Australia Roadtrip: Victoria

Australia Roadtrip: Victoria

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

Three months ago, Adam, Nicole, and I set off on a 2-month road trip around the southern coast of Australia. Until now, I’ve only been able to share about the 2-week trip to Tasmania and the trials and tribulations of living out of a van for two months. Now, I’m ready to pick up where I left off and share about the meals I enjoyed and the beautiful places I saw in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia. But mostly I’m just going to talk about food. No surprise, right?

Since I have already written about the well-traveled Great Ocean Road, I think I should simply cover Victoria by doing what I like best — talk about the good eats I had from Melbourne to the border of Victoria and South Australia.

Yummy finds in Melbourne

After Tasmania, we returned to Melbourne via the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry and spent a few days exploring some of the city’s suburbs. As Adam had once lived in Melbourne, he introduced us to a couple of his favorite places. One of them would become my favorite cafe in all of Australia.

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

I cannot say one bad thing about this cafe. I’m no food critic/reviewer, but in my humble new-foodie opinion, this place does everything right. From the decor, to the staff, to the food and coffee, everything works together in a magical way. Other than Adriano Zumbo, this is the only restaurant/cafe/bakery that I will write about in its own post, so be on the lookout for more Three Bags Full love!


Melbourne Kebab Station

The roadtrip trio was grocery store bound for a quick, inexpensive dinner when we stumbled upon this great Turkish eatery in Coburg. Patrons filled every table and chair, both inside and out, and folks waiting for their take away orders queued patiently inside. We had to join the crowd.

The staff was relatively large for a business of its size, but it had to be — kebabs, platters, Turkish bread, and dips exchanged hands every few seconds. Although we had to wait ages for our orders (it was so good the first time we ate there again on the return trip to Sydney), the food was well worth it. The lamb is cooked beautifully and is full of flavor. With my take away order, I received enough bread to serve two people, and I used my portion to sop up every bit of of delicious hummus and baba ganoush (by the way, who knew there were so many ways to spell both of those words?!).

Multiple locations in the city

Savory dishes are nice, but sweet is where it’s at for me! While strolling through Carlton, Adam directed us to Brunetti, where a visual feast of gorgeous pastries, cakes, and bite-size morsels awaited us. Narrowing down the the options to a reasonable order was difficult, but in the end Adam and I shared a few treats while Nicole ordered her own.

Thank goodness I didn’t live close by to Brunetti or I would have been in trouble!
Brunetti treats

Great Ocean Road

International and domestic travelers alike drive the Great Ocean Road in search of beautiful scenery and unique natural formations. Restaurant and cafe owners capitalize on this by setting up shop and waiting for tourist dollars to pour in. But which places are good and which ones are duds, just there to make a quick buck?

Thankfully Adam and I discovered Lorne’s The Bottle of Milk.

Taken with the iPhone…brie cheese burger
Brie cheese burger at The Bottle of Milk

The quality of the patty was average (a little dry but flavorful), the brie was nice, and the real winner was the bread. Being sensitive to gluten, I have to limit my intake, but this was one bun I had to eat every last bite of of. Wow.

And in a tight competition for the best fries I had in Oz, their hot chips with house mayo are next to impossible to beat. I am a healthy girl at heart, but I could have eaten several orders of these chips + mayo!

Chips and house mayo

Otway Harvest Trail

Before the road trip, I had never heard of the Otway Harvest Trail. It runs nearly parallel to some of the Great Ocean Road, only slightly inland. In an effort to boost tourism, a map of local breweries, wineries, cafes, and foodie stops was developed, and may I just say, I was more excited about hitting the Trail than the Road. Unfortunately, we were traveling through mid-week, so only a few of the many stops were open.

Gentle Annie Berry Gardens grows pesticide free fruits and runs a cafe featuring some of their produce. As it was mid-week, there was little traffic on the Trail, and the three of us had the place to ourselves. We had a great chat with one of the owners about food, travel, and life. While Nicole tried a chocolate-based dessert, Adam and I shared a slice of the rhubarb sour cream cake.

Rhubarb sour cream cake

Following our mid-morning we dessert, we found lunch (and more dessert) at the Ridge Cafe.

Ridge Cafe’s chef and owner welcomed us warmly, and we joined a couple of locals who dine in nearly every day! The display case was full of tempting quiches, frittatas, and savory pies — and of course, sweets. How was I supposed to choose amongst the homemade cakes, muffins, cookies, and tarts?! I don’t know how I selected only one, but I eventually chose the fig and frangipane cake. It was my first experience with frangipane, and I hope there are many, many more to come.

Fig and frangipane cake at The Ridge

Next on the road trip…

If I liked Victoria, I loved South Australia and Western Australia. Of course I’ll tell you all about the food I enjoyed, but I’ll actually highlight some beautiful beaches and coastlines too!

Til then, procrastinate from work or distract yourself from that person making funny noises beside you on the bus or train by watching a few videos from the road trip.

Featured image via Creative Commons.

21 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Erica says:

    Bad bad bad idea to read something like this when hungry and on a budget. Those fries look amazing. Thank you for the food porn.

    • Heather says:

      I need to apply the same strategy to blogging as folks do to grocery shopping — eat before you do it!

  2. Jaime says:

    Damn Heather… looks like you were on a 1st class road trip or something… That food looks amazing & delicious. Can’t wait to hear about the beaches & everything else you did on the road trip.

    • Heather says:

      Haha…yeah, no noodles for us every night! Though we did eat our fair share of salads and veggie burgers for dinner and cereal for breakfast out of the back of the van! I’m thankful Adam and Nicole love eating well :-)

  3. Mom says:

    I want to go to Australia…Just looking at the pictures of the food is enough enticement for such a trip…..

  4. Yes, I too have fond memories of these foodie adventures! No wonder I put on heaps of weight and we didn’t travel as cheaply as the other roadtrippers. Wouldn’t have had it any other way.

    • Heather says:

      I have some unwanted pounds to shed, but it was worth every bite — well, most of them. I’m still trying to forget the french toast fail.

  5. Glad that I don’t live near Brunetti either. Everything looks delicious!

    • Heather says:

      Maybe it’s a good thing that I live in the middle of nowhere at home — I have to drive to get anywhere, so maybe that will cut down on my eating. Maybe O:-)

  6. Laura says:

    Love the look of Three Bags Full! You’d definitely love the inside of Slappy Cakes too. All of this looks delish :)

  7. Nicole says:

    So many good eats! I’m sure I would have gone back to Three Bags Full & Brunetti heaps of times had I decided to stay in Melbourne. Fortunately for me Sydney has more than its fair share of delicious food! :)

  8. Kyle says:

    Mouth watering. Want to eat what you eat. Blah blah blah more of the same thing I say every time I visit your blog, because it’s true.

    PS. I had a Macaroon milkshake today. It was delish and I took pics just for you! you have successfully branded yourself with the macaroon to the extend that never will I be able to look at one without thinking of Heather from No Place Like Oz :)

    • Heather says:

      I appreciate you saying it each time — I’m always leaving similar comments on your shoots, but my feedback is true!

      I can’t wait to see the milkshake :-) I just learned a place in town sells macarons, so mom and I are going to visit very, very soon. And while it wasn’t my mission from the start, I really love that to a few people, I’m the macaron lady :-)!

  9. jade says:

    yum yum yum. I want to travel with you because you always eat the best food!

    • Heather says:

      I’m there in a heart beat! Maybe if you guys go on that US road trip you can pop by my neck of the woods :-)

  10. Cool! I lived in a van for 4 months on a US road trip. Good times.

    • Heather says:

      Just checked out your site — I’m hoping to do a long US road trip next so when I start planning I’ll look to your experiences.

  11. Tina says:

    What a great road trip, absolutely gorgeous food I can nearly taste it.., the Great Ocean Road is pretty special isn’t, I just love the amazing views, Loch Ard Gorge is my favourite place.

21 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Australia Travel News 05/26/2011 | Australia Travel Guide
  2. Australia News Viaggi 2011/05/26

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