1. Paella at South Melbourne Market
2. French crêpes at La Petite Crêperie
3. Banh mi at T&L Bakery Café
4. Dumplings at ShanDong MaMa Mini
5. Artisan cheese toasties at Maker & Monger
6. Cannoli at The Cannoleria
7. Lobster rolls at South Melbourne Seafoods
8. Fried chicken at Belles Hot Chicken
9. Hot chocolate at Mörk Chocolate Brew House
10. Falafel pittas at Very Good Falafel
11. Italian gelato at Pidapipó
12. Vegan street food at Woking Amazing
13. Traditional Portuguese tarts at Casa Nata
14. Bagels at Bobby’s Coffee & Bagels
1. Paella at South Melbourne Market
You need to go to South Melbourne Market for the best paella in Melbourne.
Made by the team at Simply Spanish, the popular street food dish has been awarded the best paella outside Spain on TWO occasions.
Head to the Cecil St entrance of the market and you’ll find the outdoor street food area, where Simply Spanish have been serving their speciality from giant paella pans for over ten years.
Piled high with local seafood, smoked chorizo and chicken, the golden rice is full of flavour and traditionally garnished with a lemon wedge and fresh parsley.
Top tip: Nip into Bambu next door for a $5 bottle of beer between 4-7pm, it’s the perfect accompaniment to your paella.
You’ll also find this epic paella at the Summer Night Market at Queen Vic during the warmer months.
*Psssst: Simply Spanish also do a cracking vegan paella with mushrooms and spinach.
2. Crêpes at La Petite Crêperie
La Petite Crêperie has been serving authentic, traditional French crêpes in Melbourne for over thirteen years, and the city just can’t get enough.
Frenchman Michaël’s iconic kiosk is found on bustling Swanston Street opposite Melbourne Town Hall, where hungry customers queue down the street for takeaway crêpes with homemade toppings.
The hardest decision is sweet or savoury, but with a hot crêpe in hand and a street musician playing melodies on the footpath nearby, I can guarantee you’ll be momentarily transported to Paris.
3. Banh Mi at T&L Bakery Café
The best banh mi in Melbourne can be found at T&L Bakery Café.
Hop on the tram in the city centre and take the 10 minute journey to the vibrant neighbourhood of Richmond, an area with a big Vietnamese community and incredible Asian restaurants.
Here you’ll find T&L Bakery Café, probably with a huge queue out of the door.
Good things come to those who wait, so join the line and prepare yourself for the best banh mi of your life.
The crispy pork banh mi is definitely the best seller.
Picture a soft french baguette lathered in pâté and stuffed with pork belly and crackling, fresh salad, coriander, homemade crispy shallots, crushed peanuts and fresh chilli.
T&L Bakery Café also does the best vegan banh mi in Melbourne, offering several meat-free options including vegan roast chicken and duck, lemongrass tofu and fried eggplant.
4. Dumplings at ShanDong MaMa Mini
Dumplings are a big deal in Melbourne, and you’ll find the absolute best ones at ShanDong MaMa Mini.
Found tucked away on one of the city’s coolest laneways, Centre Place, the team here makes exquisite Chinese dumplings paired with Australian craft beer.
Melburnians head to ShanDong MaMa Mini for the famous mackerel dumplings, but they also do pork, chicken and prawn versions, as well as some great vegan options.
If you love authentic Chinese snacks, then this dumpling spot has to be on your Melbourne street food list.
5. Artisan Cheese Toasties at Maker & Monger
Inside Prahran Market you’ll find Maker and Monger, a speciality cheese shop selling seriously high quality farmhouse and artisan cheeses.
And what’s cheese really good at? Melting.
Forget cheap rubbery cheddar in between two pieces of limp sliced bread, Maker and Monger’s famous grilled cheese toasties are next level delicious.
Using local freshly baked bread as well as meats and veggies from the other artisan food stalls surrounding them at Prahran Market, toasties such as the famous All American literally fly off the sandwich press every day.
Maker and Monger is widely regarded as the best cheese shop in Australia.
Their market stall ‘The Chapel of Cheese’, complete with a purpose built maturation room and a 7-metre long climate controlled cheese counter, is a must-visit attraction in Melbourne if you’re a real cheese lover.
6. Cannoli at The Cannoleria, Grazeland
There’s a huge Italian community in Melbourne, so it’s no wonder that this traditional Sicilian street food snack has taken the city by storm.
Cannoleria By That’s Amore creates small batch ricotta cannolis using their homemade dairy products and delicate tubes of golden crunchy pastry.
Pistachio is their house classic, but I personally chose the chocolate ricotta cannoli with white chocolate dust which was unbelievable (as is the lemon and poppy seed).
You’ll find the Cannoleria at Grazeland, a playground for foodies just outside the city, bringing together dozens of street food vendors every weekend with live music and great drinks.
Otherwise, you can also eat cannoli at South Melbourne Market and Preston Market.
7. Lobster Rolls at South Melbourne Seafoods
Another hit inside the South Melbourne Market is the epic lobster roll from South Melbourne Seafoods, which is widely regarded as the best lobster roll in the city.
Primarily a fishmongers, you know that the seafood served here is going to be seriously fresh.
Offering a traditional New England lobster roll, a toasted hot dog bun is filled with local meat-claw and tail, crunchy romaine lettuce and lemon mayonnaise.
South Melbourne Seafoods’ Oyster Bar in the market also serves freshly shucked oysters, whole cooked prawns and sashimi for you to enjoy during your visit.
8. Fried Chicken at Belles Hot Chicken
Belles Hot Chicken is an absolute cult favourite in Melbourne and people travel from across the state for the crave-worthy crispy goodness.
Owner Morgan McGlone opened Belle’s after returning from Nashville, Tennessee, and he’s made sure the Melbourne hot chicken recipe remains true to its roots in the Southern US.
Tenders, drumsticks or wings come with three secret recipe heat choices: hot, really hot or really f**kin hot.
I went for hot (the mildest option) which was unbelievably good, served with white bread and pickles to balance out the heat, just like they do it in Nashville.
You’ll find Belle’s Hot Chicken in Fitzroy or on Elizabeth Street in the city, both venues offering guaranteed good vibes.
9. Hot Chocolate at Mörk Chocolate Brew House
Melbourne’s coffee culture is the best in the world… but what about hot chocolate culture?
The guys at Mörk Chocolate Brew House were fed up with the cheap drinking chocolate found in supermarkets and cafés, so they made it their mission to create a speciality, ethically sourced hot chocolate in Melbourne.
Mörk respects the journey of hot chocolate from bean to cup, with a huge emphasis on traceability, quality and the unique origin of ingredients.
At their Brew House and and on-site cacao roasting facility in North Melbourne you can try the incredible Mörk chocolate blends for yourself, finished off with a gooey torched marshmallow.
Whilst you’re there, I’d also recommend trying the flourless twice-baked chocolate cake which is pretty famous around Melbourne.
In summer, you’ll find Mörk at the Summer Night Market at Queen Vic, where their frozen campfire chocolate provides the perfect relief from the Melbourne heat.
10. Falafel Pittas at Very Good Falafel
It’s time for a trip Northside, to the quirky multicultural neighbourhood of Brunswick, for the best falafel in Victoria from Very Good Falafel.
At the small takeaway shop, Israeli style falafels and hummus are homemade using chickpeas grown in regional Victoria.
Crispy falafel, warm pitta, zingy sauces, pickles and salad create a serious flavour bomb, bringing Melburnians and tourists back again and again for over eight years.
If you love Middle Eastern food but aren’t so keen on falafel, go for the sabih with fried eggplant or the meaty lamb ktzizot instead.
11. Italian Gelato at Pidapipó
I never really understood ‘going for ice-cream’ until I moved to Australia.
Unlike my idea of eating a whole tub of Häagen-Dazs in front of the tv, going for ice-cream in Melbourne is a social event.
Much like going to a bar on a warm summer evening, going for ice-cream means heading to a gelateria and then spilling out onto the pavement to enjoy your frozen snack amongst good friends and good conversation.
And you’ll find the absolute best gelato in Melbourne at Pidapipó in Carlton.
Founder Lisa Valmorbida actually attended Gelato University in Bologna before opening her iconic gelato store, importing equipment from Italy and sourcing the best quality local ingredients in Melbourne.
Artisanal, Italian-style gelato is scooped into homemade cones with wooden paddles, and the commitment to authentic flavour is evident with every mouthful.
You’ll find Pidapipó on Lygon Street, or ‘Little Italy’ as it’s fondly referred to, the true home of outdoor street dining in Melbourne.
12. Vegan Street Food at Woking Amazing
Woking Amazing is one of the only 100% vegan street food trucks in Melbourne.
Located in Welcome To Thornbury, a big beer garden and food truck stop just north of the city, Woking Amazing cooks up classic vegan junk food as well as plant-based Asian-inspired street bites.
My personal favourite is the vegan Peking Duck Pancake, as well as the meat-free BBQ pork baos and the smokey fries.
13. Portuguese Tarts at Casa Nata
The guys at Casa Nata make Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Tarts) in the same way the monks of the Jerónimos Monastery in Belem did it in 18th century Portugal.
Traditional and authentic, expect crisp, puff pastry filled with a rich egg custard that’s been caramelised on top and sprinkled with cinnamon or icing sugar.
Head to the Casa Nata bakery (in Windsor or Thornbury) to watch the pastels being made in real time behind the counter.
After you’ve spent a minute staring longingly at custard being poured into pastry shells, it’s time to grab your very own box (and if you think one tart is enough… you’re wrong).
You can also find Casa Nata’s goodies at the Summer Night Market (Queen Victoria Market) between October-April.
14. Bagels at Bobby’s Coffee & Bagels
Tucked away down a side alley in the Central Business District, Bobby’s Coffee & Bagels does the best bagels in the whole city.
Offering a proper NYC bagel experience complete with excellent house blend coffee, arrive early for your feed because Bobby’s often sells out by the afternoon.
The best seller is the smoked salmon bagel, schmeared with the perfect amount of cream cheese and herbs.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best street food and local eats in Melbourne.
If you want some intimate sit-down meals in Melbourne, don’t miss my guide to The Best Restaurant for Every Type of Cuisine in Melbourne.