Black Star Pastry - makers of Australia's favourite cake, sails the 'Goodship' onto the shores of Melbourne. The 3 month pop-up will make its temporary home in Carlton, next to Cafe Italia. The Newtown patisserie needs no introduction, having graced the smoky hills of the Night Noodle Markets, in 2015 and 2016.  Cake lovers eagerly queued, for a taste of the infamous strawberry watermelon cake, deprived from the alley-loving Melbournians. Arguably, our food scene is still better :P. Owner Christopher Tie, started the Newtown branch in 2008, getting an Aussie and worldwide stamp of approval. A quick search on Black Star Pastry, will garnish a long list of bona fides  - from the 'world's most instagrammed cake' to more serious foodie credentials. No doubt, my social feeds get inundated with fruity florals every December. Welcome to Melbourne!

CH James or Charles Henry James was a budding philanthropist of the Northern suburbs. Well known in the north for his business flair, legend says that the laneway culture of Melbourne, was a legacy of CH James. Hurray, laneways where you don't get mugged! CH James in Fairfield pays ode to the Victorian gentlemen. Owner Theo Krambias, inspired by the concept of a local hero, converts the old Alfio's Caffe, into the CJ James of today. The outdoor courtyard is a popular hang amongst the locals. The cafe decorated with yester-year knick knacks - a pitcher fork here, a wagon wheel there. You will commonly find Theo greeting diners with an enthusiastic 'Hello'. Despite, the inspiration from older years, the...

Hotel Jesus says ‘Hola’, opening a bright Mexican tostaderia, on Smith St. This is the second venue from Mamasita’s Matt Lane and Nick Peters, joining forces with Mexican born Yasser Garcia in the kitchen. The tile -laden venue is deliberately retro kitsch, but ends up looking effortlessly cool anyhow. Inspired by the tostaderia’s and taqueria’s of Mexico, you can expect tostadas, ceviche, tacos and Mexican street food. Unlike the a la carte style of Mamasita, Hotel Jesus presents diners with a tick-box and a laminated picture menu. Trying hard to be daggy and casual, the food is anything but. These are not the 25c tacos you find in Tijuana or East LA (incidentally delicious). The toppings and flavor combinations steer towards fusion or experimental. So how is the food?

Humble Rays doesn't need a slice of humble pie. Despite the pastel blue walls telling diners to 'Stay hungry and be humble', Humble Rays' food is far from humility. It's loud and proud. Colourful and vibrant. Owners Gough and Tinee, packed up their suitcases, moving from the much-loved ' Honey Badger'  in Hobart, to the rugged streets of Melbourne. Walking distance from The University of Melbourne, I wish Humble Rays was around when I was a 'studious' youngster. It certainly would've made University life more tolerable. On the weekends, its a quiet affair, relying on locals and the instagram crowd to fill the tables. Once semester hits, it'll be a different story. No doubt,  it will peak the interest of many millennial, mac yielding, foodies. 

Royal Stacks is burger royalty, knighted by burger loving Melbournians. One look at the lunchtime crowd and the love affair is perpetual. Melbourne's answer to 'The Shake Shack' - Royal Stacks has had a wildly successful year, opening its flagship store in the CBD, followed by Brunswick and Chaddy. It's January 2017 and Royal Stacks has officially turned one. Like any fussy infant, the baby is in need of new toys. A collaboration with Melbourne's 15 year old doughnut prince - Bistro Morgan, is a perfect fit."Seeing someone so young create such a fantastic product is inspiring, which is why we’d love to support him,” says Royal Stacks owner Dani Zeini. Pair the new Fruit Loops shake with the Fruit Loops syringe doughnuts or perhaps have a Golden Gaytime, Ferrero Rocher, Oreo or Aero Syringe doughnut. It's getting a tad loopy at Royal Stacks.

Tutto Benne means - it’s ‘All okay!’ We all know the saying 'The better the view, the worse the food.' Sometime, it’s not okay... I'm looking at you Darling Harbour. It's fair to say that Southbank is Melbourne's Darling Harbour -the sweeping skyline, the waterfront view and snapping tourists looking for a bite.  After 13 years in Southbank, Tutto Benne has taken over the balcony, overlooking the Melbourne skyline and the Yarra river. “Eating delicious food with a spectacular city view – what’s not to love”, says Restaurant Manager Osvaldo. The riverside terrace has since introduced a new Summer Aperitivo Grazing and Cocktail menu. The Venetian style tapas (Cicchetti) are designed to be shared.