Melbourne is known as a real food city, which is the number one reason why it had been on my to-do list for so long (let's be honest). Like I expected, I loved the city! I tried to make the most of the five days I was there, so I walked and biked around the city every day. I spent my days discovering new neighbourhoods, parks, museums and stopping for some delicious meals in between! I already told you about some coffee and juice places in this post, but today it's time for the food hotspots. I've got 13 Melbourne hotspots lined up, so let's get straight to it!
This place was high on my to-do list in Melbourne because I'd been following them on Instagram for ages (don't look if you're hungry). The first thing I did after landing on Easter Sunday was walk to Prahran to try the famous avocado smash at Hobba. And it didn't disappoint. The service was really friendly despite it being a busy morning and the open-space brick-walled garage-converted-into-restaurant has a cool L.A. vibe. Could have tried their whole menu!
>> 428 Malvern Road, Prahran
Serotonin's ethos is "based around eating a plant-based diet to ensure the body, mind and earth all function at their best." Just the right place for me! The owners made sure that every single dish on the menu is a nutritious option, so no matter what you choose, your body will be thankful. So I chose the banana pancakes, a no-brainer. Super delicious, heaven in your mouth! The location is a bit random, but it's really worth coming here.
>> 52 Madden Grove, Burnley
TALL TIMBER EATERY
This was one of my favourite places. The restaurant is light-flooded thanks to the ceiling-to-floor windows, but I chose to sit in the little courtyard which has a large communal table with pots of herbs in the middle. Super cosy and intimate, even when you're having a meal by yourself! I had a salad with asparagus, quinoa, sweet potato hummus, pomegranate and extra avocado. All the textures worked so well together and I can still recall the exact flavours; truly one of the best salads I've had in my life. That's quite promising for the rest of the menu, I can't wait to go back!
>> 60 Commercial Road, Prahran
BAKER D. CHIRICO
You might know this bakery already, or at least I did. I've seen it in several design magazines and websites over the last couple of years, and I kind of forgot that it was located in Melbourne until my architecture-loving friend told me I had to go here. Although I wasn't hungry and didn't actually try the bread, it's worth coming here to check the design. I've never seen such a cool bakery before! And I'm pretty sure the bread is great here too. It's right next to Market Lane Coffee, so you can easily combine the two when you visit.
>> 176 Faraday Street, Carlton
I love going to markets when I'm abroad, so I had to include one in this list. Prahran Market is an indoor market which feels like a mini-Borough Market. There are tiny shops with deli food, and then there's the market which is bursting with fresh Australian produce. Fun to walk around and get some snacks!
>> 163 Commercial Road, Prahran
This little Greek deli is located inside Prahran Market. I walked inside here because it smelled like heaven! Everyone working here seemed to be Greek, and they were all super friendly and passionate about cooking. I chatted with them for a while and checked out the cookbook (sadly I couldn't justify buying it because of extra weight). I didn't try the food, but I'm absolutely sure it's heavenly! Traditional Greek food using family recipes, can't go wrong. If I lived in Melbourne I'd come here to get some appetisers for a dinner party!
>> 167 Commercial Road, Prahran
>> 167 Commercial Road, Prahran
I had read a lot about this place, so it was a must-do for me. It's in the very centre of town, but a little bit tucked away in a small side street. You wouldn't randomly find this place, so it's for people in-the-know ;) All they sell here are pillowy soft cloud-like buns filled with all kinds of fillings. I went for the veggie pack with choi bao, taro bao and fried silky tofu gua bao. If I'm honest, the only one which I liked was the one with tofu. The other ones weren't so flavourful, and I really struggled to eat the taro bao (with a very sweet, potato-like filling). Maybe the veggie options are simply not that good? This place is quite popular so I like to believe that the non-veggie options are amazing!
>> Shop 4 19-37 A'Beckett Street
SISTERS OF SOUL ST. KILDA
I had read a lot about this vegan place in St. Kilda, so one afternoon I was craving something fresh so went to have a smoothie here. Their whole menu looked so great, but unfortunately, I didn't have time to eat here. They have everything from Middle Eastern to Asian to Mexican to Italian... with one thing in common: everything is vegan. Amazing how they've managed to make so many dishes with plant-based ingredients only! After your meal, you should definitely head towards to beach since it's only a few meters away.
>> 73 Acland Street, St Kilda
I was really looking forward to trying out this one, rated as one of the top vegan places in Melbourne. It's located on the busy .. street, and it was equally busy inside when I went around lunch time. Almost a little chaotic, with staff running around and people queueing to pay. Because of this, the staff wasn't very friendly. But I'll let that one slip because the food was really good. I had a vegan burger with sweet potato fries, which was delicious. It's hard to choose from the menu because everything sounds so good! But I think they can't cope with the popularity, so if you want friendly staff this isn't the place.
>> 380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
SMITH & DELI
If there's one thing I'd like to bring home from Melbourne, it's their mega assortment of vegan food stores and restaurants. You'll pretty much find one on every street corner, while here in Belgium it's already a struggle to find a coffee place which serves almond milk. Smith & Deli is a shop and deli which has vegan stuff only, presented in an attractive and cool way. There are pastrami sandwiches, croissants, cream filled doughnuts, pasta, lasagnas... The deli might look tiny but there's a huge assortment of goodies!
>> 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy
If you love chocolate, this is HEAVEN. Seriously, I can't praise this place/brand enough. Pana is a Melbourne-based chocolate brand, but you can find their handcrafted chocolate bars (10 flavours) at health shops all over the world. I wouldn't have tried their chocolate if a friend didn't tell me about it. And I don't know whether to bad mad or happy that she showed me Pana because the addiction is REAL. If you're a fan of pure, dark chocolate you will love this! In their Melbourne store, you can also buy 100% vegan organic treats, which are almost too beautiful to eat. I bought one with peanut butter and it was delicious! But I like their chocolate bars best. The Hemp & Nibs and Sour Cherry & Vanilla flavours are my favourites. It's expensive chocolate but 100% worth it, considering the quality and flavours.
>> 491 Church Street, Richmond
On my last night in Melbourne, I went to Kaprica with a friend. It's one of her favourite places in the city, so, of course, I couldn't leave without trying it! It's a rustic Italian restaurant which is packed every night, so you know the food will be good. The menu is handwritten and photocopied, proper Italian style. They're known to make some of Melbourne's best pizzas, so we ordered two which were equally delicious. Try to get one of those wobbly little tables outside overlooking Lincoln Park, it's super cosy!
>> 19 Lincoln Square South
MAGIC MOUNTAIN SALOON
I had dinner at this Thai place one night with a bunch of hungry girls. There's a very cool clubby vibe here, thanks to the neon red lighting and the multiple floors that make up the restaurant. We ordered multiple dishes, mostly vegetarian ones, and everything was excellent. Spicy, sweet, salty and packed with flavour. The only downside of the red lighting is that it's hard to tell what you're eating exactly, but I guess that's part of the surprise for your taste buds. Perfect place to come before a night out, you get into the mood for sure!
>> 62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Places on my to-do list I didn't get to try so you should:
Sardi Cafe, Transformer Fitzroy, The Kettle Black, Legacy Camberwell, Combi, Store Fifteen, Mamacita, Supernormal, Chin Chin, Lune Croissanterie, Food Grub Van, Mr Nice Guys Bakeshop, DOC Pizza, Little Collins, Matcha Mylkbar, Barry, Happy Place, Little Sunflower Cafe, Uncommon, Nutrition Bar, Coda, All Day Donuts, Green Press, Fourth Chapter & MANY MORE
Also check out Broadsheet, which is by far the best and most informative city guide website I've ever seen (also for Sydney!) You'll find everything you need on here!
I hope you enjoyed reading about these places and make sure to share your favourites in Melbourne too! I can't wait to go back one day! I'd say the best areas food-wise are Fitzroy, Carlton and Prahran. But just like most people from Melbourne told me, you have to try really hard to have a bad meal in Melbourne. The standard of food is so high that pretty much every place serves good food. I love it!