The Yarra Ranges is abound with restaurants, venues and experiences to offer, but there is one spot you must visit on your trip, Innocent Bystander. We recently visited this incredible venue in the heart of Healesville and to say the team at Innocent Bystander is one of the best is an understatement. If you’re visiting Healesville or planning a trip to the Yarra Ranges, here is why you must check out Innocent Bystander for a bite to eat, a glass of wine or even a sparkling.
Innocent Bystander in Healesville is right in the heat of the action of this incredibly quaint little town. You simply can’t miss it as you drive through the main street of Healesville you’ll find Innocent Bystander right next to Queens Park, the perfect spot to wear out the kids before you sit down for a wine. There is ample parking in the large car park that is shared with neighbouring businesses and both stairs or a ramp to enter Innocent Bystander for any visitors who need an accessible venue.
As you enter Innocent Bystander your eyes are alight at the plentiful products for sale through their takeaway section including their incredible selection of wines. From there you await to be seated in their dining room and absorb what can only be described as an incredibly welcoming environment. The vibe gives relaxed elegance and if you’re travelling in winter, fear not, the venue has very good heating. As we sat and enjoyed the ambience of the venue, we couldn’t help but appreciate the homey feel, and view of wine options as well.
Food and drinks
The Innocent Bystander menu has a lot of choices, but if you’re headed to this Healesville icon you’ll want to get your hands on their incredible pizzas. As a pizza lover, we couldn’t resist trying their Margherita Pizza and we weren’t disappointed. The pizzas have everything you’re looking for with gooey cheese, delicious sauce and the perfect cooked chewy crust. We also ordered the mushroom pizza to share, and it was divine.
One of the best aspects of the Innocent Bystander experience was how accommodating the chefs were with allergies and intolerances. For our little companion, there wasn’t much on the kid’s menu they could have, but the team responded incredibly to provide them with a baguette and some ham to enjoy and rest assured they loved it. It’s rare to find this level of care, but the team at Innocent Bystander have it in spades, so if you have dietary requirements, don’t hesitate to dine at Innocent Bystander.
When it came to drinks we couldn’t look past the Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir, a delightfully refreshing glass of prosecco and the on-tap lager. All of the drinks were obviously delicious, with the clear standout Pinot Noir. Innocent Bystander is known for their wines and offers the full plethora of varietals and makers that the Yarra Ranges has to offer. If you’re driving and can only enjoy a glass, don’t fret as you can grab a bottle to take away with you.
Innocent Bystander team
As fantastic as the venue, food and drink are at Innocent Bystander, arguably their biggest asset is their team. Our experience with the team at Innocent Bystander was nothing short of amazing. From the chefs accommodating allergies in the food to the wait staff helping work through the menu and the known allergens, they were friendly, helpful and caring.
As soon as we entered, the team welcomed us with warmth and helped us get seated with a high chair and promptly explained the menu, drinks and the best bits to try. It’s worth having a chat with the team at Innocent Bystander as they have a wealth of knowledge on the menu, especially the seasonal specials, wines and pairings as well.
If you’re interested, the Innocent Bystander team also runs wine tastings, which can be done as a choose-your-own-adventure or guided. The choose-your-own-adventure wine tasting is only $5 a head, which is redeemable on retail wine and you get to choose 5 wines that the resident wine expert will take you through. Alternatively, if there are more than 10 people and for just $10 a head you can choose a guided wine tasting in the wine lounge. This tasting experience is led by a resident expert and host, with a little more intimacy whilst also being redeemable for retail wines at the end.
It’s safe to say that we loved our experience at Innocent Bystander Healesville, from the food and drinks to the incredible team that works there. This favourite son of Healesville is perfectly situated in town meaning you can easily access it from your accommodation and is surrounded by amenities to make the day enjoyable no matter who you’re travelling with. If you’re headed to Healesville, be sure to add Innocent Bystander to your list of must-visit venues.
It can be hard to find a restaurant that is family-friendly, and it’s even harder when the family has dietary requirements. The team at Innocent Bystander were so accommodating and could not be more proactive with the way they approached our table. We will be back next time we are travelling in Yarra Valley!