I’ve got a real treat for all of you food fanatics out there. My old friend Anthony from Art of Conversations has become something of an expert when it comes to all things Melbourne and recently asked if I’d like an entry or two on the subject. How could I say no to an offer like that?
The first of these posts is presented below. Like myself, Anthony appreciates good food and here he runs down some of his votes for the best food in Melbourne.
Enough from me. Bring on the foodgasms!
I’m Anthony, a 27-year-old sales trainer, author at Art of Conversations, and guest blogger here at Aussie On The Road (thanks Chris). I spend a fair amount of my time on the road and interstate so I thought I might share with you some of my favourite spots in my second home – Melbourne.
I’m going to start with my all time favourite. Hidden in a small alley in Chinatown, this dumpling house is the bomb. A wide selection of vegetable, meat, and seafood dumplings which arrive moments after you order them. You can easily chow down on thirty dumplings with a beer for under $20.
Another hidden gem at the end of Collins Street, this Mexican restaurant is in high demand. No pre-bookings are allowed and on a quiet night you can still expect a thirty minute wait to take your seat. The menu puts a modern twist on classic recipes which include a sensational chicken and pineapple soft shell taco.
Established in 1961, Toto’s claim to be Australia’s first pizzeria. Toto’s is one of the first restaurants you will meet when you hit Melbourne’s food capital of Lygon Street. An Italian greeting, patrons from the old country, and classic decor might convince you that you’re actually in Italy. It is easy to see why this pizzeria has survived for 50 years in Melbourne’s ultra competitive food scene.
Lord of the Fries
Australia does not have a big street food culture, however Lord of the Fries breaks the mould. A twist on the classic book title sets an accurate expectation – the best french fries. Your fries are served in a paper cone with an option of over 15 sauces and toppings which are taken from all over the world. The most popular choice would be fries with spaghetti and bolognaise. There are two outlets conveniently placed at opposite entries to Flinders Street Station.
This delightful cafe instantly catches your eye with bags of oranges hanging around the door and pineapples holding the specials on each table. Based on Elizabeth Street opposite Myers, this cafe focuses on great fruit and vegetable juices rather than the millions of coffee focused cafes that exist in Melbourne. An average breakfast will cost you $15 for a tall exotic juice, breakfast, and a cup of coffee or tea.
Fresh produce mixed with Melbourne”s melting pot of ethnic backgrounds can only mean one thing: great home-made food! The most popular item at the markets is the Borak, which is like Turkish bread with a filling of your choice such as spicy lamb, potato, or a spinach and Ricotta mix for only $2.50. There are also plenty of organic teas and coffees, flavoured nuts, local beers and wines, and delicatessens where you can create your own antipasto. The Queen Victoria Markets are a must if you’re searching for the best food in Melbourne.
Often the best food in Melbourne can be found hidden away from the main streets of the CBD. Normally I would not be lured into a dark cobble-stone alley, however the flamboyant and artistic street art of Melbourne does put your nerves at ease. One of the great hidden cafes in the city is Cafe Segovia. Open from the early morning for breakfast and up until really late for coffee or hot chocolate – it’s a perfect place to escape the cold Melbourne weather. With ample seating, a large menu catering for all types (I’m a picky vegetarian during the weekdays), and plenty of waiters on hand Cafe Segovia captures a little slice of Italy without the expensive intercontinental flight.
Get out and eat!
Melbourne is the great food capital of Australia and while it would be easy to continue writing about my favourite spots to eat, I will keep the spirit of adventure open for you to also discover your own.
Did I miss any of your personal favourites? Got any recommendations you’d like to share? Where do you think the best food in Melbourne can be found? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Anthony will also be providing a second guest post about must see tourist sites in Melbourne real soon. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to head over to Art of Conversations for some really inspiring reading.