Melbourne seems to have an infinite number of restaurants and cafés, but with so many options something as simple as lunch or dinner can become overwhelming. Culture Trip has gorged through Melbourne’s menus and found the dishes that best represent this multi-cultural city. Tip: wear your stretchy pants.
Ricotta Hotcakes at Top Paddock
As picturesque as a Monet masterpiece the blueberry and ricotta hotcake at Richmond’s Top Paddock looks too good to eat. The popular brunch spot serves the fluffy hotcakes with seasonal fruits and berries, crunchy seeds, organic maple syrup and a dollop of cream. Stare in awe, take an Instagram-worthy shot and then dig in.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Margherita Pizza at 400 Gradi
Claiming the top spot at the World Pizza Championships in 2014, Johnny Di Francesco’s Margherita Pizza is smeared with homemade tomato sauce, dotted with creamy fior di latte cheese and sprinkled with basil leaves. The pizza has an impossibly thin base and is cooked for 400 degrees for 90 seconds. The entire menu at 400 Gradi is so authentically Italian you can practically hear Dean Martin singing it to you.
Baller Bucket at Belle’s Hot Chicken
Now with three locations in Melbourne, it’s easier than ever to satisfy your craving for succulent chicken. The Baller Bucker includes 16 fried chicken wings, four sides and four sauces. Still hungry? Order mac and cheese, roast yam salad or old bay fries. Belle’s Hot Chicken also has a selection of beer, because you can’t have a chicken without a pint.
Desserts at Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung might be renowned for their dumplings, but their refreshing list of desserts keeps people coming back for more. Black sesame, taro, green tea, or mango sorbet are just some of the simple but delectable flavours on offer. Don’t leave Din Tai Fung without indulging in dessert.
Coconut Yogurt at Kettle Black
Start your day with the coconut yogurt at Kettle Black. Made in-house daily by head chef Jesse McTavish the dairy-free yogurt uses vegan culture, coconut cream and agave syrup. The yogurt is topped with grains, nuts and seeds, as well as seasonal fruits, finished with a sprinkling of citrus powder.
Boat Noodles at Jinda Thai
Traditionally sold on boats along the canals in Thailand, boat noodles make for a satisfying comfort meal. Jinda Thai’s hawker boat noodles are a tangled mess of goodness bathed in a dark, thick broth with tender beef strips and pork crackling. Fresh herbs and spices play on the palette and enhance the experience.
Korean Pork Hock at Lucy Liu
The most dramatic dish at Michael Lambie’s new pan-Asian diner Lucy Liu is the Korean pork hock which arrives at the table stabbed by a carving knife. With a prep time upwards of 36 hours the pock hock is packed full of flavour, and the crisp exterior sits beautifully in contrast to the gelatinous flesh. The meal is served with steamed pancake and apple kimichi salad which adds a sweet bite.
Lamington Jaffles at Bad Frankie
Celebrating two Australian icons – the jaffle and the lamington – Bad Frankie has assembled one of the most true-blue Aussie desserts you’ll ever taste in Melbourne. Soaked in chocolate the sponge cake is filled with jam and rolled in toasted coconut before being pressed in the jaffle iron. The mouth-watering jaffle is served with thickened cream.
Hot Meat Donuts at Dexter
Catering to Melbourne’s most carnivorous, Dexter is a meat-eatery on High Street Preston. While their entire menu borders on wacky with pigs head croquette and bone marrow mash, their Hot Meat Donuts are always in demand. Stuffed with burnt brisket ends, the donuts are rolled in paprika and sugar before being deep fried. Dip them into the spicy capsicum relish for a bigger flavour hit.
One of the specials at Gelato Messina
The array of ice cream flavours at Gelato Messina is anything but vanilla… You can order vanilla, but Culture Trip recommends trying one of their specials. Each week five new flavours are written on the chalk board in eye-catching calligraphy and past favourites include hot cross bun, key lime pie, Mr. Potato head, and wagon wheel.
Massaman Curry of Coconut Braised Beef at Chin Chin
Waiting in line is just part of the experience at Chin Chin – one of Melbourne’s most successful restaurants, but the wait is totally worth it. Make the most of your time inside and order the Massman curry of coconut braised beef with kipfler potatoes, nuts and fried shallots. It will leave you drooling.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.