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Sarah Gamboni

Sarah Gamboni

Articles (6)

The best bars for first dates in Melbourne

The best bars for first dates in Melbourne

You swipe right and hit it off, but then what next? Picking the right bar for a first date isn't easy; especially in a city like ours. With so many bars to choose from, finding the perfect spot to get to know someone can be a real headache. That's why we've put together this list of Melbourne's most sure-fire bars for a winning first date. For more dating help, check out our guide to Melbourne's best date-night restaurants, or our tips on where to take your Tinder matches.

The best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne

The best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne

Turn up the heat with our guide to Melbourne’s hottest Mexican joints, from lively cantinas to late-night mezcal bars – and everything in between. Looking for Melbourne's best Italian, too? We've also got you sorted for Japanese and Korean restaurants as well. 

The rise of bushfood

The rise of bushfood

Ever since René Redzepi transplanted Noma to Sydney for ten weeks in 2016, there’s been a global buzz around native Australian ingredients. But for the local Aboriginal community, promoting, using and preserving these foods is so much more than a culinary fad.  No one knows this better than Aboriginal historian and writer Bruce Pascoe. Pascoe’s 2014 book, Dark Emu, drew upon a wealth of evidence – including explorers’ notebooks and colonial diaries – to prove that Aboriginal people cultivated crops prior to white settlement. “Aboriginal people had an agricultural economy, which does indicate ownership of the land,” Pascoe tells Time Out.  The discovery of a 30,000-year-old grindstone in Cuddie Springs, NSW stands as proof that Aboriginal people were the first to grind flour – and in turn may be regarded as the world’s first bakers. “They ground grains to make flour and starches, and used ferments of bush honey and banksia to bake breads,” Pascoe says. His research into the agricultural practices of Aboriginal Australians inspired him to start a Pozible campaign and launch the Gurandgi Munjie Food Company. “We’ve been working on cultivating kangaroo grass, native millet and murnong (yam daisy). They’re highly nutritious – much more so than wheat – they promote good digestion, and most don’t have any gluten.” But the big plus is their effect on the environment. “I don’t know why it has taken Australia so long to consider these plants, but it’s now more important than ever. As t

The rise of bushfood

The rise of bushfood

Ever since René Redzepi transplanted Noma to Sydney for ten weeks in 2016, there’s been a global buzz around native Australian ingredients. But for the local Aboriginal community, promoting, using and preserving these foods is so much more than a culinary fad.  No one knows this better than Aboriginal historian and writer Bruce Pascoe. Pascoe’s 2014 book, Dark Emu, drew upon a wealth of evidence – including explorers’ notebooks and colonial diaries – to prove that Aboriginal people cultivated crops prior to white settlement. “Aboriginal people had an agricultural economy, which does indicate ownership of the land,” Pascoe tells Time Out.  The discovery of a 30,000-year-old grindstone in Cuddie Springs, NSW stands as proof that Aboriginal people were the first to grind flour – and in turn may be regarded as the world’s first bakers. “They ground grains to make flour and starches, and used ferments of bush honey and banksia to bake breads,” Pascoe says. His research into the agricultural practices of Aboriginal Australians inspired him to start a Pozible campaign and launch the Gurandgi Munjie Food Company. “We’ve been working on cultivating kangaroo grass, native millet and murnong (yam daisy). They’re highly nutritious – much more so than wheat – they promote good digestion, and most don’t have any gluten.” But the big plus is their effect on the environment. “I don’t know why it has taken Australia so long to consider these plants, but it’s now more important than ever. As t

The best lobster rolls and crab burgers in Melbourne

The best lobster rolls and crab burgers in Melbourne

These days if you don't feel like a beef patty, you've got equally juicy options that don't involve a floppy fish burger. Since Andrew McConnell introduced his lobster rolls to the collective tastebuds of Melbourne, lobster rolls and soft shell crab burgers have been a staple on menus in eateries across the city. So next time you feel too guilty about having a burger for breakfast, order one of these bad boys. Feel like a snack? Check out Melbourne's best cheese shops for some brie and a vino. If you're more of a sweet tooth, head to the city's best doughnut shops for some doughy goodness. 

The best outdoor eateries in Melbourne

The best outdoor eateries in Melbourne

Eating out is sometimes even better outdoors, so we've rounded up eateries with a great outdoor area so you can make the most of the prime al fresco dining conditions (if Melbourne weather allows). If you're really like eating with the breeze in your face, we've also put together a handy list of the places to buy a pre-packed picnic and a guide to the best beer gardens in Melbourne.

Listings and reviews (4)

Kelso's Sandwich Shoppe

Kelso's Sandwich Shoppe

3 out of 5 stars

For caffeine fiends who grew up on a steady diet of Seinfeld, the bottomless cups of coffee poured in American diners seemed like the Holy Grail of refreshments. Now, those bean dreams have been answered by Kelso’s Sandwich Shoppe in Abbotsford, where you can sit on your ceramic mug of filter brew from 10.30am until late.  An endless stream of the rich, chocolate-accented Coffee Supreme house blend is just one reason to visit this casual eatery. Jon Farrell and Brendan Kennedy, of low-key Abbotsford boozer Lulie St Tavern, have teamed up with namesake Kitty Kelso, who worked with the lads at Curtin House, to fill the void for affordable eats on this stretch of Johnston Street. Together, they’ve taken the old-school delights of a neighbourhood sandwich shop and given it a very Melbourne update with sun-drenched interiors, white-washed walls, padded stools, pot plants and shelves lined with jars of Kitty’s housemade pickles. The midday glare does little to deter Kelso’s hungover neighbours, who slope in for restorative carbohydrates, Bloody Marys and those bottomless brews. Salvation comes in many forms at Kelso’s, but the king amongst many is the grilled cheese toastie, a five-cheese behemoth combining mozzarella, cheddar, tasty, gruyere and parmesan butter. Go ahead and pimp up that sanga with bacon, ham or pastrami, plus house pickles and jalapenos, or perhaps a swipe of Vegemite. Another surefire hangover-buster is the butty: pillowy white bread sandwiching hot chips and Wh

Los Hermanos

Los Hermanos

It’s hard to beat the buzz of Los Hermanos in Brunswick. Meaning ‘the Brothers’, this good-times taqueria is filled with rainbow-hued flags and tightly packed tables. A short and sharp menu dishes out soft tacos with beer-braised lamb or maize-battered fish, and flautas, slender tortilla cigars filled with poblano chilli mash and topped with a mop of iceberg lettuce, queso fresco and tomatillo salsa. You’re either going to love the DIY guacamole or wish the kitchen had just mashed it all together for you. Call us lazy, but we lean towards the latter. There’s no such debate on the Margarita front – these salt-rimmed stunners strike the perfect balance between sour, sweet and downright boozy.    

Mamasita

Mamasita

4 out of 5 stars

It’s a testament to Mamasita’s staying power that people still patiently queue on the staircase each night, almost seven years after this Collins Street crowd-pleaser first opened its doors. After all that time, we’re still digging the lengua tacos of meltingly soft ox tongue and arbol salsa, the braised goat tostadas, and the oft-imitated street corn slathered with chipotle mayo, salty queso and lime. The drinks offering has always been strong (back in the day, the tamarind Margaritas were worth the wait alone), but lately they’ve also lifted their mezcal game, with an enviable line-up of the smoky agave spirit. Order a mezcal flight to get your night off to a flying start.

The Alps

The Alps

4 out of 5 stars

Together with Mark Hopkinson and Renton Carlyle of Richmond café Romulus & Remus, Kubis has worked his magic on an old milk bar on Commercial Road, turning the skinny terrace into a sexy slip of a wine bar.  Taking a stylistic cue from its older siblings, the Alps teams exposed bricks with honey-toned timbers and flattering, flickering candles. At the back of the building, the intimate ‘Cabin’ room works a cosy ski chalet vibe, thanks to its cast-iron brazier and cushioned banquettes. Beyond, a conifer-lined courtyard crammed with picnic tables lies in wait for warmer days, but for now, unless you’re sparking up, the interiors beckon for cool wines on cold nights. Here, suited-and-booted southerners gather around the tall communal table and tiny perches for two along one wall. On the opposite wall, Kubis has amassed some 400 wines, largely boutique Australians and interesting imports. There are two prices scrawled on each bottle and the premise is simple: pay the lesser price and get your wine to go, or add $15 to enjoy it in situ. Much as the Alps could function as your local bottle-o, this isn’t really a grab-and-dash proposition – we wager you’ll want to linger over that bottle of peppery Brash Higgins FRNC in the bar.  Not that you need to commit to a whole bottle, mind you. The 20-strong by-the-glass list offers an intrepid collection of natural-leaning locals from the likes of Tom Shobbrook and Patrick Sullivan, plus cherry-picked imports, such as the perfumed Pittnauer