Dining Down Under: Iconic Australian Foods & Cuisine Culture

Dining Down Under: Iconic Australian Foods & Cuisine Culture

Fancy some Vegemite on toast? Maybe a meat pie? Perhaps you’re after something sweet like a pavlova or a Tim Tam? Whether you’re looking for adventurous cuisine or more familiar culinary comforts, Australia is home to some of the widest variety of international dishes alongside our unique and surprising Australian foods. No matter your craving, you are sure to find your new and old food favourites across the country.

Food Culture

So, what exactly is food culture in Australia? Take a short stroll down any main street or beach town, and you’ll find cafes, shops, and restaurants. Aussies take pride in their relaxed and easy-going lifestyles, which you can see reflected in our takeaway shops and outdoor dining areas.

Cafes where you can grab coffee and a quick bite to eat are scattered around everywhere you look, offering a glimpse into the Aussie café lifestyle. Walk along the beach or visit a mate’s backyard to see our love of barbeques and lazy Sunday brunches. Although more subtle than European food culture, there is no doubt that the relaxed Aussie way of life is not complete without a morning “cuppa” and a weekend “barbie.”

From our historical “bush tucker” to our myriad of multicultural dishes, Australian food has developed into a vibrant blend of foreign flavours and exotic spices, served alongside European basics from the colonial settlement days. With such a multicultural population, it’s easy to see how the country has incorporated every cooking style into everyday recipes.

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Cafés are an important part of the Australian culinary lifestyle

Where to Eat

There’s nothing quite as powerful as a sudden craving for home cuisine or something familiar to your home country. Luckily, Australian restaurants have you covered. Every speciality, from Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese to South African, French, and Caribbean, has a restaurant or eatery to suit your taste.

Breakfast and brunch have become almost a prerequisite for living the complete Aussie experience. As such, breakfast cafés can be found throughout towns and cities, focusing on traditional dishes of eggs, bacon, toast, and of course, coffee. Variations of these dishes are usually available to suit vegetarians and vegans, as well as gluten-free or allergen-free options.

For their daily grocery shopping, Australians head to their local supermarket, where they can find all their main cooking ingredients, as well as specialty deli meats, seafood, fresh meats, frozen goods, and more. Certain ingredients for more unique recipes can be found in specialty stores such as Asian supermarkets. Specially prepared and sourced meats for religious purposes can also be found in some large supermarkets in major cities. Still, your best bet is to look for your local halal or kosher butcher.

Large towns and cities are also known for their regular markets and street food events. At these events, you can try a variety of foods from around the world, usually cooked and served by people from those countries, giving you an international experience right in your hometown.

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Fresh food can be found in abundance at local Aussie markets.

Top 10 Australian Foods You Must Try

So, now that you know all about the Australian food lifestyle, let’s look at our top 10 favourites, which are sure to warm your stomach and your heart almost as much as our hot summers!


A quintessentially Australian staple, Vegemite has been an Aussie favourite for generations and can be found in school lunchboxes nationwide. Simply spread on some butter or margarine on toast or a sandwich, add your vegemite, and you will feel like a true-blue Aussie in no time.

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Vegemite is the ultimate Aussie pantry must-have.


Named after the famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova for its equally light and soft elements, the Pavlova is a large desert food made of a meringue base and decorated with a mixture of berries and fruits. This desert is most popular around Christmas time, right when berries are in season in Australia.

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Pavlovas are a popular Aussie desert in the summertime


Reflecting the country’s British heritage, Lamingtons are another famous Australian treat. Enjoy this small sponge cake dipped in chocolate and coconut with your morning coffee. For that little something extra, try the jam-filled version. When making your own decadent lamingtons, look no further than St Dalfour’s Strawberry Fruit Spread, made from 100% real fruit.

Fish and Chips

You can’t have Australia without our breathtaking beaches in summertime, and you can’t have those without a Friday night “fish n chips.” Another dish reminiscent of our British background, fish and chips, is a popular choice in summertime, with variations including battered or fried fish, calamari, octopus, or salad. For that extra Aussie flavour, opt for the Barramundi fish, then sit back and enjoy the Australian coastline.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

No trip to the beach is complete without an Aussie fish and chips.

Anzac Biscuits

Passionate about our rich military history, Aussies celebrate the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in the best way we know how – with food. Anzac biscuits are delicious cookies found in different brands and bakeries, with a relatively simple recipe. They get their name for being the biscuit commonly consumed by Australian and New Zealand soldiers during World War I. For the softest biscuits, you will need Pure Harvest’s 100% Organic Raw Honey.

Fairy Bread

A party favourite for both young and old, fairy bread is sure to please any crowd. A simple recipe of sliced white bread covered in butter then sprinkled with “100s & 1000s” or rainbow sprinkles.

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Fairy bread is a popular party food for children (and adults too!)

Meat Pies

A hot and steamy staple of Australians everywhere is the classic meat pie. Ranging from gourmet lamb, beef, or vegetable, there is a pie to suit everyone. In fact, pies are so ingrained in Australian culture that you can even find them at your local service station or school canteen. For delicious homemade pies, look no further than Low Carb Life’s Low Carb & Keto Pastry Mix for a healthy and gluten-free pie base.


Once only sold to tourists for a laugh, kangaroo meat has become a popular choice for meat lovers Australia-wide. Its distinctive flavour suits many accompaniments, and with less than 2% fat, it is a healthy alternative to traditional meats.


For a real piece of Aussie lifestyle, look no further than the classic “snag” – a simple yet irresistible sausage. No barbeque is complete without the humble snag on bread. Served with tomato sauce and grilled onion, you can even take a walk down to local hardware store Bunnings on a weekend for the week’s charity sausage sizzle.

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Head down to your local community event for an authentic Aussie sausage sizzle.

Tim Tams

Whether you bite them, dip them in tea, or share them around the table, Tim Tams will fill that chocolate craving in a layered biscuit that transcends all other Australian snacks. If you’re invited to a barbeque and unsure what to bring, you can’t go wrong with a pack of Tim Tams. Pair them with a cup of Pukka Organic Blackcurrant Beauty Tea, and you’ve got yourself a true-blue Aussie morning tea.

Whether you long for the flavours of home or want to experience something new, there is no doubt that Australia has what you’re looking for. You will never need to worry about finding something delicious; the only problem will be what to choose for each meal. With cultures from every corner of the globe blending under one sky, you will no doubt experience the magic of such a multicultural country and all that this brings to the table. After all, they don’t call Australia “The Great Melting Pot” for nothing!


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