1. Bomba Tapas Bar on Lonsdale Street for their quality tapas, wine list and atmosphere. Start your evening soaking up the sunshine with a negroni or two on the deck at Bomba Rooftop Bar, then head downstairs to sink your teeth into some of their delicious tapas. Think crispy golden croquettes, impossibly tender pork jowl and spicy lamb chops. This Spanish worker style bar may be your temporary answer for your Barcelona tapas bar craving in Melbourne. Bookings are available for downstairs dining only.
2. Cru on Glenferrie Road for their quality coffee and seasonal inspired menu. Expect modern twists on typical brunch classics like blueberry pancakes with fresh ricotta or ‘Eastern eggs’ with falafel and chilli salad. If you’re only slightly peckish, I’d highly rate the ‘Stop 80′ – a bite sized brioche bun filled with egg, bacon and cheese. The friendly service and laid back vibe make Cru the perfect spot to come for a weekend brunch or even a quiet mid-week coffee. On a sunny day, there’s also a gorgeous alfresco area to retreat to at the back. Cru also doubles as a wine bar Wednesday – Sunday.
3. Melbourne is the city of cool quirky lane way bars. Double Happiness is a tiny cocktail bar in Liverpool Street – a stone’s throw from China Town. With its Chinese inspired decor, you may feel like you’ve been transported back to the Chairman Mao era after a cocktail or two. If you’re feeling indecisive, just ask the friendly bar staff for their recommendations. They will be more than happy to serve up something extra special for you.
7. In terms of location, you can’t beat the Abbotsford Convent for a farmers market. The market held on the fourth Saturday of every month reflects Slow Food’s simple ‘good, clean, fair’ philosophy with sixty growers and food producers taking part. Here you can find a great selection of seasonal and organic produce, fresh fish and poultry, artisan produce and much more. Sweet tooths should treat themselves to some freshly baked treats from the Tivoli Road Bakery and cheese fans will love the produce from Holy Goat and Lochelian Farmhouse Cheese.
8. Hawthorn locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to good quality cafes. Hawthorn Common is one of the more recent additions to Burwood Road, right next to coffee hot spot Axil Coffee Roasters. It is a huge modern space with dozens of covers both in and outside. They even have their own microroaster on site, using Genovese coffee and offer two seasonal blends.
9. It seems that Melbourne can’t get enough of Sydney sider ice cream bars at the moment. The latest addition to join Gelato Messina is N2 Extreme Gelato - a kind of science lab inspired ice cream parlour. Flavours such as popcorn and creme brulee are transformed in front of your eyes using a puff of liquid nitrogen. This is one not to be missed.
10. Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks – one of the hottest sandwiches in Melbourne right now. Think tender chunks of steak topped with onions and melted provolone or American cheese in a soft bun. You can get your sandwich fix at Catfish on Gertrude Street. There are also pizza, mushroom and hot pepper steaks on offer which can be washed down by their good selection of craft beers on tap.
What have been your favourite foodie finds in Melbourne this week? Would love to hear your suggestions.