Matt Wilkinson, Pope Joan, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Matt Wilkinson
Pope Joan

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable than Matt Wilkinson to recommend the best places to eat and drink in Melbourne. The Yorkshire native's fine dining pedigree ticks off the city's best eateries, and his East Brunswick eating empire (headed by the imperious Pope Joan) continues to expand and win plaudits on the back of his passion for seasonal, local food.

Matt dines out

MoVida Next Door, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dining in Melbourne

'There are only a few cities in the world that can boast the diverse culture of food that Melbourne can. We have an amazing range of food available. '

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Festival fun

Every year in March the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival celebrates the city's passion for food and wine to the delight of food-lovers in their hundreds of thousands. Matt relishes it for the opportunity to celebrate all things Victorian and to showcase local food and dining trends to the international chefs who come out for the festival.

Time your visit to Melbourne to coincide with the festival – if he wasn't already here, Matt would. He'd also plan a week in the city and a week in country Victoria. He'd study the festival guide, decide what cuisine and food culture appealed, and throw himself right into it.

Matt's food and wine festival

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

'There are so many events to choose from, whether that be a crawl and bite around some of the city's best restaurants or sitting in a winery in country Victoria, sipping the delights from the vineyard and eating locally-produced food.'

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Fine food, year round

Beyond the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival are year-round opportunities to savour Melbourne's love for food. Matt recommends heading to one of the many accredited Victorian Farmers Market Association markets around the city on Saturday mornings to sample the wares of amazing producers from all around Victoria. 'It really is the highlight of my Saturdays,' he says.

Finally, to get a true taste of Melbourne, Matt reckons you should take three days and, starting at the corner of Flinders Lane and Spring Street in the city, take a few bites at a time from as many cafes and restaurants as possible until you reach Elizabeth Street. Don't forget all the eateries along the laneways off Flinders Lane, too!

Matt's local

Pope Joan, East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia

Pope Joan

Matt Wilkinson's Pope Joan is the neighbourhood joint with more; a cosy cafe, bar, casual restaurant showcasing top local ingredients, and a produce store to boot.

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