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Curtis Stone’s Insider’s Guide to Melbourne

The Australian chef takes us to his top hometown spots.

Curtis Stone Insider's Guide to Melbourne

Photo: LuxStoryMedia

The celebrity chef, restaurateur and Melbourne native shares his favourite places to eat and explore, from dinner at a high-end Greek restaurant to fish and chips on the beach.


1. The Press Club

This Greek restaurant is located in the old Herald and Weekly Times newspaper building, which is where it got its name. It’s one of the Top 10 restaurants in the country, and it serves tasting menus, so the options change all the time. My advice? Be comfortable in their hands.


Curtis Stone Insider's Guide to Melbourne, Royal Botanic Gardens

Photo: Adrian Vittoro; courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

2. Royal Botanic Gardens

These beautiful gardens in the middle of the city are the perfect place to take a picnic basket or sit down with a friend and just chat for an hour. Around the outside, there’s what we call the Tan-Track, which is about four kilometres long. You can go for a run or a walk around it, and at certain points you come out by the Yarra River. There’s a great restaurant there as well called Jardin Tan, where you can end your walk.


Curtis Stone Melbourne Insider's Guide, Geelong Cats Football

Photo: Australian Football League

3. Geelong Cats Football Club

This is one of my happy places. We play a sport called Australian Rules Football (AFL); the entire country is crazy about it. I take my kids, but I also go with my mates, drink a couple of beers and eat an Aussie pie. My wife loves it; she seems to think that the players are quite handsome.


Curtis Stone Insider's Guide to Melbourne, South Melbourne Market

Photo: Simon Shiff

4. South Melbourne Market

This market is full of amazing food. There’s a stand that does what we call dim sims: Asian dumplings that are just to die for. If you walk up to anyone at the market and ask, “Where’s the Dim Sims stand?” they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.


Curtis Stone Melbourne Insider's Guide, St. Ali Coffee Roasters

5. St. Ali Coffee Roasters

We take real pride in the coffee in Australia. Whenever I travel with people from somewhere else, they’re like, “Every bloody cup of coffee I had was delicious!” There’s a café called St. Ali right near the South Melbourne Market. They’re roasters as well as coffee producers, and I like their coffee so much that I import it to America and serve it at one of my restaurants, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant, in Los Angeles.


Curtis Stone Melbourne Insider's Guide, Geelong Boat House

6. The Geelong Boat House

The fish ’n’ chips in Australia are unbelievable. The Geelong Boat House is on the beach and close to my mum’s place (and a great stop before a Geelong Cats game). There’s nothing fancy about it: Get your order and go sit in the sand to eat it.

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INSIDER'S GUIDE