Whether you like it spicy, creamy, chunky or smooth, a hearty bowl of soup is without doubt one of life's simplest pleasures. Filling, comforting and easy on the hip pocket, a liquid lunch is a popular option, especially at this time of year. So get some glorious soupy goodness in your frostbitten belly – grab your spoon and a crusty loaf and head to one of the following purveyors of Melbourne's best soups.
Here at TUL, we pho-king love pho – the steaming bowl of Vietnamese rice noodle soup in star anise broth peppered with beanshoots, mint, chilli and your choice of meats or veg. (So much so that here's a list of Melbourne's best pho that we prepared earlier.) Not all pho is created equal, though, and we're pretty darn confident in saying that I Love Pho 264 (and its inner city counterpart, I Love Pho Express) dishes up one of Melbourne's best soups! In fact, their Tai (rare sliced beef) pho made it into our top 50 meals you should have eaten if you live in Melbourne.
When it comes to soup, the spicy, coconut-y Malay-Chinese noodle-packed broth that is laksa is a popular fave. While I could wax lyrical about my love for laksa for hours (especially at Flemington's Laksa King!), it is probably more effective to direct you to our round up of Melbourne's best laksa. Slurp away.
If ramen (Japanese noodle soup) is more your thing, you'd be wise to head straight to SHIZUKU on Victoria Street in Abbotsford for one of the best soups in Melbourne town. They slow cook their signature Shizuku ramen for 15 hours, using customary Japanese methods. The delicious broth is chock full of handmade noodles, tender pork belly and a perfectly soft googy egg. Delicious and nutritious fare for a cold winter's day or night.
Another of our fave ramen joints is the super popular Shop Ramen in Collingwood, beloved by the soup troop for their delectable hand made ramen. (Their rice bowls are also awesome). Here, the guys mix Japanese and Korean flavours for some of the best soup Melbourne has seen. Our pick? Korean Doenjang Beef Ramen with Kimchi and Peanuts. The beef brisket is melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Not mates with meat? Vegos are looked after here, too.
We also love Little Ramen Bar, a hole-in-the-wall soup joint giving CBD punters their daily ramen fix, plus Corrs Lane's Fukuryu Ramen for its selection of traditional and more modern ramen dishes.
OTHER TOP SPOTS FOR SOUP IN MELBOURNE
Many a Melburnian will claim that Fitzroy North's Moroccan Soup Bar dishes up some of the city's best. With a vego menu and a cult-like following (and often the accompanying queues), the soups and stews here are cheap and tasty, with a focus on North African flavours. (And no, it's not just soup. The chickpea bake has a cult following of its own).
Of course, no list of Melbourne's best soup would be complete without Centre Place stalwart, The Soup Place. You know it – the delightfully dingy looking joint with the giant cauldrons of the day's piping hot soup on display. If variety is the spice of life, this place is hot hot hot. Creamy potato and leek? Tick. Tomato-y minestrone? Gotcha. Spicy Moroccan stew? Here's lookin' at you, kid.
It's not rocket science; it's just good, simple, soul-warming soup, done well and for a reasonable price. Plus they cater to the allergy crowd, too, with dairy and gluten free soups on offer.
Also in the CBD, Souperman Cafe is another option for good ol' fashioned soup, with outlets on Hardware Street and in QV.
Want to sup your soup in a more glamorous CBD location? The Tom Kha at Chin Chin is a souper option – a coconut and galangal broth chock full of Asian mushrooms, Thai basil and chilli oil. Swoon.
Located across from Melbourne Uni in Carlton, our uni-going pals swear by the soup at Animal Orchestra (163 Grattan Street). The soups rotate daily (think minestrone one day, hearty pumpkin the next) and will cost you a mere tenner. Cheap and delicious fuel for all that learnin'.
Also in Carlton is Soul Soup Cafe (soup being the staple diet of impoverished students since time immemorial). Head here for an ever-revolving selection of the good stuff, with options like Moroccan chickpea, sweet potato or Thai pumpkin, served with a side of Turkish for (totes necessary) dunking.
Among the multiple minestrone options on Lygon Street, we're told that Tiamo bowls up one of the best to be found. Just like Nonna makes it, this one's hearty and tasty with big door stops of bread.
Prefer French cuisine? You'll get the finest French onion soup at South Yarra's France-Soir or Toorak's Bistro Thierry (Gruyere croutons? Droooool). GG Restaurant in East Melbourne also does a mighty fine onion option, infused with thyme and chives and topped with those devilish Gruyere croutons again.
If you're after a seafood soup, the creamy mussel chowder at The Mussel Pot at Prahran Market cannot be missed! Or head to Richmond Oysters for a heaving bowl of chowder, plumped with prawns, scallops, fish and Spring Bay mussels.
Wish you could slurp soup for breakfast? You can. Fitzroy's Hammer & Tong 412 does a cracking breakfast ramen! Middle Fish in Carlton also do a traditional Thai style breakfast soup called Kao Tom – with brown rice in a fragrant chicken broth, full of shredded chicken, Asian herbs and a poached egg.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your slurp on at Melbourne's best soup joints!
Image Credit: Her Interest