I love when we go back to Melbourne! Not only do we get to spend time with Justin’s family and friends but we get to take in one of the best parts of Melbourne — the food!
We’ve been back together several times so this post is a “best of” list of our absolute favs.
What’s really important to know
Brunch is A THING in Melbourne. Perhaps partially because Melbourne has some of the best coffee in the world, coupled with an amazing culinary scene, brunch is serious. Some of you know that I was historically pretty anti-brunch. I didn’t much like breakfast food or want to eat at that time of day…but Melbourne has really changed that for me.
Our favorite brunch spots in Melbourne
The top prize goes to my absolute fav restaurant called, Top Paddock on Church Street in Richmond close to South Yarra. We came here during my first ever visit to Melbourne and haven’t missed it during any of our subsequent trips.
If you are looking for an Instagram-worthy brunch, this is your spot. The lattes here are top notch and they always have unique takes on eggs or veggies. The best dish might be their blueberry and ricotta hotcake, complete with berries, seeds and double cream. It comes in American-size portion which we learned the first time and only after we finished it (which was awesome) we were told you can order a small version. It’s not on the menu so you’ll feel like a local if you ask for the small one.
We also use it as our fav spot to meet friends (because then we can try more food).
It’s consistently on the list of top brunch spots so if you want a classic spot, head to Top Paddock.
We had another epic brunch at Kettle Black, a super popular spot right near the Botanical Gardens. Like most places, they make great coffee, have decadent folded eggs and a stunning hotcake. There was no secret small one so we got the regular version the size of a steering wheel. It as like a bird feeder with so many seeds — but was SO good.
I should be used to it by now, but I can’t get over every single brunch place being so darn hip — and having amazing coffee!!
We also loved Proud Mary in Collingwood. We came here with our dear friend Maria, especially after I got jealous of the pictures of Maria and Justin there during his last visit without me :(.
In Brighton, our fav spot is Brighton Schoolhouse. We went here on Juliette’s first birthday. We celebrated with insane mushroom toast and chili crab croissant.
And since we were celebrating Juliette’s birthday, we got her a babychino (cup of frothed milk).
She wasn’t so into the texture.
I found the other hot spot called Industry Beans from a “best brunches in Melbourne” list and is in the super cool, hipstery neighborhood of Fitzroy. We thought their spot looked like a great place to chill and Instagram-worthy dishes. Slightly more beautiful than delicious, but still awesome. (Seriously, that is charcoal panna cotta).
Favorite dinners in Melbourne
During our last visit, Justin wanted to give me the magical Melbourne experience so we ate at Neil Perry’s Rockpool and Spice Temple (#3 restaurant in Melbourne), both in Southbank along the river near Crown Casino. We also went out friends to Mamasita in the CBD for some great Mexican food and Jimmy Grants (side note: amazing, cheap Greek food. Multiple locations. You MUST try The Bonegilla (chicken + lamb with mustard aioli) and The Patrise (prawns with honey mayo). OMG.
Ok, on to our favs this trip.
Typo 00. Boy did we feel cool going there. It is a hot, new Italian restaurant in the CBD. Getting resos was hard and we were lucky to get a 2pm lunch reso on a Friday afternoon. Of course, why bother with only a few dishes when you can do the chef’s tasting menu, so we did! Homemade ricotta and herb focaccia, fresh burrata and fried eggplant, grilled octopus and leeks, homemade pastas (multiple courses!) and of course…the best dessert of the trip! Complete with some afternoon Prosecco made this lunch perfection.
And, since those 7 courses weren’t enough, we went to another pre fixe dinner later that night with our friends Kate and Anthony. It was one of Justin’s favorites called Maha, a Mediterranean restaurant in the CBD a few blocks from Flinders Street Station. Once again the courses started flowing and were in absolute heaven!
Our favorite dim sum in Melbourne
From the fancy and pricey to the casual and cheap — the best Michelin star dim sum around. We first ate at Tim Ho Wan while on a layover in Hong Kong and couldn’t wait to go back to their Melbourne location in the heart of the CBD.
We ordered SO much food, and then some more. It was delicious. Our favorite were the pork buns — sweet cookie-like dough that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, filled with steaming, sweet chopped pork. I don’t usually eat pork but these are out of this world.
So good, we had to make it one of our last stops before leaving Melbourne and did a full encore for dinner!
Cocktails galore — the amazing Melbourne bar scene
We had some pretty fantastic cocktails at bars throughout the city. There is nothing like the post-work drink by the Yarra River at Riverland or Arbory (two favorites) but even better is not working, and having a drink at one of these hot spots!
We also hit up Storyville, a storybook inspired bar with cocktails to match the theme (I thought that drinking my potion might cause me to shrink or blow up — straight out of a Lewis Carroll book).
And one of my favorite spots was called Chuckles Park, just an alleyway, decorated and awesome with a cart in the back serving drinks and snacks.
A note on Melbourne coffee
You’ll notice lattes in all these pictures. That is because Melbourne may be the single best place to get coffee in the world. I welcome the debate but the espresso culture in Melbourne is so sophisticated and the drinks are so amazing, we had them constantly. And, there is no way to pick a favorite because the excellence is consistent anywhere you go.
If you go to Melbourne…
- Eat and drink everything
- Take part in the coffee culture — grab a seat and have a latte
- Remember you don’t have to tip — anything!
- Don’t worry about the calories…you’ll walk it all off exploring the CBD