The thing I miss most about Melbourne is the insane amount of independent, creative, eateries. This made trying to save money whilst living there very hard. So here it is, a post to test your own will power, and spread the love of amaaazing food.
Sam Sam – As soon as you land in Melbourne, go straight here, don’t even drop off your bags. Korean chicken and beer is one of the best creations ever, so simple and so so yummy. Crispy chicken drenched in sticky sauce, washed down with refreshing beer: they know what they’re doing. Whenever suggested, Sam Sam is a sure thing. It’s one of the first places we found in Melbourne so thankfully we have eaten here for the majority of the year. Sam Sam is super tasty and not expensive considering how amazing it is. We usually get the half size (275g) boneless chicken, half sweet and spicy and half hot and spicy. On the side we get kimchi fries and a bottle of Kirin Fuji Apple Cider.
Rice Paper – Just a few doors up from Sam Sam – (Swanston Street is the best) – you will find the Vietnamese restaurant, Rice Paper. You can sit indoors, or they have a quick takeaway counter where you can pick up fresh Vietnamese Summer Rolls for only $3.50 and be on your way: they’re on FoodOra too! Our favourite rolls were the Soft Shell Crab & Avocado, they are packed with Vermicelli Noodles and fresh herbs, fresh fresh fresh! A main course will set you back around $15, the portion sizes are huge and there’s definitely enough to take home. You also have a flask of free tea at the table, or for more of a caffeine hit, grab yourself a Vietnamese coffee.
Chuckle Park – If Melbourne loves one thing – its a lane way. This cafe / bar is the most creative and cute use of a space like this I have ever seen! I don’t quite know how it works in the rain but thankfully it doesn’t rain as often as Manchester here. Chuckle Park is a festival in a ginnel, with flowers and fairy lights every where, plus a small caravan at the back to order food and drinks. We only ever had drinks here, but the cheese and antipasto boards look amazing!
St Kilda –
Iddy Biddy – Where do I start? Situated on the corner of Blessington St – next to the 7 Eleven – Iddy Biddy is the place to go if you love a good deal. Literally every day they have a deal on. We went on a Tuesday and the deal we took advantage of was the $16 parma deal. The list of parmas on offer were the size of my arm, and we were spoilt for choice. Another day we sought refuge here, due to unexpected rainfall, this lead to $6 pints of Heineken, which lead onto getting a $6 pizza as well. The food is super tasty and super cheap, they have an awesome indie music playlist and friendly staff. What more could you want?
Chapel St –
Kaaoli Sushi – The mother of all chicken wings! I could literally eat a bucket of these every day, my mouth is actually watering. From the outside Kaaoli may not look that special but the food is divine and cheap! They have a huge menu offering all sorts of Asian delights. Our favourite dish was the Singapore Noodles, the portion was huge with incredible flavour. A great pit-stop while strolling up Chapel St.
Two Lost Boys – Slightly off Chapel St, in it’s own little corner is Two Lost Boys. Any Peter Pan reference is always going to go down well, and the food is no different either. Luckily for us, Two Lost Boys was just a short walk away from our house and a staple in hungover breakfast food. The Mac & Cheese Toastie is perfect hangover stodge. They specialise in toasties and have something for everyone. In the picture I am tucking into their Pumpkin Benedict – two poached eggs, spinach, dukka, hollandaise + harissa baked pumpkin on sourdough. Jack’s favourite was the Chikado toastie – chicken, avocado, chilli, chives, mayo, lime + swiss cheese. Toasties range from $7.50 to $14.50, so affordable and so delicious.
If you can count on Melbourne for one thing it is decent markets. They’re everywhere and happening all the time. A stand out one is the Summer Night Markets, they run every Wednesday night throughout the summer time. They are busy, bustling and bloody good fun. I tried my first oyster here, combined with a pint of cider – keeping it classy. From oysters to lively Greeks singing and shouting ‘Opa!’ whilst serving you tasty gyros, there’s something for everyone. We ate our gyros whilst singing along to a Bowie tribute band, heavenly.