Top 6 Foodie Experiences in Melbourne
With nearly 2,500 restaurants and cafes within the city of Melbourne’s boundaries alone, there’s a mind-boggling amount of choices when it comes to satisfying those hunger pangs or seeking a gourmand night out in Melbourne.
So, with all these options, where to start? I always enjoy tips from locals when I’m traveling, so as a local, I’ve put together six of my bucket list foodie experiences you must do in Melbourne. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a great start if you only have a short time to explore – happy eating!
The Perfect Pastry: A Lune Croissant – Lune
Be prepared to line-up to get your hands on one of these perfectly formed and shimmering little golden treasures. Created in a climate-controlled lab, Lune croissants are the brainchild of an ex-Formula 1 aerodynamicist. The result is an almost mathematically perfect, golden croissant, crisp on the outside, and moist and buttery on the inside. From sweet apricot or chocolate to ham and cheese, or just the traditional plain swirl, you won’t be disappointed.
Local tip: Get there early, as they are known to run out daily; be prepared to pay double digits.
Hidden Secret: Vegemite Curry – Sunda
Sunda is a relatively recent addition to the Melbourne dining scene. A blend of modern southeast Asian cuisine combined with native Australian ingredients. The hidden secret is the locally famous vegemite curry. Dense with flavor, ultra-smooth and creamy with hints of kaffir lime, curry oil and that iconic salty, yeasty vegemite backbone. It’s served as a dip with a swirl of hot, flaky, buttery roti.
Local tip: make an early booking as it’s a limited, off-menu item. Make sure to ask for it!
Drool-Worthy Italian: Three-Course Degustation – Tipo 00
Melbourne has a strong Italian heritage, so there are plenty of incredible restaurants to try, but my favorite is the subtly classy Tipo 00. The three-course degustation for two is a great value. You’ll share a selection of delicious entrees, pasta, and desserts – make sure they include the salty black, squid ink tagliolini. Grab a seat at the bar, watch the chefs in action, and trust your knowledgeable server’s recommendations on a wine match.
Local tip: Tipo can be booked months in advance, but if you are up for a very late lunch or very early dinner, you might be able to get in.
Go Native: Sharing Platter – Charcoal Lane
If you want to try authentic modern Australian native cuisine, head to Charcoal Lane. With a menu packed with unique and local Australian foods with flavors, I guarantee you’ve never tried something like it. The best way to start is to share the Chef’s Native Tasting Plate. It contains a delicious variety of native produce sourced from around Australia; your taste buds will be amazed by the explosion of new flavors, textures, and tastes.
Local tip: You’ll not only enjoy a memorable meal here, but as this is a social enterprise restaurant, you’re also supporting young Aboriginal people learn new skills and forge a career path.
One For the Veggies: Slow-Cooked Dahl – Daughter in Law
Welcome to the world of “unauthentic Australian Indian cuisine.” From modern takes on traditional street food to naan pizzas and rich curries, there’s plenty of mouth-watering dishes to delight any vegetarian (or meat-eater for that matter). But the absolute highlight is the rich and creamy, slow-cooked, black lentil dahl. “The Aunty Dahl” is no ordinary dahl. This little gem takes five days of soaking and simmering on the tandoor to produce the darkest, rich, and silky dahl you’ll ever experience.
Local tip: Don’t miss trying the “balls of happiness.” These are delicately crunchy on the outside and filled with a tangy blend of mint, tamarind, and yogurt liquor on the inside.
Once in a Lifetime: Degustation – Attica
A Melbourne restaurant that regularly features in the world’s top restaurants is worth the visit if you can get a reservation. By their own token, Attica loves “beautiful, rare, and unique ingredients.” Beyond the food, the entire Attica journey is an experience. From the sleek, dark, and elegantly sexy dining room with meticulously selected plateware and exceptional service, Attica is a delight for all the senses. With a focus on local and sustainably-sourced produce, native ingredients are heroes of each of the 15 courses you’ll enjoy on this antipodean culinary journey. Attica is a truly memorable dining experience.
Local tip: Although generally booked out months in advance, it’s worth joining the waiting list as vacancies do pop up from time to time.