Discovering Australia’s gastronomy

Australia is a country known for its cultural diversity, breathtaking landscapes, and, of course, its cuisine. Australian cuisine offers unparalleled culinary variety, from fresh seafood to exotic meats and traditional desserts. In this article, we will explore some iconic dishes and the best places to enjoy a food tour in Melbourne.

History and evolution of Australian cuisine

Australian cuisine

Australian cuisine has evolved significantly since the arrival of the first European settlers, who ate staples such as bread, meat, and potatoes. Over time, Australian cuisine was influenced by Aboriginal cultures and immigration from various parts of the world, especially Asia and Europe, becoming a vibrant mix of flavors and culinary techniques.

·         Aboriginal influence

Aboriginal Australians have inhabited the continent for more than 60,000 years, developing a cuisine based on natural ingredients available in their environment, such as kangaroo and emu meats and various native fruits, nuts, and spices. Aboriginal cuisine is returning and recognized for its cultural and nutritional value.

·         International influence

The arrival of Italian, Lebanese, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other immigrants has played a crucial role in the formation of modern Australian cuisine, introducing new ingredients and culinary techniques, resulting in a gastronomic fusion that is distinctively Australian.

Typical Australian dishes

Before we delve into the best places to include in a must-see food tour of Melbourne, it is essential to know some of the most representative dishes of Australian gastronomy. These are:

  • Meat Pie: Meat Pie is one of Australia’s iconic dishes and a favorite at sporting events and fairs. It is a pie stuffed with meat and often accompanied by tomato sauce.
  • Vegemite: Vegemite is an Australian breakfast staple. It is a yeast extract spread on toast, usually with butter.
  • Barramundi: Barramundi is a freshwater fish known for its white, delicate flesh that is very popular in Australia and is served in various ways, such as grilled, steamed, or fried.
  • Crocodile Meat: Crocodile meat is a unique specialty in Australia, especially in the north, where crocodiles are abundant. It is a lean meat with a flavor similar to chicken or fish that can be prepared in various ways, such as grilled, in the form of a hamburger, skewered, or even in pies.
  • Anzac Biscuits: Anzac Biscuits are traditional Australian cookies made from oats, coconut, sugar, flour, and browned butter, which gives them a distinctive flavor and a crunchy outside and soft inside texture.
  • Lamingtons: these chocolate and shredded coconut-covered cakes are a traditional dessert served at parties and celebrations.
  • Pavlova: Pavlova is a point of debate between Australians and New Zealanders about its origin, but it is undoubtedly famous in Australia. It is a light and crisp dessert made of meringue and decorated with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Food Tour in Melbourne

Melbourne is known as the food capital of Australia for good reason. The city offers various restaurants and markets highlighting the best local and international cuisine.

·         Michelin-starred restaurants

For an upscale dining experience, Melbourne has several Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Attica, Brae, or Vue de Monde, where you can sample dishes prepared by some of the world’s best chefs.

·         Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is one of Melbourne’s oldest and most significant markets. Here, you can find a wide range of fresh produce, meats, fish, cheeses, and baked goods. A visit to this market is a great way to sample a variety of local foods in one place.

·         Lygon Street

A stroll down Lygon Street, a neighborhood famous for its Italian influence and home to numerous trattorias, pizzerias, and gelato shops offering authentic Italian cuisine, is a culinary experience to be noticed.

·         Chinatown

Chinatown in Melbourne is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the world and a must-see for lovers of Asian cuisine. From dim sum to noodle and duck dishes, this district offers an impressive variety of dining options.

·         Fitzroy

Fitzroy is known for its bohemian atmosphere and offering all tastes options. Here, you can find cafes and restaurants with different cuisines, from Vietnamese and Thai to French and Mexican.

Other unique gastronomic experiences

Other experiences you can include in a gastronomic tour of Melbourne are:

·         Wine tastings

Australia is also famous for its wines, and Melbourne is surrounded by renowned wine regions such as the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Macedon Ranges. Here, you can visit local wineries and taste award-winning wines. Some of the most notable wineries producing high-quality wines in these regions include Domaine Chandon, De Bortoli Wines, Yering Station, and Oakridge Wines.

·         Visit to microbreweries

If you are not a wine lover but a beer lover, Melbourne also offers numerous breweries that produce high-quality craft beers. A tour of these microbreweries will allow you to sample various local beers and learn about the brewing process up close.

·         Cooking classes

Suppose you want to take the gastronomic experience a step further. In that case, several options in Melbourne offer cooking classes, such as The Essential Ingredient Cooking School, The Cooking School at Queen Victoria Market, and Relish Mama Cooking School, where you can learn everything from making authentic Italian pasta to mastering the art of sushi.

·         Food Festivals

Melbourne hosts several food festivals throughout the year. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is one of the most prominent, attracting chefs and food lovers worldwide to celebrate the best Australian and international cuisine.


Australia has a rich and diverse culinary tradition influenced by its history, native peoples, and multicultural immigration. There is something for everyone, from traditional dishes to unique dining experiences in Melbourne.

If you love good food and are planning a trip to Australia, a food tour of Melbourne is an excellent way to discover the country’s unique flavors and enjoy an unforgettable culinary experience.

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