Food and Shopping in Melbourne That’s Worth Checking Out!


Australia’s rising food scene has attracted international attention in recent years, and it is no surprise that Melbourne has claimed its spot as Australia’s Food Capital. Other than Australian wildlife, the Land Down Under is famous for its luscious food and wine.

Whether it is a casual foodie experience in trendy cafes, or modern dining overlooking the river waterfront, this multicultural city showcases a diverse food scene offering of a good mix of Asian and Western cuisines.

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Of course, your holiday in this cosmopolitan city will not be complete without some bargain hunting for Australian souvenirs and good buys, so let’s get into the action!

With our recent accommodation at Jazz Corner Hotel which is nestled in the CBD, there is no shortage of options for shopping and dining. Just within 5 minutes of walking distance from our boutique hotel is the Queen Victoria Market, an iconic structure that you will not miss.

Satisfy your food cravings with a visit to Melbourne’s largest and most intact surviving 19th century market. For a different shopping experience from Fresh Produce to Specialty Shopping, wander through the heritage-listed market food halls while sniffing out specialty food that you can buy.

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Serving grilled, piping hot Bratwursts for over twenty years at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, Bratwurst Shop & Co is famous for their quality brats on the go. With a choice of mild, spicy, cheese, weisswurst, black pepper, chorizo or chicken and mushroom, pairing with its many condiments etc, their array of German Sausages is certainly a must-try!

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Our pick was the Cheesy Sausage with Sauerkraut AUD 6.30, and it was most satisfying with their crispy skin and juicy meat. The Bratwurst tasted so good with the pickled cabbage, and I can assure you one is never enough.

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Enjoy Turkish delights at the Dairy Produce Hall. Find yummy pastries from just AUD 4 at Boreks, made of thin flaky dough such as Phyllo filled with Cheese and Spinach, Lamb or Potato and Veggies.

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From Roast Chickens to Toasties, Roasted @ QVM serves you country comfort food whether it is grab-and-go or dine-in.

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Pick up a delicious Roast of the Day with a selection of Pork, Beef or Chicken with 2 sides at AUD 16.90.

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Indulge in Porchetta at Queen Victoria’s Q75, a stall specializing in Italian Boneless Pork Roast from AUD 14.

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Or if you prefer Asian, Malay Canton Cuisine at QVM’s Food Court offers Chinese dishes served with rice or noodles starting from AUD 9 a plate.

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Have a stomach for raw food? The quintessential market also has a great selection of fresh Australian and New Zealand seafood at the Meat and Fish Hall such as freshly shucked Oysters, Alaska King Crabs, Rock Lobsters ( Crayfish ), and also Prawns, both cooked & raw.

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Go Cheese sampling at QVM’s Dairy Produce Hall, and taste some of the delectable handmade cheese by small producers. You can also find specialty shops selling antipasto, ham and other deli meat at Big Vic Deli, La’ Deli, The Epicurean and more.

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Need your vitamin boosters? Hop over to the Fruit and Vegetables section ( H Shed ) to get your farm fresh fruits. At Berries Corner, visitors can find a variety of berries along with other fresh fruits direct from Melbourne’s wholesale market.

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For just AUD 10, we got to pick our favourite choice of berries which include Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries! What a steal!

Still not exciting enough for you? How about joining the Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour? For AUD 69, you can have a 2-hour guided walking tour of the notable market and get to sample food as well. This longest-standing foodie market with heritage-listed Market food halls has families who have worked there for generations!

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Home to over 600 small businesses, Queen Victoria Market is spread over two city blocks. After filling your tummy, shop to your heart’s content at QVM’s specialty shops from souvenirs to clothing and accessories. You can even find pretty Australian plant oil based soaps at the Victoria Market Soapbox. A trip to Melbourne is never complete without a stopover at the Queen Victoria Market.

How To Get To Queen Victoria Market:
The Market is located within the free tram zone. Take the 19, 57 or 59 to Stop 7, or Tram 58 to Stop 9.
Train: Melbourne Central or Flagstaff Station.

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Next, get a taste of China at Melbourne’s Chinatown ( 墨爾本唐人街 ), the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. From queuing for Juicy Bao to Shanghai Street Xiao Long Bao and Dumpling, one is spoilt for choice.

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Hubby and I spotted a Peking Duck Restaurant while exploring the area, and we just let our tummy led the way into Dahu Peking Duck Restaurant ( 太湖北京烤鸭店 ). Of course I can’t deny the fact that the AUD 48.80/pax price tag for a 9-Course Peking Duck Dinner caught our attention.

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For that, we got:

  • Chicken and Mushroom Soup (鸡竹冬菇汤 )
  • Roast Peking Duck (北京烤鸭 )
  • Seafood San Choi Bao ( 海鲜生菜包 )
  • Deep Fried Calamari ( 椒盐鱿鱼 )
  • Sauteed King Prawns (蒜蓉虾球 )
  • Beef Fillet in Black Pepper Sauce ( 黑椒牛柳 )
  • Fried Rice ( 炒饭 )
  • Honey Chicken ( 蜜糖鸡球 )
  • Banana Fritter with Ice Cream ( 甜品 )

Established since 1989 and touted to serve the best Peking Duck in Melbourne, we had a rather satisfying meal especially for that kind of price. Although food is nothing much to shout about, their portion is rather generous. One thing to note, their Peking Duck is more like Roast Duck and we prefer the Singapore-Style of Peking Duck with crispy skin and served without meat. We requested to have it carved without the meat but sadly, they could not accede to our request.

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After dinner, we stopped by The Dessert Kitchen, a chain with 30 stores in Hong Kong, China, The Philippines, US and Australia. We ordered a classic Hong Kong dessert, the Chilled Mango Sago with Pomelo ( 楊枝甘露 ) at AUD 7.50 which was extremely tasty. But what caught my eye was the adorable Polar Bear Hot Chocolate ( 白熊热朱古力 ) at AUD 6. Made from marshmallows, it is such an eye-candy!

How To Get To Chinatown:
Train: Parliament Station or Melbourne Central.

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As the darkness falls, make your way to Melbourne Crown Riverwalk for food and watch the night life illuminates. Request for an Alfresco seating and dine by the river. There are many options for Italian cuisine in Melbourne, and 400 Gradi is one of the city’s hot favourite restaurants.

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When in Australia, you just gotta try their Fresh Oysters. We had ½ Dozen of the Pacific Oysters at AUD 20, served natural with just fresh lemon. It was certainly a good start to kick off the evening.

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With the aroma of the fresh garlic sauteing in olive oil gives you the sign that you are about to have an authentic Italian experience. 400 Gradi’s Grigliata Mista di Pesce del Giorno at AUD 49 is a mouth-watering selection of Mixed Grill Seafood, filled with King Prawns, Squid and Fish Skewers, Scallops and Crayfish. Every bite is a delight with their succulent seafood enveloped in a special spicy Aioli dressing.

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The restaurant’s Spaghetti al Granchio at AUD 39 is another hit with Spanner Crab Meat swimming in a White Wine and Lobster Bisque, and we love how Zucchinis are added to the creamy pasta dish. Thumbs-up to this Italian hunt! If you are curious what 400 Gradi means ~ 400 actually refers to the high temperature at which a thin-based traditional Neapolitan pizza is cooked ( for just 90 seconds! ) in a wood-fired oven, and Gradi means degrees.

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Another Italian joint with views of the Yarra river is Cervo Italian. Buzzing with excited energy, the cafe serves all your traditional Italian food such as the popular pizzas. We had the Salami Pizza at AUD 26, layered with delicious Buffalo Mozzarella, Olives, Oregano and Capsicum. Trust me, it tastes better than it looks! Paired with a mug of Iced Mocha at AUD 6.90, I am sure your dream will be a sweet one.

How to Get to Crown Melbourne:
Tram: Take 12, 96 or 109 and stop at 124A
Train – Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station

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For the perfect place to unwind, go Wine Tasting in Yarra Valley. Home to award winning vineyards, cellar doors and wineries, it is a fabulous place for wine connoisseurs. Restaurant degustation options are also available with wine pairing menus, so taste your way through the Yarra Valley.

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For the shopaholics, Melbourne has so much to offer with its plethora of shopping arcades. What I like to highlight here is the abundance of Health Supplements and Essential Oils at prices you won’t get in Singapore. Look what I have found at pharmacies and supermarkets such as Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths and Great Earth ( 1 AUD = 0.97 SGD ):

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Health Supplements such as Blackmores at rock bottom prices at Chemist Warehouse. Blackmores Travel Calm Ginger 45 Tablets at only AUD 6.99, while Guardian Singapore is selling at SGD 18!

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Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula 60 Tablets, AUD 22.49. Shopee is selling at SGD 54.99!

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Nature’s Way Restore Probiotic 30 Billion 30 Capsules, AUD 21.99. Both Watsons and Guardian Singapore are selling at SGD 35.90.

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Healthy Way Chia Seeds 600g, 2 for AUD 15. Shopee is selling at SGD 17.90 for 1 packet ( 500g ).

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Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil from just AUD 13.95 ( 50 ml ) to AUD 21.50 ( 100ml ). Last I checked, the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil at Watsons Singapore was going at SGD 22.90 for a tiny 25ml!

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Thursday Plantation Lavender Oil 100% Pure, AUD 8.49 for 25ml, and AUD 12.99 for 50ml. Watsons Singapore is selling at SGD 23.55 for a small bottle of 25ml!

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Oil Garden Medicinal Oil, AUD 26.49 for 25ml

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Oil Garden Rosehip Body Oil, AUD 27.99 for 100ml

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As for Great Earth, their Healthy Aim Argan Oil Organic was going at AUD 11.95 for 25ml, and AUD 17.50 for 50ml.

So, what do you think of these prices? Are Health Supplements and Essential Oils just as economical in your country or just as pricey as in Singapore?

Australia is a haven for health fanatics and aromatherapy junkies. I was happily snapping up some of these good buys. Only disappointment, I could not find essential oils like Frankincense or Geranium, and most of their essential oils do not come in 100ml.

Know a good place to shop for these in Melbourne? Share with us here!

* This is a sponsored Media Trip by Visit Victoria. The author only recommends products or services she uses personally which she believes to be beneficial for her readers. Views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely by the author.


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