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Bite into Melbourne’s classic American food

From Southern-style barbecue and burgers to bagels and waffles – sweet or with chicken – it’s USA number one when it comes to comfort food. We’ve found some of the best America-in-Melbourne foodie experiences for when it’s time to treat yo self!

Fancy Hank’s

Cooking free-range meats in a custom-built two-tonne smoker for up to 22 hours, Fancy Hank’s is serious about low ‘n’ slow Southern-style barbecue. Their condiments and side dishes are made in-house with love too, so get ready for a finger lickin’ feast. The recently dropped winter menu features warming dishes like 14-hour smoked brisket with coffee molasses and red onion pickles, sweet jalapeno cornbread, and a provolone mac n cheese so decadent that even your vego friends will be coming back for more.

A man's hand scooping a forkful of mac n cheese from a black dish

Provolone Mac n cheese from Fancy Hanks

New York Minute

Craving a burger? New York Minute has the one you want, especially if you’re into gourmet burgers with inspiring American names. Like the Rockefeller Wagyu Beef Burger, Coney Island Schnitzel Burger or the Hudson Valley Vegan Burger. They’ve also got Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and premium shakes, from the chocolaty Mississippi Mud to Golden Gate Caramel. What’s not to like?

Belles Hot Chicken

If the nearest you’ve got to Southern-fried chicken is KFC, get yourself to Belles Hot Chicken in the CBD or Docklands. Bite into a juicy, spicy drumstick, wing or nugget and taste the difference, or try that curious American favourite, chicken and waffles. Make a meal of it with yummy sides including slaw and Old Bay fries. Treat yourself to a classic American sauce or two, like Mississippi Comeback and hickory barbecue.

People reaching over a table of food, sharing fried chicken and fries

Belles Hot Chicken

Meat the Challenge

Upmarket shopping precinct St. Collins Lane isn’t the obvious choice for getting happily sticky with Texan-style barbecue. But they know that’s what you really want, so Meat the Challenge is part of the fresh mix at their recently revamped food hall. Now you can go from shopping at Coach and Tag Heuer to tucking into a juicy, smoky beef brisket. Awright!

Bowery to Williamsburg

In a New York state of mind? At Bowery to Williamsburg, whose name and décor is inspired by the city’s subway, it’s easy to imagine yourself in a Big Apple diner. The menu ranges from filled bagels and classic sandwiches like pastrami on rye, to brownies, Brooklyn Lager and Dr Pepper.

The Bottom End

Inspired by LA’s dive bars, The Bottom End does diner-style food (plus some Aussie faves like dim sims). Think cheeseburgers, hot dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese and fried chicken sandwiches, all brought to you by Easey’s, Collingwood’s cool trains-in-the-sky venue. Get a drink to wash it down with and settle in – maybe with some Stateside sports on the big screens, from NBA to NFL.

Five And Dime Bagel

Want a bagel like the best you ever had in New York? Five And Dime Bagel has it. American Zev Forman opened his Katherine Place bagelry because he missed those circles of satisfaction he enjoyed back home. Watch the traditional three-day process of long, cold fermentation, boiling then baking on wooden boards, while biting into the end result. Try a bialy (like a bagel but with an indentation rather than a hole), and don’t forget the new Collins Street Five And Dime. Want more bagel-y goodness? Read our bagel guide to Melbourne.

Person holding half a bagel with corned beef, cheese and sauerkraut inside. Pickle and chips on the side of the plate.

Corned Beef Bagel. Photo by: Kate Shanasy via Five and Dime Bagels

The Grand Trailer Park Taverna

A burger joint with a zany indoor-outdoor vibe, The Grand Trailer Park Taverna is your American Dream come true. Settle in at a picnic table or inside a private streamlined caravan and choose from nine burgers (with a beef or vego patty). What else can you squeeze in? There’s everything from loaded chilli beef cheese fries to giant waffle stacks, plus drinks including milkshakes and imported A&W root beer.

San Antone

Forget about snags in Wonder White bread, because Texas-style barbecue is on the menu at San Antone. Follow the savoury, smoky scent to Crown’s smokehouse restaurant for slow-cooked meats like beef brisket, pork ribs and chicken, jalapeno and cheese sausages. There’s heaps of other American indulgence, like mac ‘n’ cheese, sundaes, bourbon and moonshine. Hot damn!
For more American food inspo, check out our guides to some of Melbourne’s best burgers and fried chicken.