The sibling rivalry between cities Sydney and Melbourne is an infamous debate that has divided residents for years. Being a loyal Sydneysider, I don’t like to admit that Melbourne might have anything over Sydney. The truth is they are both so different that it’s almost unfair to compare them. After all, you can’t compare St Kilda Beach to Bondi or the Harbour Bridge to… Actually, I’m not sure if Melbourne has any comparable bridges? The point is, and I’m sure both Sydneysiders and Melbournites will agree, both cities are beautiful in their own right. They have completely different drawcards – like Melbourne doesn’t have lockout laws so their party scene might be a little more bustling and Sydney has some pretty magnificent beaches that some consider the best in the world. Melbourne is known for its culture and Sydney is known for its landmarks, but when it comes down to which city is best? Well, the polls are still out.
There is one area where I would like to throw Melbourne some points – food. Being a foodie myself, I like to think that I’ve tried the best Sydney has to offer. From Matt Moran’s Chiswick, Nel, the Butler, through to the 5 star Bentley, I’ve had my fair share of spectacular Sydney meals. However, a weekend spent eating my way through Melbourne and I’d likely to throw out this scandalous statement – Melbourne might just have better food. Everywhere you go there is a different yet scrumptious food offering that puts Sydney to shame. What’s more, their food prices are affordable and they tailor to the fussiest of eaters – a whole deli dedicated to vegan sandwiches, you betcha. Or a Moroccan soup kitchen where you can feed your whole family vegetarian eats for under $30? Yes, Melbourne has it. So what Melbourne might lack in landmarks or beaches, they make up for in cuisine. As for their coffee, well, it goes without saying that they had that nailed years ago.
Here’s some of the best eats Melbourne has to offer. Give me another weekend down there and I’ll be sure to add to this list.
ARCHIES ALL DAY
189 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
If potato gems and Bloody Mary’s are your idea of an ideal breakfast, then Archie’s All Day is just for you. This café has taken some of the best classics and added in the perfect spin. There’s a dish to suit any ravenous contender and they’ll happily make adjustments for people like me who don’t meat or like eggs.
*Archie’s All Day images via Her Wandering Eyes.
119 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
A whole café dedicated to croissants? Well, what’s not to like?! Lune takes pastries to a whole new level, offering a daily menu featuring your favourite croissants like pain au chocolate and almond, but adding in some quirky offerings like ‘Cruffins’ (the delectable croissant cross muffin). If you’re willing to wait in the line that spirals out the door, you can also catch a glimpse of how croissants are made through their open kitchen that features in the centre of the café. Making croissants is definitely a fine art worth the wait.
*Lune image via Instagram @lunecroissant.
32 Best St, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Offering a seasonal European menu full of favourites like gnocchi and tiramisu, Pinotta in Fitzroy is an affordable dinner option where prices seem too cheap for the 5-star feel. Visit on an empty stomach and you’re guaranteed to leave feeling gluttonously full but incredibly happy.
*Pinotta image via Pinotta.
SMITH & DAUGHTERS – SMITH & DELI
111 Moor St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Their uber cool logo which states ‘Vegan Eats’ says it all. This undeniably hip vegan deli which offers an extensive menu of delights like the ‘Home Alone’ with turkey or the ‘Egg Salad’ is all surprisingly vegan. Smith & Daughters somehow make substitutes for meat, cheese and egg and even if you’re a dedicated carnivore, you wouldn’t even be able to tell.
*Smith & Deli image via Her Wandering Eyes.
MOROCCAN SOUP BAR
183 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Here’s a unique venue that is literally making the world a better place, starting off with the fact that you need to bring your own containers for take away. Just tell them ‘food for 2’ and they’ll dish you up with enough vegetarian delicacies to feed the whole family (oh, and it will be around $20). Think chickpea bakes and vegetarian curries, with sides of tabouleh and hummus. Be warned though – if you’re thinking about dining in, tables are tight and lines are long.
*Moroccan Soup Bar image via Instagram @rachel.sumaru.
BROTHER BABA BUDAN
359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This list wouldn’t be about Melbourne if I didn’t include coffee and you’ll find some of the best at Brother Baba Budan. This no fuss, hole in the wall style café offers all the basics but done incredibly well.
*Brother Baba Budan image via Instagram @brotherbababudan.
304 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
This place would have to be close to the top of the list as a favourite, not only for their delightful menu, but for their super chic interior featuring a divine floral courtyard. Think vegetarian risotto, octopus salads, cheese boards and bloody mary’s all day. What’s not to love?
*Alimentari image via Her Wandering Eyes.
*Main image via Redox.