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Melbourne is Australia’s premier city for eating out. Sydney may be more style-conscious and Adelaide cheaper, but Melbourne has the best food and the widest choice of cuisines. In the city centre, Greek cafés line Lonsdale Street between Swanston and Russell streets, while Little Bourke Street is the home of Chinatown. Lygon Street, in inner-city Carlton, is just one of many places across the city with a concentration of Italian restaurants. Nearby, Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and Smith Street in neighbouring Collingwood both have a huge variety of international cuisines as well as trendy bars and cafés. Indeed, Fitzroy and St Kilda, another gastronomically mixed bag, are the centres of bar and café society; St Kilda also has great restaurants, bakeries and delis, as does Jewish Balaclava (aka East St Kilda). In Richmond Vietnamese places dominate Victoria Street, but you’ll also find cheap Middle Eastern and Burmese fare. Every year in March, the city celebrates all this culinary diversity with a sixteen-day Food and Wine Festival, with food-themed street parties and events around the city and its environs.

Some licensed restaurants still allow you to bring your own (BYO) drink, though check first. Most places only allow you to bring in wine, which usually incurs a corkage fee.

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