The northern suburbs of Melbourne are upping their foodie game, with new eateries opening up in nearly every neighbourhood. Here are some of our favourites.
Have the little ones in tow? Hungry Fox [305 Wirraway Road, Essendon Fields] is the place for you. It’s owned by the La Manna family who is behind the much-loved La Manna supermarkets and cafe. All of their ventures have become local hotspots for foodies around Melbourne, a result of their passion for top-notch food and produce. This heritage has carried over to Hungry Fox, with the addition of a fantastic playground the kids can run wild on. Order the Earthy Eggs, that come with fresh vegetables or go for the the lovingly-made ricotta gnocchi for something more filling. If you want to sit outside and watch the kids as they explore the playground, opt for the picnic board that comes with two kinds of cheese, cold cut meats, artichoke, lavosh and focaccia bread.
One of Pascoe Vale’s most popular gelato bars has spread its wings and headed further north to Sunbury, where wine country and the suburbs intertwine. Situated on Sunbury’s main strip, O’Shannassy Street, don’t be surprised if a line is starting to form outside Augustus Gelatery [96a Oshanassy Street, Sunbury]. Inside you’ll find fully-loaded cabinets of colourful iced treats, in every colour imaginable, perfectly complementing the vibrant and modern interior. Enjoy a variety of gelato flavours including crowd favourites Nutella, watermelon or rum and raisin. Or, if you’re after something a little left of centre, try the liquorice, pandan and coconut or fig and almond flavours. Watch as the tasty, gooey gelato is folded into Augustus’ colourful cups and enjoy it inside this funky gelato bar or outdoors.
If the sound of eating lunch or dinner in a shopping centre doesn’t exactly light you up, wait till you try ENA Greek Restaurant at Westfield Plenty Valley [415 McDonalds Road, Mill Park]; it will turn your preconceptions on their head. Its sister location in Southbank cemented itself as one of Melbourne’s best restaurants serving up tasty Greek eats, and now, it’s sharing the love with northsiders. Bring your friends down and tuck into plates of delicious gyros, souvlakis smothered in tzatziki, and fresh-from-the-grill seafood, paired with a Greek beer or a glass of your favourite drop. Still hungry? Indulge in baklava or Galaktoboureko: a traditional Greek dessert made with flaky filo pastry and custard.
Cafe Louis [93 Moor Street, Fitzroy] is a breath of fresh air in Fitzroy’s competitive cafe scene. Why? It’s not shouting about how good it is from the rooftops, on social media or from its storefront; in fact, it’s one of those understated, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type places. It’s situated in a historic warehouse-style building which, in its previous lives, has been a gallery, hotel and a horse stable. Its humble, welcoming vibe makes the brunch experience even better. Tuck into tasty eats like the Dorayaki pancakes topped with banana butter, bruleed banana, coconut pandan, whipped cream, toasted coconut flakes and pistachio di bronte gelato. For something on the savoury side, go for the green chilli scrambled eggs with Spanish pesto, manchego, caramelised onions, cherry tomatoes and bacon. Whatever you choose, you’ll be enjoying some of the best brunch in Melbourne.
Image credit: facebook.com/cafelouisfitzroy
If you haven’t checked out Marnong Estate [2335 Mickleham Road, Mickleham] since it reopened in mid-2018, it’s definitely worth revisiting. First-timers won’t be disappointed either. Its onsite restaurant Bankvale Run — a modern eatery perfectly juxtaposed to its historic surrounds — offers stunning views of the farm it sits on and the rolling hills beyond. Make sure you bag a seat by the window if you want to enjoy your meal with a view. Tuck into fresh-from-the-oven woodfired pizzas topped with roast vegetables, lamb or the classic Margherita toppings. If you’re after something more substantial, opt for something from its ‘headliners’ menu, like steamed mussels served with tomato, chilli, garlic and grilled bread, or beef cheek ragout with rigatoni pasta and garden pesto. Be sure to save room for dessert; apple crumble, sticky date pudding and tiramisu cannoli are all on offer. It’s open in the morning too, so if you’re looking to class up your breakfast, add this place to your list.
For an experience that combines delicious, healthy food with beautiful interior design, Against the Grind [42 Oleander Drive, Mill Park] is your new go-to cafe in Melbourne’s North. Its pristine decor, with clean lines, cascading greenery and sleek fittings, create a relaxing scene to enjoy your first meal of the day in. You may even forget you’re in Melbourne’s suburbs for a moment. Here, you can be in control of every element of your brekkie, with its build your own breakfast menu, featuring everything from eggs and avocado to kimchee and sopressa. It also offers delicious and nutritious brekkie bowls for those after something a little lighter. Freshly made smoothies and juices are the perfect accompaniment to your ATG breakfast, as is an expertly brewed coffee if you want to stay caffeinated.
Image source: Hume City Council
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