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Top 10 Meals in Melbourne

September 6, 2017

"Omg you're gonna LOVE the food there!" said everyone

 

That's not all there is to Melbourne of course. There're beautiful parks, lovely museums, a bustling literature and arts scene...ok who am I kidding it's definitely the food I was most excited about. So what did I do when I finally got my arse there? Café-hop, caffeine-hop, stuff myself silly with food and drinks, barf (nah I'm just kidding!) then start all over. 

 

How not to when you've got a city that practically nailed the formula for great coffee, food, decor, and ambience? I'm not just talking about their cafés — their restaurants, bars, even food trucks dished out grub that were honestly astonishing. Sure, not everything I had was mindblowingly awesome. The coffee blends for one were mostly a wee too acidic for me, poached eggs were really just, well, poached eggs, and I don't get this avocado toast trend. I really don't.

 

Regardless, I can't deny having enjoyed more than a couple of great meals there. So before my next trip to Melbourne (in a couple of months yay!), here are the most memorable 10 that I think you guys should totally check out. 

 

 

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BELLEVILLE

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Badass Roast Chickens and stellar side dishes

Huge (I do mean huge) free range birds, brined in saltwater for 12hours, then roasted till the skin blisters, browns, and crisps till perfection, Belleville's rotisserie chickens are undeniably the star of the show. If you can get past that gorgeous skin, you'll find the meat inside absurdly juicy and tender, and tasty as hell for sure. But don't just stop at that: their unassuming Belleville Poutine (AUD11.50) is anything but plain jane, and the Kaarage-fried Cauliflower (AUD11) makes an utterly addictive vegetable side.

 

Globe Alley

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

 

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BROWN BAGELS

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Hole in the wall

They're pretty hard to find, and if you do you'd probably see the tiny communal fully packed with a snaking line for takeaways. With just 2 tables for dine-ins, Brown Bagels has earned themselves a steady, loyal CBD crowd with their handrolled bagels and Korean-inspired bagelwiches. The menu's short and sweet, with simple creations that complement the star of the show, their bagels. We really liked The Spicy Chicken (AUD9.90), Korean Beef (AUD9.90), and Salami (AUD9.90). though I have to say their Strawberry Nutella Hazelnut (AUD7.50) is fantastic for those who fancy something a little sweet. 

 

25 Equitable Pl

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

 

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CHIN CHIN

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Not-so-street Thai fare

The fact that their opening hype hasn't died down since 2011 says a lot. Executive chef Benjamin Cooper took inspiration from the streets of Southeast Asia, brought it back to sunny Melbourne and added his own dose of magic to everything. You're looking at stellar dishes like Rendang Curry of Wagyu Beef (AUD27.50), Salad of Shiso & Sesame Prawn Dumplings (AUD28.50), and Thailand's quintessential Sticky Rice (AUD14.50) topped with a slice of Nyonyan tapioca cake. Attention is the name of the game here, with all their garnishes and herbs hand-picked daily to ensure top-notch quality. Prices are quite steep and the queue's madness (count yourself lucky if you get a table within 2 hours), but the food and upbeat vibe's more than worth it.

 

125 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

 

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LUNE CROISSANTERIE

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Best croissants outta France

They do croissants and only croissants, but queues have been forming pre-dawn mind you, with a 30-strong line visible before the doors open at 7.30am. Owner Kate Reid dropped her prestigious job as an aerospace engineer with Formula One to apprentice with the famed Parisian bakery, Du Pain et Des Idées, before returning home to start and run her own croissanterie. Trust me, whether you're one for pastries or not, Lune isn't one to be missed. Go for whatever special they've got on rotation that day (they've had Kaya cruffins, Reuben croissants, and even a Nduja/Pesto/Buffalo Mozzarella number before), the Ham & Gruyere (AUD$8.50), Kouign Amann (AUD$6), or any of their twice-baked croissants, and leave absolutely satisfied and craving for more. You're very welcome.

 

119 Rose St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

 

 

 

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MAMASITA

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Fantabulous Mexican

If you're looking for something fancy and new, this ain't it. The food at Mamasita is fresh and delicious, nothing elaborate but matches seasonal produce with complementary flavours. Every bite's refreshing and well thought-out, whether it be the eight-hour cooked Chicken Mole (AUD28 for half), tacos with handmade tortillas, or the simplest Street-style Corn (AUD5.60). The best thing IMHO? A well stocked tequila bar and super late hours.

 

1/11 Collins St

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

 

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MAMMOTH

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The least Australian Australian café

Or most, depend on how you look at it. No more avocado on toast; instead Mammoth embraces the melting pot of cultures and excellent produce abundant in Melbourne to bring us a menu that's unique, fresh, and imho very much needed. Take this Thai-inspired dish for example: green chilli chicken, chicken fat fried egg, a crusty red rice patty, herb salad, and a handful of earthy fried shallots — the combination of flavours and textures are unlike what you get from most cafés there. If you're looking for something a little lighter, their Breakfast Ramen (AUD23) and Chicken Salad (AUD22) are fantastic too. 

 

736 Malvern Rd 

Armadale VIC 3143

 

 

 

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MR BURGER

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God-sent food truck

I have to be fair: Mr Burger appeared like a rainbow in a thunderstorm. We were grumpy after missing a show at the ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image), starving and needing a quick chow, when we turned the corner and walked straight into Mr Burger. Perhaps that's why they made it to this list. Or maybe it's how insanely delish their Mr Chicken (AUD13) was, or how impressed we were with their Trucker Chips (AUD6.50) that came with a shitload of chunky, meaty bacon and 3 cheese sauce. Guess you'll just have to find out for yourself.

 

Federation Square 

Corner Swanston St & Flinders St

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

 

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NIEUW AMSTERDAM

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Good produce + innovative creations

Of the restaurants I visited, Nieuw Amsterdam struck me as the best embodiment of Australian cuisine's use of seasonal produce. The menu's concise, undeniably New Yorkian (nope it ain't Dutch for sure) yet broken down and reassembled into something entirely new. You like nuggets? They do bite-sized ones of tender, juicy chicken breast, served with housemade pesto and a luscious aioli. You want your roast? Their roast pork comes with an amazing apricot sauce and bitter roasted endives to keep it all fresh. How about a deconstructed mac n' cheese waffle topped with foamy cheese wizz and a quenelle of savoury-sweet bacon jam? Don't knock it till you've tried it, I say. 

 

106-112 Hardware St

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

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PIDAPIPO

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My favourite gelateria 

The use of pozetti tubs is already a hint that they're serious about their frozen treats. Pidapipo churns their gelati in-house daily, focusing on quality ingredients and letting them shine through their light, bright milky base. That means getting their stuff from Italian and local producers such as pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Piedmont, milk from Warnambool, cheese from St Kilda cheesemongers La Formaggeria and honey from a bees nest on the roof, set up by Honey Fingers. Go for their Pistachio, Fior di Latte, or Salted Caramel — or anything else they've got on the board really. And if you're all about the gram, you'll be pleased to know they've got Nutella on tap. Yep you read that right: warm, silky, molten Nutella pumped straight from a tap into your cone. It's the perfect cherry on top. 

 

299 Lygon St

Carlton VIC 3053

 

 

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THE HARDWARE SOCIÉTÉ

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The quintessential Melburnian brunch

Scroll through any guide to eating in Melbourne and chances are Hardware Société will make an appearance. It's a charming little café, with brightly-lit interiors, cozy mismatched chairs, and cute retro tins as cutlery holders, smack in the middle of graffiti-abundant Hardware street. The menu items are deceptively simple and unpretentious, but sometimes that's all you need: hearty fare that will never let you down.

 

120 Hardware St

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

 

Phew that was a mouthful! There are of course plenty of other great spots that aren't mentioned here, and I'm sure I'm nowhere near close to trying all their top spots. If you guys have any suggestions for me to check out this coming November, do leave me note below! 

 

 

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