Centered in Melbourne’s inner north, you’ll find an incredible array of Middle Eastern desserts in Northcote, Coburg and Brunswick. Immigrants from Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East have had no small influence on Australian culture since the 1950’s. Today, it’s easy to find both traditional and modern delights around town, from second and third generation Middle Eastern Australians who still cook dishes that date back to the time of the great King Cyrus of Persia, who was the inspiration behind the new flavour in the CONNOISSEUR Empire Collection.

A1 Bakery
643–645 Sydney Road, Brunswick
(03) 9386 0440

Started by the parents of George Choueiry, A1 Bakery has become synonymous with Middle Eastern food in the north of Melbourne. Originally with a grocery, A1 has been a destination for authentic Middle Eastern produce, while the bakery sells a selection of traditional Lebanese bakery snacks and sweets. We suggest the baklava.

Zaatar
365 Sydney Road, Coburg
(03) 9939 9494

Continuing the family tradition in Lebanese bakery food, Zaatar serves a home-style selection of sweets, including rice pudding and baklava, along with pizzas and baked goods. The food is cooked with imported spices and a special house Zaatar, which combines a range of Middle Eastern herbs and spices.

Marmaris
537 Hampton Street, Hampton
(03) 9598 0105

Maramaris is named after the sleepy seaside town on the Turkish Riviera, and it remains a local favourite in Hampton and the suburbs nearby. Best known for serving fresh, traditional Turkish food and specialising in the classics, with soft Turkish bread, gooey hummus and sticky baklava.

Zaytoune
648 Sydney Road, Coburg
(03) 9383 7778

Zaytoune is a vibrant little shop on Sydney Road with an authentic range of sweets, including pistachio, cashew, and walnut baklava. It’s a family owned shop, and if you ask they’ll tell you all about their special wedding cakes and chocolate knafeh, which uses a traditional recipe from Lebanon that is extremely hard to find in Melbourne.

Balha’s Pastry
761–763 Sydney Road, Brunswick
(03) 9383 3944

Perhaps the city’s most well known Middle Eastern sweet shop, and for good reason. Balha’s serves a quality selection of baked goods and sweets, all made fresh in house on a daily basis. A must try if you’re in the area.

This piece was produced in partnership with the new CONNOISSEUR Empire Collection, which includes the 'King Cyrus Of Persia’ ice cream with pistachio, cinnamon, honey and date.

View our entire Empire flavour exploration here.