We all know travelling is about broadening the horizons. For most, surprising and challenging the palate is a big part of that, for us, it’s our favourite part in fact.
There are still sometimes though where you need that familiarity. You may be homesick, hungover or perhaps ill- sometimes you just need some home comforts.
For us Brits there’s so much average food we crave. It’s never just one thing. I wasn’t aware the locals called us Brits ‘Whinging Poms’ until I got here. For years I stubbornly (another thing we’re good at) stuck up for us and argued it was rubbish but it’s not really is it? We bloody love a moan.
It genuinely baffles me how many times I hear people bemoaning missing so much British food.
YOU’RE IN MELBOURNE. BRITISH PEOPLE EAT BEANS OUT OF A TIN, CRAVE FOR AN INDIAN CURRY THAT WAS INVENTED IN GLASGOW (AND TRY TO CLAIM IT IS OUR NATIONAL DISH), EAT TEDDY BEAR SHAPED HAM AND A GOOD BREAKFAST IS ANYTHING FRIED…EVEN BREAD.
We might not be known for good food but there’s also those guilty pleasures we just bloody need at times. Le Taj in West Melbourne knocks out a curry that rivals back home. La Roche in St Kilda does a solid Pommy Breakfast (it’s even called that) featuring hash browns, black pudding and offering brown sauce. Charles Dickens Tavern on Collins does a belting Beef and Guinness Pie as well as a Gammon Steak- Dad would be pleased.
And if all you’re missing is some sweet n’ sour chicken balls look no further than Dave’s Chinese in St Kilda- complete with curry sauce, chop suey and all manner of other English abominations on the Chinese cuisine.
So where for a good Sunday Roast? Tell us, Adam! Tell us. Honestly? Nowhere. Although the closest I’ve gotten is Bridie O’Reilly’s on Chapel St (An Irish pub but close enough).
Leave a comment at the bottom if you think I’m wrong because I would love to know where a good roast is.
For British people after a more confectionery based home fix, there’s also the Treats From Home in the CBD. It stocks everything from tea bags to Minstrels and Quavers to penny sweets. It’s not cheap but it’s worth it once a year.
The Irish have it good in Melbourne, they’ve got some solid choices and that’s a lot to do with the Irish pubs being pretty bloody proper, all run by Irish and staffed by Irish.
Mammy’s Boys is a name that just feels homely and attracts me immediately. It’s number one stop for good ol’ Fish n Chips. They do everything as fried and unhealthily wonderful as back in the Emerald Isle.
Aside from that, there’s the Fifth Province (or just the Fifth as it’s affectionately known) which has good Irish stouts and the best Irish breakfast in town. What? Yeah, it does do soda bread, black AND white pudding. Grand!
They all offer a standard range of Sauerkraut and Schnitzels to be washed down with a litre of German beer but our favourite is Munich Brauhaus.
Everything just works, from the staff, to the music, to the setting-the timber hall on the river feels just arbeiten (that’s working in German-I’m good) for them there’s even the Schnitzelmeister, one almighty food challenge.
It’s simple really, 1kg schnitzel plus 4 sides in one hour. If you do try it then message us and we’ll come down, film it and put you on our next blog when you fail.
Another treat from Deutschland is The Bratwurst Shop. Nestled in the Deli Hall in Queen Victoria Markets this place is proper German fast food and smashes out Wurst after Wurst. Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor, this place has rave reviews from in my opinion the harshest critics, Germans!
Melbourne is currently riding some kind of US food wave and there are a plethora of options, from budget to upmarket. There’s also a bit of history too.
Andrew’s Hamburgers on Franklin St is not only well priced but also Melbourne’s first burger joint. After your burger you can walk a few hundred metres to Queen Vic Market and visit one of the market’s oldest vendors, the American Doughnut Kitchen. Serving out of a 1950s van you can grab 6 doughnuts for $6- bargain.
Meat lovers really are well catered for when it comes to American food. The hamburgers are good but it’s hard to pick the true dream spot between Fancy Hanks BBQ on Bourke St and Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks on St Kilda Road. I’m going to be controversial and make the decision for you. The greasy authenticity of Sparrow’s pips it for me.
The US food scene is so strong that there’s even an extremely highly regarded tour called United States of Food which takes in several of these joints! If this takes your interest ask us for a discount code 😉
Picture this, you’ve cooked a beautiful lasagne on Sunday then the next day you’ve come home after a hard day, gone to the fridge and just slopped the leftovers on a plate. You’ve just pictured exactly how the pasta is served at Pellegrini’s here. Is that a feeling of home? YES!
This is one of Melbourne’s oldest food establishments (with far too rich a history for this piece) and it’s heart-warming that it looks exactly how it did 50 years. The service is abrupt but that’s not one of their three specialities; those are coffee, cake and pasta and they excel in all. I couldn’t care less about the presentation when the Cannelloni tastes like it does. Finish it off with some Limonella and crème with a cappuccino (no chocolate, just like the motherland) in hand and you’ll be two things, full and happy. Bellisimo!
If you’re wanting to know a little bit more about Melbourne, check out some more of our blogs.
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If you’re travelling to Melbourne from overseas then you don’t need to look any further than our Welcome to Melbourne tour, the best 8-day arrival tour into Australia.