Melbourne’s unique mix of immigrants from Europe, Asia, and in more recent years, the Middle East and Africa has meant the cuisine has become an incredibly interesting melting pot of different cultures. Blended with Melbourne’s central and farmer’s markets, you can really get a diverse and fascinating mixture of foods and tastes when you visit the city. If you’re planning a trip into Melbourne, here are a few things to tick off your foodie bucket list.
Sink Your Teeth into a Juicy Steak
Melbourne’s meat is flavoursome and is raised to the best slow- grown methods due to excellent farming conditions. If a tender steak is on your mind, you have plenty of choice in and around the city from grills and pubs to fine dining. From Angus And Bon 1940s New York-style steakhouse to The Meat & Wine Co which takes inspiration from its South African roots, there’s tonnes of different twists and themes and something for all budgets. If you fancy firing up the grill and cooking a steak or burgers yourself, how about visiting one of Melbourne’s prize winning butchers?
Enjoy Some Sumptuous Seafood
There’s an abundance of seafood in many forms in Melbourne, so if you’re after some delectable treats fresh from the sea then you won’t be disappointed. From wholesale fresh fish markets if you want to cook up a storm yourself to many, many kinds of fish restaurants. Lobster Cave in Beaumaris Victoria for example serves elegant surf and turf, and on the flip side you have Seafood Station serving hearty yet rustic fare that scores the establishment fantastic reviews time and time again. Whether you’re enjoying oysters with your partner or going fly fishing for trout with your pals, Australian waters offer lots of opportunities for enjoying tasty seafood. And it’s something that Melbourne has really made the most of.
Visit Mornington Peninsula
Just an hour from Melbourne it’s well worth visiting Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, this is an impressive foodie scene drawing in people from all over the world. According to Brother’s Kitchen it’s an amazing experience for your tastebuds and not one to be missed if you’re in and around Melbourne. An abundance of fresh seafood from the ocean and fresh produce from rich, red fertile farmland means as far as quality ingredients go they’re the best you will find anywhere. You’ll find market gardens,farmers markets, artisan food producers, passionate winemakers and so much more. The area has attracted top food and drink producers and chefs from all over the world, who have come seeking a beautiful, natural lifestyle with access to the best ingredients. There’s an incredible food and wine festival hosted here, but all year round you can find spectacular seasonal menus at the various food establishments. It doesn’t really get much better than that!
Attend ‘The World’s Longest Lunch’
The World’s Longest Lunch’ is another fun Melbourne food event, where you can escape the city for a long, luxurious lunch among the vineyards, coastlines, plains, parks and riverbanks of Victoria. You can book in at one of the many food establishments, how about a Feast with local farmers and chef Matt Wilkinson at Scrub Hill, or tantalising food amid the foothills and historic farm gardens at Rennies, Acheron Gallery. Starting in just a few days, if you’re near the city then be sure to join in with the early autumn cheer.
Treat Yourself to some Fine Dining
Are you in Melbourne for a special occasion? Perhaps you’ve flown or driven in to do some birthday shopping, or to treat your partner on your anniversary? If so, it makes sense to push the boat out and go with something a little fancy. The Bay Tree Restaurant for champagne breakfasts, cocktails and European/Asian fusion food could be a good option. For late night dining, how about Amalfi White? Do your research, and make your choice based on the cuisine you want to try and your budget.
Try Some Cheap Eats
Melbourne might be brimming with fine dining and fancy cuisine, but you don’t need to book a table in a five star establishment to enjoy the delights that Melbourne has to offer. If you’re backpacking or just on more of a budget then no need to fear, there are so many places that you can still enjoy! From luxe kebabs with meats, falafel, tasty breads and veggies at Biggie Smalls kebabs to Kaprica serving traditional pizza, you’ll easily have change from a $20. The numerous markets are home to hundreds of street food stalls for cheap yet tasty meals, so when you’re shopping for ingredients you could sample what kinds of things the professionals do with them! There are crab shacks, Moroccan soup bars, bakeries, delis and much more- so if you want an inexpensive breakfast, lunch or dinner you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Check Out the Lanes and Alleyways
Because Melbourne is a fairly new city, it was planned in an orderly way and didn’t grow organically. What this means is that the business district forms a neat grid, but many of the food establishments have trickled into the interesting lanes and alleyways of the city. Browsing through these little streets is one of the delights of visiting Melbourne, and you can find breakfast venues, tiny food stores, snack bars and cafes, specialty high end restaurants, bars and clubs and much more. These lanes can be considered as Melbourne’s ‘gastronomic underbelly’- well worth checking out while you’re on your trip.
Regardless of your tastes and budget, there really is something for everyone when it comes to food in Melbourne. Whether tasty food is just an added bonus or your sole purpose for visiting, you won’t be left disappointed. High quality ingredients, some of the world’s best chefs and producers of food and drink and a stunning atmosphere mean great cuisine can be enjoyed by all.
Will you be visiting Melbourne this year? What places or restaurants in the city are on your bucket list?