Melbourne Cafe & Restaurant Highlights | Australia

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As much as I dislike the word “foodie,” I’m going to have to use it in this post. My friend Nayda, also known as healthywholebeautiful on Instagram, is a real foodie, with a mouth-watering gallery of posts of donuts, burgers, and all sorts of delicious things. She’s fun to travel with because she takes a lot of the pressure off of me to plan activities – she knows all the restaurants and cafes to try before the plane lands at the gate. We’ve gotten to explore Greece and London together, and now we can also tick Melbourne off the list!

During her visit, we stopped at some of my favorite places, and she also brought me to new spots that were mind-blowing. As someone who has been single for essentially their whole life, getting a chance to go on lots of girls dates, trying restaurants and bars, exploring the city through taste was really special. Every meal and dessert was great, and I felt like I got to explore more of Melbourne than I ever would have on my own. She’s also great at staging food photos – so that’s why these are much better than I would’ve ever taken on my own!

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St. Kilda Dispensary

This is my favorite brunch spot in Melbourne. Right in St. Kilda, it’s old-school pharmacy themed and serves excellent coffee and a great menu of breakfast foods. The smashed avocado toast here is my guilty pleasure – they pile on the feta cheese and avocado, it’s unbelievable. The scones and clotted cream are amazing, the dukkah eggs, basically everything here is a win.

Lune Croissanterie

I had never heard of this place but Nayda had looked it up and it was regaled for having “out-of-this-world” croissants. They were awesome, I’m glad we tried a variety and had a lot of walking planned for the day to burn off some of the delicious calories. I loved all three, but almond croissants are by far my favorite.

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Piccolina Gelato

There are a few locations throughout the city, we stopped at the St. Kilda location after a day of walking around the beach boardwalk and Luna Park. I LOVED the gelato here, you can tell it’s made from scratch. I’ve tried the salted caramel, dark chocolate, and Nutella, and each one was amazing. I’m not a huge ice cream/gelato fan, but you could really taste the flavors of these, and it paired well with a sunny day.

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Aqua S Soft Serve

This is a chain of soft serve shops and I had never heard of it, but good lord I’m glad we gave it a try. They rotate flavors often and this one (I can’t even remember what it was, something tropical?) was probably the best soft serve I’ve ever had. We stopped here twice to enjoy the flavors.

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Pellegrini’s

This visit came at a heart-wrenching time. The restaurant had a heavy air, and there was mostly silence, except for an occasional echo of chatter and the sound of silverware on ceramic. Just a week prior to our visit of this downtown staple, an unassuming Italian cafe in the Melbourne Central Business District, one of the owners was brutally murdered in the city. We shared plates of pasta and paid our respects by signing the guestbook. My heart aches for the family and all the regular customers who had known and loved the man behind this iconic Melbourne spot.

 

Lucky Coq

This bar is a great spot right on Chapel Street. With $4 pizza specials, drink specials during the week, fun dance nights upstairs and trivia downstairs, it’s a staple of this part of Prahran/Windsor.

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Asian Food Festival in Melbourne

This festival took over the banks of the Yarra River not far from Flinder’s Station. There were so many amazing stalls selling different cuisines, from Asian countries all over the continent. We tried some Filipino favorites like Lechon and delicious Baos. I love visiting food festivals with people who like to share and split different dishes. There’s nothing better than getting to try a bunch of foods instead of committing to just one or two things.

Cumulus INC

Delicious breakfast in a super cool, industrial space right in the CBD. We came here as Nayda was in search of a proper English breakfast complete with black pudding. She definitely got it! It was also super cool to sit and eat breakfast at the bar and watch the chefs work in the kitchen – they seemed to have their processes down to a science. I had the eggs Florentine, and I loved every last bite.

Rustica Brick Lane

This spot was excellent for brunch – but a bit pricy.  I had the chili scrambled eggs on sourdough – something that this bakery is known for. The only negative I’d say about this cafe was that we came here in search of free wi-fi to do work while enjoying our food, but the connection was too weak to get anything done.

Mr. Miyagi

This spot was AWESOME. I had wanted to go for months at a recommendation by a friend, and boy it didn’t disappoint. They have a fantastic menu of Japanese-fusion items, we tried the chicken schnitzel bao, the ramen gnocchi, and a few other items as well as their signature cocktails. I loved the whole atmosphere, and the food was mind-blowing. Nayda and I both agreed that the bao was one of the best we’ve ever had. It’s a more spendy spot, but well worth the extra dollars.

 

Queen Victoria Night Markets

Taking place every Wednesday night during the summer, these night markets are great to try different foods, buy artisan crafts, and enjoy being outdoors in the evening summer air. I went here several times during my time in Melbourne and got to try a lot of different stuff. The lamb gyro from the Black Sheep was incredible! Go here early to get a table. Showing up at the peak hours between 6:30-8 will make it difficult to find a spot to sit and eat.

 

There are countless places to eat and drink in Melbourne, it would be impossible to try them all. If you’re planning on visiting the city and getting the most out of your time – plan on a lot of eating and drinking. It’s one of the best ways to get into the culture and enjoy your time.

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