It's no surprise that Melbourne has a vibrant African community and a cuisine as diverse and intriguing as that of the continent from which it originated. It has a well-deserved reputation for being deliciously scrumptious. And where are the best places to try it out, exactly?
So that you can get out and enjoy a carefree meal with some damn good grub at one (or all of) these fantastic local businesses, despite the fact that the current atmospheric climate in Melbourne is just flat-out hot, we have compiled a list of our favourite African restaurants in and around Melbourne. We have decided, for reasons that may or may not be related, to compile a list of our favourite African eateries in and around Melbourne.
Since the turn of the century, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people in Melbourne, Australia, who are interested in eating African cuisine. This is especially true in the inner city neighbourhood of Fitzroy, as well as the south-eastern suburb of Dandenong. Although Nyala African Restaurant in Fitzroy is one of the most well-known African restaurants in Melbourne, there are other hidden gems all over the city that are well worth exploring.
There are currently three locations of Lentil As Anything in Melbourne (one each in St. Kilda and Abbotsford Convent, and Footscray) that serve a range of international cuisines, including African fare. Kensington's The Abyssinian is known for its authentic Horn of Africa cuisine, and Albert Park's Kamel Restaurant is a popular choice for Middle Eastern fare. Two restaurants, each serving authentic food from a different part of Africa.
Not to be outdone, Seddon is also home to the African Taste Cafe/Bar, which boasts a menu that spans the entire continent of Africa. This includes dishes from West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and Southern Africa. You can find some of the best Ethiopian food in the Footscray area, at both Cafe Lalibela and Cafe d'Afrique. It's worth mentioning that Gibe African Restaurant in Dandenong is another great option for Ethiopian food.
If you know of a great African restaurant or café in Melbourne or the surrounding area, please share the information with us in the comments section below.
As a stopgap measure, these Melbourne eateries feature dishes from numerous African countries.
On The Hunt For Melbourne’s Best African Restaurants
The Abyssinian Restaurant
After serving "slow food from the horn of Africa" for many years, this Ethiopian restaurant has maintained a perfect five-star rating among its many satisfied customers. You can choose between vegetarian and non-vegetarian options when you order one of their platters, making it a great way to sample a variety of African flavours if you've never done so before. By the end of the night, the massive portions, hip atmosphere, and friendly, knowledgeable staff will have you swearing off your local KFC forever.
Do you want to follow a restaurant that has received numerous five-star reviews for their cooking? North Melbourne is a small suburb of Melbourne, and it is where you will find Little Africa. One of the city's best kept secrets, this cosy eatery features traditional African cuisine every day of the week (except Monday).
The small seating capacity is more than made up for by the excellent service and delicious cuisine. If you like foods with a moderate amount of heat, you should get the dor ho zighini.
African Taste Cafe
African Taste Cafe in Seddon is a must-visit for anyone curious about or curious enough to try authentic African cuisine for the first time. Western-style Ethiopian cuisine is served at this restaurant, sometimes in a less traditional fashion (try the butter gnocchi), and portions are always generous. The waiter, who goes by the name "Sunny," is friendly and efficient, and the ambience is great.
Immerse yourself in authentic African cuisine and atmosphere at Savanna African Restaurant & Cafe in Collingwood.
Vegetarians, in particular, will be impressed by the abundance of tasty options available to them, as well as by the attentive service and ample servings. Yes, you must eat at this eatery right away.
In the Central Business District of any major city, you will find a restaurant by the name of pol'pol' that serves mouthwatering dishes and has an atmosphere reminiscent of that found in Africa. In 2015, it joined its sibling safari bar, Glamp, on Melbourne's dining scene.
A Somali-Australian by the name of Abdo, also known as Sean, runs the New Somali Kitchen on Racecourse Road. Abdo has split his life roughly in half between Australia and Africa.
The restaurant was established to feed the growing Somali population in Melbourne, but it has since become a popular destination for the neighborhood's young professionals thanks in large part to the enthusiastic patronage of the area's foodies.
Cafe Lalibela in Footscray is another well-liked Ethiopian restaurant in the western suburbs. Because it has been providing reliably tasty meals for over a decade, it has earned a prominent place in Melbourne's dining scene. One of our favourite things to do is to order a pan-fried chicken dinner and wash it down with a bottle of their imported beer.
Enjoy delicious meat, vegetable, and vegan dishes at Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant, which are based on recipes from the far northern Tigray region. These dishes, served with the country's famous Injera bread, will blow your mind. There is nothing on the menu that contains gluten.
Fructose-intolerant customers can also be served with at least 24 hours' notice. In any case, I'd like to elaborate on the menu a little bit: the lamb and Doro wat are must-haves.
The menu at this Ethiopian eatery is both spicy and varied, and it's stocked to the gills with tasty morsels. Since most dishes are served family style or in large groups, this restaurant is perfect for group dinners or social gatherings.
The combination of the carnivore platter's savoury curries and airy bread will leave you unable to utter a single word. It's a meal fit for the afterlife.
Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft
Collingwood & Footscray
There's almost no reason not to let Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft turn your hard-earned money into a meal that's easy to consume, what with its locations in Footscray and Collingwood, both of which offer a delectable dining experience.
The cosy atmosphere makes sharing one of their enormous communal platters all the more pleasurable, and the vegetarian platter is something to boast about, especially given the low price.
159 Union Rd, Ascot Vale,
The best place to learn about and enjoy Eritrea's culture and cuisine is right here. Authentic Eritrean straw hats are used as placemats, and African artefacts are displayed on the walls. A variety of meat-based and vegetarian sauces are served atop fluffy injera, a fermented flatbread. Do some hand washing and settle in.
Level 1, 356 Brunswick St, Fitzroy,
Ethiopian food typically consists of injera, a flatbread staple, and a selection of spicy and mild condiments. Still, you can choose from dishes like baboutie, a South African speciality made of mincemeat, fruit chutney, and spices served on bread, couscous, from the North African region, or a Kenyan-style chicken dish prepared with coconut sauce (Kuku wa nazi). Gomen are one of my most cherished possessions (freshly cooked silverbeet and potatoes with garlic, ginger and other spices).
African Village Kitchen
43 Walker St, Dandenong,
If you're looking for west African cuisine in Melbourne, this might be the only option. Served with cassava, the beef in peanut sauce known as mafe is a must-try. Goat curry is also quite fashionable. It's not a five-star restaurant, but the food is fantastic and totally original.
124 Victoria St, Seddon,
Food is primarily of Ethiopian origin, though it also includes some dishes from other African countries. One of my favourite dishes was the Genfo African Fufu, which consists of balls of toasted barley flour boiled with herbs and served with hot chilli and yoghurt. The injera flatbread is delicious, and I share that sentiment wholeheartedly. The fried cauliflower with breadcrumbs is delicious, as is the molokhia (a dish popular in Egypt and Sudan that is made from gelatinous spinach).
South African in Perth Australia
African Heritage Shop
The African Heritage Shop in Perth offers exactly what one would expect from the name of the establishment! From boerewors and biltong to dro works and slapsticks, this store has it all. Homemade South African treats like sticky koeksisters, crumbly peppermint tarts, and creamy markets will also be plentiful.
Buttermilk, breakfast, and nutty wheat rusks are just some of the varieties sold, and they're joined by many other options from popular South African brands like ProNutro, All Gold, and Koo. You can locate rusks if you so desire.
Cheltenham, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, is home to Protea Foods' main office. Popular dishes in South Africa include boerewors and biltong. All of their products are carefully hand-cut from locally sourced prime Australian beef, and then marinated and spiced to reawaken South African palates to the flavours of home.
The South African Shop
The South African Shop, with locations in Melbourne's Templestowe and Caulfield, serves up genuine and kosher South African fare. The Shebeen Coffee Shop, located inside The South African Shop in Caulfield, serves up the familiar aroma and flavour of home.
This South African store was founded in 2001 by a married couple who had relocated to Australia from South Africa. There was a wide variety of South African products available for sale at competitive prices.
Tonys Quality Meat & Deli
Tony is an experienced butcher because he has worked with meat for over 25 years. Visit them at their Moorabbin, Victoria location. Tony has a strict policy of never selling anything that he wouldn't buy for personal use. His pride lies in the fact that the end result of his careful selection of spices always proves to be delicious. You should make it a habit to visit Tony's Quality Meat & Deli.
South African in Brisbane
Although Biltong Spice's operations are managed out of Brisbane, Queensland, the only place to buy the company's wares is online. Their name gives away the fact that they sell nothing but premium biltong, boerewors, and droewors spices, as well as biltong machines, biltong cutters, and hooks. They also stock a variety of ingredients and equipment for making biltong.
The founders of The Jerky Nuts saw that biltong was becoming a popular snack in Australia and decided to capitalise on the trend. As a result of its success, the company quickly expanded from its original location to others in the Enoggera, Toowong, and Ipswich regions of the greater Brisbane area.
Exotic dishes for adventurous diners in Melbourne's African restaurants
If you're looking for a culinary adventure, head to one of Melbourne's African restaurants.
Zanzibari biryanis and pilaus, traditionally prepared for special occasions, beautifully reflect the eastern influences found in this part of Africa. Dishes prepared in the curry style are accompanied by kachumbari, a fresh tomato and onion salad. A wide variety of seafood, chicken, and vegetarian substitutions are available in these dishes.
Melbourne is home to a number of African restaurants, some of which offer more exotic meats like ostrich, springbok, and kudu. The traditional accompaniment is mahangu (or pearl millet), and you can wash it all down with some excellent Namibian beer (or an Australian beer, we have no doubt).
You can also sample the deliciously spiced tagines and couscous that are common in the northern part of the continent. With so much to try, you should book a table at one of the top African restaurants in Melbourne right here on Quandoo and embark on your own personal culinary adventure.
Discover the exotic flavours of African restaurants in Melbourne
Visit one of Melbourne's many African restaurants to taste the exotic flavours of the continent.
Melbourne is known for its diverse and exciting dining options, and the city's African restaurants up the ante by offering even more unique cuisines and experiences. This cuisine is as diverse as the continent itself, incorporating ingredients, spices, flavours, and influences from all over the continent.
It's also a cuisine that hasn't gotten much love outside of Africa, though that's starting to change. It's common knowledge that Melburnians are adventurous eaters who will try anything once. The abundance and excellence of African restaurants in Melbourne are testaments to the city's reputation as a dining destination for those seeking a new and exciting dining experience.
If you have already tried a couple of the African restaurants Melbourne has to offer and liked them, then using Quandoo will help you find more like them. Those who have yet to experience the delights of this exciting cuisine should do so by making a reservation as soon as possible.
Some favourites to look out for at Melbourne's African restaurants
Some of the most sought-after menu items at Melbourne's African restaurants
It's no secret that Aussies love their barbie, and if you're the type to feel the same way, you won't be disappointed at any of Melbourne's outstanding African restaurants. Pap en vleis, also called shisa nyama, is a dish that is widely enjoyed throughout the southern regions of Africa.
You should also look out for the fiery chakalaka sauce that is typically served with it. Many of Melbourne's African restaurants offer chicken piri-piri on their menus. Even outside of Africa, this chicken dish has gained widespread renown and acclaim.
Originally from Mozambique, this delicious meal also incorporates ingredients and techniques from Portugal and the Middle East. In this dish, succulent chicken is flavoured with garlic, lime, pepper, coconut milk, and the ubiquitous Piri-Piri sauce.
More exciting dishes on the menus of African restaurants in Melbourne
African restaurants in Melbourne have expanded their menus to include more tantalising dishes.
Do you find that it stimulates your imagination? And we haven't even started yet! The humble yet enduringly popular dish known as jollof rice has its roots in Nigeria. This filling dish is built on a bedrock of rice, onions, tomatoes, and pepper. This dish is traditionally vegetarian, but some African restaurants in Melbourne serve it with meat or seafood.
A lot of people think that the original inspiration for New Orleans's jambalaya came from this dish, which is typically served with egusi soup, pounded yams, and fried plantain. Kapenta with sadza, a traditional dish from Zimbabwe, is a good option if you like fish. The demand for it is high in that region.
Fried to a golden crisp, these delicate fish are served with maise, a traditional Japanese breakfast porridge. Chips and two, a relish made from groundnut powder, cassava leaves, and tomato, is traditionally served alongside the Malawian dish chambo with nsima, which is fried fish. However, Hisashi, originating from neighbouring Zambia, is a dish of greens served with peanut sauce.
There is a thriving African community in Melbourne, and its cuisine is every bit as diverse and interesting as that of Africa itself. Here is a list of some of the best African eateries in Melbourne and the surrounding area, including some of the best kept secrets in the Dandenong area. It's one of Melbourne's best kept secrets that Little Africa exists. All days of the week except Monday, guests can enjoy authentic African fare at this cosy restaurant. Delicious food and an authentic African vibe can be found at Savanna African Restaurant & Cafe.
Somali Kitchen, Melbourne's upscale sister restaurant to the safari bar Glamp, has recently undergone a refurbishment. There is also the highly regarded Ethiopian eatery Cafe Lalibela in Footscray. Menu items at Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant are inspired by traditional cooking techniques from the region of Tigray, located in Ethiopia's extreme north. MESOB Northcote is well stocked, has a wide variety of spices, and is always a lively atmosphere. Some Ethiopian dishes have their roots in other African countries, but the majority of the cuisine is uniquely Ethiopian.
Genfo African Fufu, which is made of toasted barley flour and boiled with herbs and served with hot chilli and yoghurt, is one of my favourite dishes. Its headquarters can be found in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia. Boerewors and biltong are two of South Africa's most beloved foods. Nothing is ever sold at Tony's Quality Meat & Deli that Tony himself wouldn't eat. There are several African restaurants in Melbourne, and some of them serve unusual meats like ostrich, springbok, and kudu.
The ingredients, spices, flavours, and influences in this cuisine are as varied as the continent itself. The menus at Melbourne's African restaurants have grown to include more exotic selections. The southern African dish known as pap en vleis (or shisa nyama) is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Chicken piri-piri and jollof rice are common menu items at Melbourne's African restaurants.
- The interest in African food among residents of Melbourne, Australia, has skyrocketed since the turn of the century.
- While Nyala African Restaurant in Fitzroy is among Melbourne's most well-known African eateries, the city is rife with lesser-known but equally excellent options.
- Smack dab in the middle of bustling North Melbourne
- If a restaurant consistently gets high marks from diners, would you consider becoming a regular there?
- Little Africa can be found in North Melbourne, a small suburb of Melbourne.
- Dining in the African Savanna at a Cafe
- Savanna African Restaurant & Cafe in Collingwood provides an authentic taste of Africa with its menu and ambience.
- Another popular Ethiopian eatery in Melbourne's western suburbs is Cafe Lalibela, located in the trendy neighbourhood of Footscray.
- It has been a mainstay of Melbourne's dining scene for over a decade due to its consistent high quality food.
- Saba's Fitzroy serves authentic Ethiopian food.
- At Saba's Ethiopian Restaurant, you can eat well with options for meat, vegetables, and vegans based on recipes from Ethiopia's northernmost Tigray region.
- Konjo Restaurant and Gift Shop
- A few examples would be the neighbourhoods of Collingwood and Footscray
- With locations in both Footscray and Collingwood, Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft makes it almost impossible to justify not spending your hard-earned money on a delicious meal.
- A staple of Ethiopian cuisine is injera, a flatbread served with both hot and mild condiments.
- Flavors The Africa-inspiring address is 124 Victoria Street, Seddon.
- Although Ethiopian cuisine is the focus, other African cuisines are represented.
- Boerewors and biltong are two of South Africa's most beloved foods.
- In 2001, a South African couple who had settled in Australia opened up shop there.
- Tony's is where to go for the best meats and deli in town.
- Ex-pat South African now living in Queensland
- Despite being run out of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, all of Biltong Spice's products can only be purchased through its website.
- There are several African restaurants in Melbourne, and some of them serve unusual meats like ostrich, springbok, and kudu.
- So many different dishes await you—book a table on Quandoo at one of the best African restaurants in Melbourne and start your own personal culinary adventure.
- The exotic flavours of Africa can be sampled at any number of Melbourne's African restaurants.
- With so many exciting and varied restaurants to choose from in Melbourne, the city's African eateries really set themselves apart.
- The high quality and wide availability of African restaurants in Melbourne attest to the city's status as a top destination for foodies in search of an exotic culinary adventure.
- African restaurants in Melbourne have some of the best food in the city, especially when it comes to
- The southern African dish known as pap en vleis (or shisa nyama) is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
- African restaurants in Melbourne frequently feature chicken piri-piri on their menus.
- The menus at Melbourne's African restaurants have grown to include more exotic selections.
- Jollof rice, a simple but ever-popular dish, originated in Nigeria.
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants
Africa's favourite dishes
- Pap en vleis/Shisa nyama, South Africa. Feast your eyes on these succulent steaks.
- Piri Piri chicken, Mozambique. Stop.
- Jollof rice and egusi soup, Nigeria.
- Bunny chow, South Africa.
- Kapenta with sadza, Zimbabwe.
- Chambo with nsima, Malawi.
- Namibian venison, Namibia.
- Muamba de Galinha, Angola.
Traditionally, the various cuisines of Africa use a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables, and milk and meat products. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features a preponderance of milk, curd and whey products.
In much of Tropical Africa, however, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally. Depending on the region, there are also sometimes quite significant differences in the eating and drinking habits and biases throughout the continent's many populations: Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa each have their distinctive dishes, preparation techniques, and consumption mores.
A typical West African meal is made with starchy items and can contain meat, fish as well as various spices and herbs. Many staples are eaten across the region, including fufu, banku, kenkey (originating from Ghana), foutou, couscous, tô, and garlic, served alongside soups and stews.
Fufu is often made from starchy root vegetables such as yams, cocoyams, or cassava, but also cereal grains like millet, sorghum or plantains.
The staple grain or starch varies between regions and ethnic groups. However, corn has gained significant ground as it is cheap, swells to greater volumes and creates a beautiful white final product that is greatly desired.
Banku and kenkey are maise dough staples, and gari is made from dried grated cassavas. Rice dishes are also widely eaten in the region, especially in the dry Sahel belt inland. Examples include benching from The Gambia and Jollof rice, a pan-West African rice dish similar to Arab kasbah.
Many African cities are populated with restaurants serving Asian food, but for those looking for a true taste of Africa, this eatery in Cairo offers traditional Egyptian classics like Walnut Chicken and pigeon dishes, served in beautiful surroundings, which is perhaps why it is a little more expensive than other Cairo
However, the African continent, particularly in South Africa, is slowly but surely producing and expanding homegrown fast-food chains across the globe. A prime example of a thriving African fast-food chain is Nandos.