Dining in the South Pacific has come of age. Australia and New Zealand boast communities so preoccupied with eating food and drinking coffee that you have literally thousands of multi-ethnic restaurants, cafes and coffee shops to choose from. In the island communities the best food experiences are usually at the market where the locals are just as colorful as their produce.
- Brunswick Street, Melbourne
Brunswick Street best reflects Melbourne’s multi cultural, artistic and tolerant soul. This unpretentious cafe and food precinct allows for all types from the Bohemian to the trendy, the alternative to the Audi driver. Cafes serve up tasty food and organic vegetable shops and flowers line the footpaths.
- Newtown, Sydney
Newtown is a Bohemian suburb well known for its numerous bars, eateries and takeaways. Thai, Indian, Nepalese, Maltese and Japanese are just some of the gamut of cuisine on offer.
- Lygon Street, Melbourne
This street has its origins in the early immigration of Italian migrants to Melbourne. It boasts the biggest selection of Italian restaurants and cafes in Australia, and was the first suburb in Melbourne to promote eating outdoors and tables and chairs on footpaths aka Italy itself.
- Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
This scenic area is home to hundreds of wineries, cafes and vineyards. Indulge in wine tasting right at the cellar door or take in the local produce and personalities at weekly farmer’s markets.
- Suva markets, Fiji
If you’re heading out to any of the island resorts or even going home, stock up on your produce and souvenirs here – just don’t forget your bartering skills. Thanks to the large East Indian population you will find all manner of beans and lentils, spices, mixed curries and masalas, Indian sweets and snacks. There’s an affordable array of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and the ubiquitous kava root.
- Mt Hagan markets, Papua New Guinea
Saturday is shopping day in Mt Hagan, one of PNGs most scenic highland regions and best-known markets. Delve amongst the kaleidoscope of fruit and vegetables with the colorfully attired local tribesmen and try cassava, taro, yam or sweet potato. You’ll need a billum bag to carry everything in, the traditional colored string bag, and the Hagan market is the place to buy one.
- Neiafu, Vava’u, Tonga
There is a daily market here open Monday through Saturday but the latter is in fact the Market Day. Don’t go in to early or you’ll miss the full swing of heckling over eggs, seasonal fruits, vegetables and handicrafts.
- West End, Brisbane
This West End does not have the glitz of its London’s namesake; but it is still synonymous with multi-ethnic cultures and is one of Brisbane’s most extensive and enjoyable dining destinations. There’s a massive range of restaurants, cafes, bars, coffee shops, delicatessens, bistros and takeaway food stores that suit every taste and budget. Much of it is footpath dining to take advantage of Brisbane’s glorious semi-tropical climate.
- Fremantle, Perth
Perth’s port city is the place to come for a bite to eat. Enjoy the alfresco style cafes on the renowned Cappuccino Strip on South Terrace, its neighboring famed local markets and the local fresh fish and seafood dishes at the Fishing Boat Harbour where the restaurants have waterside views.
- Salamanca markets, Hobart
During the week the gorgeous sandstone warehouses of Salamanca Place are home to craft shops, cafes, bookshops, restaurants, art galleries and a small cinema. But every Saturday morning it is transformed into a huge open-air craft market and comes alive with the wafting smells of food, ground coffee, fruit and vegetables.