Melbourne is one of the food and shopping capitals of Australia. It’s a city I adore for it’s vibrant culture and variety of cuisines just as much as it’s hipster attitude and earthy roots. When one street is filled with high-class pastries, and the next with alleyways filled with corner bars and cafes, it’s easy to see why people flock to this beautiful city for a culinary get-away.
This list is an ever-evolving work in progress!
Higher Ground (CBD) – Easily my favourite breakfast venue in Melbourne (and I know that is a massive call to make!). I’m not sure if it’s the gorgeous interior with high ceilings and copper furnishings or the perpetually stunning plating and inventive breakfast bowls that keeps me coming back, but this place will always hold a special place in my heart!
Queen Vic Markets (Carlton) – if you can wander away from the leather goods and jewellery for 5 minutes, the food pavilion is where the real fun is at. Try one of anything you can get your hands on, from charctuerie to breads to chocolate to fresh fruit and everything in between.
Gewurtzhaus (CBD) – okay so this isn’t strictly a food venue BUT it is my favourite spice store!
Poked (CBD) – Fans of the Hawaiian style sashimi salad will love this place too, although be warned that the bowls are bigger than they seem!
Super fresh and filling and available on food delivery services when you cannot be bothered leaving the hotel.
Raw Trader (CBD) – vegan and raw treat heaven (although worth noting that it is a little pricy!)
I always make time to visit this place whenever I’m in Melbourne for their out-of-this-world raw treats.
Like this magic creation, which happens to be the vegan version of a golden gaytime icecream. Rather brilliant!
Pressed Juices (CBD) – for some reason, this is another place I always end up visiting when I’m in Melbourne for work!
Their endless display of juices may have you struggling to choose just one.
And if you get the chance, they have amazing banana bread!
Grain Store (CBD) – another one of these glorious hipster breakfast cafes.
These guys REALLY know how to do breakfast. From gruyere potato rosti to hibiscus pear and chia coconut bircher to haloumi gnocchi with zucchini flowers. I mean, it’s a bit hard to look at breakfast cereal the same way after you’ve had something glorious for breakfast like this!
Dex2Rose (CBD) – artisan liquid nitrogen desserts with ALL the toppings you can think of!
Because just when you thought icecream was amazing enough, it now comes dressed as a chocolate stout, an apple pie, spiced lemon and olive oil sorbet or roasted strawberries and buttermilk just to name a few.
Your pancreas won’t thank you but your palate will!
Operator Please (CBD) – a war era style cafe housed in an old telephone switchboard, serving Australian-Asian fusion style brunch food.
If you don’t know what that looks like, here’s an octopus omelette for breakfast.
Yep. 50 shades of umami but totally worth it.
N2 (CBD) – another one of those crazy liquid nitrogen style ice cream stores.
After visiting here multiple times, I can definitely confirm it lives up to the hype though. Plus a syringe full of Nutella is seldom a bad thing (unless you’re insulin dependent).
Burch and Purchese (South Yarra) – Like a real life Willy Wonka, Darren Purchese and his team make perfection cleverly disguised as dessert. A massive amount of restraint is required not to buy one of everything, but whatever you choose will leave you wondering how they do it!
These perfect cakes are almost too pretty to eat. Emphasis on the word almost.
Around Easter, they also make fantastic hot cross buns and the macarons speak for themselves really.
Self Preservation (CBD) – They may look like a simple wine bar but oh they are so much more than that. A cosy cafe-like nook of a venue but with restaurant quality plating, friendly service and a polished menu with refined flavours, these guys are such a delight to visit!
The coffee is outstanding and the food tastes just as good as it looks here; think vibrant and fresh kind of stuff.
Giving ‘modern Italian’ a good run for it’s money, The Mess Hall is fabulous on flavour without being pretentious (and without the ridiculous price tag to go with it).
It’s Italian food Nonna would be proud of but also something that appeals to the entire family (even the young whippersnappers).