When visiting Melbourne, you can't afford to ignore the city's culinary prowess. With the ocean right on Melbourne's doorstep and the fertile backcountry beyond, eating local has been a way of life in Melbourne long before it became a trend elsewhere. Good food is part of the classic Australian lifestyle, and that's as true in Melbourne as it is everywhere else in the country.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Melbourne, and you'll be ready to try some of the excellent food on offer here. Whether you want to stick to the central business district (CBD) or head further afield, you'll find everything from fine dining to the best street food in the city. And don't worry if you have special dietary requirements; you can find delicious food in Melbourne no matter what you like to eat. From the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne to gluten-free options to raw food, Melbourne has it all.
Generations of immigration from around the world have shaped Australia's culinary culture. Therefore, you'll find an incredible variety on the menus of Melbourne, from Italian and Spanish food to Peking duck to traditional fish and chips to fried chicken. One thing all these dishes have in common is that you can find excellent examples of all of them in the restaurants of Melbourne.
Melbourne Food: Fish Dumplings at China Bar
If you're looking for something a little bit different, why not try the fish dumplings at China Bar? These delicate little morsels are filled with fresh fish and vegetables, and they're the perfect way to start your meal. The restaurant also offers an extensive dim sum menu, so you can try a variety of different dishes.
This dish is a classic example of the cultural melting pot that is Melbourne food. This traditional Chinese dish takes advantage of the exceptional seafood caught right off the coast of Melbourne to create something truly special in the city. Fish dumplings have become a Melbourne institution and are a great food item to kick off your culinary exploration of the city.
Melbourne Food: Peking Duck at Mr. Wong
Mr. Wong is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne, and the Peking duck is definitely worth trying. The duck is cooked to perfection and served with all the traditional accompaniments, including pancakes, hoisin sauce, and spring onions. It's a dish that's sure to satisfy your appetite.
Of course, Peking duck has its origins in China. Although it's named after the city of Beijing, formally known as Peking, this roasted duck dish actually comes from the former imperial capital of Nanjing. But this dish has firmly taken root around the world, including in this Melbourne neighborhood, so treat yourself to the food of emperors while you explore the city.
Melbourne Food: Vegetarian Pizza at DOC
DOC is a popular Italian restaurant in Melbourne, and the vegetarian pizza here is definitely always a hit. The pizza is made with fresh ingredients and topped with a variety of vegetables, including eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms. It's a delicious way to get your veggies while enjoying some of the best pizza in the city.
This particular dish highlights the incredible diversity of food on offer in Melbourne. While the city has its fair share of excellent Italian restaurants, you'll also find an impressive selection of vegetarian-friendly options. So whether you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian, you'll be able to find something to suit your taste in Melbourne.
Melbourne Food: Smoked Salmon at Café Vue
Café Vue is one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne, and the smoked salmon is a must-try. The salmon is served with a side of salad and a glass of white wine, making it the perfect light meal.
There's nothing like a fresh-caught Australian salmon that's then smoked and paired with simple sides. It makes for a reliably good meal that's both fresh and tasty. Add in a French twist, and you'll see why foodies from all over the area recommend the smoked salmon from Café Vue!
Melbourne Food: Salt-and-Pepper Calamari
This classic Melbourne dish is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine for a simple snack or an ideal appetizer. The calamari is battered, fried to perfection, and dusted with (as you might have already guessed) salt and pepper. Often served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce for dipping, it's a delicious way to enjoy the incredible seafood of the area and sample a dish that's truly Melbourne.
This calamari should give you an indication of how good the seafood is in general here. You don't need fancy cooking methods or elaborate seasonings to have a delightfully tasty meal when the base ingredients are this fresh and flavorful. Stop by Hunky Dory Fish & Chips in South Melbourne for some of the best salt-and-pepper calamari in town
Melbourne Food: Chocolate Brownie at Mörk Chocolate Brew House
Mörk Chocolate Brew House is one of the best places in Melbourne for dessert, and the chocolate brownie is definitely a menu highlight. The brownie is made with fresh, local ingredients and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal.
If a brownie doesn't tempt you, try some of their single-origin hot chocolate or a truffle or two for a different kind of chocolate overload.
Melbourne Food: New England Lobster Roll
You might not expect to find this classic Eastern US treat all the way on the other side of the world in Australia. But thanks to the abundant seafood in the waters of Melbourne, you can enjoy a delicious lobster roll right here in the city. The lobster is served with a mayo-based dressing, celery, and onion on a toasted brioche bun.
The New England lobster roll is a classic street food choice in Melbourne and the perfect food to eat while you're out exploring. You can pick up a great version from many of the food trucks throughout the city, you may also find a variation on this humble dish at some of the fine dining restaurants in the city, where a deconstructed version may show up on a tasting menu or two. Wherever you choose to eat it, this is a delicious way to enjoy the exceptional seafood available in the city.
Melbourne Food: Meat Pies
Meat pies are a classic Australian food that you simply have to try while you're in the country. The quintessential pub food, meat pies are probably the best food to eat while watching a rugby game or some Aussie rules football. And this is one of those types of food that's almost better from cheap dives than it is from somewhere fancy. The key to a great meat pie is in the gravy, which should be thick and flavorful.
Meat pies have their origins in British cuisine, but Australians soon adopted this traditional treat that made it the perfect thing to eat for factory workers and other laborers. Nowadays, pie is an essential part of Australian culture, and you'll find an astonishing variety of pies available. Whether you want classic beef, kangaroo, or vegetarian fillings, you'll find them at food trucks, pubs, and restaurants throughout the city. So don't miss out on this delicious local treat while you explore Melbourne.
Melbourne Food: Pavlova
Pavlova is a classic Australian dessert that consists of a meringue base topped with fresh fruit and cream. It's light, refreshing, and perfect for summer. While it's traditionally made with strawberries, you'll often find pavlovas topped with other seasonal fruits like kiwi, mango, and passionfruit.
Pavlova is a must-try when you're in Australia, and Melbourne is the perfect place to sample this delicious dessert. Whether you enjoy it at a restaurant or make it yourself, you'll be sure to find a pavlova that suits your taste. So don't forget about this Australian classic while you're on your Melbourne trip!
Melbourne Food: Xiao Long Bao
Another in the long line of Chinese dishes that have made a big impression in Melbourne, xiao long bao are small soup dumplings that are steamed and served in a bamboo basket. The dumplings are usually filled with pork, but you'll also find vegetarian versions made with mushrooms or vegetables.
These little soup dumplings are the perfect winter comfort food, and they're widely available throughout Melbourne. Whether you pick them up from a street vendor or sit down to enjoy them in a restaurant, make sure to add xiao long bao to your list of things to eat in Melbourne.
Melbourne Food: Italian Food
Like much of Australia, Melbourne has seen a lot of Italian immigration throughout its history, and wherever you find Italians, you'll find Italian food. From spaghetti Bolognese to chicken Parma, there are plenty of Italian classics to choose from.
Of course, you'll find the best Italian food in Melbourne's Little Italy district, where you can enjoy a plate of pasta or a slice of pizza while listening to live music and watching the world go by. But you'll also find excellent Italian food throughout the city, so if you're hankering for pasta and tomato sauce, don't miss out on this delicious cuisine while you're in town. You'll even find a former winner of the world pizza championships in Melbourne. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the city's unique take on the flavors and recipes of Italy with some classic comfort food with an Australian twist.
Melbourne Food: Mexican Food
It's a long way from Mexico to Australia, but good food knows no boundaries. Mexican food has become increasingly popular in Melbourne in recent years, and you'll find some excellent tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas throughout the city.
If you're looking for a quick meal on the go, there are plenty of food trucks serving up delicious Mexican fare. But if you want to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal, there are also some great restaurants serving up authentic Mexican cuisine as well. Make sure this crowd-pleasing cuisine makes your Melbourne food list.
Melbourne Food: Cheeseburgers
Cheeseburgers may be an American invention, but trust the creative minds of Melbourne chefs to take this humble foodstuff to another level. Cheeseburgers are as popular in the city as they are around the world, and the burgers available here cover a wide range from cheap eats from late-night food trucks all the way to gourmet creations in a glamorous rooftop bar or in the best restaurants in the city. Few things go better on a burger than melted cheese, but look for more creative toppings like fried eggs, avocado, deep-fried calamari rings, and other variations. With so many delicious options to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect cheeseburger for you in Melbourne.
Melbourne Food: Seafood
Melbourne is a coastal city, so it's no surprise that seafood features prominently in the local cuisine. From fresh oysters to grilled fish, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the bounty of the sea.
You'll find some of the best seafood in town at one of Melbourne's many seafood markets. Here you can buy fresh fish and shellfish to cook at home, or enjoy a meal at one of the market's restaurants or cafes. If you're looking for a truly unique culinary experience, don't miss the chance to try abalone, a local delicacy that is harvested from the wild and typically grilled or baked.
No matter what your taste, you're sure to find some delicious seafood to enjoy while you're in Melbourne. So make sure to add it to your list of things to eat in the city.
The range of food available in Melbourne is simply stunning. Whatever you like to eat, you'll be able to find it here, and probably in astonishing quality, too. And don't worry about heading home with some extra pounds after all this eating. Check out the best hikes in Melbourne to burn off those unwanted calories so you can keep eating your way through the city.
Melbourne's food culture is as vibrant as any in the country. So drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and get ready to sample the flavors of this great coastal city.