Once a gold-rush boomtown attracting fortune seekers from far away lands, Melbourne has long been the multicultural capital of Australia. Today, thanks in part to that continuing diversity, one might call it the foodie capital as well. With some of the top restaurants in the country, Melbourne’s culinary scene is pushing the boundaries of innovation, leading Heston Blumenthal to dub it “the biggest food explosion [he’s] ever seen in any country.”
Creative experimentation and a keen sense of adventure permeate Melbourne’s culinary culture, including a push towards sustainability, wellness, and hyper-local ingredients. With an eclectic mix of local and international chefs calling the city home and an awe-inspiring kaleidoscope of South-East Asian flavors, Melbourne has become a top food destination as much for its street food stalls as its elegant white tables.
Crawl your way through Melbourne’s labyrinth of welcoming streetside pubs for the classic experience, or mix things up on one of its many rooftop terrace bars for the ultimate view. Stylish wine bars have also sprouted up all over the city, and you can even sample gourmet pub fare from some of Melbourne’s most iconic chefs.
You might mistake Melbourne’s laneways for an open-air art gallery, and for good reason: the city’s street art is a true feast for the eyes. European-style cafes and connoisseur coffee roasters are the focal points of a new urban lifestyle, and foodies flock to the city every March for the Melbourne Food Festival.