I recently spent a long weekend in Melbourne with my husband and despite the stormy weather, enjoyed three days of discovering some of the best foodie spots around the city.
We arrived with a long list of cafe, bar and restaurant recommendations from friends and the team at Good Day cafe and I’ve included our favourites below.
On our first day in Melbourne we headed to Higher Ground in the CBD for brunch. Open from breakfast right through to dinner, the cafe is housed in a converted old industrial brick building, with diners seated over several levels at a mix of communal long tables and cosy armchairs. I ordered the granola with seasonal fruit and buffalo yoghurt, which arrived beautiful presented and was a delicious light option to start the day. The menu also includes hearty options like: minced lamb fry-up with miso eggplant, eggs and dukkah, or spiced cauliflower with scrambled eggs and flat bread.
A short tram ride away from where we were staying was Collingwood’s Proud Mary cafe. The cafe roasts their own coffee and serve all day hearty breakfasts. The coffee ticked all the right boxes and the breakfast menu features the usual porridge and granola, as well as more unusual options like scrambled roti or chocolate brioche french toast. I chose the espresso and maple granola, with pumpkin pie puree, fruit and almond milk (delicious, but not quite as filling as I hoped), while the husband opted for the previous mentioned scrambled roti with a side of avocado on toast, which I promptly stole.
If you’re visiting Melbourne on a weekday, drop by Patricia for a coffee before a day spent shopping. We visited on a Friday morning to find it packed with local business people and standing room only. Despite the wait, it was one of the best coffees we had in Melbourne.
Doughnut fans will love the artisan doughnuts and coffee at Short Stop. The doughnuts are made fresh on-site throughout the day, with flavours changing regularly and ranging from Earl Grey tea to a chocoholic Ferrero Rocher inspired masterpiece. I chose the coconut lemon meringue doughnut, which was packed with tangy lemon curd and topped with a soft mound of coconut meringue.
Italian restaurant Tipo 00 came highly recommended, and despite having to wait several hours for a table, it was well worth it. Plus, it gave us a chance to check out a few of the nearby boutiques (Acne and Rag & Bone are just a few hundred meters away) and wine bar the French Salon (which serves a lovely Italian Chenin Blanc) is up the road. Back at Tipo 00, I ordered the squid ink tagliolini, while my other half ordered the daily special, a wild boar pasta dish. Both dishes were just as good as the Italian food we ate during our recent trip to Italy, with fast and attentive service. To finish, we shared a deconstructed Tiramisu, which was a fresh and decadent take on the well loved classic.
A short drive from the CBD in South Melbourne is Westside Ale Works, a small craft beer brewery which is open to the public Thursday – Saturday. Influenced by beers from the West Coast of the US, you’ll find 12 beers on tap and a tasty pizza and bar snacks menu – we loved the spicy jalapeño and cheese bread. Pull up a bench at the communal tables and settle in for the night with a tasting tray of beer and game of jenga.
On our final night, we toasted to the end of a great long weekend with cocktails at Romeo Lane. The cosy bar is packed with of old-fashion charm, with drinks arriving in beautiful cut-glass crystal and a Victorian style open fireplace in the corner. Make sure you order the Gershwin cocktail (a combination of gin, fresh ginger, lemon and rose water) and smoky roast almonds.
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