Let’s be honest, Melbourne’s foodie scene is a lot like an unchaperoned child at the grocery store. There are so many new restaurants, cafes and bars opening every month that unless you’re a seriously dedicated food-consuming machine, a couple may have slipped past your fingers (or should I say mouth?). Not to worry, we’ve eaten our way through enough of Melbourne to bring you the best meals of 2016!
#1 The trippy Tiramistout with micro herbs and brewers grain from Temple Brewing Co is one of the most delightful desserts, ever.
#2 The Fish & Chippery take crab to the next level with their tempura soft shell crab wrap served with wombok salad, bean sprouts, black sesame and goma dressing. NOM.
#3 Sure you could go for your standard Margherita, but why would you when there’s a Black Forest dessert pizza with Nutella, blackberries, cherries, Oreo crumble, vanilla bean ice cream and a raspberry injection at A25?
#4 Foie gras ice cream profiteroles with chocolate sauce at Luxembourg. That’s all.
#5 Nora’s deceptive signature Daft Punk Is Playing In My Mouth dish consists of sashimi with green chilli granita and a host of other delicate ingredients. Stunningly rich, balanced and complex, it's not one to underestimate.
#6 Corn is king at Embla with their creamed corn with crème fraîche, oregano and dried citrus. Heavenly.
#7 Head into the Grub Food Van for pomegranate slow cooked lamb like no other.
#8 Eel broth may not sound that appealing, but in the hands of the IDES team, it’s a winner.
#9 Faraday’s Cage’s buttermilk hotcakes are cooked in crunchy macadamia and praline, then topped with mascarpone, fresh berries and poached pear. No, you won’t find better.
#10 Little Ramen Bar may not be new, but their Hokkaido Ramen featuring a generous amount of corn and buttery broth certainly is. Topped with mixed veg and pork, we can’t get enough of this new addition.
#11 The iconic high tea at Market Lane Bar at Intercontinental Melbourne the Rialto is worth every dollar. We recommend bringing your least hungry friend.
#12 Bringing a kick-ass vegan mushroom pho to Melbourne, GOODdays’ broth is rich and mouth-wateringly aromatic.
#13 You can’t really go wrong at Neil Perry’s Burger Project, but we can never get enough of their fried chicken and bacon katsu burger.
#14 The Pumpkin Bunuelos (doughnuts) dish with goats cheese ice cream, almond praline and ponzu caramel from MJR TOM is everything.
#15 The creator of the cookies ‘n cream donut sliders with smashed Oreos, salted caramel, bananas, honeycomb, figs and pistachios from Left Field should be knighted.
#16 The homemade gnocchi with pumpkin and ginger sauce from Eat'aliano by Pino are little pillows of joy.
#17 Little Sunflower's green tea noodle Buddha Bowl with edamame, bean shoots, sweet potato, watercress, avo, kimchi, turtle beans and cucumber must be made by a healthy goddess.
#18 The pine mushrooms, cippolini’s and pumpkin seed dish from Host has a very special place in our hearts.
#19 Botherambo's fried spiced squid with coriander, Vietnamese mint, chilli mayo and sriracha is a flavour bomb!
#20 The German-style pretzel from Two Wrongs with Wagyu pastrami, aged cheddar custard and cigar smoke is so right.
#21 Polepole's meat cigar's are filled with tender meats and rolled in Tunisian brik pastry then topped with flavoured edible ash. Boom.
#22 If you're a cheese lover (and who isn't), Three One 2 One serves an appropriately named Kick-Ass Mac 'n Cheese with a beef pattie, double cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mac 'n cheese and ketchup.
#23 Or if you're willing to skip the burger, go straight for the Mac Bomb from Burgerlove. A cheese stuffed mac 'n cheese patty that's battered and deep-fried, this is artery-clogging deliciousness.
#24 If we had to eat Amaru’s duck breast for the rest of our lives every day, we would be one happy duckie.
#25 Toko’s ‘hiramasa no usuzukuri’ consists of perfectly sliced kingfish with yuzu and chives. It’s delicate and downright delicious.
#26 Dinner By Heston’s Meat Fruit, because, Heston.
#27 Lune Croissanterie may have only recently been crowned as home to the world’s best croissant, but we’ve been chowing on their stringy, cheese-stuffed, salty-sweet cheese and ham croissants all year. Much to the despair of our waistlines.
#28 Boasting a recently revamped menu, Mammoth in Armadale is dishing out chocolate fondant Wagon Wheel hotcakes with strawberry marshmallow and coconut gelato. Go.
#29 It’s a croissant stuffed with soft shell crab, pickled cucumber, chipotle mayo and a fried egg. You literally can’t go wrong with it at White Mojo.
#30 Winter is only good for one thing – Mr Wednesday’s winter menu. With the Danish For Porridge, a sneaky morning combo of rolled rice porridge, spiced pear, ginger candied walnuts, burnt orange syrup and freeze-dried raspberry dust, it’s the only right start to a freezing winter morning.
#31 Kitty Burns does French Toast that will make you feel like you’ve been French-ed in happiness. Think compressed petite red apple, maple syrup whip and white chocolate ganache. Heaven.
#32 Box Hill’s golden child The Penny Drop does a potato and garlic chive waffle with poached eggs, ham, hollandaise and wakame you cannot go past.
#33 All hail the breakfast roti at Plug Nickel.
#34 SMÄK Food House does poached tarragon free-range chicken with garlic and an almond thyme crust. It will have you flying in everyday.
#35 Bao down to the healthy(ish) bao at Fourth Chapter featuring southern fried chicken, pickled cabbage and sriracha aioli.
#36 Brunswick’s Very Good Falafel takes their name very seriously. Go for the stuffed falafel pita.
#37 Bluebonnet BBQ’s reopening in North Fitzroy this year meant the return of their to-die-for crispy lamb ribs. Warning: we don't share.
#38 The kick-ass Mexican Drowned Eggs at El Atino & Co are the perfect soul-warming start to any winter morning!
#39 Biggie Smalls' Lamb Kebab with smoked hummus, pickled onion, herbs, leaves and garlic yoghurt is on point, fellow foodies!
#40 Like pancakes? Om Nom’s mixed berry hotcake with passionfruit curd, maple syrup and mascarpone is one of the best.
#41 Scuttle your way into The Crux & Co for their bisque benedict with tiger prawns, poached eggs and a lobster bisque hollandaise served on squid ink toast.
#42 The humble cheeseburger from Leonard's House of Love gets our cheesy tick of approval.
#43 The molten cheese pork ribs from Oh Deer is exactly what it sounds like. Monstrous amounts of stringy cheese mixed with tender, sticky pork ribs. Um, yes?!
#44 Lusciously creamy and light, Legacy in Camberwell sets the standard high with their passionfruit panna cotta with crushed pistachios, strawberries, grilled peach, kiwi and an orange poppy seed tuile.
#45 You can’t go wrong with Spanish tapas, but Pablo Honey’s grass fed beef tartare with salted egg yolk, smoked chilli, finger lime, coriander and cumin seed lavosh is a must.
#46 BOY & Co’s loaded Kimchi Fries with shoestring fries, kimchi, kewpie mayo, hoisin, spring onion and fried shallots is totally a meal. Right guys?
#47 We always have room for Ichi Ni’s Hotate 5 Ways - a platter of seared scallops served five ways with yuzu miso, apricot yuzu, wasabi, kogane yaki and moromi miso!
#48 Short Round lets us have sticky dark gingerbread, pistachio parfait, treacle cream and quince paste for breakfast without batting an eyelash. We love them.
#49 Higher Ground’s ricotta gnocchi with a romesco sauce and almonds is more than worth the wait.
#50 The lamb sweetbreads with hay baked carrot, sesame and yoghurt at French Saloon is the perfect Friday night treat.
Need more brunch ideas? Check out The Best New Melbourne Cafes Of 2016!
Image credit: MJR TOM via Facebook.