Good Food Guide Melbourne: for First Time Visitors

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 09:11 pm

There are many good foods in Melbourne. The most livable city in the world truly deserves its name if you ask me. Now as a first-time visitor, it can be hard to decide on which one to go. Armed with Google, tripadvisor, and local friends, I visited many lovely restaurants in Melbourne and here are what I suggest:

P.S. Zomato is your go-to site on reviews of different restaurants.

Breakfast in Melbourne

Hardware Societe

Interior Hardware Societe, Melbourne CBD, Australia
The gorgeous Hardware Societe

By far my favourite breakfast place in Melbourne, it’s so good that I went back a second time.

Located in Hardware Lane, this little gem is very popular and there’s often a line waiting (especially during the weekend).

Interior of opposite cafe, Hardware Societe, Melbourne CBD, Australia

The first time I went I queued for 20 minutes on a Saturday (around 9.45am), and the 2nd time on a Friday morning and it was just full. They do however have another cafe opposite, which has the popular dishes albeit a smaller menu.

Baked Eggs, Hardware Soceite, Melbourne CBD, Australia
Baked eggs~~

Their famous dish is baked eggs, and there’s several option including vegetarian, chorizo and scallop. Note that the eggs are quite cheesy so if you are looking for a more egg-centric dish then should opt for something else 🙂

Lobster egg benedict, Hardware Societe, Melbourne CBD, Australia
What’s better than Lobster Egg Benedict?

My personal favourite is the lobster egg Benedict- they come with a crunchy black bun with citricsy hollandaise sauce and lobster meat, and is heavenly to eat!

Mocha, Hardware Societe, Melbourne CBD, Australia

In terms of drinks, the mocha my friend ordered was really good, whereas my green tea latte is of normal standard.

Address: 120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Fri 7:30 – 15:00; Sat – Sun 8:00 – 15:00

The Kettle Black

Interior, The Kettle Black, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

I have heard a lot about Kettle Black prior to landing in Melbourne, and it is perhaps one of the most famous breakfast place, especially on the internet. Note that it is outside of the free tram zone, and you will need to get a Myki card to get there.

V60 coffee, The Kettle Black, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

My friend and I ordered drinks first, and she got a V60 coffee whilst I got a hot chocolate (I am not a coffee person hence coffee is wasted one me). I was told by my friend that the coffee is quite good.

Hotcake, The Kettle Black, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Hot cake!

Their hotcake is very photogenic but the portion is huge so be sure to share with a friend!

Address: 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Fri 7:00 – 16:00; Sat – Sun 8:00 – 16:00

Higher Ground

High level interior, Higher Ground, Melbourne CBD

I have heard a lot of good things about Higher Ground, particularly the interior design as the building was a former factory now turned cafe. As I was going alone and ‘early’ (9.30am on a Sunday morning), I was able to get a seat immediately.

Lower Groud view of interior, Higher Ground, Melbourne CBD, Australia

I had been eyeing all the scramble egg on toast in all the breakfast places, so I decided to order scramble egg as well as a mocha (as I was told I must try coffee in Melbourne).

Scramble egg on toast and mocha, Higher Ground, Melbourne CBD, Australia

Address: 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Weds: 7:00 – 16:00; Thurs – Sat 7:00 – 10:30; Sun 8:00 – 16:00

Good Restaurants in Melbourne 

Royal Stacks

Exterior, Royal Stacks, Melbourne CBD, Australia

When I asked my friends what Melbourne is famous for, she has told me that it’s Brunch, Burger and Coffee. Royal Stacks is situated on Collins street, with a chic interior decor and a neon Burger sign.

The restaurant operates in a fast food way as in free for all seatings and ordered at the counter. You are then given a beeper which will vibrate when your order is ready.

The King with mac and cheese, Royal Stacks, Melbourne CBD, Australia

My friend and I order an Oreo milkshake to share and The King, which has a beef patty and mac and cheese croquette.The mac and cheese croquette was good and the burger, with 3 layers of carbs (2 bread layer and one mac and cheese layer) you will surely be full.

Address: 470 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Sat 11:30 -22:00; Sun 11:30 – 21:00

Cumulus

Cumulus is a popular breakfast place as well as a dinner destination. Having no morning left I decided to opt for dinner at this place instead

Interior, Cumulus, Melbourne CBD, Australia

First thing first- I booked a table at 8.30pm as I was on a day tour to Great Ocean Road and was unsure if I can get back on time; luckily we got back around 7 and my friends and me were starving, we decided to try our luck and see if they can accommodate us early. The staff was very accommodating and we were seated early!

Menu, Cumulus, Melbourne CBD, Australia

Their menu is quite small- we were handed a card smaller than A4 size and it’s the entire menu. I read online that their menu is seasonal and changes, which explains the small size 🙂

Duck waffle and fois gras, Cumulus, Melbourne CBD, Australia
Duck waffle and fois gras

My friend ordered this starter and it’s delicious- although the portion is quite small!

Steak, Cumulus, Melbourne CBD, Australia
Dry aged Murray Grey Club Steak (300g)

For main, I ordered the Murray Grey Club Steak (medium rare), which was already cut and comes with chips and salads.

Chopped beef, Cumulus, Melbourne CBD, Australia
Chopped beef

My friends ordered the chopped beef and chicken which was also really good. Note that the restaurant portion tends to be small!

Address: 45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Fri 7:00 – 23:00; Sat-Sun 8:00 – 23:00

Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam

Interior, Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam, Melbourne CBD, Australia

With a big Asian population, Melbourne has a vibrant Asian cuisine, with Vietnamese being one of them. With the cold wind in Melbourne, my friends and I are craving warm soup and so we headed down to Chinatown for some pho!

Pho, Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam, Melbourne CBD, Australia

The menu is in both Chinese and English, and the restaurant is often busy hence expect to wait for a little bit for a seat. As I was craving pho I ordered the beef balls with beef combo. Strangely enough, they gave us lemon instead of lime for the pho, and whilst I like the soup the beef ball wasn’t very good.

Address: 241 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Thurs 9:00 – 22:00; Fri – Sat 9:00 – 23:00; Sun 10:00 – 22;00

Melbourne Drinks Spot

Madame Brussels

My favourite bar in Melbourne (which is not saying much as I have only been to 2), I would not have known this place if not for my Melbourne friend 🙂 Melbourne’s roof bar is different to HK in that they are usually only 3 or 4 stories high. And entrance looks pretty sketchy.

Interior view, Madame Brussel, Melbourne CBD, Australia

Inside the bar there’s an indoor and outdoor area, and the design inside has an ‘Alice in Wonderland theme’ and it being winter, the outside area has heat lamps and blankets to keep you warm.

Roof top view, Madame Brussel, Melbourne CBD, Australia

The staff at the bar also wears tennis gear, and they will pull an empty chair and sits down with you when they take your order (how cute!). We ordered one jug of Lady Liberty winter punch (amazing choice) and it was delicious.

Lady Liberty Winter Brunch, Madame Brussel, Melbourne CBD, Australia

Berlin Bar

Exterior Berlin Bar Melbourne CBD, Australia

My friends and I went on a walking tour and the guide recommended this place, which is a Berlin theme bar with a split between East and West Berlin. To go inside the bar you have to knock on the door and then it’s up and into the bar.

West Berlin interior Berlin Bar, Melbourne CBD, Australia
West Berlin!

Once inside you are now transported to West Berlin, as evident by the ‘lavish’ interior; if you continue right as I have and go through another door next to the bar, you will landed in East Berlin.

East Berlin Interior, Berlin Bar, Melbourne CBD, Australia
East Berlin!

Their cocktail menu is very interesting with a map of Germany in the centre, and the different drinks depicted as a location within.

Cocktail Menu, Berlin Bar, Melbourne CBD, Australia

Address: 16 Corrs Lane, Top Floor, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Tues 17:00 – 0:00; Weds-Thurs 17:00 – 01:00; Fri 16:00 – 02:00; Sat 17:00 – 02:00; Sun 18:00 – 0:00

Desserts in Melbourne

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

Cake display, Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia

Nestled in the Royal Arcade, this tearoom has a display that will stop you track and takes a dozen photo. My Melbourne friend told me that this tearoom often spot a line (as many other popular place in Melbourne), hence she has never tried it.

Interior, Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia

I was lucky enough to get a seat with my friends after 5 minutes wait (we went on a weekday around 4pm!). The interior decoration has a Royal European feel with green velvety wall, however the tables are very closed together.

Chocolate cake,Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia

The menu is for drinks only, and the cake menu is simply the display outside the restaurant. My friend and I ordered the ‘house special’ banana mouse with brownies and their chocolate gateau. Whilst I found the house special good I am not overly impressed with their chocolate gateau.

Signature cake, Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia

Another thing is that the service is quite bad, which may be contributed to the fact that it’s popular and they have no short of business. To me service isn’t the number 1 thing I look at when rating restaurants, however the staff there were a contrast to the friendly service you receive in other Australian restaurants.

Address: The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Sat: 8:00 – 17:00; Sun 09:00 – 17:00

Pidapipo

Line outside, Pidapipo, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s Lygon street is known as ‘Little Italy’, and those who don’t mind a bit of a walk outside CBD, you will find this authentic gelato place among the Italian restaurants. You won’t miss this place as there’s always a queue outside!

gelato, Pidapipo, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia

When i was traveling in Italy, one of the locals had pointed out to my sister and I that authentic gelato is stored under the counter in lids rather than pile up behind window display (which is a sign of chemicals). I was full from dinner but upon seeing this place I made a beeline for the top and I was not disappointed!

Address: 299 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Opening times: Mon – Sun 12:00 – 23:00

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

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