Ask a native Melbournian what makes his hometown unique among all the major cities of Australia and he's likely to point to food. People in Melbourne are proud of their food - its quality, diversity and, yes, even its affordability. There seems to be an endless array of different cuisine available in the thousands of restaurants and cafes that line Melbourne, much to the amazement of foreign visitors.
There is a saying in Melbourne that finding a bad meal is harder than finding a great meal. Certainly, great food has become a way of life in the city, combined, of course, with quality drinks and ambience. Oftentimes, one gets the feeling that excellent cuisine has become so commonplace that it is ambience that provides the critical difference between one fine restaurant and another.
It's easy to find the very best dining places in Melbourne because they are usually located in the city's most popular streets and districts, such as the following:
If it's dining urban style that you crave, then Brunswick Street in the northern part of the city is the place to visit. It has a distinct inner city feel and is a favorite weekend haunt of foreign travelers who wish to enjoy a long, languid brunch. Mario's and The Fitz are the most popular cafes in the areas and both serve huge, hearty "brunches" 24 hours a day. Two other cafes, Umago and Retro Café, are giving them a run for their money with their growing popularity. Aside from its fabulous cafes, Brunswick Street is also known as a haven of Melbourne's art and alternative community. A cacophony of street performers can usually be heard, including joke tellers, fire twirlers and other entertainment-minded locals.
This is the Italian side of town, where the original Italian immigrants first made their home and where they adapted innately Italian customs and traditions that live on to this day through their food, fashion, festivals and keen sense of humor. Restaurants like Tiamo and Brunetti serve authentic Italian cuisine that remind many of the way things are done back home. Check out Santino's Terrace in the vicinity, and if you're a pizza aficiando, you can't go past Il Gamberos - perhaps the best pizza in Australia!
From Italy, foreign guests will get a taste of Vietnam when they head east to Victoria Street. Restaurants like Tho Tho's, Thy Thy I and The Huong specialize not only in Vietnamese food but in replicating Vietnam's unique cultural ambience and flavor.
Central Business District
The exquisite array of fine dining options available in the city's business district such as Tuscan Grill, Marchetti's Latin and Grossi Florentino often amazes foreign executives in Melbourne. Cocktail bars such as Gin Palace, Hairy Canary and Melbourne Supper Club have also been widely celebrated for their dining and drinking.
Although known mainly as a commercial hub, Southbank has gained a growing reputation for its food and entertainment offerings, especially at the Crown Entertainment Center.
While Chapel Street is synonymous with fashion and trendy designer clothes, it also has its share of great eateries such as Kush, Caffe Sienna and Caffe e Cucina.
While you're visting Melbourne, why not choose one of its many luxurious places to stay. Whether you're looking for a classy Melbourne Hotel or a stylish Melbourne Apartment, you can find free reviews of the very best on Simply Lush - http://www.simplylush.com
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The Simply Lush site is a free resource for anyone searching for information and reviews on luxury accommodation and great holiday spots all across Australia.