Bettys_Burgers_and_Concrete_Co_food_Melbourne
Food and Drink

Halal food guide in Melbourne CBD

Did you know that Melbourne was voted the most livable city for the last 6 years?

I have lived in Melbourne for 4 years, and I’ve experienced it all firsthand.

But even though Melbourne’s really good for vegetarian and vegan options, it’s not as easy when it comes to Halal food.

So I’ve compiled a guide for eating halal specifically in the city.

This guide is specifically featuring outlets in Melbourne CBD, because many tourists and international students visit, tour, and shop in the city.

So whether you’re a tourist visiting Melbourne, a Muslim international student looking for halal food, or a non-Muslim looking for a Muslim-friendly place to dine with your Muslim friends, read on!

*Disclaimer: While I have taken as much care to ensure that this list is correct and updated, it is up to you to check that the outlets are still halal, and are still open. Restaurants constantly open and close, and sometimes change their suppliers so there isn’t 100% guarantee that all these outlets are still open at the time you are reading this. To be safe, please call and double check to confirm.

 

Western Food

D’Food Connection (formerly Secret Recipe)

Level 3 Melbourne Central, Latrobe Street | Thursday – Friday (10:00am – 9:00pm); Saturday – Wednesday (10:00am – 7:00pm)

d'food connection food Melbourne

Tucked away in the corner of the 3rd floor of Melbourne Central, D’Food Connection owns the Secret Recipe chain in Australia, which explains the logo.

You can enjoy Western food such as Grilled Chicken, as well as Italian cuisine such as Chicken Carbonara, and Asian fanfare such as Penang Char Kuey Teow.

My Personal Review: I love enjoying the halal chicken parma (parmigiana) without having to worry about a slice of non-halal ham. And the portions are huge!

 

The Meat, Wine and Co.

3 Freshwater Place, Southbank | Sunday – Thursday (12:00 noon – 10:00pm); Friday – Saturday (12:00noon – 11:30pm)

The Meat, Wine and Co food Melbourne

Located at Southbank, it makes for a nice place for an after-dinner walk, and is also near shops and the river bank.

The Meat, Wine and Co. has already marked Halal items on the menu, which definitely makes it easier to order, and is a great place for a fine dining option.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co.

97 Elizabeth Street | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 10:00pm)

Bettys_Burgers_and_Concrete_Co_food_Melbourne

A friend of mine is now the General Manager of Betty’s Burgers, so it was a nice surprise to see him there (shoutout to Siva, say hello to him if you see him there!).

The retro-style beach-themed restaurant is really refreshing, and stepping inside will remind you of boardwalks and ice creams.  Order at the counter and receive a buzzer that lights up when your food is ready. It recently opened in early 2017, so there were very very long queues, especially at lunch time.

My Personal Review: While the desserts are the focal point of the store, I’ve not actually tried them. The burgers and fries are great, and my favourite is the Crispy Chicken burger (Southern fried chicken in a burger??). However, it is quite oily, and the prices are considerably high for what is arguably fast food. But the environment is lovely and a great dining place.

 

Burger Project

Level 2, Shop 12.05, St Collins Lane Centre, 260 Collins Street | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 9:00pm)

Burger_Project_food_Melbourne

Note: Only the chicken is certified halal. As St Collins Lane Centre is a new building, some areas may seem sparse and unopened. But hidden on the 2nd level is the Burger Project, where you can enjoy delicious chicken burgers and fries.

My Personal Review: The dining space is basically like a food court. They serve pretty decent burgers, and somehow plenty of people seem to know about this place already, judging by the long queues at lunch time. Go early.

 

Korean Food

Gami Chicken and Beer

100 Little Lonsdale Street | Monday – Thursday (12noon – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 11:00pm); Friday – Saturday (12noon – 11:00pm); Sunday (5:00pm – 11:00pm)

Gami_Chicken_food_Melbourne

Gami Chicken is famous amongst many living in Melbourne who enjoy Korean fried chicken. I can’t even count the number of people who have recommended me to try it.

FYI, the fact that the place is named ‘Gami Chicken and Beer’ should prepare you for the sight of most people drinking beer while having food. I mean, it’s part of the Korean culture so I’m not one to tell them not to drink!

My Personal review: It’s pretty decent, and you should definitely order the Korean fried chicken (original fried is my favourite). The corn cheese is also good.

However, it’s difficult to find a table at dinner time, so it’s best to book in advance. Also, Gami Chicken is best enjoyed with a large group of friends.

 

Nene Chicken 

Shop 2, 410 Elizabeth Street | Monday – Sunday (11:30am – 11:00pm)

Melbourne Central Level 1, Corner of Swanston and LaTrobe Street | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 9:30pm)

Nene Chicken food Melbourne

If you don’t fancy waiting for long queues at Gami, you can swing by Nene Chicken to satisfy your desire for Korean fried chicken. They also sell wraps and burgers if you’re not a fried chicken fan.

While Gami Chicken has a nice restaurant-style ambiance, Nene Chicken is more like a fast food place.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Turkish Food

Melbourne Halal Kebab and Pizza

Corner of Flinders Lane and Monaghan Place | 11:00am – late

28 Elizabeth Street | 11:00am – late

Halal_Kebabs_Melbourne

There’s 2 Halal Kebab and Pizza places, one on Elizabeth Street and one on Flinders Lane near Swanston Street. They have the same name, and look like the same menu so they rather look like they’re related. I honestly don’t know though. I’ve always eaten at the one on Elizabeth Street, and I’ve never been disappointed. There’s only a few seating places and it looks more like a quick takeaway place.

My Personal Review: I don’t like the briyani but the kebabs are decent. The Halal Snack Pack is my favourite!! It’s a huge portion so I like to share this with someone. Sometimes we also share a supermarket salad to mitigate all the calories.

 

CBD Kebabs

Shop 2, 546 Flinders Street | Sunday – Thursday (10:00am – 3:00pm); Friday – Saturday (10:00am – 7:00pm)

At the edge of the CBD, it is slightly out of the way because there’s no direct transport.

But it’s near a nice park called Batman Park, which makes it a nice spot near a barbeque area to sit and have a Halal Snack Pack (HSP)! It is also near the riverbank, the Crown Casino and some shopping areas so if you’re going that way, swing by CBD Kebabs.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Borek Bakehouse

481 Elizabeth Street | Monday – Sunday (8:00am – 5:00pm)

Near Queen Victoria Market, Borek Bakehouse is a great option if you are looking for an alternative to fish and chips. They also sell cheese and spinach boreks which are great for vegetarians.

My Personal Review: Good if you just want a quick bite. I actually prefer the fruit borek (like apple and cherry) than the savoury borek, so maybe you could swing by for an after-meal dessert as opposed to lunch.

 

Malaysian / Singaporean Food

PappaRich

QV Building, 11 Little Lonsdale Street | Monday – Sunday (10:30am – 11:00pm)

Ahh, PappaRich. Bring your non-Malaysian friends here for the quintessential Malaysian/Singapore food (with triple the prices of a street stall unfortunately). It’s also quite convenient, since it’s at QV next to the State Library and above Big W and grocery store Woolworths.

My Personal Review: PappaRich is just too classic to ignore. Chicken rice, laksa, nasi lemak. And I personally love the fish noodle soup.

 

Old Town White Coffee

303 Elizabeth Street | Sunday – Thursday (11:00am – 10:00pm); Friday – Saturday (11:00am – 12:00 midnight)

Old Town White Coffee food Melbourne

Old Town White Coffee has fairly recently opened, and is conveniently located at Elizabeth Street. It also opens really late on the weekends in case your cravings strike.

My Personal review: Not worth it, unfortunately. Every single Malaysian friend who’s eaten there has given it a thumbs down, and even an Australian friend found the food disappointing. I wouldn’t recommend it, unless there’s nowhere else you can eat.

 

Sambal Kampung

441 Elizabeth Street | Tuesday – Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm

Sambal_Kampung_Melbourne

Situated on Elizabeth Street, it is just a street away from Queen Victoria Market. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall place next to hair salons and other eateries.

My Personal Review: The flavours of most dishes are lacking. They also did not provide soya sauce. How can you have chicken rice without soya sauce? I liked the chicken rice, but honestly, no other friend had any good reviews of this place.

 

Mamak

366 Lonsdale Street | Monday – Sunday (11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm)

Mamak_food_Melbourne

NOTE: The last time I checked with the cashier, only the chicken served is halal so you might want to check again before eating.

Mamak is next door to Zam Zam, and they serve common Malaysian food like nasi lemak, mee goreng and satay.

My Personal Review: Unfortunately for me, the menu seems to be lacking in soup dishes, and I don’t like the fact that ALL the dishes are oily and stir-fried. However, I do give the nasi goreng and mee goreng a thumbs up.

 

Little Ipoh

Level 1, 360 LaTrobe Street | Monday – Wednesday (10:00am – 9:00pm); Thursday – Sunday (10:00am – 10:30pm)

Little_Ipoh_food_Melbourne

Little Ipoh boasts a large menu, including Nasi Goreng Pattaya and Western-style dishes.

However, it is quite out of the way as there aren’t many shops nearby. The fact that it is on Level 1 instead of Ground Floor also makes it difficult to spot (I have previously walked past it several times and never noticed it!). You’ll have to climb up the stairs to reach the restaurant so keep your head up.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Petaling Street (CLOSED)

ChinaTown, 1F/188 Little Bourke St | CLOSED

No, it’s not a retail shop but a restaurant! Unfortunately, the CBD outlet has closed its doors, although there are still some outlets outside the city.

The food is certainly authentic Malaysian fare. Definitely order the fish – my favourite is the steamed fish but many of my friends are just as in love with the fried fish!

 

Indonesian Food

Es Teler 77

Level 3 Food Court, Melbourne Emporium, 287 Lonsdale Street | Saturday – Wednesday (10:30am – 7:00pm); Thursday – Friday (10:30am – 9:00pm)

Esteler77_food_Melbourne

Situated in the food court in Melbourne Emporium, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner with non-Muslim friends who can have plenty of other choices to choose from. I feel like the food is pretty authentic, especially the fried fish and oxtail soup.

My Personal Review: For $15, you could get a heaping plate of fried fish, rice and vegetables. I mean, that’s not very cheap, but decent when it comes to food in Melbourne. Definitely the place to be if you’re looking for some Indo food.

 

Fat Oma

212 Swanston Street | Saturday – Wednesday (12:00 noon – 9:00pm); Thursday – Friday (12:00 noon – 10:00pm)

Fat_Oma_food_Melbourne

A fairly new establishment, Fat Oma is right smack in the middle of bustling Swanston Street, right across from the Bourke Street tram stop. This makes it a great location and the simple plain white no-frills interior makes it a cozy dining place.

My Personal Review: The food is so-so. I did not feel that the food had strong flavours, which was a bit of a let-down.

 

Blok M 

380 Little Bourke Street | Sunday – Wednesday (11:00am – 9:00pm), Thursday – Saturday (11:00am – 10:00pm)

Blok_M_food_Melbourne

Blok M has a variety of grilled meat (including squid and oxtail) and dishes served with Balado sauce, if you’re craving for that. There aren’t really a lot of popular shops in that area and it isn’t really near a tram stop, so I feel like the location is a bit out of the way.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Nelayan Indonesian Cuisine

265 Swanston Street | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 9:00pm)

Nelayan_Melbourne

Nelayan operates on the simple scheme of offering rice and a combo of meat or veggie dishes sitting in bainmarie dishes. It’s a very frills-free type of place.

The fact that it is situated on Swanston Street also makes it a very accessible choice.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Nusantara

Tivoli Arcade, 235-251 Bourke Street | Monday – Friday (11:30am – 8:30pm); Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm); Sunday Closed.

Another frills-free location is Nusantara. Located in Tivoli Arcade, you might have to search a little bit to find the place, but it’s actually right opposite from Target at the entrance of a Starbucks.

I assume it’s a place where office workers will go, since it’s not really a fancy place and it’s not open on Sundays.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Bali Bagus (CLOSED)

85 Franklin Street | CLOSED

It’s such a shame that Bali Bagus has closed, because their soto ayam was amazing and ayam penyet was pretty decent too.

 

Indian / Pakistani Food

Chilli India

Ground Floor, Melbourne Central, Shop 7 Menzies Alley | Monday – Friday (11:30am – 4:00pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm); Saturday – Sunday (12:00noon – 3:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm)

Chilli India Melbourne

Chilli India is located in Melbourne Central, but a little bit tricky to get to if you don’t know how to get there. It’s best to get to it via Elizabeth Street, and is near the Max Brenner.

My Personal Review: Best briyani in the CBD, hands down. I love the chicken and mutton briyani, not spicy with lots of yoghurt. Yes, I have a horrible intolerance to spicyness.

Zam Zam Restaurant and Cafe

362 – 364 Lonsdale Street | Monday – Sunday (10:00am to 9:30pm)

Zam Zam food Melbourne

It’s right next to Mamak, so if you don’t feel like having Malaysian food there’s always a prata option. They also serve meat and veggie dishes in bainmarie dishes.

My Personal Review: I like the masala dosa, and their pratas are also great.

 

Biryani House

343 King Street | Monday – Sunday (9:00am -11:00pm)

Biryani House food Melbourne

Because it’s right at the edge of the city, I wouldn’t really call it accessible. But it is near Flagstaff Gardens, and is great for people who are living near that area, or behind Queen Victoria Market, or near Southern Cross station. Flagstaff Gardens is also a really nice area to walk around.

My Personal Review: It serves decent biryani, but nothing to shout about. I like the one at Chilli India better.

 

Bombay Duck, Melbourne Emporium

Level 3 Melbourne Emporium, 287 Lonsdale Street | Saturday – Wednesday (10:30am – 7:00pm); Thursday – Friday (10:30am – 9:00pm)

Bombay Duck food Melbourne

Bombay Duck is also located at the food court in Melbourne Emporium (same as Es Teler 77 and Jimmy Grants) so you have 3 halal options in the same location. Bombay Duck is located right in a corner, so it might take a bit of walking to find it. They serve both Indian and Nepalese style dishes, so if you’re interested in trying Nepalese food, this is a great place to go! (I can’t guarantee that the taste is authentic though).

My Personal Review: I tried the biryani once, and didn’t quite like it. I’ve not tried any other dishes.

 

Gaylord Indian Restaurant

4 Tattersalls Lane, Chinatown | Monday – Sunday (12:00noon – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 11:30pm)

An Indian restaurant in Chinatown? Now that’s a bit strange. It’s also a little difficult to find, almost like a hidden alleyway. But inside is a nice fine-dining establishment.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

Gourmet Curry Hut

Shop 3, 318 Little Collins Street | Monday – Friday (12:00 noon – 10:00pm)

Gourmet_Curry_Hut_food_Melbourne

Ahh, Melbourne. Your twisty little laneways are the perfect spot for tourists to wander around, get lost in, and find a treasure like this. Go by Elizabeth Street and spot the bright yellow sign. I’ve never seen it crowded so I don’t honestly know how good the place and the food is.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

Others

Salsa’s – Mexican

Various Locations | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 10:00pm)

Salsa's food Melbourne

It’s a fast-food type of establishment. You start the order from one side and go to the end, saying Yes or No to each item. That’s basically how it works. The decor is really nice, bright and colourful too.

My Personal Review: My favourite is the hard-shell tacos. They’re awesome! Don’t forget, avocado is $1 extra. I like the nachos, but the portion is just too large for me to finish.

 

Nandos – Spanish

Various Locations | Monday – Sunday (11:00am – 10:00pm) for most locations

Nandos food Melbourne

NOTE: Nandos is halal, but some dishes contain bacon bits. Test your peri-peri tolerance level with the different levels of spicyness at Nandos!

My Personal Review: I find the chicken and chips far too salty for my taste, so I’m not a big fan. But I sometimes order the grilled chicken salad, as that’s pretty good.

 

Stalactites – Greek

177-183 Lonsdale Street |  Monday – Sunday 24 hours

Stalactites Lamb Gyros Melbourne

NOTE: Only the lamb giros dishes are certified halal. But it is definitely worth a visit.

Stalactites sells some of the best souvlakis, and the dining areas are flocked by patrons during dinner time. Stalactites has won the title of the ‘Best Greek Restaurant’, has been featured in the media as the best souvlaki in Melbourne, and is also open 24 hours.

My Personal review: It’s tasty, but the dishes are served in large portions! I’ve had the lamb giros souvlaki a few times, and have never been able to finish it once.

 

Gazi – Greek

2 Exhibition Street | Monday – Sunday (12noon – 10:00pm)

Gazi_food_Melbourne

If the owner looks familiar, that’s because he is! It’s George Calombaris, judge of Masterchef Australia.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

 

Jimmy Grants – Greek

Level 3 Melbourne Emporium, 287 Lonsdale Street | Saturday – Wednesday (10:00am – 7:00pm); Thursday – Friday (10:00am – 9:00pm)

Jimmy Grants food Melbourne

Guess what? Masterchef Australia judge George Calombaris doesn’t just own Gazi, he also owns Jimmy Grants! But this is a cheaper and non-fancy version, situated in a food court.

Their souva wraps are the most popular items on the menu. Jimmy Grants has confirmed that their chicken and lamb suppliers are halal through their official Twitter account.

My Personal Review: I love Jimmy Grants! I love that they stuff their chips into the souvas. You can always ask for the chips on the side if you prefer it that way or are sharing them with someone else. 

 

Sezar Restaurant – Armenian

6 Melbourne Place | Monday – Friday (12:00noon – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm); Saturday (5:30pm – 10:30pm); Sunday Closed

Sezar_Restaurant_food_Melbourne

I have literally never heard of this place before. It certainly looks like a nice fine-dining spot at least. Their glazed pork looks to be a best-seller, so keep that in mind if you’re uncomfortable with being surrounded by that.

My Personal Review: I’ve never tried it.

 

 

Simply Thai – Thai

Level 2 Dining Hall, Melbourne Central, Latrobe Street | Saturday – Wednesday (10:00am – 7:00pm); Thursday – Friday (10:00am – 9:00pm)

Simpy Thai food Melbourne

Simply Thai is a cheap frills-free dining option in Melbourne Central’s food court. It sells homemade-style dishes like stir-fry and noodles. They serve their food on paper plates so don’t expect anything fancy here! The taste is pretty decent.

My Personal Review: I like going for this option when I feel like having a homemade dish. Whether you choose the large or small plate, they’ll serve really large portions onto your plate. 

 

Sawasdee Thai Restaurant – Thai (CLOSED)

139 Little Bourke Street | CLOSED

It is a shame that this restaurant in ChinaTown is closed. The Thai restaurant was a fine dining establishment that served decent Pad Thai and vegetable dishes.

When I was having dinner there, they even had a piano player!

 

Mama Wong’s Kitchen – Chinese (CLOSED)

Moved to 164 Sydney Road, Coburg | CLOSED

Mama Wong’s Kitchen has moved from Flinders to Coburg. It used to be in a pretty decent location, but has now moved up to Sydney Road, where there are plenty of other halal spots.To be honest, I did not have a good experience with the food. The food was pretty tasteless and dry.

 

Whew! I hope this list is as useful for you as it was for me! Which places are your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Much Love,

Fari Wu

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