The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne is nowhere more contentious than when it comes to which city has the best food scene. While Sydney may have the edge when it comes to high end dining, Melbourne’s eclectic, imaginative food and unpretentious restaurants makes it the winner.
Food is to Melbourne as theatre is to New York City. If you want to experience the best of Australia’s cuisine, pack up and head to this coastal capital of Victoria. There’s a lot to see in Melbourne, but there’s also a lot to taste! Don’t miss out on one of Melbourne’s strongest points. You’ll find an enticing array of restaurants, bars, trucks and food tours to tempt your taste buds. Where should you start? Read on to discover the best of Melbourne’s food scene and the ways you can experience it!
Start the day off right with a delicious taste of Melbourne’s breakfast offerings! There are a lot of places to get your eggs and bacon, but some stand out above the rest. The Hardware Societe sounds like a place to buy a hammer, but it’s actually a great place to find delicious bacon and toast. The rustic interior and chic design add to the charm of the restaurant. Along the same naming trend but with a different menu is Grain Store, where you can enjoy an industrial atmosphere while biting into some of your home-cooked favorites.
Second breakfast is a real thing—haven’t you ever seen Lord of the Rings? With so much to choose from in Melbourne, you can’t help but go out for brunch. Maybe right after breakfast. Who cares, we won’t tell anyone! Top Paddock is a wonderful place to start with, thanks to its top-notch menu with fresh, healthy options and its ever-changing list of specials. Auction Rooms has a fun menu, with slightly unconventional ingredients like asparagus and rhubarb. Yum! Yes, please.
With the myriad of lunch options in Melbourne, it can be hard to decide where to go. Burgers are always a crowd-pleaser, and if you’re craving one, you can head over to Mr Burger for a creative sandwich packed full of delicious ingredients. You can stop by the retro restaurant or hit up any of the food trucks around the city. For something a bit healthier, head to Taxi Kitchen. At Taxi Kitchen, you’ll find modern dining with huge windows that overlook the city. You can’t beat a meal with a view.
In case you get the munchies in between lunch and dinner, Melbourne has you covered. Don’t settle for something packaged from the vending machine when you have so many yummy options around you! Wonderbao has a variety of delicious mini-meals for under $5, like duck pork bao. Even cheaper, 5 & Dime sells the most delicious bagels for $2 each. You can also add a variety of delicious toppings, including fresh local jam.
When dinnertime rolls around, Melbourne offers a smorgasbord of delightful options. There are restaurants from every corner of the world: Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, and, of course, good old Australian grills. Narrowing down the food genre is almost as hard as selecting an individual restaurant! For Middle Eastern, eat exquisitely at Maha. If it’s Greek you’re after, you can’t miss The Press Club, chef George Calombaris’ flagship restaurant. As far as Chinese goes, you can’t beat Flower Drum Restaurant, a fine Cantonese place with Asian art adorning the walls. For a taste of Australia’s own cuisine, head to Rockpool Bar and Grill, where you’ll find modern local delights.
When you’re looking forward to a night on the town, why not start with a stop for tapas? MoVida (and its second location, MoVida Aqui) is a Spanish tapas bar with a hip, grungy feel. For something delightfully elegant, visit Portello Rosso, a place to find delicious evening snacks and cool company. The balcony tables are good for date night, while the long bar is an excellent place to make new friends.
A night out in Melbourne can only end at a bar, of course. You’ll find some very classy ones, too! One favorite is Pastuso, a classy Peruvian bar where you can get ceviche and cocktails. For a touch of fun, head to 1806 Bar, which has a menu arranged by historical era. If you really want to get into it, why not dress period-correct? Another old-fashioned adventure is The Everleigh Melbourne, which is a wonderful little bar for dates.
If you happen to get a case of the munchies before hitting the hay, stop at a late-night bar or restaurant for a midnight (or 2 AM, whatever) snack. One great choice is the Melbourne Supper Club, where you can get oysters in the shell paired with wine, among other delicacies. Or, opt for Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant for standard Asian fare until 2:30 in the morning.
Just in case all those good meals aren’t satisfying your inner foodie, try the ultimate Melbourne food experience with a food tour! Melbourne Food Experiences offers a variety of tours, from market tours to restaurant tours to even a late-night bar tour. Find all the hidden gems that you’d otherwise miss! You can also go on a foodie adventure with Hidden Secrets Tours, a company that explores the best of local Melbourne.
You can’t possibly understand the gastronomic culture of Melbourne until you understand its various ethnic neighborhoods. Like anywhere else, the most exciting part of touring ethnic areas in Melbourne is the food! You can find Italian districts, Chinatown, Greek and Indian streets, as well as Malay, Vietnamese, Filipino, Bosnian, and Turkish corners of Melbourne. Each of these areas boasts its own distinctive cuisine. You can’t miss checking out at least a few of these while you’re in the city! Your taste buds will thank you.
This is just a “taste” of the incredible food culture you can find in Melbourne! For those who love the tasty side of traveling, Melbourne is a must. Don’t miss out on the fantastic dining experiences you can have in this city! There are a lot of things you can do in Australia, but dining in Melbourne is a definitely near the top of the list.