If you’re looking for motivation to brace the cold and seek out a nice warm meal, a bunch of food joints in Melbourne and beyond are willing and waiting to help you out. So, rug up, grab a mate and check out our top recommendations for your next winter feast.
Rob Dolan Wines
Rob Dolan Wines is bringing the perfect pairing to the Yarra Valley this winter with their new Pie & Pinot offering. Serving Boscastle pies, known for their hearty, decadent flavours, paired with award-winning Rob Dolan White Label wine, these labours of love come together perfectly to warm you up from the inside.
Flavours include the korma curry and vegetable pie, Dolan’s personal go-to, paired with a glass of 2018 White Label Pinot Gris. There are classic pie flavours as well, such as the chicken and mushroom which is perfect alongside a 2017 White Label Chardonnay, while the hearty beef and burgundy finds its perfect pair with a 2016 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon. The winter classic roast lamb and vegetable has you spoilt for choice, offering both a 2017 White Label Pinot Noir or Shiraz of the same year. Read more here.
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The first thing that hits you when you walk through the doors of this unsuspecting restaurant on Brunswick Street is the scent of spices wafting from the back – as soon as it hits, your mouth instantly waters. There’s a mix of languages being spoken by both patrons and staff, and the eclectic décor really puts you at home in this cosy restaurant.
The charm of the restaurant lies within the decor and the promising smell of Indian food. All the chairs are miss-matched, but still in the colour scheme or orange, white, and teal – similar to the colours of the Indian flag. A local street artist in Fitzroy did the in-house mural featuring old school Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman – there’s a cocktail on the menu named after her, and everything you smell is all produced in house. Read more here.
We’ve all been in the throes of the Friday night pizza order conundrum, when indecision gives way to sheer frustration. If you’re needing a hiatus from your pizzeria locale, jot this down. Touted as the antithesis to your ‘typical pizza joint’, Pizza Religion offers up a new league of carborific yet delightfully unconventional wheels to remedy your wildest cravings.
Notorious for the best house-made gluten free bases and superbly flexible approach to dietary requirements, each pizza comes made with love. The menu isn’t too Italian-leaning at all, with a new vanguard of offerings like the Brisket Pizza or Pork Sausage keeping Melburnians coming back for more. Read more here.
Thunder Road Brewery
Thunder Road Brewhouse offers a wide range of beers including classics, such as the Full Steam Lager or the aforementioned easy-drinking Brunswick Bitter. If you are feeling adventurous, why not try the Boysenberry Milkshake IPA? It’s brewed with fresh boysenberries and lactose.
Outside of that, the eggplant parma with Napoli sauce and fresh mozzarella salad or the hearty mushroom cheesesteak with sautéed field mushrooms, peppers and vegan cheese will be sure to satisfy vegetarian guests. All of these tantalising food options are made inside a vintage airstream caravan situated in the leafy courtyard. Read more here.
At Field Black, you can find brekky and brunch staples like sourdough toast, eggs on toast, smashed avo, as well as vegan hummingbird cake oats and warm breakfast granola crumble. From there, the range is vast and consistently appetising: Korean spiced chicken waffle with kimchi slaw; pulled pork and halloumi toastie; chicken laksa with tofu; Portobello mushroom burger with a fried egg on a brioche bun; duck cassoulet with pork sausage braise; and the vegan puku-kai bowl, which includes a slathering of superfoods.
The menu covers an impressive variety of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options alongside some more decadent meaty and cheesy stuff. There’s a specialty kids menu and all meals can be augmented with a range of sides and add-ons like healthy greens, vegan cashew feta and Casa Iberica chorizo. Read more here.
Trippy Taco has long held a special place in the hearts and bellies of Melbourne’s vegans and vegetarians. Serving up Mexican street food style dishes, the restaurant has been going strong for over 19 years now. It’s fair to say the store is part of the city’s furniture at this point – and with the assorted menu sporting flavours from across the board, it’s clear to see why.
A lot of the menu is heavily influenced from owner Simon Fischer’s pre-food truck days in America. “I was living in San Diego and my friend who I was living with taught me how to make the tortillas. We’d literally just be making tortillas every night and then I was going down to Mexico surfing a lot, as we were only 20 minutes from the border, eating lots of tacos down there.” Read more.
Le Bon Ton
If you heard the name Le Bon Ton without knowing its backstory, you’d think it’s a French restaurant – surprise, it’s actually comfort food straight from the southern states of America. The menu showcases dishes and cooking techniques from all over the American South – inspiration for their dishes comes from New Mexico to Alabama.
If you’re in the mood for something smoked, the courtyard has two offset smokers and a big cabinet smokehouse offering up Riverina grain-fed Angus beef briskets and pork shoulders which are mesquite-smoked for up to 16 hours. After those long hours of waiting, the meat gets slathered with barbeque sauce – a comforting taste based on a mix of Texan earthiness and Carolina vinegar. Read more.
Looking for more food finds? Check out our Beat Eats page.