Victoria's state capital ranks with Sydney as one of Australia's most multicultural cities, so it's no wonder that it boasts some first-class cuisine from around the globe. In particular, Melbourne has some fantastic Latin restaurants which are guaranteed to delight aficionados and open up the eyes of newcomers to the charms of South American cooking. So whether you're in town for some retail therapy, a tour of the art galleries or a visit to the theatre district, take time to check out Quandoo's list of the top Latin restaurants in Melbourne.
If you want a general introduction to South American cooking, there are plenty of Latin restaurants in Melbourne which offer just that. Places such as Lulo on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn and Buenos Dias on Nicholson Street in Carlton North draw on the rich traditions of Colombian, Chilean and Venezuelan cuisines for the highlights of their crowd-pleasing menus. You can snack on cassava chips and pork crackers, share plates of empanadas and marranitas, or fill up on mains of char-grilled ox tongue. And you can always count on a wide selection of South American beer and cocktails to wash everything down along the way.
Melbourne has several Latin restaurants which channel the fun-loving spirit of Rio. For instance, at Copacabana International on Smith Street, Fitzroy, you can welcome the weekend with dinner followed by drinks, a dance show and late night DJ's. Expect colourful costumes, choreography and a live band. To get you ready for all those tangos and sambas, these places often have well-stocked buffets and salad bars, plus authentic gaucho-style churrascaria barbecues busily doling out steaks, sausages and chicken wings.
For something more off the beaten track, there are several Latin restaurants in Melbourne celebrating the culinary heritage of Peru. With its dining room decked out in bright regions textiles, Inti Gourmet on the Nepean Highway in Bonbeach is an eye-catching example of the type. Likely delicacies include beef hearts with sun-dried chillies, lime-cured snapper ceviche and a choice of authentic Andean slow-cooked stews such as carapulcra (pork with peanut sauce) and seco de carne (beef with herbs and rice). Or tuck into some tamales or grilled swordfish for a tasty and filling alternative.