Melbourne is known for its thriving coffee and food culture. The city has embraced its multicultural background and diverse cuisine by blending it with Australian native tastes and making it hard to beat the great offer of places to eat in Melbourne.
Where to Eat in Melbourne CBD
With hundreds of eateries reviewed online, it is easy to map out the best cafes in Melbourne CBD by searching online or simply following the recommendation of a local. I love discovering new places by walking Melbourne Laneways and being inspired by its vibe.
On my food explorations, what I look for is an overall good experience which translates into quality food prepared with passion and fresh ingredients, cosy ambience and good value. Here are my picks for the best places to eat in Melbourne.
Italian Food in Melbourne
I may be biased, but Italian food is unarguably the backbone of Melbourne food culture and the city boasts excellent Italian eateries. As a pizza and pasta lover, I was delighted to stumble upon Vapiano Restaurant.
I love this place because of the highly engaging and creative experience, which goes beyond eating good Italian food. Here you can watch the chefs making fresh pasta and pizza dough as well as preparing your own dish in front of you. And the best part, you can create your own recipe by choosing the ingredients for the pizza toppings or for pasta sauce.
For the excellent, freshly produced quality food, I give Vapiano a thumbs up. While it is perfect for lunch, the comfortable ambience with soft lights, cosy areas, and balconies makes it ideal for dining out. Located at 347 Flinders Lane, a short walk from Federation Square.
Places for Coffee and Breakfast
While it is almost impossible to get a bad coffee in Melbourne, I felt that many Melbourne cafes don’t offer a friendly environment and their ambience (at times) leaves much to desire! Here are just a few places that stand out from the crowd for their offerings, clean design, and pleasant environment.
The Grain Store – best place for Organic Food
If you love organic food, this is the place. Here you can taste European recipes blended with fresh Australian produce. Goji berries combined in sweet and savoury breakfast to different types of grain rolls, baguettes, and sandwiches from quinoa. Its clean design of painted timber, marble and flowers make it to my favourite places to eat in Melbourne.
Krimper – best place for international cuisine (and quirky design)
I stumbled upon Krimper while strolling around Melbourne’s Laneways and beautiful Street Art. The place, tucked away in the Guildford Lane, was first a sawmill, later a cabinetmaking factory converted into a restaurant. The inviting design is made with the original lift car in the centre of the room, various cabinets and quirky lamps from old wheels and chains hanging from the ceiling.
The food menu has fine French and Japanese influences. It is also a great place for brunch.
Places to Eat on the Go
These are my favourite places to eat when you are on the run.
Rice Workshop – Juicy Japanese Food
I discovered Rice Workshop while discovering the small lanes in China Town. This small place on the corner of Tattersalls Street and Bourke Street offers excellent Japanese food to take away or eat inside. I loved my Tofu Rice Salad. Vegetarian can find a good choice on the menu. They also offer delicious soft ice.
BON – The Healthy Fast food Concept
I felt attracted by this place by the fresh offerings of BON. Here you can get healthy pre-packaged sandwiches, salads and soups to take away, but you can also dine-in in their shop in the Hardware Lane corner Little Bourke Street.
Bonnie Coffee Brewers – Excellent coffee on the go
This coffee place is number one in Melbourne if you are a coffee lover with a demanding taste. At Bonnie Coffee Brewers, you are lucky enough to brew your own coffee blend right on the spot. The place offers a different variety of blends, filter coffee and cold drip coffee. There is no food, just coffee and cookies, and it is only a short walk from Southern Cross Station distance.
Mc Cafe – The best value Coffee & Muffins on the Go
I love breakfast with Muffin & Cappuccino at Mc Cafe. While many people do not like the idea of checking out the fast-food chains for coffee, I must admit that Mac Caffee has some fantastic choices. There are certainly many places for breakfast and coffee in Melbourne, and Mc Cafe (from Mc Donald’s) is one of those, with an excellent offer of bakery and muffins.
Their cappuccino and Walnut Carrot Whole-brain Muffin are my favourite and get the prize for the best value Breakfast in Melbourne.
This is a shortlist of the best places to eat in Melbourne, which will help you experience some of the finest eateries and cafes in the CBD. You may also be interested in reading about my healthy eating tips for travelling around Australia.
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