Food and Drink


Milk Bar’s Thifty Guide to Melbourne Food and Wine Fest

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The best events are already starting to sell out.

There’s so much to choose from.

My event schedules are clashing.


With Melbourne Food & Wine Festival tickets already on sale, the old fear of missing out can start to set in. To save time trawling through the dozens of happenings lined up, we’ve put together our top five must eat and drink for 2013.

And we’ve kept them cheap, or even free, so you have no excuse not to try them all.

1. Urban Coffee Farm & Brew Bar, Queensbridge Square, 1 – 17 March
Free (coffee for purchase)

Ah shipping containers. What would an urban festival be without you? Nestled amongst the hideous red ramp structure on Southbank for the duration of the festival will be the Urban Coffee Farm & Brew Bar. Stop by for coffees from a different supplier every day, including Brother Baba Budan, Dead Man Espresso & Market Lane. There’ll be food too, and probably attractive baristas.

2. Chan’s Dumpling Festival, Treasury Gardens, 3 March
Free entry to festival, $20 for five-course yum cha

A festival within a festival, this family-friendly day out will feature lion dancing and live dumpling demonstrations, along with the world’s biggest outdoor yum cha. Those staying for lunch will take home their very own steamer and ingredients to whip up notably wobblier versions of the tiny savoury bundles themselves.

3. Explorar Nopales, Senoritas, 3 March
$45 food only, beverages available for purchase

A five-course cactus extravaganza, sample this Mexican staple in various dishes. Whether pickled, grilled, saucy or sweet, patrons will have the chance to taste a broad spectrum of the prickly produce. Liquid form will cost you extra, but $45 for a mini cacti degustation is still a decent feat.

4. High Tea from the ‘Hood’, Southpaw, Fitzroy, 9 – 10 March
$40 all food and a pot of tea, $50 food and a Pisco Sour

Not your everyday high tea, this two hour Latin American feast will explore centuries old street food from the west coast, and the responsible or irresponsible choice of beverage. Think spiced pork sausage sandwiches, sweet potato and pumpkin fried donuts, empanadas and more. Bonus points for locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients.

5. Burger Bash, Kings Domain Gardens, 9 March
$10 entry, with food available for purchase

Once and for all, Melbourne’s best burger is set to be decided. Try some of the top sliders in the state, vote for the People’s Choice, maybe start an underground betting ring and earn back your entry fee.

There are plenty more to choose from, but think of this as a head start. Go! Book! Get in quick to save yourself the grief of seeing that ‘Sold Out’ banner across the event page. Shudder.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from March 1 to March 17.
For more information and tickets visit

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