Chapel Street’s a melting pot of, well, melting pots, with every cuisine imaginable lining its expansive street. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming trying to choose the right foodie destination to satisfy your rumbling tum, especially because the famed street is three suburbs long.
Fortunately for you we’ve done the difficult and delicious task of trying them all so you don’t have to (it’s a hard knock life for us). Here are some of the best restaurants to eat at on Chapel Street.
Abacus Bar & Kitchen
Abacus is the go-to place for anyone wanting to impress their out-of-town mates. It’s decked out it beautiful bronze trimmings, soft wood furnishings and a butt load of plants. Better yet, it’s menu is bloody delicious. Swing by at basically any time of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner - and they’ll have a little summin’ summin (or seven) for everyone. We highly recommend their Margherita wood-fired pizza.
One of our favourite Hawker-style bars on the strip is Hanoi Hannah, which is serving up Vietnamese realness errday on High Street. Think piping hot pho, Peking duck, curry chicken, rice paper rolls and a loooooong list of delicious beers, wines and cocktails to ease it down you gullet. Eat in or takeaway, the choice is yours.
Cut from the same cloth as Hanoi Hannah is another one of our Asian-style faves - Tokyo Tina. This Japanese-style street food haven is famous for its karaage fried chicken, pork belly bao, okonomiyaki Japanese pancake and oodles of spiced edamame. It’s fab for a work lunch thanks to its private booth out the back, and a popular hot spot for birthday dinners thanks to its killer vibe (and food).
Yet ANOTHER hawker-style hot spot on the street is the aptly named Hawker Hall. With the slogan ‘open late for hungry people’ and a menu that’ll have your mates rolling you out the door, there’s no place we’d rather go on an empty tum. Enjoy dumplings and buns, roti, satay barbecue, salads, noodles, rice, curries, stir-fries, greens, sweets and drinks galore. Plus Gelato Messina is just down the road, ripe for a second dessert stop...
Did somebody say $4 pizzas? That’s right, frems, Bimbo’s southside brother has daily food specials that’ll give your wallet a much-need break. On the reg, this cheap and cheerful pub throws done hella affordable pizzas, jaffles, salads, sides and drinks. You can sit inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs or on the deck. And at $4 a pizza, it’d be rude not to have at least two.
We can’t write a list about Chapel Street food oases without mentioning Mr Miyagi aka. Mr Melbourne. This Japanese-style restaurant has a modern twist on its menu (and a cheeky take on dining) that has diners queueing up down the street every week, so book ahead if you can or get there bang on 5:30 to avoid a lengthy wait. Dishes to wrap your lips around include the salmon nori taco, Mr Miyagi fried chicken, tempura broccoli and prawn and ginger dumplings. You’d also be crazy not to try their famous frosé.
But what about brunch?? Chapel Street is packed with first-class Melbourne cafes (Abacus above included), which makes it hard to choose a standout, however one we can’t stop ogling is Journeyman. This ritzy little number has everything: stellar decor, great coffee, friendly service and extraordinary breakfast dishes. If you eat anything on Chapel Street, make it the Persian Feta Potato Croquette. Holey moley.
Feel like spreading your wings beyond the narrow stretches of Chapel Street? Here's every Melbourne cafe you should've had breakfast at by now.
Image credit: Abacaus Bar & Kitchen | Michelle Jarni