Melbourne has gained a reputation as a city with a great coffee culture and is also considered to be the sporting capital of Australia.
Culturally diverse, it is no wonder that the food and drink options within Melbourne city range from Italian to Indian all along one street. Additionally, the number of cafes that have sprung up over the years, as coffee culture boomed across the world, feeds the local population their daily dose of caffeine and decadent cakes.
While most people know about the great burgers in Melbourne and the amazingly delicious Italian options spread along Lygon Street, here are the 10 must-try foods in Melbourne that are off the eaten track:
To fill you up
1. Tank for 2 at Tank Fish and Chippery
Located just at the corner of Lygon Street, or Little Italy as it is known to locals, you’ll find Tank Fish and Chippery.
Expect monstrous portions for the ‘Tank for 2’; it includes 2 of everything, from the fresh catch of the day to the plump potato cakes, tastefully seasoned to perfection. The seafood here is amazingly fresh and well done.
For some amazing side dishes, try out the spiced calamari that has the amazing grilled taste of fresh seafood. Yum yum!
Cooked passionately by the chefs of Tank, each dish is sure to impress every single time you visit this little fish and chips outlet. With one outlet located along Lonsdale Street too, you can get your fish and chips fix right in the city with ease!
Tank Fish and Chippery
Address: 149-151 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
(Also at 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia)
Opening Hours: Daily, 11 am - 9.30 pm
Contact: +61 3 9040 2124
Website: Tank Fish and Chippery
2. Hotdogs at Bratwurst Shop & Co
Probably serving some of the most simple but delicious hotdogs in Melbourne, Bratwrust Shop & Co can heat things up real fast with their slightly charred hotdogs.
Choose whether you want your sausage in a white or wholemeal roll, and don’t forget to ask for extra onions on the top; their caramelized onions make eating it a sweet yet savoury experience. This tasty hotdog sausage in a bun really is a must-try.
Offering a classic market experience, Bratwurst Shop & Co is famous for its appeal to everyone with different meaty tastes.
Bratwurst Shop & Co
Address: Queen Victoria Market Food Court, Deli Hall, Queen Victoria Market, 99-100 Elizabeth Street & Victoria Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Opening Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 6 am - 2 pm, Friday 6 am - 5 pm, Saturday 6 am - 3 pm, Sunday 9 am - 4 pm
Contact: +61 3 9328 2076
Website: Bratwurst Shop and Co
3. Mixed souvlaki from Lambs
Another amazing food outlet, tucked away in a corner of Lygon Street, Lambs is a souvlaki (a Greek-style kebab) shop with a small selection of meats to make a mean kebab wrap.
Soft and tender meats, rolls filled with fresh crisp vegetables, with generous portions to boot, Lambs is the perfect place to have a souvlaki in Melbourne. Choose to dine in or take your food away, but be prepared for a messy experience with this dish. What’s good for the taste buds isn’t always the neatest thing to eat!
Get those tissues ready and get digging into this meaty delight!
Address: 100 Lygon St, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday, Sunday 10 am - 2 am, Saturday 10 am - 5 am
Contact: +61 3 9663 5636
4. Breakfast or brunch from Hardware Societe
Arguably the most popular cafe in Melbourne, you’ve got to admit they serve up a really great eggs Benedict and Hollandaise sauce at Hardware Societe.
With the homey and vibrant interior, it doesn’t feel like a cafe experience, but more like you are eating in the comfort of your own home.
Famous for their eggs Benedict and pork belly, be prepared to taste pork belly that feels tender like a good piece of steak yet still possessing the caramelized crackle of a great pork-belly dish.
Hardware Societe Melbourne
Address: 120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 7.30 am - 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am - 3 pm
Contact: +61 3 9078 5992
Website: Hardware Societe Melbourne
5. Yellow curry crab from Ying Thai 2
Extremely popular among the Asian student population that studies at the local University, Ying Thai 2 is a must-visit place for those looking for delicious and spicy Thai food in Melbourne.
Authentic spices are used in their curry dishes creating authentic tastes of Thailand. The yellow curry crab is amazing and highly recommended. The shell is deliciously soft and fried with just the right amount of batter to cover it and make it crispy.
Situated inconspicuously along Lygon Street, this Thai food place is a rare gem!
Ying Thai 2
Address: 110 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12 noon - 10 pm. Closed on Mondays
Contact: +61 3 9639 1697
Website: Ying Thai 2
Moving on to the sweet stuff
6. Mercadante's chocolate pizza
Authentically Italian, Mercadante’s chocolate pizza is a dessert dish that is sure to make you keep wanting to go back for more.
Surprisingly simple, its appearance is not only aesthetically pleasing and picture-friendly but the taste of the chocolate mixed with the pizza is decadent yet hearty. The added fresh cream on the top and sides of the pizza is sure to delight!
Mecadante Woodfired Pizzeria
Address: 123 Lygon Street, Carlton, VIC 3053
Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays
Contact: (03) 9347 6974
Website: Mecadante Woodfired Pizzeria
7. Crispy waffles from Max Brenner
So you’ve just finished a meal and you want to get that sweet taste filling your mouth.
Max Brenner’s waffles are just the right thing for you. Their Belgian waffles are studded with little sugar crystals and topped with freshly cut fruit and a small blob of vanilla ice cream.
Reasonably sized for its price, the waffles are crispy, crunchy, and chocolate-y. Another must-try for dessert, Max Brenner’s sugar Belgian waffles are nothing but a burst of fun in your mouth!
Address: Melbourne Central, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, OE5/300 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Opening Hours: Sunday - Friday 9 am - 10 pm, Saturday 10 am - 12 midnight
Contact: +61 3 9662 4442
Website: Max Brenner Melbourne
8. Fat-free gelato from Il Dolce Freddo
Tasty gelato with beautiful colors and displays is what awaits you at Il Dolce Freddo.
One of the traditional and famous gelato places in Melbourne, the pop of color within the store is bound to cheer you right up. Plus, since they sell desserts, it’s a place filled with sweets and happiness.
With its smooth and creamy ice cream that does not overpower the flavor of your choice, don’t expect any flavors that are out of the ordinary or outrageous, but instead expect a gelato that tastes just like what it says it is.
Il Dolce Freddo
Address: 16 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 10 pm. Closed on Mondays
Contact: +61 3 9639 3344
Website: Il Dolce Freddo
Drinks to accompany everything
9. Warm cup of coffee from Market Lane Coffee
Touted as one of the best places to get coffee in Melbourne, Market Lane Coffee has been steadily growing its coffee fan base over the years. Full-bodied and soothing to many, the coffees are a delight. The small shop is often filled with people looking to get their solid caffeine fix.
With their main focus on producing coffee known and loved by the people of Melbourne, it exudes classic hipster and provides plain ol’ good coffee. Enjoy the milk art on every single cup of coffee as the trained barista hands you his or her work in a cup.
Grab a lid by the door if you’re having your drink to go, otherwise feel free to take it as it is and appreciate the different art pieces produced by the talented baristas.
Market Lane Coffee
Address: Queen Victoria Market Food Court, 109/111 Therry St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Price: from 4.50 USD
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 7 am - 4 pm, Sunday 8 am - 5 pm
Contact: +61 3 9804 7434
Website: Market Lane Coffee
10. Cocktails at Romeo Lane
Tucked away in a small lane, Romeo Lane is a classy establishment with great alcoholic drinks to boot.
Ideal for those who just want a place to relax, the vintage glassware and modern aesthetics make it difficult for visitors to dislike this place.
With a fairly wide range of cocktails, including mojitos, it is no surprise that Romeo Lane is a local person’s gem within the city lanes. Expect the crowd to show up on a Friday evening.
Address: 1 Crossley St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 3 pm - 12 midnight. Closed on Sundays
Contact: +61 3 9639 8095
Website: Romeo Lane
How many of these have you tried?
I know, it’s tough to have the list end so quickly. After all, who doesn’t like to look at food recommendations and great foodie pictures of tempting dishes and treats?!
If you’re visiting Melbourne and are wondering what to eat, try out these recommendations and head off the eaten track and into foodie heaven! You’re sure not to be disappointed!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.