Keeping up with Melbourne’s food scene is probably not humanly possible. You’d need a bankroll of millions and the appetite of a rugby team. But out of those 13—let’s be honest—probably only one or two are worth your time. That’s what we’re here for: cutting through the crap to bring you only the good stuff. Here’s three of the city’s hottest new eateries. We’ve got one cafe (the fancy new Guild at State Library), one restaurant (this sweet new Chilean place in Fitzroy) and one bar (tacos and tequila and Benzina Cantina).
Let’s get into it. Here’s three new Melbourne venues to check out this weekend.
Guild only opened in the CBD on Friday. It’s so new it doesn’t even have a bloody website yet. This is the flagship cafe in the State Library’s Russell St redevelopment project, headed up by Cameron Earl, the founder of Almond Milk Co. Everything here is vegan and built to go—think bircher muesli, baguettes stuffed with vegetable goodness, and raw cakes from the Tommy Collins Group (the guys behind House of Lulu White). Did we mention you can grab six refills of filter coffee for $10? Better hope that wifi is fast...
There’s a bunch of good new places we could have chucked in here (Super Ling and Bluebonnet are both fantastic), but Citrico wins out for quirk-factor. There’s not many places in Melbourne doing a fusion of Chilean, Peruvian and Argentine cuisine, with a dedicated pisco menu to boot. Our pick here is the Pollito, which is like Nandos on 10-speed. Smokey grilled chicken pieces, dusted in Panca chilli, served with a squeeze of lemon and a crazy-good aji de gallina sauce. Don’t forget the obligatory pisco sour (there’s an Aussie pisco on the menu with a serious kick).
Benzina Cantina kind of jumps the bar/restaurant chasm (probably on a hotted-up Royal Enfield)—it’s a new biker-themed Mexican eatery in Preston. They do have a dedicated taco menu here, but the vibe feels more like a tequila bar. The best seats in the house are in the rooftop beer garden. Pull up a chair under the fairy light canopy and tuck into 'gorditas'—handmade corn flour pockets stuffed with refried beans and your choice of cheese or chilli mince beef. Wash it down with a chilli-kicked Clamato cocktail.
In other news, the Night Noodle Markets just dropped their 2018 line-up. Brace for queues.
Image credit: Mel Desa