Keeping track of the roving mobile food stalls of Melbourne can be tough. Here are some of the best food pop-ups for the month ahead.
The Broadsheet Restaurant is still open every day until August 2, serving a hit list of our favourite dishes around Melbourne. Some news: we’ll be setting up a stall in the car park next to the restaurant during the Gertrude Street Projection Festival (July 10 to 19), selling hot chocolate and mulled wine to warm you up while you wander.
The Queen Victoria Night Market is in full flight as it enters its second month of serving the masses every Wednesday night (from 5pm until 10pm). Highlights include a cheese-and-wine bar (Oatley Vineyards and Bill’s Farm), a mulled wine stall (ReWines) and a movie screen, making the market a perfect place to spend your cold winter nights. Alongside a wide variety of street-food stalls (Little Mushroom Co., Bluebonnet Barbecue, Burn City Smokers, 400 Gradi, Hoy Pinoy and Little Creatures included) are independent designers, artisans and performers all contributing to the creative and convivial nature of this mid-week festival. With August 26 listed as the closing date, try and get in during July to avoid the long lines; the final weeks are always packed.
After its success last year, the Bombay Sapphire Project Botanicals has returned to North Melbourne for another short but sweet stint. This Wednesday through to Sunday is the final week for the pop-up bar, which is designed around the hand-selected botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire gin. A $45 ticket will get you two cocktails and two paired dishes. The venue – an elegant garden courtyard-styled space decorated with plants, flowers and dim blue lights – is worth the visit alone.
July is the month of the truffle. Ivanhoe, South Melbourne and the North Melbourne are hosting events around the illustrious fungus for a short time only. On July 11 and 12, The Centre in Ivanhoe will host the Truffle Melbourne Festival. Vendors who specialise in truffle-centric food and wine, cooking demonstrations, a growing truffles workshop, even truffle hunts with truffle dogs, will be happening over the weekend. Over in South Melbourne and at the Queen Victoria Market, Madame Truffles stores are set up for a 10-week stint, with a wide range of fresh Australian truffle products available (including truffle ice cream, salt, honey, pasta, popcorn and macarons). Stores will close on September 6.
As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the European Night Market is back, beginning July 24 and continuing every Friday night for four weeks. From 5pm Madame Brussels Lane will bring Christmas in July to the CBD, with the space arranged like the classic winter markets of the UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Freshly baked German pretzels by Bretzel Biz, Polish dumplings by Eastern Bloc, Turkish gözleme from Göz City and French crème brûlée from The Brûlée Cart are only a few of the items on offer in the street-food line-up. With free entry and entertainment provided, it’s the perfect place to start upcoming weekends.
Over in Williamstown, Dockyard has just launched, bringing a variety of food trucks to a big old rustic shed at the back of Seaworks. The pop-up is currently operating every Friday night in July but there are potential plans to run all weekend (ongoing) if the next sessions go well. This Friday Gorilla Grill, Nem N’ Nem, Pasta Face, Soul Kitchen Woodfire Pizza, The Brûlée Cart and La Revolucion are lined up to trade on the waterfront space where, if you’re lucky, you can catch a fireworks display from the Docklands. Yes, it gets cold, but plenty of heaters and hot food is around to keep you cosy.
Throughout the working week, popular toasted-sandwich gurus TOASTA are joining forces with BeanToMelbourne? coffee truck to serve commuters at Auburn station in Hawthorn. This Auburn Earlybird team is located in a small space outside the station on Wednesday through to Friday, from around 7.30am to 2pm. They’ll be serving a four-cheese, spring greens and dill toastie, as well as one with cheddar, pulled brisket, dill pickle and smoky barbeque sauce. There will also be Doughboys Doughnuts, to make those early starts a whole lot more bearable.
Japanese savory pancakes will pop-up in Johnston Street this Sunday for a one-day-only Okonomi-Yaki event. Here, vegetarian okonomiyaki with homemade mayonnaise and sauce will be available from 9.30am until sold out.
As August rolls in, so will the south side’s new permanent street-food venture, Hank Marvin. Taking over Alma Park every Saturday indefinitely, the market will feature 40 of the best fine-food producers from around the country each week.
The south is getting a lot of love this August from the Trailer Park crew, which will host Food of Origin at The Village (557 St Kilda Road) every Saturday and Sunday. Each weekend will showcase street food from a different continent (North America, Central and South America, Europe and Asia) and attendees can vote to have their favourite truck from each week return for the Best Of series during the last weekend of August.
Don’t forget about Welcome to Thornbury, which is due to open at the beginning of spring. This permanent street-food site is well underway to becoming the perfect social setting for those balmy summer nights.
If you missed out on last Sunday’s Flour Market, mark September 6 in your diary (with a “get there early” reminder). The tantalising baked-goods market will be at the Collingwood Town Hall once again with another stellar line-up of Melbourne’s best bakers.