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72 Hours in Melbourne: From Meatballs to Mexican Food

January 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM | by | ()

This might be the world's largest group handle

Last week we headed down to Melbourne, Australia's second city, for a quick trip chock-full of revisiting old favorites and picking up new ones. Our trip can be considered a whirlwind tour as we were on the ground for just about 72 hours, keeping our explorations non stop.

Typically at this time of year, the city has one thing on its mind: tennis! You see, the Australian Open started this week and has quickly engulfed the city in a tennis fever that is hard to shake. Let's explore what the city has to offer besides tennis.

Day 1: Food, Glorious Food

This city is a foodie's dream. We spent our first hours hitting a few of the hottest new places to fill your belly and leave happy, but first start with a good cup of coffee. Melbournites take their java quite seriously and the cafe culture is not lost on locals. There are plenty of places to find your morning fix, but we would recommend seeking out The League of Honest Coffee. The name says it all and don't expect to find anything with whipped cream or sprinkles here; these folks don't mess around. The vintage warehouse building located on Little Lonsdale Street in the CBD hits the spot.

By the time lunch rolls around, the name of the game is finding a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Since home cooking and a glass of wine fills the void, The Meatball & Wine Bar on Flinders Lane will provide some much needed sustenance for the day ahead. New York-inspired with Italian soul, the menu is meat-heavy so stay away if you're vegetarian. Appetizers include house-created salt&vinegar beef jerky or charcuterie featuring truffle salami. The main course is a trio of pick-your-meat-and-sauce meatballs, either on a bed of mashed potato or in slider form. Yeah, this is 'stick to your ribs' food.

When the sun sets, get out of the downtown and head to the waterfront area of St. Kilda This beachtown-in-a-big-city has bars and restaurants for all tastes and, with the increasing popularity of Mexican food, Acland St. Cantina is the newest place to grub. Located in the basement of the boutique Prince of Wales Hotel, the newcomer serves up traditional South of the Border fare with a twist. We couldn't get enough of the el Pastor tacos, guacamole with chia seeds, or the 3 different mole sauces.

Sound like a lot of stuff for one day? It was, and that caused us to welcome the bed a little sooner than expected. Plus we knew we had an early call for the excitement of day two. Check back tomorrow to see how we got high *wink*.

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]

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