Following on from my first post about how I try and shop mindfully and economically. Here is where I shop around Melbourne. Brace yourselves for the info onslaught!
Meat, fish and poultry
I generally go to the butchers or fish mongers with a list of key items and then when I am there I will pick up a couple of extra kilos of different cuts that are on special.
- My number one choice for butcher is Bertie’s on Swan St Richmond. They have a sensational range of products and great helpful staff. Their variety is amazing, from chicken right through the venison, wallaby and rabbit and they also stock a good range of freaky bits – trotters, liver, kidneys. As well as having a small selection of delicatessen items like Piper St Terrine, cured meats… oh and they make their own snags. The main reason that I like them is that they stock a variety of different price pointed meats – they have your standard good quality free range meats but then your crème de la crème Wuy Wuy dry aged beef or salt bush lamb. They cut things to your specifications and offer cooking tips.
- Sometimes I also shop at Cannings in Hawthorn, Jonathon’s on Smith St or Brentas in Fairfield. Really depends on where I am at in my travels. Canning’s is 100% free range and stocks excellent quality produce and variety but I find the meat at Bertie’s slightly more affordable. Jonathon’s is great and their beef and sausages are particularly good but comes with a killer price tag. Brenta’s is a classic Italian butcher with the most amazing service in Melbourne, as for whether everything is grass fed etc, it is a bit of a mixed bag so ask lots of questions.
- Seafood is from either Canels in Carlton, Richmond Oysters on Swan St or Ocean Made in Collingwood
- Another great seafood stockists are Conways in Footscary
- I know a lot of people shop at the Vic Market and I have been a couple of times and I honestly get just so overwhelmed. All the people, the options and I am like a deer in headlights. Good choices when you are there are Hagen Organics and also Broad’s Free Range Poultry
- Gippsland Free Range meats supply a lot of butchers around Melbourne, including Berties. You can actually by direct from them via their site
- Other butchers I have heard great things about are Belmore Organic Meats who have shops in Hawthorn and Balwyn. Gary’s Meats at the Prahran Market and TOMS are South Melbourne. However they are certainly the most expensive.
Fruit and Vegetables
I try and buy seasonally as possible and I don’t buy everything organic. Generally the dirty dozen I will try and source organically and the rest I might pick up at a fruit and veg store. All depends on time, seasonality and price.
- I was previously a very loyal Wholefoods on Smith St shopper and got all my fruit and veggies there. But I have recently discovered Terre Madre in Northcote and I am completely obsessed with them. Personally, I think their prices are a little more reasonable that Wholefoods plus their turnover of fruit and veg seems to be a lot quicker
- Frootz on Parade in Clifton Hill have immaculate fruit and veg – not organic but the quality is bloody amazing
- My mum does all her fruit and veg shopping at Top Shelf Fruits in Ashburton, has done so for years and again their quality and turnover is great
- Also know of a lot of people who are Toscano’s loyal
- If you are time poor and are looking for good seasonal organic home delivery options this is a great article about options in Melbourne and word on the street is that Aussie Farmers also have some great home delivery options too
Health Food Shops:
I am a complete health food shop floozie as you can see by this list below. I love them all!!!
- Terra Madre (formerly Fruit Peddlers) have already got a mention but I can’t bang on about them enough, based on proximity to my house and range. I seriously lost my mind the first time I went in there. Sensational range of EVERYTHING, spices, teas, meat. flours, sauces, dairy and bulk staples like nuts and dried fruit. I love that I can go there and pick between multiple different brands of raw dairy! They do have their own Terra Madre range – I was disappointed with the coconut oil but their nut butters are a winner. Word of warning – get there earlier on Saturday’s as the place is chockers.
- Spelt Quinoa – Specialises in selling bulk staples as the name suggests specialty flours and grains, as well as legumes, nuts, seeds, superfoods and dried fruit with a focus on local and organic where possible
- Wholefoods in Fitzroy or Brunswick – both are good stores, my only issue with them is price point. I know that I can go to other stores and generally pick up some things for a dollar or two cheaper. They do stock raw dairy as well and the staples range is better at Brunswick but not as good as Terra Madre or Spelt Quinoa. But their own coconut oil and olive oil is great quality, reasonably priced and they also do have a store card. Still a great option if you can’t get to Terra Madre
- Royal Nut Company – not really a health food shop because they mostly sell nuts but they also do stock and amazing array of spices, grains and cheap nut butters (even available in 1kg tubs!) I only shop at their Brunswick store because it is cheaper than Malvern.
- The Staple Store – I freaking love this place. Catie who owns the shop is a total genius and so knowledgeable, lovely and awesome. They stock an great range of staples (haha) like seeds, nuts, grains and dried fruit. Catie also has her own speciality mixes from dhal to muesli and my personal favourite – Berry-Bodacious. A mix of dried berries, chia and coconut, the perfect topper for yoghurt, cacao treats, EVERYTHING. I have renamed it berry crack because it is addictive. My other favorite item is the Peace Love and Vegetables sauerkraut range. 100% raw, vegan and delicious. It is pricey but if you cannot be bothered making your own it is the only non-pasteurised kraut option that I know of in Melbourne.
- Aunt Maggie’s – I work in St Kilda so this place is just down the road and oh so tempting to visit. It used to be Barrett’s Health Food store, then Carlisle Health foods and about 6 or 7 months ago moved into a massive new store with a juice bar
- Casa Iberica – The business for any south American, Spanish and Mexican supplies – oils, spices, beans, drinks, pots, rice, sweets, EVERYTHING. Their chorizo is the best I have EVER eaten plus they stock a great range of other cured meats and cheeses. If you go there on a Saturday get there early and don’t be polite. It’s every man for themselves in there.
- La Latteria – You have never really eaten ricotta until you have tried theirs. Made on site using Victorian milk – it’s the shit. As is there Fiore Di Burrata (fresh soft mozerella stuffed with cream, yes cheese stuffed with cream, I repeat cheese stuffed with cream). Also sell yoghurt and fresh milk as well.
- La Parisienne Pates or as I like to call it Pate Palace – Great quality pates and terrines if you can’t be bothered making your own. A whole range of flavours from rabbit, chicken to pork. They also sell cryovaced pre-confited duck and sometimes some great housemade snags
- Fatto a Mano, Loafer and Dench – My top 3 northside bakeries all within about 2kms of each other. Fatto a Mano would have to be my number one as it is 100% organic and they do a ripper range of gluten free and spelt breads, pizza’s and SWEETIES. Dench makes some pretty amazing french pastries and Loafer stock great organic breads, muffins and cookies.
- Firebrand Sourdough – Amazing, organic sourdoughs bread and my personal favourite SOURDOUGH CROISSANTS. They have a baking schedule so different types of bread on different days which is cute. Plus they are just down the road from the Staple Store. Go to both and make a morning of it.
- Gewurzhaus – The best spice shops in the world – one in Carlton and one in Toorak. Ridiculous range of spices, some great pre-made mixes and all super fresh. Not organic and not the cheapest out but the quality and freshness trump anything else I have ever seen. I have a preference buying their curry mixes etc as opposed to buying a heap of different spices and making my own. We just don’t go through them quick enough
- Minh Phat - The best Asian grocer with a HUGE range of all Asian cooking ingredients, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, everything! Plus homewares, cooking utenilises and a random selection of health foods. This is also where I source my Arroy-D coconut milk tetra packs – crap and BPA free
- Leos – Good for over priced specialty foods and deli items. I love and hate this place. I hate them for their prices but I love that them for convenience and many cheeses
Ok… I think I am done for now. But I will continue to update this post if I discover more Melbourne gems. If I have missed one of your favourites – please let me know! I love foodie adventures.