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Plan Your Trip to Melbourne: Best of Melbourne Tourism

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Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s earned its spot as one of the great big cities of the world. It’s got it all: parks and nature, colourful neighbourhoods, a hip food scene, and plenty of history. Sip flat whites in cosy cafes, go thrift shopping on Brunswick Street, and spend your afternoons laying out in Fitzroy Gardens. There’s also endless art and culture to explore—take a stroll down Hosier Lane for the city’s most iconic street art, or check out the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre in the Melbourne Museum to learn more about indigenous history. When you’re ready to skip town, you can hang with penguins on Phillip Island, sip chardonnay in the Yarra Valley, or cruise down the Great Ocean Road—it’s all right there. Find tours, traveller tips, and more below.

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My favourite Melbourne restaurants

Finding Melbourne’s most interesting food isn’t easy (although there is no shortage of it). The city is represented by 140 different cultures and each brings something new to the culinary mix. I’m always on the hunt for authentic dishes like Thai boat noodles, which I discovered in a car park, or tender pork belly, which I stumbled upon at a market sake bar. Here’s my hit list.
themaidastouch, Melbourne, Australia
  • Wasshoi
    Wandering around Prahran Market, discovering this sake bar serving melt-in-your-mouth, slow-cooked, charcoal-grilled pork belly in a bowl of rice with lettuce, kimchi, and yuzu-chili mayonnaise was pure bliss. Grab a seat at the bar, order a sake or a citrusy yuzu shandy, and watch the Japanese chef fire up your order over the coals. Expect a long line at lunchtime. But seriously, the food, friendly service, and market ambiance make it all worth it.
  • Miss Mi Melbourne
    If you’re missing the big, bold flavours of Southeast Asia, you can find them at Miss Mi Melbourne. A meal here starts with a big, fluffy roti served with a curry dipping sauce. You must try the spiced lamb ribs with an addictive chili-caramel glaze, the crispy pork belly, or the beef rendang. Save room for dessert—I love the fried sticky rice. Located across from Southern Cross Station, it’s easy to find.
  • Serai
    Don’t expect to find your grandma’s traditional adobo or sinigang served here. Instead, you’ll discover reimagined Filipino dishes cooked over a wood-fired grill by Chef Ross Magnaye, a favourite contestant on MasterChef Australia. For example, his spin on kare-kare, a savory stew with peanut sauce, amps things up with caviar and salted duck egg. He’s gained the nod of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and others who frequent this hip and trendy restaurant.
  • Lulu's Char Koay Teow
    When I’m craving the bold flavours of Malaysian cuisine, this Penang-inspired al-fresco eatery does the trick. As its name implies, this small space specialises in the stir-fried rice noodle dish known as char koay teow, serving it in seven different ways. I go for the version with blood cockles, shrimp, and Chinese sausage. Wash it all down with an ice-cold teh tarik (milk tea), just like you would back in Malaysia.
  • Asado
    On the banks of the Yarra River, Asado has one of the best views of the city’s skyline. Serving up the authentic flavours of Argentina, this trendy bar and grill is a great place for date night. Definitely order the empanada humita with grilled corn, Manchego cheese, and smoked chilis. Carnivores can’t go wrong with any of the meat dishes, especially the cochinillo (slow cooked suckling pig) and the cordero (grilled lamb rump).
  • Soi 38
    You won’t find more authentic Thai food than inside this car park at the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District. Office workers queue up at lunch time for a cup of Thai iced tea and a bowl of boat noodles, the place’s signature dish. In the evening, it serves a larger selection of street food like fried chicken and grilled pork jowls. The plastic stools make it feel like you’re dining in Bangkok.