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Pie at Pie Thief
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The 23 best snacks to try in Melbourne

We searched high and low for 23 amazing things to enjoy before or after breakfast, lunch and dinner

Written by
Rushani Epa
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Melbourne may not have a street food culture, but, boy, do we love our snacks. Snacks are so commonplace that when we're shopping for food at a market it's impossible not to grab a borek or half a dozen oysters.

Snacks are the perfect companion to your shop or to help tide your appetite over in between your bigger meals. So we've gone ahead and put together a guide to 23 of Melbourne's all-time best snacks. From delightful cheese pulls to itty bitty palm-sized morsels, this list has it all.

Looking for something more substantial? Check out our guide to Melbourne's best restaurants.

RECOMMENDED: 31 cheap lunch eats for under $15.

Melbourne's best snacks

Dim sim at South Melbourne Market Dim Sims
Photograph:

Dim sim at South Melbourne Market Dim Sims

Could this be the most iconic of Melbourne snacks? We think so. Established in 1949, the Cheng family have been serving the masses cricket ball-sized dimmies (both steamed and fried) via its South Melbourne Market and original Caulfield Racecourse sites. Inspired by Cantonese siu mai, Cheng put together the perfect amalgamation of cabbage, beef, pork, lamb and spices in a thick, chewy dumpling wrapper. Dip it in soy sauce if you must, or enjoy its fatty, salty sensations on its own.

91 Cecil St and Coventry Street, South Melbourne.

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  • Bakeries
  • Melbourne

There’s something to be said when a food truck (van?) as successful as this one. The doughnut van in Queen Victoria Market drums up a constant queue of people in line for a taste of the single product it offers – steaming hot jam doughnuts. These are dense, dreamy clouds piped with hot raspberry jam and dusted in a crisp coating of white sugar. Six is never enough.

Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne.

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Oysters at Aptus Seafoods, South Melbourne Market
Photograph: Creative Commons

Oysters at Aptus Seafoods, South Melbourne Market

Arguably the most bougie of snacks, this is for when you’ve got a list of goods to purchase from South Melbourne Market but need a quick pick me up. The oyster bar at Aptus Seafoods will sort you out with a range of condiments sitting ready at bay, like Tabasco sauce and lemon. All you need to do is grab a crinkly plastic tray of oysters and set up shop at the bar. 

South Melbourne Market, 322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne.

Borek at The Borek Bakehouse
Photograph: Supplied/Zoomeboshi

Borek at The Borek Bakehouse

Yet another Queen Victoria Market staple, but this one has also set up shop a hop, skip and a jump away from the market. The Borek Bakehouse dishes up snacky Turkish staples and a trip to the Bakehouse is incomplete without a crisp, bready borek stuffed with punchy feta and spinach.

481 Elizabeth St, Melbourne.

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Any Sri Lankan or Indian will most likely have heard of MKS Spices'n Things. The grocery and casual restaurant is like a beacon to those who crave peppery snacks and takeaway meals. Arguably the best snack there? The fish and egg cutlet, of course. Think of it as a Scotch egg except instead of a stodgy layer of pork, you get a spiced, minced fish number. Trust me, it’s moreish.

Flagship venue: 23 Pultney St, Dandenong.

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  • Patisseries
  • Fitzroy
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Buttery? Tick. Flaky? Tick. One of the city’s greatest croissants? Big tick. There’s a whole lot of hype surrounding this Fitzroy-based croissanterie and it’s up to you to try it and justify said hype but as far as snacks go, Lune’s signature croissant is definitely up there with one of Melbourne’s best.

119 Rose St, Fitzroy.

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  • Restaurants
  • Footscray

Nhu Lan might be synonymous with exceptional bánh mì, but don’t sleep on one of its hot snacks either. The hot snack we’re referring to is the pâté chaud, of course. It sits patiently in a heated display case, puffed up, competing with the bright ingredients of a Vietnamese baguette. The pâté chaud has buttery layers of pastry that encase an orb of lightly spiced minced pork. It's a one-bite affair (max two) so you’ll likely want to order more than one.

116 Hopkins St, Footscray.

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  • Cafés
  • Brunswick

There's something to be said about a snack that stays on a menu for 17 years. We think that's a pretty solid effort. The humble sausage roll takes centre stage here at the Green Refectory and is arguably its best seller. These chunky numbers are made fresh daily and are hand-rolled, packed to the brim with fresh veg, beef, and doled out with housemade tomato relish. Its vegan counterpart is equally delicious.

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  • Restaurants
  • South Melbourne

We’re back with another market snack. At South Melbourne Market, German eatery Hofbräuhaus’s younger sibling Little Hof offers the venue’s most popular snacks to hungry shoppers. If it's a snack you're after, it’s tough to go past a giant, comforting pretzel (AKA a bretzel) studded with chunky grains of salt and a side of butter. All that’s missing is a beer.

South Melbourne Market, 90/116 Cecil St.

There’s something so visually appealing about a solid ten out of ten cheese pull. That’s probably why the chunky hot dogs (which are Korean corn dogs) at global Korean street food chain Sinjeon K-Street food are so frequently Instagrammed. You can take your pick between a dog or a mozzarella cheese dog (if you don't do sausage) which is then coated in a batter and deep-fried. They're topped with sugar and a condiment of your choice: ketchup, mayo or mustard.

Shop C2/550 Lonsdale St, Melbourne.

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This list is clearly proving that one of the greatest ways to eat your food is on a stick. At Dear Fry Day you can find assorted skewers to try, including quail egg skewers, squid tentacles, chicken skin or our favourite – lamb. You can also choose your flavouring with the most popular option being cumin. Think Xinjiang-style lamb skewers, but more bite-sized. 

395A Swanston St, Melbourne.

Slice of pizza at Sal's Authentic New York Pizza
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  • Pizza
  • Melbourne

Sal's is known for slinging New York-style pizza slices bigger than your head. So if you’re looking for a not-so-itty-bitty snack, grab one of Sal's generous slices to go like a true New Yorker. All the recipes have been developed by Sal himself, using Wisconsin mozzarella, Californian tomatoes and freshly milled flour from New York. Expect flavours like the classic cheese and pepperoni next to Sal's unique Buffalo chicken or meatball topped pies.

289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

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  • Restaurants
  • Footscray

You could settle for any of the pies at this Footscray tuckshop and it would constitute a great snack. That being said, if you’re looking for something substantial, the lasagne pie grants you hearty layers of béchamel and Bolognese within the pastry confines of a pie. Is this the pie for you? Well, that’s for you to decide.

297 Barkly Street, Footscray.

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  • Cafés
  • Collingwood

Pork and fennel are undoubtedly one of the greatest flavour combinations of all time. At Falco Bakery, the team bakes a mean sausage roll that's both rich and primed with pork and fennel sausage. It might appear dense and easily shareable, but a word to the wise, get one per person or regret it. Mark my words.

288 Smith Street, Collingwood.

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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

Eating something bigger than your face can at times seem like a remarkable feat, and the team at Taiwanese franchise Hot Star Chicken will certainly make you feel special. The signature Hot Star Chicken is “ridiculously oversized” according to the brand and this is evidently true. Its monster schnitzel of sorts (which is on the bone, hello extra flavour) is crumbed and deep fried then coated in salt and pepper. Expect optimal crunch factor.

233 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

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  • Brunswick
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You might be a spinach triangle kinda person, or if you have the right idea, you’re the cheese pie kinda person. Purveyors of Middle Eastern (namely Lebanese) baked goods, Brunswick's A1 Bakery serves up one of the best cheese pies in town. Each fluffy pocket encases salty, steaming halloumi and is the size of your forearm. Remember to eat it hot!

643-645 Sydney Rd, Brunswick.

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Nigiri at Tochi Deli
Photograph: Supplied

Nigiri at Tochi Deli

Tochi Deli is one of the newer kids on the block promising "authentic" Japanese snacks. When it comes to choosing what to eat, it’s tough to go past the pastel pops of nigiri that sit in the display. Choose from otoro (the fattiest part of the tuna), tuna chu-toro (tuna belly) or tuna akami (the most common bright red morsel of tuna you'll spy). There’s also aburi salmon, king prawn, snapper or scallop nigiri to choose from, too.

655-661 Sydney Rd, Brunswick.

Potato cake at Fish By Moonlite
Photograph: Rebecca Russo

Potato cake at Fish By Moonlite

Might this be a snack that has the power to divide our country? Probably. West and South Australians refer to it as a potato fritter, while those in New South Wales might refer to it as a potato scallop. We know they're both wrong, but that's not the point. If you’re after Victoria’s best potato cake, look no further than Fish by Moonlite. The Anglesea fish and chipper fries up a thick disc of potato (think the width of two regular potato cakes) in a crisp shield of beer batter. If you’re looking for an almighty summer snack, this is the one for you.

Shop 4, Anglesea Shopping Village, 87-89 Great Ocean Rd, Anglesea.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Springvale

Bun Bun Bakery might be Springvale’s most popular bánh mì haunt, but you’ll want to wait in line for a taste of the pork and prawn rice paper rolls, too. Think fresh slices of poached prawn, tender roast pork, vermicelli noodles, lettuce and Vietnamese mint swaddled in a thinly veiled layer of rice paper. You can’t go wrong.

1/288 Springvale Road, Springvale.

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

Queen Victoria Market is home to Melbourne's most iconic bratwurst shop. Nestled in the heart of the deli, the little shopfront often attracts queues of customers waiting to sample a range of its grilled sausages including cheese; spicy; mild; white pork; chorizo or black pepper pork. Simply grab your brat in a crusty bread roll, load it with condiments at the little station (bonus points for sauerkraut and mustard) and be on your way. 

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Spinach and cheese gozleme at Goz City
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  • Melbourne

The Turkish word ‘goz’, short for gozleme, refers to a pocket of dough in which toppings are sealed and cooked. Simple enough. Yet the good folks at Goz City in Little Collins Street have managed to modernise the simple little Turkish dish, and in doing so have created a contemporary specialty restaurant that puts an exciting twist on old Turkish traditions. We like to keep it simple and go for a classic spinach and cheese number here. 

Adonai’s Nigerian eats sit warm in a glowing bain-marie, but one item stands out and it's the venue’s signature meat pie. Don’t be fooled by its name, this isn’t your regular country town number. It's a pastie-like snack complete with dense pastry (owing to the use of margarine over butter) and a curried, minced beef filling. Come for the snacks, stay for the mains.

478 Drummond St, Carlton.

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Kunafeh House is located off a busy highway in Preston. It’s hard to miss the flashing lights of the neighbouring Palestinian food trucks on the roadside carpark. Kunafeh House brings the ever-popular Palestinian street food kunafeh nabulsiyeh to Melbourne and our tip is to eat it while it's hot. This rich dessert drips in golden, sweet syrup and is loaded with enough cheese to give you the most satisfying of cheese pulls. 

31 St Georges Rd, Preston.

Chase your snack with a drink

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