Melbourne, A City Tasting Tour
No matter which alleyway you stumble down, the beautiful thing about getting lost in Melbourne is that there’s a surprise around every corner. Grand arcades are juxtaposed against striking street-art - setting the perfect backdrop for a dynamic dining scene: while waiting for the Taste of Melbourne food festival, FDL provides you a foodie city guide with the best street food, markets and bars.
OFF TO MARKET
The quickest way to feel like a local, in any city, is to go to the local produce market. Queen Victoria Market is bursting at the seams with produce stalls, fishmongers and butchers; as well as a charming deli hall and an addictive doughnut van. Serious connoisseurs shop at Melbourne’s oldest market, Prahran Market, for speciality produce. On Fridays and Saturdays look-out for Tad Lombardo’s Cioccalato Lambardo stall for award-winning chocolates.
Hungry for cookbooks? Books for Cooks will satiate your appetite. Tim and Amanda White have collected thousands of cookbooks, new and old, on almost every imaginable cuisine, chef, ingredient, wine.... the list goes on. Once you’ve pored over the pages, stop by Gewurzhaus, a charming spice store with over 300 herbs and spices, including over 30 types of salt.
It’s the little things that count, like a perfect cup of coffee and Melbourne is spoilt for choice. Speciality coffee is du jour and at St Ali, you’re in safe hands with Matt Perger behind the espresso machine. Winner of the 2012 World Coffee Events’ World Brewer’s Cup Championship in Vienna, Matt’s coffee is matched with a vibrant and ever-changing food menu. And as luck would have it, you can also get a superb cup of coffee at the markets. Tucked away inside Prahran Market is Market Lane Coffee’s roastery and cafe, with a second outpost at Queen Victoria Market.
It doesn’t take much to work up an appetite in Melbourne and luckily there are plenty of places to grab a quick bite. Huxtaburger opened in December last year and people have been lining up for their burgers ever since. In the CBD, snare a seat at MoVida for a glass of sherry and a Cantabrian anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet.
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first” - the motto at LuxBite says it all. This stylish cafe is all about indulgent, attitude-infused pastries, desserts and macarons. For a serious sugar-high, visit the nearby Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio. Indulge in their immaculate desserts, or stock-up on cocoa-nib chocolate and salted caramel sauce.
For a sophisticated nightcap head to Der Raum, an innovative and striking cocktail bar. Leaders in molecular mixology, just tell the bartenders your preferred tipple and leave the rest to them. For a more intimate affair, Bar Americano goes from a hole-in-the-wall coffee-shop by day, to old-school (standing room only) bar by night.