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Foodie finds - Melbourne

Five full months in the most livable city in the world and I’m still in complete awe of its ever-changing graffiti, unpredictable weather and happy-go-lucky locals. Regardless of all of these amazing attributes, Melbourne’s true crown jewel can be summed up in one word — food.

Australia’s proximity to Asia gives the country a major advantage when it comes to true Asian cuisine.

Most of us Americans may not realize the pad thai, pho and countless other Asian dishes we’re used to eating are actually quite far from the real thing.

Just as the influence of our spicy southern neighbor gives America access to authentic tostadas and enchiladas, Asian influence in Australia has taken true curry, banh mi and more down under.

When picking an Asian style restaurant to check out in Melbourne, it’s seriously hard to go wrong. It’s not unusual for unassuming, less busy restaurants to be just as good as the more popular ones.

So, don’t be afraid to venture into a small, family-run banh mi shop when you're walking down the street looking for something to satisfy your stomach. It might just be the most authentic vietnamese sandwich you've ever had.

Though Melbourne’s knack for Asian cuisine is truly beyond compare, the city’s foodie culture doesn't stop there.

Another side to Melbourne’s food scene can be found in its beloved cafes.

After just a few days in Melbourne you'll come to the realization that everyone in this city is a coffee snob, but for good reason. The coffee brewed at locally owned, reputable cafes is far superior to the Starbucks nonsense the rest of the world is obsessed with.

Yes, you read that correctly. There are only about eight Starbucks in Melbourne, but there are as many as 60 in Atlanta (the U.S. city with the most comparable population).

This is simply because Starbucks can't survive here. Why pay more for a coffee of lesser quality?

Countless cafes in Melbourne serve this top of the line coffee that Aussies can’t get enough of.

Two of my favorites are Las Chicas Cafe and Matcha Mylkbar.

At Las Chicas you can get a standard brew or add some flavor for an extra kick. Not to mention their seasonal menu and cozy decor makes for the ultimate brunch spot.

Matcha Mylkbar is designed for those who want to order a fancy latte with a side of Instagram aesthetic. This matcha inspired restaurant does lattes in a new way. My personal favorite flavors include ‘Purple Peanut Butter’ and ‘Charcoal,’ but the list goes on.

After discovering Melbourne’s love of coffee there’s only one thing left to do — order your first espresso martini.

Aussies love coffee so much they've found the perfect way to incorporate it into any night out. It’s just the right cocktail to order early on when your eyes feel heavy and you know you need a pick-me-up.

The next morning, your hangover will leave you craving caffeine and you'll start the cycle over again. Quality brew in the morning, espresso cocktail in the evening and repeat.

And don't forget, when your stomach starts rumbling, think Asian inspiration as a healthy alternative to the carbs you may be craving.

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