Guidebook The Melbourne v Sydney thing

Eat, drink

The Melbourne v Sydney thing

Is Melbourne NY – or SF? When Thrillist named Melbourne number 17 of the world’s best 18 food cities, it explained the city’s place in an American context – “If Sydney is the New York City of Australia, Melbourne is basically a less hilly San Francisco: smaller, a little more Victorian in its stylings, with an impressive food scene to match …”

There’s no question about Melbourne’s superior status as a food city within Australia – unless, of course, you come from Sydney. “Is it possible for a country to have two culinary capitals?” asks Matt Preston, one of Australia’s best-known TV foodies (he co-hosts the hugely-watched local version of Masterchef), in Delicious magazine. “While Sydney has always had more of Australia’s swankiest (and most expensive) restaurants, thanks in part to tourist dollars and corporate entertaining, Melbourne’s attraction is built on more casual (often cooler, more fun) places to eat, as well as a dizzying collection of bars and great cafes,” he says. Though famous chefs from all over the world have opened outposts in Sydney, says Thrillist, Melbourne’s scene happened more organically with chefs that came up there -- “as evidenced by now-ultra-famous toques like Frank Camorra of the MoVida empire, and Andrew McConnell of Cumulus, who turned laneway (like alleys, but much cooler sounding) dining into something more hep, less sketchy.” And Melbourne’s Italian immigrant population created a formidable cafe scene -- “check out Cafe Di Stasio, the old standby Caffe e Cucina, newer moves like Twenty & Six Espresso.”

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