How to eat like a Parisian in Victoria
Say bonjour to some of Victoria’s best French food.
If there’s one thing the French do well, it’s food. From croissants and crepes to baguettes, beef bourguignonne and even pommes frites (or French fries), the gifts of French gastronomy are everywhere.
These are some of the best places to tuck into charcuterie, pain au chocolate or apple tart tartin in Victoria. Bon appetit!
It's more like charcuter-yay at the Yarra Valley's gorgeous Dominique Portet winery and bistro.
Bistrot St Jean
Take a trip to Paris without leaving Victoria at this cosy Geelong bistro. With a chef who mastered his craft in his native France, you can count on classic, hearty, unfussy French fare matched with a range of local wines at Bistrot St Jean.
239 Moorabool Street, Geelong. bistrot.com.au
Move over smashed avo. French-inspired breakfasts are all about omelettes, eggs benny and croque monsieur. And Petit Tracteur, the bistro eatery at Mornington’s Ten Minutes By Tractor winery, is the place to breakfast like a Parisian. The Oeuf Benedicte – poached egg with ham and hollandaise on a toasted muffin – is one of their signatures.
1208 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge. petittracteur.com.au
This Toorak Road French-stitution greets guests with a guillotine-style bread board at the bar, and then seats them at white-clothed tables in a room with burgundy-coloured walls adorned with paraphernalia from the mother country. It’s the ultimate setting for a romantic dinner or laid-back lunch. Don’t miss the snails. They are seriously exquisite.
511 Malvern Road, Toorak. bistrothierry.com
Is there anything better than a plate of cured meats, cornichons and fresh baguette? Get your Bordelaise on over lunch, charcuterie or some seriously sumptuous sweets at this oh-so-chic Yarra Valley winery. We’re talking baked chocolate cake with cherries cooked in the house cabernet sauvignon or one of the region’s most tantalising apple tarte tartin desserts.
870 Maroondah Highwy, Coldstream. dominiqueportet.com
Milawa is where it's at for French-inspired Aussie cheese.
Mille & B Patisserie
Take coffee and cake to the next level at Carlton’s mouth-watering Mille & B Patisserie, where the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is which house-made daily edition crepe cake to try first.
Shop 3/28 Bouverie Street, Carlton. milleandb.com.au
La Belle Miette
Dessert enthusiasts; listen up. If you’re looking for Melbourne’s go-to macaron master, La Belle Miette is your maker. They’ve been described as “better than Paris” by The Guardian food critic Dan Lepard, and Conde Nast Traveler has even ranked them among the most delicious in the world. Fleur de sel caramel (AKA salted caramel), violet and blueberry, and the single-origin Madagascan chocolate are so good you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Multiple locations. labellemiette.com.au
Fall eclair over tart for the sweet selection of petit fours, French breads and house-baked quiches at Geelong bakehouse Le Fournil, made using the highest-quality locally sourced ingredients.
90 Pakington Street, Geelong West. lefournilfrenchbakery.com.au
As well as crafting some of Melbourne’s best sourdough breads, Matisse artisan bakery and patisserie has also mastered the art of gluten-free baking. Their range of gluten-free breads is so good you wouldn’t even know there’s something missing. Matisse is also a go-to for some of the city’s best and most authentic pastries. Try sultana escargots and cinnamon scrolls to classic brioche buns.
161 Chesterville Road, Moorabbin. mattisse.com.au
You’d have to have been living under a rock if you haven’t head of Lune Croissant. The now-famous croissanterie went from a hole-in-the-wall pastry shop in Elwood in 2012 to a sprawling Fitzroy warehouse where people queue up around the corner for one of its epic croissant creations. Started by a former Formula 1 aerodynamicist and her hospitality entrepreneur husband, Lune is pastry perfection rolled up into some of the city’s best, flakiest and most beautifully buttery croissants, cruffins and twice-baked cookies.
119 Rose Street, Fitzroy and Shop 16, 161 Collins St, CBD. lunecroissanterie.com
Le Petit Gateau
If you're looking for melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry and the most irresistible selection of decadent delights, look no further than Le Petit Gateaux. Stop in at this popular city cakerie for a coffee and afternoon mille feuille, treat yourself to tea and a slice of brownie passionfruit chocolate gateau or grab a box of mix-and-match mini cakes to go. With an impressive array of tarts and sweet treats made on-site, daily, this is one of the CBD's go-to gateau dealers.
458 Little Collins Street. racv.com.au/le-petit-gateau
Layered crepe cakes are the name of the delicious game at Mille B.
Milk the Cow
It wouldn’t brie a celebration of all things French without paying homage to one of the country’s most delicious, non-vin exports. Yes, we’re talking about cheese. And there’s no better for cheese (and wine) than Milk the Cow. Take a flight of fancy through some of the most interesting and exciting global fromage, paired with excellent local and international wines.
157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda and 323 Lygon Street, Carlton. milkthecow.com.au
Spring Street Grocer
This place is pretty much a cheese lover’s paradise. Beneath its unassuming Spring Street shopfront lies Australia’s first underground cheese maturation cellar, headed up by a team of cheesemongers who have painstakingly taste-tested cheese from all around the world to bring you a curated selection of the very finest. You can even book in for a private tasting or raclette party.
157 Spring Street, Melbourne. springstreetgrocer.com.au
Harper & Blohm
Get your specialty cheese on at Harper & Blohm, an artisan cheesemonger and cafe dedicated to the enjoyment of all things cheesy. We’re talking the best Comte AOC and the stinkiest double-cream camemberts, as well as the ultimate cheese sidekicks – like pork and pistachio terrines, traditional pickled onions and even real French butter.
365 Sydney Road, Brunswick. harperandblohm.com
Milawa Cheese Co
For the ultimate cheese immersion, you can’t get better than a trip to the Milawa Cheese Company. Housed in an old butter factory, owners David and Anna Brown have been churning out delectable European-inspired delights since 1988 and, to this day, everything is still made, turned and washed by hand. Stop in for a self-guided cheese tasting, sit back on the balcony with a platter for two washed down with local Wood Park Wines, then have a gander at the Off Centre Gallery and Studio, which showcases a rotating menu of local artists’ work.
17 Factory Road, Milawa. milawacheese.com.au