Melbourne, a city where modern architecture towers over historic buildings, joining the past and the present with brick walls and automated doors. With a population of 4.85 million, the city is a dynamic melting pot of global cultures and cuisines. Known for its diversity of food and drink, the city offers a hungry traveller endless choice of food to satiate their taste buds.
Start your day with a wholesome breakfast or brunch at the Flovie florist café. Decorated with hundreds of flower bouquets, for a pretty sight and a hopeful sale, this cafe is situated in Queensberry, Carlton. Petite yellow lights, a nude colour scheme and a collection of mirrors make this place picturesque and Instagram ready. The menu offers strong cups of coffee and food options like fettuccine bolognese, made with minced beef, tomato sauce and topped with parmesan cheese and spicy chorizo egg scramble with aioli yoghurt, chipotle raisin relish and parmesan.
If you’re looking for something light, a summer salad or smashed avocado on toast can be a choice too. Say, ornate flowers aren’t a selling point for you, walk towards Queen victoria market and into a small cafe called Invita. Nestled right outside the entrance of the market, this cafe offers outdoor seating and a view of a hustling crowd. You can grab a simple avocado on toast or get fancy with a sauteed mushroom platter that is loaded with poached eggs, hash browns, hollandaise, beetroot babaganoush and Turkish bread. Don’t forget a huge cuppa joe to sip on the side and power you through the rest of the day.
After a delicious, fulfilling breakfast/brunch, head out to explore the Queen victoria market in its entirety with endless shopping choices. If in need of a cooling break, stop by a small Italian gelato stall called Everest, beside Romeo’s takeaway store. Indulge in artisan gelato flavours like orange ricotta, strawberry, pistachio and lemon to name a few. This place also offers some great gluten-free, dairy free and vegan options for anyone looking, and great conversation and a smile from the server are complementary! Post a tiring shopping spree, you can grab a quick bite at Café Verona. A short walk from the market, this Italian cafe on 77 Victoria street offers authentic Italian pizzas such as ham, mushroom and olives, sweet silican doughnuts and dense,creamy ricotta cheesecakes. If in the mood for a second meal post brunch, a plate-full of meatballs in tomato sauce on rice is an option too.
Post a day off new adventures, head to The Emerald Peacock to grab a drink or two. With an open terrace overlooking the city, this beautiful little rooftop bar is great place to unwind. Grab a seat and treat yourself to a pretty cocktail or two while the wind flirts with your hair and your favourite tunes play in the background. But, if rooftop bars aren’t your thing, you can make your way to a bar named House of correction. A hidden gem, this tiny bar is nestled away on the second floor of Denyers building on 264 Swanston street. Staying true to its name, the walls are plastered with mugshots of well-known celebrities, while huge open windows and dull yellow lights do its name absolute justice. Let your crime be gulping down a few beers or cocktails while you make yourself comfortable on their bulky sofa seats.
If you start feeling peckish post all the drinking, head out to dinner in your best attire. Look for a for a fancy seafood place and make your way to Claypots Barbarossa on 79 Hardware lane. The restaurant welcomes you with a loaded bar with beer on tap to your left and a filled wooden bookshelf to your right. Vintage lamps, bright coloured globes and wood framed modern art give this place a quirky fine dine vibe. Grab a seat, on their red chairs outside or on wooden ones inside and order a mellow slow cooked lamb with couscous, a seared salmon belly or the smokey Moroccan clay pot, loaded with mixed seafood, including fish, clams and mussels cooked in a tangy tomato base. Pasta, mezze platter and other vegetarian options also make up the menu for anyone interested.
If seafood is too heavy for you, head to a Vietnamese restaurant called Rice Paper on 245 Swanston street, for a lighter meal. Bright yellow lights, wooden tables and a bare brick wall add to the simple charm of this place. The menu offers a plethora of Vietnamese delicacies like spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, stir-frys and soups. Find a table amidst the crowd of people as this place is usually houseful, and order a bowl of piping hot bowl of beef, chicken or tofu pho and chicken spring rolls.
End your day on a sweet note with some famous gelato at Pidapipo. With quite a few locations across the city, Pidapipo offers a variety of artisan gelato flavours. One of the most popular dessert place in Melbourne, it offers flavours such as hazelnut, pistachio, mascarpone, and the famous Nutella swirl. You can also get extra Nutella added to your gelato for an added oomph and to step up your gelato game!
Melbourne is a city of great culture and the food reflects upon the city’s love for global cuisines. If you are headed there anytime soon, make sure to stop and enjoy everything the city has to offer your taste buds.
A few other places to check out are:
* The Little Denn: Located on 6 Center place, this little cafe is great to grab a quick coffee, a green smoothie or a sandwich.
* Self Preservation: Located on 70 Bourke Street, this bar and cafe also offers coffee, along with cocktails, small bites and desserts.
* Chinese Kitchen: Located in Carlton, this is a hidden gem serving Chinese food.
* Hakoya Izakaya: Located on 364 Londsdale Street, this restaurant offers a variety of Japanese delicacies and is a good place to visit for dinner.