Seriously (!) good food in Melbourne

We are officially unable to travel overseas for the next week having succumbed our passports to the US Consulate. While we wait for the US Government to bless us by stamping our passports with our visas, I’m reminiscing about some of the best places we’ve eaten at in Melbourne.

Eat here Melbourne!

Below is a list of our fave eateries while we’ve been in Melbourne. These places aren’t necessarily the cheapest, nor the fanciest, but they have created some darn good memories. And it’s not just us, but also judging from the reactions of interstate and overseas guests when we’ve brought them here, I think these places are on many Top-10 lists for a reason.

We are big fans of Andrew McConnell – think, Cumulus Inc, Supernormal, Builders Arms Hotel, Cutler & Co. Anything he touches turns to gold.

In the North, or north-ish of the city

Smith Street vicinity

  • Saint Crispin – all round great, contemporary, original food
  • (the original) Jimmy Grants – unreal kebabs


Miss Katie’s Crab Shack – grab your claw crackers (try saying that 10 times quickly) and get your bib on!

Just a bit further north of the city but not so far you need a packed lunch

  • Cutler & Co – awesome steak
  • Pope Joan – the humble sanger is elevated to pole position


  • Take your pick from a huge multitude of extremely palatable eating venues! Chin Chin (swoon), Pei Modern, Il Solito Posto, Ezard, anything on Flinders Lane!
  • Movida – just go
  • Bomba – rooftop cocktails and cheap tapas = winner
  • Madame Brussels – while technically not an eatery, it has to feature here for its cheeky jugs, multi-zone layout, and the view
  • The dual genius (genii??) of Tonka and Coda – impress the visitors and go with a group so that you can order a gluttonous amount of food. Throw in a cocktail or two and it makes for a very fun night. BOOK AHEAD!!
  • Hutong Dumpling Bar vs Din Tai Fung – I call it a draw

Inner city


  • Kong – can’t be beaten for Jap/Korean fusion and those damn good baos
  • Union Dining – take the inlaws and you’ll be in the good books for aaaaagggees
  • Bouzy Rouge – where eclectic meets yum
  • Jinda Thai – who can resist cheap, authentic Thai for the price of a newspaper (ok maybe not that cheap…)


  • Franco Choo’s – this teeny little place has been around for yonks and for good reason



  • Hawthorn Common is the place for breakfast. Sure Axil Roasters downstairs is pretty good too, but who really can wait …. that…lonngggg for brekky on the weekend? If you are hungover as all get and could eat a horse, head upstairs to Hawthorn Common. Plus ease your conscience as you mow down your food that has virtually no carbon footprint.
  • Hakata Gensuke ramen – this is the real deal. Lipsmackingly good.
  • Porgie & Mr Jones – a little further out, but worth it
  • Penang House – don’t expect tablecloths at this standout, local Malaysian joint
  • Romulus & Remus – the antipasti, the pasta, the laidback-ness, all sooooo good


  • Roti Road – won’t break the bank and has the most amazing, flaky, scrumptious rotis and curries


St Kilda 

  • Cafe di Stasio – theatrics and food flair come alive
  • Machi – fresh tasty Japanese food washed down with a cold Asahi


Attica deserves its own sub-heading. As Australia’s best performer on the global stage it wouldn’t be fair to leave it off this list. BUT, do yourselves a favour, and give the test degustation menu a miss. If you’re going to spend this much on a meal, do it properly, book well ahead via their online booking system, start saving your pennies, and go with someone who you love/who loves food/you really really really want to impress/all of the above.

Heading out of town?

If you choose to head out of town, go to Brae. Nearly self-sustaining, immaculate, so pretty you could cry for demolishing the presentation. Also has stunning accommodation on site now.

Oh Melbourne we will miss you! #melbournetakeabow