Winter in Melbourne may be dark and full of terrors, but at least it gives you an excuse to eat as much soup, laksa, ramen, slow-cooked meats, gnocchi and carb-heavy stodge as you want. Tell people you're building your 'winter bod'. Bears do it, right? It's practically Darwinian. Evolution wants you to order that triple cheese toastie and a side of hot chocolate.
So here you go, guys. 44 winter dishes in Melbourne that'll warm the cockles. Tuck in.
Photography: Annika Kafcaloudis
- Get some feeling back into those fingers with a hot choc from Bibelot, Hunted + Gathered or Don’t Lost Your Temper (Or all three. We won’t judge).
- Nothing says winter like a big bowl of soup. Garden Foods does a killer spiced pumpkin.
- Get your fill of roast meats (and paired wine) at Arbory's epic winter roast series. $25 well spent.
- Scarf down some potato-y, cheesy scrumptious-ness with a serve of pierogi at Little Oddessa.
- One slice of hot apple pie from The Pie Shop thanks (it's called The Rita). Just like grandma used to make. Maybe even better. Don’t tell her we said that.
- More soup! Order yourself a bowl of rice wine soup from Wonder Bowl—it’s good for the soul.
Photography: Annika Kafcaloudis
- What says comfort food more than a big hunk of meat? Check out the beef short rib with burnt Brussels sprouts at Mjolner.
- After a little winter pick-me-up? Try the eggplant with slow-cooked beef shoulder at Rebel Blue in Windsor.
- Okay, we know haggis isn’t everyone’s style, but the Pakora haggis from Wee Man’s Kitchen may just change your mind.
- Slurp up some South Australian swimmer crab bisque at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. Prepare to get your hands dirty.
- Warm your cockles with a glass of mulled wine at Willows & Wine in West Melbourne.
- We don’t need a reason to stuff ourselves full of potato. But the gnocchi ragu from Ms Frankie tastes even better while sheltering from the rain.
- Check out the epic 'Rac n' Mac' nights at Smithward in Collingwood. Raclette poured over mac. Sweet lord...
Photography: Jenna Fahey-White
- Do yourself a favour and get a big bowl of Beef Pho from Ginger & Chives over in Northcote. Southsiders, head to Mopho Canteen.
- We’ve talked cheese, we’ve talked potato. Now let’s combine them. You've gotta try the Swiss raclette over heritage potatoes at Maker & Monger in Prahran Market.
- Okay, time for some 12-hour slow cooked pork ribs. Served with stone fruit sauce and fennel slaw. Find them at Whaler, Prahran's new cocktail lounge.
- We’ve mentioned Maker & Monger already, but f*ck it—they're amazing. Warm up with their classic Pimento grilled cheese sanger.
- Wrap your gob around one of the city's best smoked brisket burgers at Burn City. Now smoking at Collins Kitchen in the CBD.
- Pay it forward with a bowl of hot tomato soup at The Soup Place. They serve it out of giant Harry Potter-style cauldrons.
- No winter list would be complete without mentioning the brined and miso-glazed rotisserie chicken at Belleville. Don't forget a serve of their poutine while you're at it.
- Need a warming brunch? We’re all for STN’s slow-cooked beef cheeks on rosemary-spiked potato hash, served with béarnaise sauce, spiced cabbage and apple slaw.
- Freezing in the CBD? One bowl of the Smoked Eggplant Hot Pot from Annam will set you right.
- Melburnians have been warming their bellies with hot jam doughnuts from American Doughnut Kitchen since time immemorial. Check 'em out at Queen Vic Market.
- The spicy chicken wings at Sorry Miss Jackson certainly amp up the temperature on a cold day. Be brave and order the 'Hurts Both Ways'.
- You can never get too much ramen in winter. If you've already been to IPPUDO, hit up Shujinko Ramen in the CBD.
Photography: Michelle Jarni
- The Texas-style Angus beef brisket from Bluestone American BBQ is sure to warm you from the inside out. Bring your friends to help you out with this one.
- Time for another soup variation. Slurp up a bowl of the hot chicken laksa from Pappa Rich.
- Walk into Bhang and get toasty with a bowl of their lamb neck braised red curry from Maharashtra.
- We’re calling it: the ultimate breakfast comfort dish is baked eggs. And we’re getting ours from Melbourne institution, Hardware Societe.
- Want to try our favourite gnocchi of 2017? You can get it at Vaporetto in Hawthorn: stodge and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. You even get the pan juices.
- Let’s just keep that gnocchi theme going. The baked gnocchi from Thirty-Eight Chairs is not to be missed, particularly on a wet, miserable Friday night.
- So you’ve realised by now that we like cheese. And pasta. Combine the two with the Pecorino Wheel pasta from Cucinetta. You’ll sleep well after this one. Unless you’re lactose intolerant.
- A piping hot Bunnings snag is pretty hard to beat, but the Boerewors sausages from Boeri Bros are killer too.
- Need another hot laksa tip? Laksa Bar in the CBD do some of the best in town (just get in early to avoid the lunch rush).
- So you’ve worked up the strength to get up early to exercise in this freezing weather? Reward yourself with some home-made crumpets, rosemary and peach compote, vanilla coyo and sweet dukkah at Grace.
Photography: Jenna Fahey-White
- It’s been a bit of a meat-fest, but vegan and veggie friends, we haven’t forgotten you. A Fan’s Notes do an awesome vegan roast night, with hot vegan gravy to boot.
- Need more veggie comfort food? Try the vegan nachos at Vegie Bar, the lentil dhal from Lentil As Anything, or the new vegan bolognese from The Alley.
- Order yourself a bowl of the veggie curry with tofu from Purple Peanuts. Don't forget a side order of their miso soup.
- Ready for more cheese? Check out the raclette and jazz nights at Juliet, beneath Punch Lane.
- One of our all-time favourite winter warmers: a huge bowl of organic Japanese curry from Brim CC in the CBD. Everyone forgets this place.
- There’s a bit of a curry theme going and we’re okay with it. Next on the comfort-food-menu? A serve of the beef rendang with coconut rice from the Grand Tofu. Cheap and delicious.
- Grab yourself a big bowl of ramen with spicy pork mince from Yoku Ono (that's Yoku, not Yoko, just FYI). They do some of the best in the South.
- Sometimes all you need to lift your spirits is a solid burger—and YOMG delivers in spades. Keep it simple with the Yo My With Cheese, add some pickles, sit back and enjoy.
- Time to round things off (because we’re assuming you’re eating all of these) with the spiked hot choc from Chuckle Park. We’re talking a chocolate meets vodka meets blackberry liqueur meets a hint of almond.
Drink up, guys. Here are all the places to find mulled wine and hot cider in Melbourne.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis