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Jan 25, 2011 11:55 PM

One week in Melbourne

I'm excited about my upcoming visit from Vancouver, Canada. Have arranged for a serviced apartment in S. Yarra, and am staying for about one week before heading to Tassie for another week.
Will a budget of $30-$60 per person for dinners include some wine or a cocktail? Or am I being completely unrealistic?
I think I can include one (and only one) splurge of $100-$125.
With that in mind, suggestions are appreciated.
Also, does anyone want to meet up for a casual bite?

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  1. You are staying in a quite expensive area of Melbourne. However, it can be done. What I would suggest is alternating cheap places (Asian, student-friendly etc) with better places. You could also look for places that are BYO (Bring Your Own) wine which obviously helps, or go for pubs with excellent food (you are the right side of the city for that)

    Asian: you can eat for well under $20. Mainstream restaurants: probably 15 entree, 30 main. Pba bit cheaper, also St Kilda has a couple of new wave pizza places with wood fired ovens and poncey toppings - 20ish for a pizza sit down.Splurge: all depends what you like, there is excellent French and Sardinian in South Yarra and plenty more options a short hop away.

    What would your dream meal be? Then we can narrow it down.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mr_gimlet

      thanks for your suggestions.
      As for "dream meal"... I enjoy foods from numerous culinary traditions, but especially "fresh, local, seasonal" as opposed to imported out of season fruit garnishes on unsustainably farmed tiger prawns.
      In my work, I oversee community dinners at a church; would enjoy connecting with someone who does similar community work.
      Rustic French, Italian and Spanish meals appeal to me. Tasty wines and beers (not too fruity...) Prefer not much offal.
      I am particularly fond of sauces, single malt whiskey, cheese, interesting grains, and most sorts of meat. Restaurants which do not serve vegetables usually do not get a repeat visit.
      Does that help?

    2. I also head that Melbourne is a coffee city. I am a caffeine head, but not a coffee geek; my coffee should have substance, but not overwhelming acidic notes. But, having arranged for a full-kitchen serviced apartment, I'm thinking I'll cook about 1/3 of my meals.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Joey Diamond

          Thanks, Joey Diamond, for the affirmation of Outpost. That location is in the same building as the Punthill Apartments, where we stayed for 3 days. The coffee was very good. However, my DH was heartily committed to making his own brew every morning.

      1. Remember, there isn't a moral obligation to tip in Australia, so you might have more money to play with.

        South of the Yarra, I've heard good things about for a cheap meal. And dainty sichuan is fabulous. Borsch, Vodka and Tears I haven't been to in years but I used to love the pierogi and vodka selection. These would all fit in between 30-60 probably closer to 45-60.

        You could cross the Yarra river down into Carlton and go to Carlton Espresso for pasta and a glass of wine for under $30.

        You are in the wrong place for coffee. Most of the good coffee is on the other side of the Yarra; BBB (City), 7 Seeds (Carlton), de Clieu (Fitzroy).

        For rustic French, head to Libertine in North Melbourne. Spanish you could do Movida Next Door or Bar Lourinha (I prefer the latter). You could always do Embrasse's (Carlton) sunday lunch which is a modern version of rustic French, if that makes sense. All these would fit in under your splurge category.

        1. You should definitely check out for Victoria!

          1 Reply
          1. re: dinnerwithfox

            urbanspoon is OK but the list is a bit patchy - the 4th best restaurant in Victoria is apparently the Moroccan Soup Bar - but isn't bad at the cheap end

          2. Thanks, everyone for your responses. We had several enjoyable meals, one of which was at Josie Bones in Collingwood, near Brunswick. Quite a memorable and fun evening. DH really enjoyed the pork belly. Daughter had great fun taking photos of every dish and drink. Another memorable meal was lunch at the cafe at CERES. And I totally appreciate that Chapelli's is open 24 hrs!