thaigga’s soups – yummy Tom Yum Goong and Thome Kha. Fried rice dishes always hit the spot, including the chilli jam and cashew nut version.
Fully licensed, Thaigga offers a great range of local and international beers, wines and spirits.
Book online to dine in the restaurant or order takeaway online. It’s fast and easy with quick delivery. Thaigga is open Tuesday to Sunday, both lunch (11:30 to 2:30) and dinner (5:30 to 10).
On Google, Viraj Keer wrote, “Absolutely loved the food here. Was staying in Wagga Wagga for one night and am so glad I booked dinner here. One of the best Thai food experiences I've had. Considering I've also been to Thailand multiple times, this was as authentic as you can get. Will definitely go there again when I'm there next.”
Local newcomer, Pastorale, offers a classic fine dining experience featuring European-inspired fare. Nestled within one of the region’s most iconic buildings, The Riverine Club, it exudes sophisticated charm.
Named after the pastoralists who formed the Club itself, this elegant dining namesake has most certainly placed Wagga on Australia’s culinary map. With bold architectural features and an array of rich colours, patterns, and textures Pastorale’s dining space is one of a kind.
Since first opening its doors in 2021, Pastorale has remained true to the restaurants ethos of provenance. Celebrating the regions abundancy, Pastorale features a rolling menu honouring premium ingredients meticulously sourced from the Riverina’s finest producers.
Known for their traditional cooking methods, Pastorale embraces the use of fire, smoke, and coals. Challenging classic fine dining constructs, the team at Pastorale have embraced their custom-built charcoal oven, delivering unpretentious authenticity on each, and every plate.
Reflecting the generosity of Mediterranean hospitality, Pastorale’s menus encourage diners to order and share for the table. Their curated lunch offering is all about simplicity, where the likes of herb crusted cottoletta and chili-laden tagliatelle reign supreme.
Pastorale’s shining beacon is its renowned dinner menu. From delicately chargrilled marinated octopus through to dry aged grain fed beef perfection there is something for the most astute of palettes. Equally as impressive is their extensive beverage list, with countless pairing for before the meal and beyond. For a sophisticated dining experience in beautiful setting like no other, look to Pastorale.
Ashleigh Curran shared this sentiment on Google, “Every time I have experienced beautiful food with a fresh & exciting menu. There is an extensive wine list…. food is well priced for the portion, taste, & quality. I cannot recommend highly enough!”
Nestled within the Townhouse Hotel, The Oakroom Kitchen and Bar pair everyday classic meals with a relaxed and welcoming environment. Their culinary passion comes alive as they combine fresh local ingredients in a way that is truly memorable.
With small plates to share and an assortment of means, this menu is all about seasonal eating in the spirit of fun. Open for dinner Tuesday through to Sunday, bookings are essential.
Peter Griffin said this about this experience on Google, “The food was amazing. Service was excellent. Totally worth visiting for a fine quality meal.”
Local boutique venue, The Charles Dining Room is one of the region’s premier fine dining establishments. With a focus on innovation and flavour integrity, they offer a five or seven course degustation menu and optional wine pairings.
The menu features a range of modern Australian dishes which aptly reflect the seasons and flavours of the region. Their intimate dining space offers an adjacent accommodation beckons diners to enjoy their stay that little bit longer.
As Geoff Cutler says on Google, “Amazing dining experience!!! The 7 courses we had with the matching wines were excellent. The staff were super friendly and so helpful, we could not fault the service… Highly recommended if visiting Wagga Wagga.”
From humble beginnings in 1947, the Wagga RSL has evolved into a contemporary mainstay in the regional foodie scene. Nestled within this beautiful surround is local gem, Henry’s on Goonigul.
Proudly named in honour of the family homestead upon which the RSL now stands, it offers classic everyday dining with a modern twist. Open daily, the team at Henry’s on Goonigul have curated a delightful selection of dishes served across two dedicated menus encompassing breakfast, then lunch and dinner.
Daniel Douglas had this to say on Google, “Great venue. Friendly staff. Great meals. Fresh food. Cold drinks. Fresh hot coffee. Great all-round venue with different areas to sit and watch sports but just to have a chat. Restaurant was amazing and great food high quality”
Your experience with restaurants in Wagga
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the restaurants listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.