LifeStyle FOOD experts Sammy and Bella discover the best places to grab a bite to eat in Melbourne.
It’s all about spreading the love so we’re sharing our favourite hot spots to eat, drink and shop on foodmarketplace.com.au… and we all know the best things come in three’s so there's plenty of places for you to visit!
I’m sure you have your own favourites too… Show your support and nominate them in the Thanks A Million competition for the chance to split $1,000,000!
Top 3 Bakeries or grocers
1. Tivoli Road Bakery
Previously owned by the MoVida group the bakery has now been handed over to the head baker and his wife, Michael and Pippa James, and renamed as Tivoli Road Bakery. Bread is their main game, with a variety of sourdough, spelt, soy and linseed/multigrain. They do also service those who have a sweet tooth with a selection of croissants, Danishes, slabs of brownies and their famous doughnuts with fillings such as lemon curd, rhubarb or salted caramel. If you don’t make it in for breakfast you can always grab a sandwich with thick cut slices of house made bread, which taste best when toasted. Make sure you pick up some Myrtleford butter and sausage rolls to take home too!
Expect: Refined bakery without the pretentiousness
Favourite: The salted caramel filled Doughnuts
Location: 3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra (03) 9041 4345
Located a few doors down from sister café and relaxed restaurant/bar by night Pope Joan, owners Matt Wilkinson and Ben Foster opened Hams and Bacon in 2013. Its purpose was to sell and connect the consumer and their exsisting customers with some of the amazing produce that Chef Matt Wilkinson so passionately uses at Pope Joan. You’ll also find Matt’s own range Mr Wilkinson’s Favourites there to purchase. Think Pineapple Chutney, Ploughman’s Pickle, brown sauce, honey, and Tomato Kasundi.
Expect: Proper farm shop goodness, with a great takeaway coffee.
Favourite: Bundarra Berkshires free-range pork
Location: 75 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057 (03) 9388 8858
3. Phillippa’s Bakery
Phillippa’s become a household name in Melbourne because of its family recipes and the high quality ingredients used to make all their products. They focus on the slow fermentation of their dough’s to make sure they ripen and are full of flavour. Each loaf is carefully hand molded and baked fresh daily. You can also pick up some of their delicious take away sandwiches.
Expect: Homestyle classically good bread
Favourites: Baguettes and the wholemeal and honey roll sandwich with smoked trout.
Location: 15 Howey Place, Melbourne VIC (03) 9671 4030
Top 3 Fast Food joints
1. Jimmy Grants
George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants is a modern take on a Athenian souvlaki bar. Its quickly expanded to several locations across Melbourne with a big loyal following and a must try if you’re visiting Melbourne and in need of a quick delicious easy meal. The great selection of souvas (Mr Papadopulos is my choice) are perfectly complimented by salads (go the Hellenic slaw), snacks and dips (Chips, garlic oil, feta, oregano is a must!) If you’re with a group, you wont regret ordering some slow roasted lamb shoulder.
Expect: Simple healthy so fuss, and there’s a bar too if you’re up for a drink
Favourites: Souvas are always great, but the Chips with garlic oil will hit the spot everytime.
Locations: 3 locations (The Emporium, Ormond, Eastland)
2. 8 Bit Burger
If you’re after a burger joint that’s young and hip, then 8bit is your place. Their burgers have one of the largest instagram cult followings (@Eat8Bit) and its no surprise with their daily posts of juicy cheesy beef patty sandwiched between a perfectly toasted brioche bun. The whole world is going especially crazy for burgers at the moment and 8bit has just been voted as one of the best in the country. So do yourself a favour and head down to Melbourne and make this burger your first pit stop. Oh and don’t forget to order a serving of loaded fries, Hello cheese and bacon fries!
Expect: Possible queue in their new city store. But great burgers non the less
Favourites: 8Bit with cheese, add on a beef patty and cheese
Locations: 8 Droop Street, Footscray. New Melbourne CBD store 231 Swanston Street.
3. Belle’s Hot Chicken
American diner food is going crazy here in Oz, and Belle’s Hot Chicken is just one establishment making waves. If you’re Sydney based you’ll be happy to know that they’ve got a pop up in Bangaroo at the moment and they have had previous stints at Icebergs Bondi. Belles Chicken is fronted by Morgan McGlone, who’s developed a hot chicken recipe to please any KFC lover far and beyond. There are multiple levels of ‘hot’ to please any punter, But don’t try and be too mucho, the hottest will blow your lid off!
Expect: Buzzing atmosphere, casual dinning
Favourites: If its on offer get the mac and cheese, you might over load but youll enjoy it
Locations: 150 – 156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy 3065 (pop up in Sydney Bangaroo)
Top 3 Restaurants
Supernormal has to be one of the coolest places to have dinner in Melbourne at the moment. Its understated but sleek Japanese inspired interior is a perfect fit for any occasion you want to celebrate, not to mention the basement karaoke room. Despite its Japanese feel interiors and neon the menu boasts an all over Asian influence with touches of Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong echoing Chef Andrew McConnell’s time spent living and working in such places. Three words to describe Supernormal, Hot Hot Hot!
Expect: Cool interiors, cool food, cool people including you!
Favourites: The Lobster roll the signature dish and each diner should order at least one each.
Location: 180 Flinders lane Melbourne
2. Saint Crispin
If you’re after some great food without the fuss of fine dining and a great wine list then Saint Crispin is your one stop shop. Its open and inviting dinning room is lined with an open kitchen and a bar. If you haven’t sat at a bar before for dinner then I highly recommend doing it here. Just do it as a couple or max three people. The bar tenders will happily have a chat with you and tempt you with their cocktails, in which you’ll probably oblige.
Expect: Plates are on the smaller side, so order 3 courses. Perfect.
Favourites: The appetizers change on a regular basis but they always hit the spot.
Location: 300 Smith St, Collingwood VIC
This is a classic that you simply can’t avoid in Melbourne. MoVida is one of those restaurants that has a very loyal following, and for good reason. Its kept its signature favorites on the menu like my personal favourite, Anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet. The devil is in the details here with the quality of ingredients they choose, they don’t just use any anchovy, they import hand filleted Artisanal Cantabrian canned anchovies that are among the best in the world.
Expect: Dark alley way leads into dark restaurant and bar, but the food will enlighten you. Simply delicious
Favourites: The signature dish of Anchovy with smoke tomato sorbet. Morcilla which is a psanich blood pudding, the best type of blood pudding in my opinion.
Location: 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne VIC
Top 3 Cafés
1. Top Paddock
Situated in a semi industrial area, Top Paddock will likely be a drive in for most Melbournians, but of course worth it as its my top pick for breakfast. This beautifully open and light café is a breath of fresh air amongst the office buildings and warehouses in the area. It also has to be one of the most instagramed cafes in Melbourne at the moment. So if you want to be a legit foodie you’ll be styling your top down shot there tomorrow morning.
Expect: Queues. Get there early to avoid, like 7.30am early
Favourites: The new favourite on the menu is the pork jowl eggs benedict.
Location: 658 Church ST, Richmond VIC 3121
2. Pope Joan
If you’re after a very relaxed vibe for breakfast or lunch, Pope Joan is a favourite amongst the locals in Brunswick East. Dishes on the menu have been very carefully curated by cheeky Chef Matt Wilkinson to be seasonal and local. He has become known in the industry as the man who likes to form close working and friendly relationship with the farmers that supply his produce. As he often buys direct he has also opened his own produce store just two doors down called Hams and Bacon, make sure you check it out after.
Expect: Above average breakfast, think poached eggs, gravlax, lots of veggies
Favourites: Potato, carrot and kale bubble and squeak, with poached egg, kimchi and sesame.
Location: 77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East VIC
3. Kettle Black
Kettle Black is the type of café you travel to Melbourne for. You’ve probably seen all the photos on social media of the contrasting new and old buildings, elegantly white and unassuming in its location. Upon entering the café you’ll be warmly greeted into one of two sides of a bright, relaxed eatery that has at least a thousand different Instagram-able angles. A must visit for anyone in Melbourne.
Expect: One of the most exciting breakfasts you’ve had in along time. Add some art to your day and stare at the architecture.
Favourites: Hotcake with ricotta, blueberries, pure maple, double cream and seeds. Polenta porridge is a must try too.
Location: 50 Albert Road, South Melbourne VIC