As one of the ten largest countries in the world, it’s no surprise that Australia is brimming with food and drink from all kinds of cuisines, so delectable that it has me salivating just thinking about it. One of my best friends spent a couple of years working and living over there and she would send me photos of her food that had me drooling over my iPhone so much, I’m surprised it didn’t end up with liquid damage. She really knew where to go to find the best foods in Australia!
If you’re visiting Australia, make the most of your time by hiring a car from a reputable provider so you’ll be able to get to all the restaurants and attractions you’d like to visit. Alternatively, if you’re planning on staying in Australia for a few months, you might find it more worthwhile to buy a second-hand car through a website such as Gumtree, which you can sell on before you leave.
So, what are the best foods to eat in Australia? I asked some of my favourite travel bloggers, and here’s what they said:
Melbourne, like so many Australian cities, is multicultural. That’s reflected in the diversity of cuisines served in restaurants, cafes and markets. More than a quarter of a million Melburnians have Italian heritage. Ultimately, that means you can find some of the best salami in the southern hemisphere in Victoria’s capital. The annual Melbourne Salami Festa pits the city’s sausages up against each other for the coveted accolade of champion.
Want a slice of Melbourne’s salami action? You can taste salami and sip craft ales or wine at the Ombra Salumi Bar at 76 Bourke Street. Stroll between stalls at the likes of the Slowfood Melbourne Farmers Market for artisanal produce. If you’re into food, the Queen Victoria Market will be a delight to look around: W.R.King’s stall stocks a selection of salamis. You can even learn to make it yourself during classes run by Sausages Made Simple in West Melbourne.
— Stuart Forster, Go Eat Do
2) Fish and chips
We ended up going multiple times because the food was so yummy! The portions are generous and they also offer kids options. The fish is really fresh, chips are home made and you can even get mushy peas and gravy just like in England (the owner is British). The cafe is themed around Abbey Road Studio so if you are a Beatles or Rolling Stones fan, this is just the ticket. Yabbey Road is perfectly placed just by the beach, so you can enjoy a lovely stroll on the beachfront after a delicious meal. We will be back this has to be one of the best foods in Australia!
– Suewan, RTW Families
3) Tasmanian oysters
Tasmania is Australia’s only island state and has become increasingly popular with foodies in recent years for its incredible variety of fresh produce and artisan gourmet treats. On a recent visit, I was completely won over by the fresh and juicy oysters on Bruny Island. It’s a short drive and boat ride from Hobart, and I would have to recommend a trip out there to try them.
We headed to ‘Get Shucked’, the creatively named oyster bar on the island, to eat our fill. These were some of the biggest, most juicy and flavourful oysters I’ve ever eaten – they must be one of the best foods in Australia!
The pristine water of Great Bay is credited with the quality of the oysters and I’m told these are no more than 30 minutes out of the ocean – as fresh as they can be without being out there harvesting them yourself – only better, because someone else is shucking them and pouring the wine!
— Toni Broome, 2 Aussie Travellers
4) Tim Tams
Tim Tams are about as Australian as a biscuit can be. Ask any Australian and they will tell you that they are definitely one of the best foods in Australia! They are sold at the airport as a souvenir and my colleagues travelling from Australia and visiting Singapore would always bring them back as the most Aussie food item. It helps that they are delicious chocolate-covered biscuits with a layer of chocolate in the middle.
These days, Tim Tams can be found outside Australia and we actually get them in Singapore too, but for the less common flavours, like this vanilla salted caramel version inspired by the famous Messina ice cream chain, you still need to go to Australia. Think about it as their version of the peculiarly flavoured Kit Kat that the Japanese like to enjoy with seasonal touches, like rock melon or sakura.
— Mar Pages, Once in a Lifetime Journey
5) Smashed avo
Australia is home to some of the best brunches around. Australian brunch is so famous that many Australian cafes have been popping up around the world, with huge success. The media has also covered the Australian brunch phenomenon, thanks to the young Australians who love brunch so much that they have forgone a mortgage to spend their hard-earned dollars on an Australian brunch delicacy, smashed avo.
Smashed avo is the name given to a simple dish of mashed avocado on top of toasted bread. The many varieties of smashed avo range from simple avocado on toast to more elaborate recipes of avocado, sprouted seeds, feta, pomegranate seeds and many more ingredients on top of toasted sourdough bread. Pair this with the amazing coffee from Melbourne (as you can see further up in this article), and you can see why Australia is known for its outstanding brunch culture.
— Kate Parnell, Wanderlust Chronicles
6) Freak shakes
Did you know that the sensational ‘Freak Shake’ originated in Australia?
‘Pattissez’, the home of the original Freak Shake, is located in the quiet suburb of Griffith, Canberra. When this mother-daughter duo began making these sensational overloaded milk shakes in 2016, Canberra rightfully proved it was more than just a boring public service town.
So, what is a freak shake? Freak shakes are overindulgent, overloaded milkshakes typically served in mason jars. The toppings can vary, from cream and wafers to pretzels, to basically anything edible. Since its success, many innovative freak shakes have been created in various cafes, including vegan and low-calorie options.
When I visited, Pattissez served my freak shake in a plastic glass, which was fine, but I think the mason jar would have been cooler. So, if you’re in Canberra, make sure to drop in at the Manuka Shopping centre to taste the epic Freak Shake! If this isn’t one of the best foods in Australia, I don’t know what is!
– Rohini Nair, Why You Wander
7. Moreton Bay Bugs
If you are a lover of seafood, especially crustaceans, then you simply must try Moreton Bay Bugs while visiting Australia. Widely regarded as one of the best foods in Australia, Moreton Bay Bugs are named after Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, but you may have also heard them be referred to as flathead lobsters. The main meat of these lobsters is found in the tail and they offer up a meaty, yet buttery flavour profile. Moreton Bay Bugs are often boiled like you would a regular lobster, but they can also be grilled, which adds a tasty charcoal flavour to the meat.
While they are a popular dish, it’s not something you will often find on menus in Queensland, so if you spot it, make sure you give it a try. Our favourite place is the Brisbane Brewing Company, where not only is it delicious, but the plating of this dish is absolutely superb and Instagram-worthy every time!
— Megsy, Food Fun Travel
Every visitor to Australia should try some damper, whether it is over the campfire coals or in a good Aussie pub – it has to be one of the best foods in Australia!
— Jane Barnes, Wicked Walkabout
What to order in Melbourne when you’re in need of a caffeine fix? A latte. It’s such a good staple cup of coffee. One that you’ll find in every bakery, cafe, restaurant and side alley hustle.
So, if great coffee is just about everywhere in Melbourne, where does one go for coffee that you know is going to be great? Market Lane! This amazing local roastery has two cafes right near Queen Victoria Market. One on the street and the other inside the deli hall. Meaning you can grab yourself an early morning latte and than spend the morning stocking up on fresh produce.
— Jean Cheney, Travelling Honey Bird
Pavlova is a dessert that remember having at every party or celebration when I was a kid. My mum’s mum used to make hers with a little lemon curd inside – a little citrus surprise – but traditionally, it will be filled with cream, then decorated with all the summer fruits you can imagine.
Cherrries, strawberries an kiwis were the ‘must-haves’ but Mum used to try to get mandarin in there too sometimes. I used to go around and eat the crunchy meringue from the outside of the baked pavlova, hoping Mum wouldn’t notice – but she always did!
— Erica, I’m Being Erica