Where to Eat in Melbourne for Backpackers

Where to Eat in Melbourne for Backpackers Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Without a doubt the gastronomic capital of Australia, Melbourne can’t help but ooze great food, amazing coffee and fabulous restaurants. It’s hard to keep up with the onslaught of eateries opening up every day, so we made a list of a few of our faves for every meal. Peep the backpacker-budget-friendly list below, and scroll straight to the bottom for the vegan-friendly options!

Where to eat, dine and enjoy in Melbourne!

Best Breakfasts in Melbourne


Locations: 501 Chapel St, South Yarra + 104 Queen St, CBD + Level 2, Melbourne Central)

Famed for their delicious sourdough bread, Rustica also touts an extensive and delectable breakfast menu. Live life in excess with a lobster and prawn benedict and a cheeky bellini, or embrace your inner clean queen with the miso-glazed cauliflower and a kale, cucumber and celery juice. You can find Rustica in South Yarra, Melbourne Central, and on the corner of Queen and Collins in the city.

Rustica table setting with cakes and treatsPhoto: Rustica

Auction Rooms

Location: 103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne

Based on Errol Street in the cutesy neighbourhood of North Melbourne, Auction Rooms is a local favourite that’s always stuffed like sardines — a true sign of any restaurant’s quality. Converted from an 1800s auction house, its unique industrial design and sunroom out back are a joy to survey as you dine. For breakfast, we recommend the slow-cooked corned beef hash with poached eggs, the grilled eggplant steak, and the oat porridge with roasted apple, poached rhubarb and macadamia and cinnamon crumble. Are you drooling yet?

Auction Rooms storefront with umbrellasPhoto: Auction Rooms


Location: 354 Queens Pde, Fitzroy North

Everybody’s first thought when it comes to croissants in Melbourne is Lune, which is great, but Cavallini certainly has the monopoly on the best croissants in town. With award-winning French-trained pastry chef Robert Coco leading the team, it’s no wonder each and every one of their pastries and sweets is to die for. Try the Florentino (a spinach croissant baked in bechamel) or the Campagnolo (a creamy bacon and eggs sandwich) for a mouthwatering breakfast. If you’re looking to soothe your sweet tooth, try the apple crumble bomboloni or the escargot. Get in early, though, the good stuff sells fast!

Cavallini Storefront with warm lighting and delicious french pastriesPhoto: Cavallini

Melbourne's Best Lunch Spots

Archie’s All Day

Location: 189 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

With picturesque magnolias blooming throughout spring and a string of beautiful boutiques and eateries, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a locale more Instagrammable or iconically Melbourne than Gertrude Street. The best perch for watching the world’s second coolest street’s even cooler characters stroll by? Archie’s All Day. Find yourself a sunny alfresco spot or snag a seat by the window and chow down on a crispy tofu bun or rockling fillet burger (easily the supremes of the menu!) as you fall in love with the oh-so-Melbourne subcultures around you.

Archie's Cafe on the streetPhoto: Archie's All Day

The Worker’s Club

Location: 51 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

If it’s hearty pub food you crave, look no further than Worker’s Club. Located a few doors down from Archie’s, Worker’s Club is a backpacker on budget’s best friend with $15 lunch specials running from Tuesday to Friday. Bliss out under the sun with a beer and a classic Reuben or falafel wrap, or dig into the pie of the day. Bon appetite!

Worker's Club cafe insidePhoto: The Workers Club

Queen Victoria Markets

Location: Cnr of Victoria & Elizabeth St, CBD

To write about the Melbourne food scene without mention of the iconic and historic Queen Victoria Markets would be to commit a cardinal sin. Standing strong on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Street for over 144 years, QVM is home to all things fresh, affordable and delicious. Suss out the multitude of food trucks and enjoy a lobster roll from George the Fishmonger, a succulent boa from Wonderbao, or a spicy, soupy bowl of mussels at the Mussel Pot. You could even get creative in the market hall with the array of cheeses, antipasto, cured meats and breads! Don’t come a knockin on a Monday or Wednesday as QVM stallholders take their well-deserved rest days then.

Where To Get Dinner in Melbourne

Heartattack & Vine

Location: 329 Lygon St, Carlton

Named after an old Tom Petty song, you needn't worry about encountering any cardiac fatalities here. In fact, we can guarantee your heart will grow three times in size for this little Carlton gem! Heartattack & Vine has a very relaxed approach to dining — think of it as more of a DIY charcuterie joint. Make a selection from the ever-changing cabinet of arancini, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, meatballs, cheeses and bruschettas and the waiter will assemble a customised board of treats just for you. This is a great option for a pre-party bite and groups looking to share.

Heart Attack food spread with tasty treats Photo: Heartattack & Vine

Good Gnocchi

Location: 797 Nicholson St, Carlton North

The kids love this one, and any night of the week you’ll find Good Gnocchi bustling with the coolest on the block. With pounding house music and a pool table out back, what’s not to love about this faux-dingey dive? All of the gnocchi is good (duh) and under $25 — plus you’ll find the cheapest burrata in town here, for the swoon-worthy price of $8! Even the cocktails are cheaper than your average. Go bonkers!

Plate of gnocchi on the table Photo: Good Gnocchi

Supper Inn

Location: 15 Celestial Ave, Chinatown

Don’t let the flickering fluorescent lights and office-core aesthetic of Supper Inn scare you away. This is a loved and longstanding Melbourne institution that’s been around since ‘77. Nestled down Celestial Avenue in the throbbing heart of Chinatown, their menu boasts 206 options and their kitchen is open til 2.30 am, hence why it’s such a popular hub for young people. Eat, go dancing, get hungry, come back and eat some more; the cooking mamas at Supper Inn will take care of your grumbly tums.

Supper Inn Storefront Photo: Broadsheet

Top Desserts in Melbourne


Locations: CBD, Collingwood, Hawthorn, Richmond, St Kilda

When it comes to dessert you can never go wrong with gelato — and the Italian gelato connoisseurs behind Piccolina have got it so right. Everything is crafted with care, Italian flair and fresh seasonal ingredients that you can taste bursting through their extensive variety of flavours. What we love most about Piccolina gelato is its creamy, almost homemade texture. Mmm, just like Nonna’s.

Caramel gelato being spooned into a cupPhoto: Piccolina


Location: 238 Swanston St, Melbourne

Born in Japan almost 25 years ago, LeTao has finally set up shop in Melbourne with its debut Australian boutique on Swanston Street. The legendary Japanese dessert experts offer visitors a taste of Japan’s best-selling cheesecakes, expertly crafted and beautifully presented. Experience magic melting in your mouth in the Melbourne CBD.

LeTao orange and yellow cakePhoto: LeTao

Mörk Chocolate Brew House

Location: 150 Errol St, North Melbourne

Think of this Melbourne mainstay as a sleeker and sexier Willy Wonka. They specialise in all things chocolate, and delight in experimenting with it in contemporary and exciting ways. Pick your poison between a chocolate gin and tonic and chocolate negroni. Or play it safe and stay traditional with a peanut butter hot chocolate or chocolate morkshake. Mörk is a must for all chocolate lovers!

Mork chocolate house hot chocolate cup splashingPhoto: Mörk Chocolate Brewhouse

Best Vegan Restaurants in Melbourne

Smith & Deli

Location: 107 Cambridge St, Collingwood

Smith & Deli is where vegans die and go to heaven. With a 100% vegan cabinet and menu, you needn’t worry about any animal products sneaking their way into your delicious tucker. From Spanish tortilla baguettes and shakshuka with coriander dumplings to macrons, cannoli and croissants, there’s something to satisfy your every craving. You can even swing by for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday nights!

Vegan BLT sandwich Photo: Smith & Deli

The Cornish Arms

Location: 163A Sydney Rd, Brunswick

A classic Melbourne pub, The Cornish Arms welcomes and caters to all walks of life and dietary requirements. Keep your meat-eating friends happy while you tackle the extensive selection of vegan dishes, and keep the beers and the good times flowing while you’re at it! With a stunning rooftop bar and beer garden to get rowdy in after you’ve polished off your plates, this is without a doubt one of the best places to let your dinner plans evolve into a night of fun.

Cornish Arms burger and chipsPhoto: The Cornish Arms

Girls & Boys

Location: 382 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

If you catch Melbourne on one of its warm, idyllic summer days, cool down with a 100% plant-based gelato or smoothie at Girls & Boys, Melbourne’s one-stop shop for all things sweet and vegan. From coconut, lemongrass and sesame brittle, sticky date and almond praline to lychee and raspberry, all of their gelatos are made fresh! And if you’re vibing savoury be sure to swing by on a Monday and score a $5 bao bun with a $5 beer.

Yellow-coloured gelato being scooped out Photo: Girls & Boys

See the best of what else Melbourne and its surroundings have to offer with an incredible East Coast journey, or head north to explore the sun-drenched lands of tropical Far North Queensland!

Our travel experts are always available to chat and help you iron out the nitty-gritty of your holiday itinerary.

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