Do you find that when you visit certain places, you just click? And others, when you really don’t? There are a few cities that we have visited and really liked: New York City, Rome, and San Francisco are the top three.
We visited Melbourne for a long weekend in February and fortunately for us, we clicked straight away.
After hearing great things about the capital city of Victoria from many friends who have visited, we were excited to experience it for ourselves; the food, the vibe, the shopping, the architecture. We definitely weren’t disappointed!
I think we spent most of our time in Melbourne eating, eating, and then eating some more. There was just too much amazing food to try! Check out our map at the end of this post for the foodie places we loved.
Food in Melbourne is so damn good
We started our weekend by visiting the Queen Victoria Market, a food market that is more than a century old. The ‘Queen Vic’ is full of vendors selling meats, seafood, bread, fresh produce, and the usual crappy trinkets you find at markets. On the recommendation of a Melburnian friend, we tried a ‘brat’ – a spicy bratwurst sausage with all the trimmings – cheese, onions, mustard and tomato sauce on a crispy bun. Breakfast of champions! We found a fantastic coffee shop too (Melbourne is full of them so you don’t have to go far) – Market Lane Coffee.
While in a new city we love wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. Melbourne is a city with a great vibe and interesting things to see around every corner. As tiny house fanatics, we were so excited to see a sustainability festival that featured a tiny house show home, so of course we went and had a look!
Melbourne’s laneways are full of street art, some of which is pretty awful but some is great. It’s really cool that the local council allows street art; it’s such a shame that other cities aren’t as tolerant of creativity as Melbourne. This piece was our favourite!
We ventured into Fitzroy, Melbourne’s hipster neighbourhood. It’s pretty gentrified now but has a slew of amazing places to eat and drink, as well as some good shopping. Brunswick Street is the main drag with tons of restaurants and bars, but there are some hidden spots on the side streets too. We enjoyed some delicious tacos at a pop up restaurant for lunch, coconut and mango gelato from the famous Messina Gelateria, and visited a craft brewery (Stomping Ground) in Collingwood.
Chapel Street in South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s best shopping streets – it’s a tram ride south of the city centre but well worth the detour. There are heaps of high street shops as well as boutiques, and the food scene is great too! We met some friends there for lunch at Tokyo Tina – their ramen is outstanding, probably the best we’ve ever had! We also gorged on donuts with syringes full of salted caramel from Bistro Morgan, an amazing venture started by a 14 year old (and now his parents work for him).
So much food…
Back in the city, there are heaps of places to eat as well. We enjoyed brunch at Rustica Canteen and dinner at the famous Asian-fusion restaurant Chin Chin, as well as a tapas bar named Bomba. Melbourne does tapas bars really well – something I think Auckland could learn from.
Even the food in shopping mall food courts is great. We were recommended Pho Nom, a Vietnamese place in the Emporium food court selling banh mi and pho. Our banh mi was delicious and reminded us of our favourite food in Hanoi.
Although Melbourne could never supersede New York City as our favourite city in the world, we will definitely be returning – how handy that it’s only a four hour flight from home!
What’s your favourite foodie city? Let us know in the comments below!