I hold my hands up. When it comes to eating out, I enjoy a nice meal and as far as backpacking goes (instant noodles and other beige substances), food is the one thing I refuse to scrimp on every single day. Good, nutritional grub makes me happy and I’d rather go hungry than spend my hard earned cash on a limp meal or a watery cup of coffee. This, understandably, drives any hungry, less-than-enthusiastic travel companions I may be with at the time, utterly mad.
“Let’s just go here” they cry helplessly, as we lap the city for the fourth time, me marching ahead with my face buried in Trip Advisor reviews, them staggering behind close to starvation. “It’s for our own good” I demand, and as much as they hate to admit it – as they lick their plates clean, I am right 99% of the time.
So with that in mind, I have compiled a list of all the most memorable places I stuffed good things in my face, over my two years Down Under; because we all love lists and we all deserve a decent bite to eat from time to time.
Daci & Daci Bakers
Image via: Daci & Daci Bakers
I accidentally stumbled upon this gem post Salamanca Market madness and jeez am I glad I did! As you tentatively approach the enormous counter filled with mountains of cakes, pastries, breads and savoury bites you will feel like you’ve hit the European jackpot!
Where: 11 Murray Street, Hobart
Maharaja Authentic Indian Restaurant
Image via: Maharaja Authentic Indian Restaurant
Some of the best Indian I have ever had. I went here one night looking incredibly scruffy and feeling incredibly hungry. The dining area was lovely and intimate, yet quite casual, which made me feel a hell of a lot better about being in my hiking gear.
Where: 81 Bathurst Street, Hobart
Cataract on Paterson
Image via: Cataract on Paterson
Cataract on Paterson is a bit classier than my usual haunts, making it a great place to go for dinner and cocktails if you’re feeling like a flashpacker for the evening. The décor is cool, the food is quality and the staff are patient.
Where: 135 Paterson Street, Launceston
Super coffee and great for a quick bite. I came here for a caffeine and muffin fix before heading to Cataract Gorge. Sit outside in the morning sunshine and watch the attractive baristas create artwork in every cup.
Where: 93 George Street, Launceston
Image via: Inside Café
This café-come-gift shop is a super chilled, wholesome place with really tasty food and the friendliest of staff.
Where: 10 – 14 Paterson St, Launceston
Palate Food and Drink
Image via: Palate Food and Drink
When faced with the less than desirable situation of finding yourself in Burnie, this café is like the light at the end of a very long, dull tunnel.
Where: 6 Cattley Street, Burnie
Bushman’s Bar and Café
I chowed down on the most delicious seafood whilst overlooking Macquarie harbour. The restaurant is also a nice spot for an afternoon coffee and slice of cake.
Where: 1 Harold Street, Strahan
Get Shucked Oyster Bar
If you are going to try oysters, this place serves them as fresh as they come. Literally, from across the damn road.
Where: North Bruny Island
Cookie is one of those super trendy places that stays popular no matter where it is located. In this case, just off a ghastly main street, hidden in a tall building filled with other super trendy venues. Classic Melbourne. P.s. it’s Thai and it’s awesome.
Where: Level 1 Curtain House, 252 Swanston Street
I came across this place by accident one early morning and was drawn in by the sound of milk steaming and mugs clattering. I think the artwork may have also hypnotised me.
Where: 76 Rose Street, Fitzroy
Addict Food and Coffee
Another Fitzroy favourite. I had the breakfast style panna cotta, because if they say you can eat panna cotta for breakfast, you do not question it.
Where: 240-242 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Sweet tooth? Craving all the calories? Head to Acland Street in St. Kilda and you’ll be pulling your best Homer Simpson drool face as you move from display window to display window. Welcome to patisserie heaven.
Ohana Acai Bar
I liked this place because the food somehow managed to look like a big, fat dessert, minus that feeling of guilt and self loathing. I also liked eating said big, fat dessert whilst staring at this lovely wall.
Where: 28 Market Street, Fremantle
The Attic Fremantle
Image via: The Attic Fremantle
I loved the vibes of this place. Upstairs in the ‘attic’, the lighting is dimmer, giving lunch an altogether more private feel. I spent my time creepily watching customers come and go below me and mentally undressing the stunning cake selection sprawled across the counter. Filthy, I know.
Where: 16 Bannister Street, Fremantle
Argo on the Parade
Image via: Argo on the Parade
A firm favourite of mine during my time in Adelaide. This place gets insanely busy and cramped, so prepare to be eating off each others laps. But it’s worth every second of awkward limb touching. My go-to meal was the banana bread, bejewelled with berries, nuts and all things beautiful – even flowers! Also, I had the best sweet potato fries of my life in this very vicinity.
Where: 212 The Parade, Norwood
It was an absolute treat to be living locally to this joint. A great suburban hang-out, especially sat out front in spring, under the huge blossom tree (just so long as you don’t mind a hint of blossom in your coffee, brunch, hair, underwear, shoes…). The food is quality, the hipsters are a-plenty and the staff are simply awesome!
Where: 32 George Street, Thebarton
East End Providore
I’m a big fan of the square in which this café sits. Set just behind the bustling Rundle Street – not that you’d know, it’s a nice place to sit outdoors and watch the world go by; with a delicious bagel of course.
Where: 24 Ebenezer Place
Felici Espresso Bar
You can get a bit of everything here. On this day I went down the Middle-Eastern route. A great spot for people watching whilst enjoying a good coffee and some lunch.
Where: 261 Rundle Street
Image via: Hey Jupiter
Just a stones throw away from the previous two cafes I mention (I told you I like this area). It also just so happens to be a great spot for gawking at attractive, well dressed, bearded men walking their attractive, well dressed, bearded dogs.
Where: 11 Ebenezer Place
This is when my smoothie bowl addiction really took off. A real authentic gem of a café in a town more catered to the feeding the masses, with masses of crap.
Where: 92 Lake Street, Cairns
After hiking the long coastal circuit route twice, this place was a life saver, twice. It’s relatively quiet and hidden, so I could sit outside and continue to sweat in peace, whilst enjoying a neat little latte and a superfood salad.
Where: Duke Street, Sunshine Beach, Noosa
New South Wales
Lid and Jar
If you ever find yourself in this Northern Sydney suburb (not that you ever need to go here tbh), I found this place, so now we can all just relax and stop worrying ok?
Where: Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Image via: Boon Café
Boon Café is so Sydney. The tiny eating area is sort of squished in with a small shop selling unidentifiable artisanal produce. The Thai menu is amazingly fresh and flavourful and the latte art is the best I’ve ever seen – I got a Pikachu in my matcha!
Where: 425 Pitt Street
The Yellow Deli
Every time I walked past this place there was a queue out the door, but the one time I did get a table, was an experience like no other. Run by mountain hippies, walking into this place was like being transported into an old English fairy tale. There was a crackling fire, the most intricately carved wooden furniture, trinkets in every available space, a water feature, folk music, a family of Hobbits… Simply magical. I had a big warm bowl of chilli and it was perfect in every way.
Where: 214 Katoomba Street, Katoomba
Leaf and Grain
Image via: Leaf & Grain
Hipster central. A long wait for a table, an abundance of attractive waiters and baristas, delicious and nutritious food and drinks, you know, the usual. However, I did notice that this place took hipster to new heights; serving their overpriced avocado SKIN ON.
Where: Jonson Street, Byron Bay
I hope this mish-mash of places I stumbled across over the two years I spent in Australia gives you some insight into the wonderful foods the country has on offer; but obviously, this is just the tip of the edible iceberg.