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Victoria

Oppen

I find it a bit hard to get excited over brunch these days. As much as I love the indulgent weekend ritual, it does start feeling a little same-same after a while. And paradoxically, this is actually exacerbated by how infrequently I have time to go out on a Saturday morning. When I do finally get around to it, I tend to expect the world from my brunch, and end up getting quite disappointed if it doesn’t live up to my hopes. Thankfully, I had spotted Oppen a few weeks before I was due to come back to Melbourne for Christmas, and was rather keen to try out their Scandinavian take on brunch.

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Holy Crumpets

After a stunning, but incredibly rich dinner at Cheek the night before – followed by a proposal from my now fiancé! – I was in the mood for something a bit more simple and wholesome for breakfast. I had read about Holy Crumpets a little while back, and being a big fan of places that focus on getting just one thing perfect, I was more than happy to forego hotcakes at Higher Ground to give these crumpets a try. Tucked under an awning just around the corner from Melbourne Central, you’re guaranteed to miss this little hole-in-the-wall if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Seating consists of just a couple of benches, and if you’re not paying attention, it’s…

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Cheek

My dinner at Cheek was a very, very special one. Not only was it easily the most enjoyable meal I’ve had all year, it was also followed up by one of the most wonderful and exciting things that has ever happened in my entire life. But hold up, let’s start from the beginning (or y’know, just scroll to the bottom of this post if you really want to know right this instant – I’m not the boss of you).

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Hector’s Deli

Call me a sucker for a good sandwich. I love the way that it can be beautifully simple, or startlingly complex, yet absolutely delicious either way as long as you know what you’re doing. And today, I’m going to tell you about one of the best places in Melbourne to get that pesky sandwich craving sorted. With alumni from Attica and Stokehouse, Hector’s Deli is possibly the most over-qualified sandwich shop in all of Melbourne. Yet despite the heavy-hitting names, Hector’s is remarkably humble. Located in a whitewashed building in a quiet Richmond backstreet, the fit-out consists largely of shiny white tiles and friendly blokes, and seats a grand total of 8, with a few more milk crates loitering around…

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Pidapipo CBD

I had promised my sister a pasta-and-gelato date for the next time I came back down to Melbourne, and despite minor shenanigans in the form of a last-minute search for a restaurant that was actually open, the first part of the operation was carried off without a hitch. After wandering around for a couple hours, digesting the ridiculous amounts of carbs we ingested, we hit up Pidapipo for our gelato fix. I had first come across Pidapipo a couple years ago, when they only had their flagship Carlton store. The deliciousness of their gelato, the hazelnut flavour especially, absolutely blew my mind. Unfortunately Carlton is just out of the way enough for me to not be able to frequent it…

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Lupino

I had been promising my sister a pasta and gelato date for the next time I’m in Melbourne for months, only to realise a few days before coming back that the only day we can go out is on a Sunday… the day which Grossi Cellar Bar, my sister’s favourite place for pasta, happens to be closed. After a bit of frantic searching on my part, I found Lupino – a well-established and well-reviewed Italian restaurant that I’ve oddly never come across in all my years exploring Melbourne.

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