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Eating in Melbourne: Where to Find Cheap Eats and other Tips

Updated on February 23, 2013

At Le Cirque Fine Foods at Harbourtown

Seafood risotto at Le Cirque Fine Foods.
Seafood risotto at Le Cirque Fine Foods.

Eating Out in Melbourne

In Melbourne, you will realise that it is hard to pinpoint one cuisine which is uniquely Melbourne. However, what Melbourne has to offer is definitely variety. And the quality of food is pretty good too.

Eating out can be expensive so I will be sharing some tips along the way. Firstly, if you are looking for cheap snacks or wish to prepare your own breakfast or picnic you can head to the supermarkets such as Coles. There is a Coles outlet which opens till late (about 1am) along Elizabeth Street.

Another way of saving on food would be to dine at chains like Nando's, McDonald's, Subway and the many pizza chains. But realistically, you will probably get bored if you were to just depend on these "fast food" places. My plan as always is to stick to cheaper places throughout most of the trip and then splurge on one or two awesome meals. For instance, you can choose to dine at one of the Michelin Star restaurants at Crown Entertainment complex or choose to have high tea at places like Koko Black and Haigh's. After that, you can also splurge on chocolates as souvenirs if you wish to.

To try some great restaurants you can also look out for deals on coupon websites. I managed to purchase a great deal from Living Social which costs $25 for 2 main courses, which comes with 2 hot drinks at Le Cirque Fine Foods.

Oranges at Queen Victoria Market

Fresh Fruits: Grapes, Oranges, and Strawberries....

In Melbourne, there are many markets. The most famous one is definitely the Queen Victoria Market. There are many sections in the market, including one for fruits and vegetables. Depending on the season you will find different types of local fruits to choose from. When we were in Melbourne, we ate lots of grapes as they were really cheap. However, due to bad weather in the previous month, there was almost no supply of strawberries.

Greek Food at Staclactites

Mixed platter of grilled chicken and lamb.
Mixed platter of grilled chicken and lamb.

Melbourne's Food Precincts

Besides the many shopping precincts in Melbourne, this vibrant city also has its "food" precincts. For Italian food and gelato, head to Lygon Street. For Greek cuisine, head to Lonsdale Street. A famous restaurant here would be Staclactites which occupies a corner shop lot. They operate 24 hours a day and have a takeout counter. For Chinese food, head to Little Bourke Street which is the city's Chinatown district as well. Closeby is Swanston Street, where there are also some Chinese restaurants as well as other Asian cuisines, such as Japanese, Malaysian and Korean. To save money, your best bet would be to head to Chinatown as prices start from below AUD10. Portions are also big so you are guaranteed a full stomach! Eating out at lunch is also generally cheaper as there are lunch specials. When we were there, there was a Korean restaurant, Seoul House, which offered a lunch special of bibimbap for only AUD6.50. It was delicious and the side dishes were also refillable.

Delicious Cakes at Achland Cake Shop

A slice of pecan cake.
A slice of pecan cake.

Delicious Cakes at Achland Street

St Kilda is a great suburb located just outside of Melbourne's city centre. It is easily reachable via tram. When you reach St Kilda, head to Achland Street where you will find many cafes and shops. Here, you will have a tough choice of which cake shop to try. For us, we decided to go for Achland Cake Shop. The cakes we ordered were really good, especially the pecan cake!

Delicious Jam Doughnuts at Queen Victoria Market

Map of Melbourne

show route and directions
A markerAchland Cake Shop -
77 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
get directions

B markerLonsdale Street, Melbourne -
Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC, Australia
get directions

C markerLygon Street, Melbourne -
Lygon St, Melbourne VIC, Australia
get directions

D markerLittle Bourke Street, Melbourne -
Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC, Australia
get directions

E markerSwanston Street, Melbourne -
Swanston St, Melbourne VIC, Australia
get directions

F markerQueen Victoria Market, Melbourne -
Queen St, Melbourne VIC, Australia
get directions


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    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for commenting! Glad the article was useful and interesting =)

    • HawaiiHeart profile image

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Great tips for the savvy budget traveler!

    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Really appreciate the photos. Makes the article very appetizing, regardless that Melbourne is halfway across the globe from me. I've always wanted to visit the continent.