It's the earmarked sports event of the summer, the Aus Open is the iconic stretch of January where Melbourne suddenly transforms into tennis-arm-chair experts.
After several years of COVID-impacted restrictions and density limits, we're finally back to regular programming and what comeback, this year's lineup of cuisine is one for the ages.
Here's what you should be eating at the Australian Open 2023:
Making its way from Sydney, Josh Niland's Charcoal Fish has a main-court-sized placement inside the event. Make your way to the breezy beach bar and get your hands on the simply mind-melting double Yellowfin Tuna cheeseburger, the charcoal-roasted Murray Cod gravy roll as well as hot chips and salads and slaws.
Rocco's Bologna Discoteca
The beloved Gertrude Street trattoria has made its way into the AO precinct with an outlet serving up their famed Italian Maccas-style bangers. On the cards at Rocco's for the two-week residency is their cult-famous meatball sub as well as their Picante Bologna sanga with melted provolone and fermented chilli sauce.
The Banh Mi specialist shop from the Anchovy/Jeow team has brought plenty of its Vietnamese-fused staples to the grounds. With a selection of fragrant and spicy options, the Ca Com team has three-different Banh Mi options with a crispy pork belly, a grilled turmeric chicken and even a vegetarian-friendly heirloom tomato and Thai basil combo—you can also opt for a noodle bowl version in place of the bread.
Serving up 'honest no bullshit Indian food' Elsie's by chef Mischa Tropp has crafted a collection of on-the-go friendly dishes perfect for a hot day at the tennis. Of course, the wildly popular Elsie's butter chicken makes an appearance but there's also the Goan-style fish sandwich served up in the immaculately baked Pav (soft and dense Indian-style roll) with slaw and a spiced tamarind dressing or the Vada which comes with fried potato fritters with a peanut and green chutney combo.
It's not often you'll find the fine diner hawking its good outside of Flinders Lane, but the Terrazo garden at the AO is where you'll find all the Supernormal classics. Yes indeed, the Andrew McConnell signature dishes are well and truly available from the New England lobster roll, the prawn and chicken dumplings to that memory-burning peanut butter parfait.
One of Melbourne's finest burger operators, The B.EAST is set up to flip patties all day and night. The menu is a tidy collection of their stacked burger options from their classic Beastie Boi cheeseburger with wagyu beef, cheddar and special sauce to the Clint Beastwood with fried-chicken slaw, pickles and honey mustard barbecue sauce. There's even a plant-based option with a v2 patty burger as well nuggets and fries.
The bayside pastry and bread haven have made the journey to Richmond and the Hamptons team has brought plenty of the baked goods, sangas and tarts along for the ride. Here you can grab a slew of different options from the absolutely knockout house-made Foccacia with caramelised lemon, Spanish onion and Manchego cheese, or the Le Croque option with dijon bechamel, triple-smoked ham and gruyere.
The souvlaki sister operation to the Greek culinary institution, Stalactites, the Hella Good pop-up stand has all the favourites to keep you from set to set. All the favourites are on offer from a chicken or a vegetarian loaded with homemade tzatziki and hot chips to the HSP snack pack with marinated chicken Giros.
Check everything else happening in Melbourne over here.
Image credit: supplied