Before coming to Australia, I wrongly thought that it would be all kale smoothies, salads and that a healthy diet would be an absolute dream to stick to. After spending two years in America, I didn’t think anywhere could top the nation of burgers, beast meals and binge-eating… Then I arrived in Melbourne.
Although chia seeds and poke bowls are extremely popular in Melbourne, so are calorie filled burgers, crazyshakes and loaded fries – so my clean eating was put on hold for 6 months as I aimed to try as many popular Melbourne spots as my waistline could handle. I’m not a great food photographer, as my greedy ass prefers to dig in as soon as possible rather than faffing around taking pictures – BUT some dishes are just made to be snapped. So, in no particular order, here is my countdown of Melbourne’s must-eats!
1: Can you get anymore Melbourne than brunch and tim tams?! One of my absolute favourite dishes was the delicious tim tam pancakes at the ‘Long Story Short Cafe’ in Brunswick. For $19 you get fluffy pancakes loaded with Tim Tam gelato, vanilla peanuts, crispies, marscapone, chocolate sauce and of course, added tim tams. Not only did it taste delicious, but it curbed my sweet-tooth cravings for months!
2: My ultimate favourite burger spot has to be ‘Rude Boy burger’ – also in Brunswick! I’m a total burger/loaded fries addict – so Rude Boy burger appealed to the fat kid inside (and out) of me immensely. Pictured is the best cheese and bacon fries I’ve ever eaten for only $12.50, and the $15.50 ‘hot chick’ fried chicken burger – laden with melted cheese, jalepenos and Louisiana slaw.
3: Breakfast has never been a dish I’ve really bothered with – normally just grabbing a quick bowl of cornflakes for the sake of it, but since coming to Melbourne I’ve become a total breakfast/brunch addict. Since coming here I’m now 70% human, 30% smashed avo – WHY IS IT SO TASTY?! One of my many favourite brunch spots was the Muharam Cafe in Hawthorn, who at the time of visiting, were serving up every dish for $11 for an entire year, including this ridiculousy delicious smashed avo, chia toast, grilled haloumi, dukkah and a poached egg. Just give me 10 already.
Still on the subject of the crazy delicious menu at ‘Muharam Cafe’ how about these delicious $11 red velvet pancakes with cream cheese, blueberries, strawberries and warm chocolate sauce? Making it acceptable to eat dessert for breakfast every damn day.
4: Another one for those with a sweet-tooth, sugar addiction or the desire to gain 10, 000 lbs in one sitting, is the tastiest crazyshake I’ve ever had. ‘Three One 2 One’ in Richmond served up their $17 ‘kiss me softly’ milkshake filled with cookies, oreos and chocolate icecream. Delicious!
5: Stumbled across this adorable laneway cafe – ‘Chuckle Park’ in the CBD on our second day in Melbourne. Tucked away between the shops is their super cute hideaway, covered in lanterns and flowers and all things adorable. Not to mention their ridiculously good sarnies! Pictured is their simple yet scrumptious $14 meatball wrap.
6: No Melbourne food list is complete without a mention to ‘Son In Law’ in Collingwood full of delicious Thai dishes at extremely cheap prices. Not pictured were the delicious crispy barramundi fillets that I practically inhaled I ate them so fast! So here’s the adorable $12 Hello Kitty fairy floss that accompanied the fruit juice that washed down my meal instead.
And, of course, there’s no way you can go to ‘Son In Law’ without trying their $16 magic ball and crepe cakes, which are so cute looking you almost don’t want to eat them! Well, that’s until you have the first bite and decide that you’re going to demolish them and lick the plate clean because it’s so yummy. I chose Nutella flavour and don’t regret a thing!
7: Because Melbourne’s made it socially acceptable to eat what’s essentially guacamole for breakfast, here’s another ridiculously tasty plate of $22.50 smashed avo with tomato, radish, red chilli, feta, dukkah and a poached egg on linseed toast from South Yarra’s ‘Two Birds One Stone’.
Also from ‘Two Birds One Stone’ is the $18.50 dish that I think is the most picturesque plate I’ve ever seen. Their brioche french toast with fresh banana, chocolate sauce, vanilla anglaise and a macadamia nut praline, was not only beaut to look at but an absolute delight to eat. Even if I did need a stretcher to take me home afterwards.
8: Poutine is definitely a Canadian thing, but Melbourne does it so well! The best chips, cheese and gravy by far is found at ‘Easeys’ and is only $9. They have branches all over Melbourne, but the coolest is definitely the one in Collingwood. Situated in an old train carriage, not only do you an interesting dining experience, but you get the added bonus of beaut views of Melbourne!
9: Another unique dining spot is at ‘Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq’ in Docklands. A bowling alley and arcade bar – eating isn’t their main attraction, but you can’t miss it! Serving up their $16.50 Flying Trapeeze Korean fried chicken in a signature pink bun, with chilli mayo, guac and slaw – so tasty! Their $8 waffle fries are also delicious, just make sure you get a sauce syringe for $2.50, even if it is just for the novelty factor!
10: For another colourful dining experience, check out Rainbow Toastie in the CBD. Apparently a popular Asian snack, making it’s way over to Melbourne to inject some colour into our lives. Unfortunately, their $11 rainbow toastie tasted rank and rubbery so I’d only recommend for the pure Instagram experience. That cheese pull though?!
11: If you prefer your food to be filled with natural colours instead, then head on over to ‘Darling Cafe’ in South Yarra. Their $20.50 breakfast bruschetta includes toast topped with avocado, bacon, broccolini, cherry tomatoes, rocket, feta and a poached egg. You can’t leave without giving one of their signature smoothies a taste, go for the Thomas Edison for $8 – it’s guava, mango and strawberry served in a lightbulb, making your day as bright as it can possibly be!
12: Having a New Yorker as a boyfriend means pizza is always going to be a touchy subject. Unless it’s huge, greasy and laden with cheese – it apparently doesn’t count. After trying endless pizza spots trying to find something that resembles a NY slice – we finally found one that passes the test. ‘Connie’s Pizza’, situated in the Heartbreaker bar in Melbourne’s CBD serves up this delicious half cheese, half pepperoni pizza for $35.
13: Another popular American fast food is of course hot dogs. If you’re down Chapel Street in Prahran, definitely stop off at ‘Massive Weiners’, even if it’s just to make childish jokes the entire time like I did! Their classic 12″ massive wiener is $8, but if you can’t handle that, give their 3″ little pecker a nibble instead. Their disco fries are also pretty tasty, but no sexual innuendos can be made about that, so I’ll move on.
14: For some of the tastiest ice-cream in the CBD, head over to ‘Milkcow’. We debated trying their watermelon ice-cream served in between actual watermelon slices, but decided in the end to go for the basic yet tasty $7 Caramel pop – soft vanilla ice cream served with sugar-glazed almonds, pecans and popcorn with caramel syrup.
15: Also serving up sweet-toothed goodness was ‘Hash Specialty Coffee’ also in the CBD with their $7 dark hot chocolate served with fairy floss. They also do insanely good breakfast and lunch food – I’d highly recommend the $20 baked eggs with chorizo and jalapenos which were absolutely to die for!
16: For the most romantic fried chicken by candlelight experience you’ll ever ask for, go to ‘Sonnys’ in Carlton. Their hot sauce is crazy tasty, their $13 crispy chicken burgers are perfect and their $6 mash and gravy is better than anywhere else we’ve eaten!
17: Another unbeatable burger spot is ‘Fat Jaks’ in St Kilda. For a soda addict like me, their unlimited refill drinks for $4 was a huge incentive to visit, but their $17 Los Pollos Hermanos burger with fried chicken, hashbrown, cheese, bacon and signature fat jak spread was delicious to the point we revisited at least 3 times!
18: For the more health-conscious, that don’t want to binge on burgers all the time like I do, then ‘Little Colin’ in the CBD is the perfect lunch spot for you. They have a great array of salads, soups and smoothies at a super cheap price. Pictured was their $9 half soup, half salad deal – with a roasted carrot, spinach, pistachio, rocket salad and a Thai broccoli soup. Need the recipe in my life immediately!
19: Back to the junk food though, ‘Mistys Diner’ in Reservoir is the ultimate American diner experience. Jukeboxes litter the tables and a variety of USA snacks are lined up and ready to buy. Their $5.99 curly fries and $15.99 ranch and bacon burger were beaut. It’s definitely one of the more expensive spots we’ve been – but for the diner vibe, I loved it!
20: Last but not least, and not even technically in Melbourne but it was too delicious to leave off the list was ‘The Tamper Trap’ in Brighton. Their $18 cheesy croquettes benedict featured poached eggs, bacon, chorizo, hollandaise sauce and of course, cheesey croquettes instead of toast. It was so good and definitely worth the trip down to the beach for it!
So that’s my top 20 Melbourne must eat’s! There’s a lot more that didn’t make the final 20 – mainly because I scoffed them so quick I barely saw the food on my plate, let alone a camera! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard and go buy some more stretchy clothes…