Melbourne Specialized Groceries

Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise. An exhaustive list of specialty shops is not only impossible to collate (there are new ones every day), but also takes the fun out of finding your own local gems. There are a few that you should definitely be aware of though, including a couple that cater specifically to expats craving Hershey Bars or ‘proper’ baked beans!

Try them all, especially if this is the first chance you have had to broaden your palate beyond the boundaries of your homeland. You will find most owners are happy to spend time with you if you are a bewildered newbie. Ask for samples, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you are confused. Most storeowners are used to hearing “What is this?” or “How do I cook it?” and will be more than happy to help if you are polite.



USA Foods
146 Cochranes Rd
(03) 9555 0288
If you are sick of saying “sauce” and “biscuits” and want to be able to call them “ketchup” and “cookies” again. Great range of candy as well.

381 Footscray Rd
Docklands VIC 3008
(03)8602 0300
Bulk buyer’s delight that is sure to cure even the most jaded American of homesickness. Go during weekday nights and stuff yourself on the free samples.



Treats From Home
234 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9639 2344
Packaged goods from the Home Country (perishable items aren’t available) and a good selection of English beers.



34A Elizabeth Street, South Yarra
(03) 9826 5839
An excellent full scale Japanese supermarket selling everything from bamboo sushi mats to cod roe.



While a fair range of Chinese ingredients are on offer in chain supermarkets, the best place for fresh ingredients is the Saigon Market in Footscray (see the Open-Air Market Section), where you can buy delicacies like lotus leaves and kohlrabi. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, try the following places. English is often limited, though, so knowing simple words like thank you (phonetically pronounced Dor-Jay) will take you a long way.

Chan Pha’t Chinese Groceries
162 Victoria Street, Richmond
(03) 9429 4768

Minh Pha’t Asian Supermarket
187-180 Victoria Street, Richmond
(03) 9429 4028

Great Eastern Asian Groceries
183-189 Russel Street, Melbourne CBD
(03) 9663 3716



Minh Pha’t Asian Supermarket
187-180 Victoria Street, Richmond
(03) 9429 4028

Laguna Oriental & Indonesian
772 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9818 5581



Hindustan Imports
50 Greens Road, Dandenong South
(03) 9794 6640
A massive warehouse of Indian spices and pre-packed goods, with an amazing selection of lentils and peas on offer.

Arora Spices & Nuts
7 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9387 5541
Do you love spices? Do you desire nuts? Do you occasionally crave a combination of spices and nuts? Arora has got you covered.



Queen Victoria Market has several African food vendors (located in the deli section) who sell injera bread mix, spices, and smoked meats. If you need something more specific, the only options around are in everyone’s favourite multi-cultural mixing pot of the west, Footscray.

Lemat Injera Ethiopian Traditional Breadshop
157 Nicholson St, Footscray
(03) 9689 0006
Say the name three times fast. We dare you! Great little shop with gorgeous African flatbreads and sweet treats at honest (as in, super cheap) prices.

Mesnoy Injera Bakery Shop
77 Irving Street, Footscray
(03) 9687 8855
Recently visited by one of Australia’s most popular cooking shows (Food Safari, SBS) this place is growing in popularity. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they can probably point you towards another shop in Footscray’s nearby Africatown that does.



Considering Australia’s large community of SA expats, it is surprising that there are so few specialty shops available. If you are craving Boerewors sausage, Pronutro, Biltong, Ceres, Liquifruit, Fanta grape, or beers from RSA, then try:

The South African Shop
Shop 7 & 8 Upper Level Templestowe Village Shopping Centre
112 James Street, Templestowe
(03) 9846 8322
If you can make the long trip from the city and find it, this shop has just about anything a South African Expat could be homesick for. If it’s too far to go, check the smaller, but not as well stocked, Caulfield branch (below)

The South African Shop
461 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield South
(03) 9523 7633

Rod Watson Gourmet Butchers
720 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9819 5100
Small butcher shop that sells Boerewors style sausage.



There are European delis everywhere in Melbourne and most of the products are also offered in major supermarkets. Most European food is not seen as particularly rare or interesting, but if you are looking for pickled pigs trotters, you will need to find a deli! The proprietors name will generally be a good indication of where in Europe they are from. Here are some of the best:

Mediterranean Wholesalers
482 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
(03) 9380 4777
Don’t let the name fool you; this place is a massive supermarket selling Italian staple foods including roma tomatoes, garlic, basil, zucchini, eggplant and artichokes. In fact, all ingredients commonly found in Mediterranean (and particularly Italian) dishes can be found at this store, including anchovies, pesto, olives, pine nuts, Arborio rice (for risotto), and varieties of fresh and dried pastas. Worth a long visit on a Saturday morning (they close at 2pm), but bring your wallet as it’s not cheap.


Casa Iberica Deli
25 Johnston St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4420
Unfortunately, this is the only place in the Melbourne area to find Latin essentials such as chipotle, tomatillos and those varieties of chillies you can’t find anywhere else. This great shop also sells good cooking tools (tortilla press), and all manner of uniquely Latin ingredients. Hours can be a bit funny and short (subject to closure without notice), so check the website or call.


Slavonija Deli
Shop 234, Preston Market
(03) 9470 6928
Here you can buy pork necks, csabai, cheeses, cakes, preserves, and paprika of every permutation. For safety’s sake, try not to get involved in political discussions!


Russian Tidbits
113 Koornang Road, Carnegie
(03) 9572 3911‎
Pierogi, tvorog, riga sprats, buckwheat, kletsky, and everything else for a meal straight out of the Old Country



With the majority of Melbourne’s Jewish population situated around Elsternwick and Caulfield, main streets such as Glenhuntly Road and Balaclava Road are home to surprising number of small, Jewish groceries. As these are quite small, and tend to go into and out of business, change hands, or move locations frequently, it’s highly recommended that you explore the area to find one that fits your dietary needs. Here are some reliable options.

Coles Supermarket
445-457 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick
(03) 9528 2854
This mainstream supermarket sells run of the mill gefilte fish and matzo, but also has a surprisingly large selection of Kosher prepared food and Israeli products, and won’t be closing or moving any time soon.

Alex’s Kosher & Continental Mart
819 Glen Huntly Rd
Caulfield VIC 3162
(03) 9523 0266
Not only can you get Kosher food here, but Halal, organic produce, and vegan pre-packaged foods as well.



The majority of Halal restaurants and butchers are concentrated in the Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Glenhuntly Halal Butchers
1144 Glen Huntly Rd, Glen Huntly
(03) 9078 0790
Fairly basic Halal butcher that isn’t worth the trip, but could be convenient if you live out this way.

Macca Halal Butcher
316 Racecourse Rd, Flemington
(03) 9372 2755
Staffed by friendly family members of the owner, this shop has been established (in various locations) for a long time.

Mohammed Halal Meat & Bulk Foods ‎
112 Nicholson St, Footscray
(03) 9689 0301
A reliable reseller in the heart of Footscray. Also carries various pre-packaged food as well.