A tour that shows you where to find the best ‘dude food’ in Melbourne
It’s hard to find something that fits the term ‘dude food’ better than a burger and fries. It’s an iconic combination that features in television, movies, advertisements and 3am food stops on the way home from a roaring night out on the town.
So, what happens when that burger contains deep-fried cheese; macaroni and cheese.
Mind blown? It’s about to be.
This delectable experience is just one of many featured on a memorable American ‘Dude Food’ walking tour through Melbourne’s buzzing CBD. Run by Walk Melbourne Tours owner, Monique Bayer, the three-hour journey showcases some of Melbourne’s best North American-style eateries that will have you raving to all your friends.
The tour starts at a New York-inspired eatery on Exhibition Street that sits on a courtyard underneath a 150-year-old heritage-listed coral tree. Here you are treated to an array of classic American dishes including Buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers, which are boasted as the best in Melbourne. Designed in a similar style to that of a marquee, the unique décor and relaxed environment is the perfect start to what is a fantastic evening.
From here it’s a brisk walk to the next stop on the tour and a great opportunity to explore Melbourne’s buried laneways. Along the way, Monique points out some of her favourite places to eat and drink, which is a great time to take notes for future escapades. The tour isn’t just about food but is also a great opportunity to learn about the city’s remarkable history and street art.
The next stop is a highlight and the stage of the night where you might want to loosen the belt buckle.
It’s a funky little diner nuzzled away upstairs on Bourke St, and is a feast for the eyes from the moment you walk in. Illuminated stairs lead you up to a room filled with booths set up as retro caravans, dim lights and lots of bright colours. Blink and you feel like you have been transported to America on a trailer park adventure.
This is also where the Francis Underwood burger was born. If a soft brioche bun filled with a chunky beef patty, cheddar cheese, tomato, butter lettuce, mustard and a special burger sauce wasn’t enough, the addition of a macaroni and cheese croquette will take it to a whole new level.
Admittedly, the thought of macaroni and cheese in a burger is a little intimidating but when you take one (large) bite of all the elements together and the melted cheese oozes in your mouth, it is a life-changing experience.
These burgers are not for the faint-hearted and are served in generous portions. However, the meal would not be complete without a side of their scrummy hand-cut fries, and if you still have room you might want to try their famous alcoholic milkshakes.
The electric vibe here should have you pumped for the next venue and another voyage around Melbourne city. Monique has ensured the walk is slightly longer this time to allow stomachs to digest and prepare themselves for a final course of dessert.
The last leg of the tour finishes at a New York-style restaurant and bar that offers a totally different atmosphere from where you have just been.
The beautiful red brick building hosts a relaxed and elegant dining area with stairs leading down to a classy basement bar. You can’t help but pick up on the sexy ambience of the place and it is impossible to resist a look at their creative cocktail list.
Here you will also indulge in one of their delightful desserts like warm vanilla doughnuts served on a bed of strawberry sugar, jam and cream. After satisfying your sweet tooth, this is where you will say goodnight to Monique. It is now up to you whether to end the night here or continue to enjoy the cocktails until the early hours of the morning.
The Dude Food walking tour is a culinary adventure that will give you the American experience without having to leave the country. It will leave you feeling excited about what the Melbourne food scene has to offer and also knowing more about the stunning city that you have chosen to live in or visit.
So don’t waste money on a boring night out, grab the dudes and the dudettes and book in a food experience you won’t forget.
American ‘Dude Food’ walking tour details:
Date and time: November 12, 6:00 pm
Tour duration: 3 hours
Cost: $110 without alcohol, $140 with alcohol
Group size: 5-12
Meeting point: Corner Lonsdale and Spring Sts, Melbourne
p: 0411 182 911