Craving the bold, flavourful ingredients and spices of Latin American food? You’ll find some of the best at these Melbourne cafes, restaurants and bars.
Head to Carlton’s Bossa Nova for traditional Brazilian food. Made by a native Brazilian, the most popular dish is the ‘Brazilian classic’ (grilled steak served with fries, salad, rice and beans). The moqueca (a Barramundi curry dish) is equally tasty. The cafe also stocks a selection of hard to find South American groceries.
San Telmo’s meat is truly authentic, imported from Argentina and barbecued on site. Also on the menu are South American dishes such as ceviche, empanadas and dulce de leche creme caramel. Menu highlights include a broad range of Argentinian wines.
Argentinian steakhouse Palermo celebrates the Italian influence of – you guessed it – Palermo, the largest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. A traditional asado fire pit is central to the venue. Here you’ll see succulent whole pieces of meat roasting above logs including lamb, suckling pig and fish.
There’s always a lively atmosphere at Asado, a 250-seat Argentinian barbecue restaurant. The menu has a unique Spanish focus covering tapas, vegetarian and meat dishes. Many dishes are cooked in a custom stainless steel asado fire pit and charcoal parrilla (a flat grill over coals).
Visit Club Colombia for authentic Colombian cuisine and dishes from wider Latin America. Pork ribs and bandeja paisa (a huge meal including beans, chorizo, crispy pork belly and minced beef) are signature menu items. Thanks to a hearty base of polenta and corn, Colombian food is naturally gluten free – so coeliacs are welcome!
Tapas bar Vamos fuses Spanish and Latin American flavours with a Melbourne twist. Meals are often accompanied by live music such as Spanish flamenco and Cuban jazz. There’s also an extensive drinks list covering Buenos Aires to Barcelona.
The stunning riverside location is not the only reason to visit Arbory Afloat. Its new, Miami-inspired menu is full of Mexican and Latin American flavours, with influences from across the Caribbean. Think tostadas, empanadas and tacos.
Looking for more?
Feast on Latin American and Hispanic flavours at the Summer Night Market. Start with Brazilian barbecue from Copa Grill, feast on mouthwatering empanadas at Colombiantojo and end on paella from El Rincon. Don’t forget to stop by Churros Ole for traditional Spanish churros filled with caramel, custard or Nutella. The Summer Night Market is on Wednesday nights until 11 March.