How to Eat your way Around the World in Melbourne

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How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne South Bank www.compassandfork.comWe have alluded to it in other Melbourne posts, but here is the post you’ve been waiting for, where to find cuisines from around the world in Melbourne.

Melbourne’s strong history of immigration from around the world includes people from Lebanon, Greece, Italy, Sudan, Turkey, Vietnam and many other nationalities that now call Melbourne home. And lucky Melbourne, they all brought their cuisines with them!

This is not a definitive guide, honestly I don’t know how you could ever make one of Melbourne’s food scene, it is so extensive and diverse. However I digress, there are individual restaurants for every cuisine all over Melbourne and we discuss how to find some of Melbourne’s finest in 5 Insider Tips for Enjoying Fantastic Food in Melbourne.

Here in this post we are going to focus on some of Melbourne’s famous places to find great food. The first places listed feature a number of cuisines of the same type, and the second part of the list focus on the CBD (Central Business District) which has more variety clustered together. For great eating in inner-city Melbourne’s neighborhoods, refer to our post insider tips to make the most of your visit to Melbourne.

Vietnamese- Victoria St, Richmond

This is one of the oldest areas of Vietnamese settlement in Melbourne. Not so long ago, all restaurants along this street were Vietnamese, but that has changed a bit in recent years. You can actually find a couple of non-Vietnamese establishments here now.

How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne Lt Bourke St
Lt Bourke Street

Victoria Street is close to the city and easy to find, along tram route 109. Many have lunch specials and dinner is very reasonable for Melbourne. Recently an entrance was added to the west end of Victoria St, to mark the entry to the Vietnamese Precinct. There is a large Tet (Vietnamese New Year) Festival here in January.

Our recommendations: Pacific Seafood and BBQ House, 240 Victoria Street. This is not a quiet, romantic venue. The food is fantastic. Try the roasted duck.

Chinese Little Bourke St (CBD)

This is Melbourne’s Chinatown. Gates mark its beginning and end. You can find a range of Chinese restaurants to match every budget.

One of Melbourne’s best restaurants is the Flower Drum, a very upscale Chinese Restaurant. Looking for cheap and cheerful? Try the Shanghai Dumpling House. And for a great yum cha (Asian style tapas) try either of the two Shark Fin Restaurants on Little Bourke.

Italian Lygon St- Carlton

Lygon Street is Melbourne’s Little Italy. If you are looking for Italian, the street is lined with everything Italian. Pizza, pasta, seafood, gelato, cakes, it’s all here. A few non-Italian options have appeared in recent years, but the majority of restaurants are still Italian. Just go for a stroll and find something that suits your taste and budget. Menus are usually posted. Don’t fall for the first one, have a look and take your pick. For a good listing of Lygon Street (picture below)  establishments try the Good Food Guide.

Brunetti’s is a fantastic cake shop and the 380 Lygon Street venue is their largest and original. If you are in need of an afternoon break or dessert, look no further than Brunetti’s.

How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne Lygon St

Spanish Johnston St. Fitzroy

Near the intersection of Brunswick and Johnston Streets in Fitzroy, there is a cluster of Spanish and Tapas restaurants. You can find great tapas, paella and sangria at some places here. You can even find Flamenco dancing.

And if you are looking for groceries to cook Spanish, Portuguese or Latin at home try Casa Iberica Deli, a family run deli located on Johnston Street since 1975. Just to see the street art outside on the building is worth a visit.

Turkish and Lebanese Food Sydney Rd

Sydney Road has fantastic food from everywhere! But if you are looking for Turkish or Lebanese food, there are a number of establishments here. (You can also find Malaysian, Indian, Thai, African, etc. you get the picture.) You can find an Eating Guide to Sydney Road here.

You’ll find a wide variety of speciality grocers here as well covering every cuisine.

In the cheap and cheerful category, for a good kebap try the Melbourne Kebap Station. Prepare yourself for a line, but it is worth it!

Greek Lonsdale St

Melbourne has a large Greek population and there are a lot of excellent Greek restaurants spread throughout the city. There used to be a large cluster of them on Lonsdale Street in the city and the “gate” to the Greek Precinct is at the corner of Lonsdale and Russell Streets. There still are several Greek restaurants here, but many have moved elsewhere.

There were also a number of Greek Restaurants on Swan Street in Richmond, many of these have also moved. Two of our recommendations for Greek: Agapi on 262 Swan St. Richmond or for a more casual meal, try Dimitri’s Feast (nearby at 141 Swan St. ). Dimitri’s is also great for breakfast with a greek twist!

How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne Laneways

In the CBD

Waterfront Dining

For a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining, try SouthBank (on the south bank of the Yarra River), Docklands, South Wharf Promenade (near the Hilton Hotel and the Convention Center). The Crown Casino Complex has a number of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. Some of them face the river and it can be a beautiful place to eat in the evening.


Melbourne’s Laneways

Melbourne’s laneways have some magnificent surprises. They are full of hidden delights. Many restaurants and bars are not at street level being in the basement or on the upper floors. Many you could walk by and never know they are there.

At lunch time, many cafes are very busy with office workers. A couple to find for food:

  • Degraves Street
  • Flinders Lane
  • Hardware Lane
  • Postal Lane (near the GPO, corner of Elizabeth and Bourke St)

A couple to find for other reasons:

  • AC/DC Lane, named after Australia’s most successful rock band
  • Hosier Lane- great for street art

Just wander around the laneways, they have great shops, cafes and restaurants. I am sure you can find something you like in Melbourne! Let us know what’s your favorite!

How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne


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How to Eat your way around the world in Melbourne


25 Responses

  1. […] There are tastes and culinary exports from every corner of the globe, so if you fancy Vietnamese, Greek or even Brazilian food, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it somewhere! […]

  2. Trisha Velarmino
    | Reply

    Melbourne is so diverse and full of life! Thanks for the suggestions! Xx

    • Editor

      Hi Trisha. Diversity is such a great thing. Cuisine, culture and not all same-same. Suburbs do vary widely. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Mar
    | Reply

    Melbourne is such a melting pot! The laneways are awesome and I always find food in Australia so great, as it so fresh. This is a great way to experience a few cultures, thanks for sharing!

    • Editor

      Thanks for your comment. We like it too. There is no place with a better range of fresh foods from all over the world.

  4. Carolann - One Modern Couple
    | Reply

    One of the things I love most about our hometown near Toronto, is the incredible variety of food from around the world! We are actually attempting to do the same thing since we got back home and find amazing restaurants from each cuisine nearby! I think I would live Melbourne for the same reason!

    Also would love exploring and finding hidden gems in those laneways!

    • Editor

      Diversity is such a great thing isn’t it? It’s one of the things I do love about Melbourne not being stuck in the mud and only preparing “Australian meals”. I haven’t been to Toronto for many years and will have to check out it’s food scene. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Gemma
    | Reply

    I would need a month to work my way around this food itinerary, it would be hard to choose where to go first! Great post, going to pass this on to my friend who has moved to Melbourne.

    • Editor

      Thank you so much Gemma. We hope our blog ticks a few boxes and mean it to be helpful.

  6. Joe Ankenbauer
    | Reply

    Eating my way around Melbourne sounds great! Although my appetite has been hindered a little with Thanksgiving festivities haha!

    • Editor

      Good humor there Joe. You have plenty of time to recover before coming to Melbourne. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Cai Dominguez
    | Reply

    The food are diverse in Melbourne. You don’t need to tour the world to taste every delicacies coz you can find a lot in Melbourne. I just wonder. Have you tried any Filipino food?

    • Editor

      I have tried Filipino food as it turns out and I enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Chris
    | Reply

    We love living so close to Victoria St!

    You’re making me homesick and my belly rumble, all at the same time!!

    • Editor

      Yes Victoria Street restaurants are undergoing some revamping and renovations. But the food is still great value. Thanks for your comment.

  9. James | The Globe Wanderers
    | Reply

    Very cool. Liking this a lot and loved my time in Melbourne. Laneways was my personal favourite, spending many lunchtimes there, sat on a beer crate, tucking into something delicious.
    This brought back a lot of fond memories. Thank you! 🙂

    • Editor

      My pleasure James. The laneways are cool. Full of character and a good buzz. I always cut through them to see what is going on or what has changed. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Jessica
    | Reply

    Food is a top priority to explore when I visit a place so thanks for providing me a great guide whenever I will be in one of those destinations. 🙂

    • Editor

      It’s a bit of a passion of ours as you can probably tell. We like to spread the word. Thanks for your comment

  11. Never really knew you can eat around the world in Melbourne. So many kinds of cuisine to choose from!

    • Editor

      Karla, You can find everything here, hard to narrow it down for a post actually! I could have done A-Z and done a different country for each letter!

  12. Himanshu
    | Reply

    You have really done a great job by putting forth this. I completely agree meltinng pot culture of places like Melbourne enriches teh food culture. And understaning the evolution of food cullture gives a peek into the heritage and history of the place and hence i always search for food as a tool to explore the place.

    • Editor

      Himanshu, Yes Melbourne is blessed with great cuisine from around the world. Many of the neighborhoods I mention are the same areas where large waves of immigrants settled. The map of Melbournes food says a lot about it’s history. When we travelw e always try to learn about the food and the culture (and share what we learn on the site!) Thanks for reading.

  13. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Melbourne is definitely high on my list. Thx for sharing some great places to try.

    • Editor

      Dorreen, Great chocolate here as well! It is is a different post. But yes I think you would like it. Hope you make it one day!

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