Foodies in Melbourne face a unique struggle; “Where do you dine when there’s such a multitude of options available?”
There’s a new cafe every week, a happening bar every month, and the amount of food trucks and non-traditional dining options grows daily. With these increased options, how does the owner of a discerning palate choose where to get a top-quality meal?
Fear not, food-loving friends! Here’s your cheat sheet on how to eat like a foodie across some of Melbourne’s hidden gems.
South O’ The River
When you’ve spent too long enjoying all of Chapel Street’s offerings, and would rather eat from home (but as a true foodie, you still demand top-quality pizza and pasta), try Chatty Vespa Windsor pizza. With a restaurant just off Chapel Street in Prahran, Chatty Vespa slices up the best pizza south of the river, and you can eat it from the comfort of your own home. Deliciously thin and generously topped, you won’t regret your third helping!
If you’re feeling adventurous, then head to Prahran Market. Stalls and shops with delectable morsels vie for your dollars, allowing you to choose-your-own food adventure. Grab some croissants and tarts from Noisette, exotic herbs and spices from The Essential Ingredient, and some freshly roasted beans from Market Lane Coffee.
Image via: http://www.springstreetgrocer.com.au/
North O’ The River
Carlton North is the cooler little sister of Carlton, and its main thoroughfare Rathdowne Street is packed with dining and drinking options worthy of any respectable foodie. Recently opened, Henry Sugar is a bar and restaurant offering sublime flavour pairings (for example, ‘roast pumpkin, sesame and black rice’). Less noisy and contrived than anywhere on nearby Lygon Street, Henry Sugar is a great place to spend a leisurely evening exploring the food and drink menus – the wine list is enormous and the staff are very knowledgeable.
Carolina cafe straddles the border between East Brunswick and Carlton North.
It’s easy to miss; the outside of the cafe is marked with the brandings of its former occupant (a shoemaker). Luckily, the food is definitely not sole-food. Breakfast at Carolina is diverse, full of flavour, and can be enjoyed with an Aperol spritz (most important).
Recommended highlights include the okonomiyaki-style fritters (huge serving size) and the black bean baked eggs (a spicy wake-up call).
Melbourne city centre is teeming with hidden treasures for foodies who like to explore.
With two locations (Little Collins Street, Lonsdale Street) Sakura Kaiten is a high-tech sushi train with a massive selection of foods which you can order either by stealth (swiping your selection from the ever-moving train) or by inputting into an iPad mounted to your table.
Your order is then very quickly delivered by a private, tiny train.
The seared salmon is savoury and succulent, and the sushi is fresh – exactly the qualities a foodie would want and expect from a top-notch Japanese eatery.
Just off Flinders Lane is Laneway Greens, a cafe aimed at the ‘health foodie’ set (#cleaneating).
Laneway Greens has a curated range of salad bowls, with health-giving ingredients like black cabbage and ancient grains. You can also customise the bowls and add extra elements to your liking (extra salmon with my salmon, please). For the truly guilt-free foodie, they also offer freshly pressed juices and smoothies, and kombucha.
If you’re not full after sampling the suggestions on this list, there’s one more option. Dessert.
Stumble to Spring Street Grocer and try one (or ten) of the gourmet gelato flavours on offer at Gelateria Primavera. If you can still button your jeans, then you need to start eating your way through the list again – you’re not a true foodie!