While Sydney might be the cultural hub of Australia, Melbourne is definitely the gourmet capital—from hearty street food to delicate restaurant meals, this is the destination every foodie can appreciate. There’s no such thing as uninspiring dishes and boring food made out of subpar ingredients, and if you’re looking for a good culinary adventure, here you can find it at practically every corner.
Since Melbourne does offer plenty of cultural sights and entertaining events, the fact that the whole city takes so much joy in food makes it a great vacation spot. Are you eager to find out what kind of things you can taste and what are some of the best dishes to try? Then take a look at our handy little guide and start planning your trip to Australia!
Possibly one of the best things about Melbourne is that you can get pretty much anything you can think of. In the mood for some spicy Chinese pork? Cheesy Italian pasta? Fragrant Mexican chili? Done! While there are plenty of restaurants that make national dishes, there are even more places that embrace the diversity of the populace and you can see multiculturalism at its finest when you start walking down the streets and seeing all the different food joints. The Melbourne Chinatown is one of the oldest outside Asia, so you’ll have access to everything from steamed dumplings to hot Chow Mein served in big bowls. Greek and Italian food is also very popular, and this city hosts one of the biggest Greek communities and some of the best souvlaki dishes you can try. Given that about 40% of the population in Melbourne was born overseas, it’s no wonder that there are so many cultures to enjoy.
For a tourist who’s eager to try authentic meals from places all over the globe, it’s good to know that one city can actually give you the opportunity to do just that. Most of the ethnic restaurants are held by ethnic families themselves, so you’ll not only be getting a taste of the distant lands, but getting it all with an Australian twist on it!
Catering to all your needs
Another thing that’s definitely worth trying is Australian catering. Strangely enough, one of the best ways to enjoy a gourmet adventure is also the easiest one—from the comfort of whichever place you choose. Hosting parties is very popular, and professional catering is one of the most efficient ways to ensure a resounding success. The catering services are exceptionally good, so if you’re looking to make a party and impress your guests, you can do it this way. Having your own private chef arrange every detail to delicious perfection makes for a very fun experience, so if you’re not sure where to go and what to try first, start with this.
Restaurants with a heart
If you like dining out, Australia does offer plenty of options. One of their most famous restaurants is Matilda, which can be found in South Yarra and it offers an exceptional experience due to its diverse menu with plenty of eclectic Aussie ingredients.
If you want something hearty and welcoming, then turn to the Warrandyte suburbs, where you can find plenty of diners and wineries that can inspire even the most long-serving of foodies. One of the most famous Warrandyte restaurants is called Olivigna, and there you can enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and taste some of the best wines around. They even grow fresh produce on their own estate—seriously, when you get there you’ll get a view of their big garden and their vineyards!
Other great restaurants include Stokehouse, Marion, and Attica, so pick the one that’s calling your name and go get your fill.
While in Italy you might be mocked for ordering a cappuccino after lunch or drinking red wine with seafood, here there are no rules. It’s not just about breaking old traditions for the sake of entertainment, though—most chefs are actually looking to simply push boundaries and try new things that never crossed our mind before. From pizzerias on the Lygon Street that utilize Parmesan in incredible new ways, to restaurants such as Mr. Myagi that combine traditional Japanese dishes with Mexican and Middle Eastern elements to bring on an explosion of taste.
If you want to challenge your palette and if you’re a true foodie at heart, you’ll be quite happy here.
Quick and easy street food
Of course, it’s not all groundbreaking innovations and a strange mix of tastes. Melbourne street food is rather simple and incredibly delicious, so if you’re in the mood for something hearty and straightforward, turn to La Romana, Taco Truck, and the South Melbourne Market where you can find really good seafood sandwiches at a great price. If you’re in the mood for something a little more unique you can try Taiwanese or Korean street food—basically, anything you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to grab here.
Cafes and baked goodies
Cafes are yet another thing you simply must visit if you truly wish to immerse yourself in the Melbourne food scene. The coffee is strong, the pastries served with it are sweet, and anyone who decides to spend a lazy afternoon in one of these establishments can enjoy the sheer decadence of the experience. Sip on a hot espresso in Pellegrini’s as you gaze at the bustle of Bourke Street and smell the buttery croissants from a bakery on the corner—take the time to be a true hedonist.
It’s time to enjoy everything that Melbourne has to offer. If you’re a foodie or simply someone who’s looking to enjoy a well-rounded vacation in a city that’s vibrant with life, head here and you won’t regret it.
About the author:
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.