Time after time Melbourne is named as one of the very best cities in the world for folk who like their food. It’s up there with the likes of Istanbul, Tokyo, London, Bordeaux and Bologna. Melbourne’s food and restaurant scene is buzzing in ways you can’t even imagine. What makes Melbourne’s scene so fantastic is the ‘anything goes’ mentality. If a restaurant in Melbourne tries something new and fails, it’s not laughed at and abandoned, it’s commended and embraced. As well as this and much like the city itself, restaurants in Melbourne are exceptionally diverse. Whoever you are and whatever you want, we’re not exaggerating when we say there really will be a restaurant in Melbourne that suits you down to the ground and back up again.
You may be asking yourself whether Melbourne has always been such a food city or whether this sort of hype is a relatively new thing. Truth be told, we think it’s been a very gradual revolution – heck, you could even called it evolution – that stemmed from the tangible soul of the city. By that we mean that here in Melbourne, arguably more so than anywhere else in Australia, the attitude to life is unflustered. As we said before, it’s anything goes. One of many by products of this is that rules and regulations in the context of great food and drink are, quite simply, ignored. You go to Italy and order a cappuccino in the afternoon and you’ll be gawked at like an uneducated novice. Go to France and ask for parmesan on your seafood and you’re the devil. Melbournians and thus Melbourne’s restaurants say to hell with all of that, and the result is something special – the revolution, or evolution, of a food scene that’s impossible to resist.
All of that may sound as though the restaurant scene in Melbourne could overwhelm a visitor or someone new to town, but the reality is quite the opposite. Whether in the suburbs or in the CBD, as you wander the vibrant streets of Melbourne, quality restaurants will be there waiting on almost every corner and it’s a breeze to book at a table at any one of them via Quandoo. You can ease yourself in with a hole-in-the-wall Chinese joint, work your way up to a casual French lunch and then before you know it you’ll be dining at world-revered evening restaurants headed by some of the best chefs on the planet. That, folks, is just how Melbourne rolls.
Melbourne also rolls with an enormous international influence, so much so that it’s estimated around 40% of Melbourne’s population was born overseas. The result – and yes there is a pattern emerging – is exceptional diversity when it comes to Melbourne’s restaurants. But let’s break it down a bit. By far the most influential communities are the Chinese, Greeks and Italians, most of whom settled in Melbourne during the gold rush and the two world wars. Melbourne’s Chinatown has restaurants by the bucketload and is easily one of the oldest outside Asia, meanwhile, Melbourne’s Greek community is the largest outside of Greece. The Melbourne CBD has Greek restaurants, delis and bakeries on pretty much every street and the warmth of these places is utterly charming. Then, of course, there is Little Italy, home to Australia's first pizza joint and the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne by a country mile. It’s also here, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, that the city’s cafe culture emerged…
For us not to discuss cafes and coffee would, quite simply, be a crime against Melbourne. Restaurants are fantastic as we now know, but cafes are also an undeniable and irreplaceable part of what makes Melbourne so great. The people of Melbourne understand good coffee and they know how it should be served and how it should taste. Coffee is respected here and you certainly won’t find many global coffee house chains like in other major cities. And, just like restaurants in Melbourne, the cafes contribute so much to the chilled atmosphere of the place as a whole. Locals and visitors spend hours sat drinking coffee and enjoying creative and homecooked cafe food along with it – it’s all really rather captivating. Via Quandoo you can find Melbourne restaurants and cafes that are ready to be booked and ready to be utterly enjoyed. There ain’t no place like it, friends, so what are you waiting for? Find your favorites and go and get stuck in.