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For a suburb that’s not known for being either hip or rad, 8bit. is a breath of fresh air in Footscray. Not only are they serving up diner classics gone wild gourmet in an area more known for its cheap and cheerful ethnic cuisine, they’re doing so with a retro twist. And within weeks, their milkshakes (and burgers) are bringing all the boys (and gals) to the yard.

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Dinknesh (Lucy) Restaurant and Bar

I don’t give the Western suburbs enough credit. When I think west, I think Footscray. When I think Footscray, I think Vietnamese. And why on earth should I go out that far for Vietnamese when I’m a 20 minute straight-line drive from Springvale? What I’m always forgetting is that, aside from an abundance of Asian food, Footscray also specialises in a colourful cuisine rarely seen elsewhere in Melbourne (and definitely not in Springvale) – African cuisine.

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Nhu Lan

Forget gourmet. The humble banh mi remains, to date, the most delicious sandwich I’ve had. But maybe humble isn’t quite the right word here; 3 meats, 4 salads, and 3 spreads/sauces in a single sandwich is far from plain. Nhu Lan in Footscray (and Fitzroy) is widely accepted as the best place to get banh mi in Melbourne. Being right in the hub of Footscray, right next to the train station, it’s predictably pumping any time of the day. I was seriously impressed with the variety of people who visit; living in Melbourne means that I’m used to a wide range of clientele but Nhu Lan really takes the cake, being equally popular with the old and the young, local…

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Hung Vuong

Pho is the best medicine there is, and as a pharmacist-to-be, I don’t say this lightly. It cures everything from colds to unhappiness to a big night out. If everyone just ate more pho, the world would be a happier place. Hung Vuong came with the recommendation as the best pho in Melbourne by a fellow pho enthusiast. And it had better be, considering the unseasonably cold weather, complete with lashings of rain and wind that we had to brave to get to the restaurant.

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