Food and Wine | City 28 November 2023

Melbourne's Cultural Kaleidoscope: Art, Food & Hidden Gems

Melbourne is a vibrant, captivating Australian city that draws visitors from all around the globe. Without a doubt, this city’s allure lies in the rich tapestry of its culture and history, as well as its proximity to Victoria’s renowned wine regions and even its world-famous surf spots. Its history is deeply woven into its streets and architecture, offering a glimpse into its evolution into a thriving metropolis.

As you explore the city's treasures, Oaks Hotels welcomes you to an experience that will enhance your Melbourne visit, providing you with luxurious downtime.

Why Melbourne Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

Melbourne possesses a relaxed charm and approachability that draws visitors in, gently insisting that they stay a little longer. This city is known for its food scene, iconic trams, and a devout reverence for the cult of coffee. It's a place where the guidebook might even be tossed aside in favour of an itinerary focussed almost solely on culinary exploration. Add a generous dash of art, and that's when you'll truly have a ball.

The Art Scene

Melbourne is a mecca for art enthusiasts, boasting a thriving and diverse art scene that spans centuries. Whether you're into classical masterpieces, contemporary exhibitions, or even street art, Melbourne unfolds a canvas that caters to all.

Best Art Places to Visit in Melbourne

NGV, Melbourne’s Art Gallery

If you're the kind of art lover who can't resist a fusion of the classic and contemporary, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is a non-negotiable visit. Just a stroll from the buzzing Southbank, this gallery showcases an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. Prepare to be wowed as you delve into a treasure trove of creativity. From awe-inspiring paintings to thought-provoking sculptures, the NGV promises an art experience like no other.

Melbourne Arts Centre

The Melbourne Arts Centre stands as a testament to the city's commitment to the arts. This landmark building, also just by Southbank, hosts a range of performances, from theatre and dance to music and comedy. It's a place where culture comes to life, where you can witness the heartbeat of Melbourne's artistic community.

Melbourne Street Art

If you're the type who likes their art with a generous sprinkle of urban flair, Melbourne's street art scene is an absolute game-changer. Stroll through the city's laneways, where you'll be greeted by a mesmerising kaleidoscope of graffiti and murals that unfold stories and messages in the language of street art. Hosier Lane, in particular, not far from the prestigious Collins Street, is an iconic hotspot renowned for its ever-evolving canvas of urban creativity.

The Food

Now, let's talk about the city’s heart and soul - Melbourne’s food. The culinary landscape is shaped by the city's diverse and multicultural population. Whether you're into high-end dining or scouting for those hidden gems that won't break the bank, Melbourne's covered every palate.

The Best Food in Melbourne

High-End Restaurants:


Society is the epitome of Melbourne's culinary magic. Step into this fine-dining haven and prepare for a seamless melding of international tastes with locally sourced ingredients. The dining room is nothing short of colossal, with marble bars, sparkling crystal chandeliers, and sleek jet-black tables. And with a menu catering to every palate, Society has got your culinary curiosities covered.


If you're craving fiery Filipino flavours, Serai is your go-to spot. This eatery serves up a delectable fusion of Aussie-Filipino dishes, delivering a taste of Southeast Asia right in the centre of Melbourne. Serai offers a cosy laneway dining experience with an open kitchen and an extensive selection of wines from around the globe.

Grill Americano

With its Venetian-inspired architecture, Grill Americano takes you on a nostalgic trip to Italy, offering a menu filled with handcrafted pasta and authentic Italian classics prepared in a prominent wood oven that commands attention in the restaurant. This is Italian sophistication at its finest, toward the top end of Collins Street.


This intimate, minimal sushi restaurant, just a ten-minute drive from our South Yarra Suites, offers an omakase experience, where the chef crafts a personalised meal for each guest. It's an ultra-refined dining experience that celebrates Japanese flavours and techniques.

Cheap Eats:

Biang Biang Noodles

If you're looking for an authentic taste of Chinese street food without breaking the bank, Biang Biang Noodles is the place to be. This unpretentious eatery, right near Flagstaff Gardens, serves up thick, hand-pulled noodles paired with a variety of toppings. The quality of their offerings is nothing short of exceptional, making it a must-visit for anyone craving a genuine Chinese street food experience.

Mr Ramen San

Mr Ramen San, in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD, is a haven for ramen lovers. In Melbourne's thriving ramen scene, Mr Ramen San shines, thanks to its dedication to perfecting every aspect of Hakata-style ramen, from the creamy, porky broth to the thin, chewy house-made noodles.

Five Points 

Five Points crafts their bagels the traditional way, resulting in that perfect blend of a chewy exterior and a delightfully soft interior. Customise them with various spreads and fillings for an excellent bagel experience. With good bagels, good coffee, and adventurous fillings, it's everything you need for a quintessential Melbourne morning not far from Market Street.

Goz City

Goz City, with two CBD locations, is your destination for gözleme. They fill them with both traditional and non-traditional ingredients, providing a taste of the Mediterranean right in the centre of Melbourne. Enjoy options like herb beef, herb chicken, cheese and spinach, and mushroom and veg, all sitting snug inside fresh Turkish pastry straight from the grill.

The Hidden Gems

Beyond Melbourne's renowned landmarks, the city holds a secret realm of hidden treasures, brimming with unique and immersive experiences that are simply unmissable.

Hidden Gems in Melbourne Worth Searching For

Above Board - Hidden Bar

Above Board in Collingwood is one of Melbourne's best-kept secrets for cocktails. Tucked away in an unassuming location, this gem of a bar offers expertly crafted drinks in a moody, minimal setting, all without the usual backlit back bar stocked with brand-name bottles.

Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory - Lush Greenhouse in the Heart of the City

For a tranquil getaway amid the city's bustle, make your way to the Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory. This flourishing greenhouse is an oasis of serenity, showcasing a variety of exotic plants and vibrant blooms. It's the ideal spot for a leisurely stroll and a moment of calm northeast of the CBD.

Little Lon - Micro Gin Distillery

For those who appreciate craft spirits, hidden hotspot Little Lon is a Melbourne must-visit. It’s a micro gin distillery tucked away in one of the city's laneways, just off Lonsdale Sreet. This is where you can dive into the craft of gin-making and relish tastings of their one-of-a-kind, small-batch creations.

MC Showroom - Underground Performance Space

Nestled discreetly in Melbourne's cultural epicentre, the MC Showroom is a cherished secret for arts and culture lovers. This intimate, immersive venue hosts a range of performances spanning theatre, live music, comedy, and art exhibitions. For those privy to this gem, the MC Showroom offers an exceptional and enriching cultural escape. And, of course, out-of-towners are welcome.

It’s Time to Discover the Best of Melbourne

Melbourne is teeming with life, culture, and an undeniable charm. From its rich art scene and diverse culinary delights to its hidden gems, Melbourne has something for everyone. So, whether you're a lover of art, a foodie on a quest, or a seeker of hidden delights, this exciting city is ready to captivate you.

Book your stay with Oaks Hotels and let Melbourne's cultural kaleidoscope leave you enlightened. Melbourne beckons and it's time to explore.