Australia has a lot to offer — gorgeous beach towns, incredible nightlife, and unique natural wonders. But one of the best aspects of Australia is its food. From fresh seafood to delectable desserts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
And Australians are passionate about their food! Ask any local, and they’ll be more than happy to tell you about their favorite dishes and where to find them.
To help you start your culinary journey, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular Australian food you should try.
Of course, ordering one of these dishes on a trip to Australia will be the best way to get the most authentic versions. However, you can find many of these dishes around the world.
Additionally, the power of information sharing over the internet has gifted us with loads of fantastic recipes for many of these foods. Thus, you can even try cooking some of them yourself!
So without further ado, here is a list of the most popular Australian food.
Lamingtons are hand-sized square sponge cakes made with a chocolate coating and sprinkled with coconut flakes.
It’s common for the cakes to have a cream or jam filling, making them an even more delightful treat. I always enjoy them more when they have a filling.
You can’t go wrong with chocolate, coconut, and cream, which might explain why lamingtons are one of the most popular desserts in Australia.
You can find lamingtons in most cafes and bakeries, but if you’re looking for something extra special, head to one of the many lamington festivals around the country.
2. Meat Pies
A meat pie is a type of savory pie typically filled with ground beef, lamb, or chicken, among other tasty ingredients, like herbs and spices.
It’s a staple food in Australia found in most cafes and convenience stores. There are even competitions dedicated to finding the best meat pie in Australia!
The perfect meat pie should have a flaky, buttery crust and a rich and flavorful filling. My favorite meat pie is the beef curry one!
Whether you enjoy yours with ketchup, gravy, or just plain, you will love this classic Australian dish.
3. Vegemite Toast
Vegemite is a popular Australian spread made from leftover brewer’s yeast extract, vegetables, and spice additives.
It’s intensely savory with a slightly bitter taste and is usually enjoyed on toast with butter. I like to pair it with sliced avocado because the flavors blend well together.
Vegemite toast is a popular breakfast food item in Australia and a great way to start your day.
Many foreigners tend to despise the taste, given how intense it is, but I think it’s simply an acquired taste you can grow to love over time.
I enjoy the punchy taste, as it helps me start my day with a kick.
It may seem weird to some foreigners that this highly personified animal might be something that people that is enjoyed in Australia, but it’s just as normal as any other domestic livestock from any other nation.
Kangaroo is a type of lean red meat that’s high in protein and low in fat. It’s a popular choice for many Australians not only because it’s their national animal but also because it’s healthy and delicious!
You can find kangaroo meat in most supermarkets, and you can cook it in various ways. My favorite is kangaroo steak, which I usually cook with rosemary and garlic.
If you’re an adventurous eater, why not try this bbq kangaroo steak recipe? I guarantee you’ll like it more than you think.
5. Chicken Parmigiana
Australia is a diverse country and continent, and as such, it has many influences from other parts of the world in its food.
Chicken parmigiana is the perfect example of this, as it has roots in Italian cuisine.
Locals call it parmy, parmi, or parma; but whatever you choose to call it, this dish consists of breaded chicken — otherwise known as a “chicken schnitzel” — covered in tomato sauce and cheese.
People often serve chicken parmigiana with a side of chips (fries) and a salad. You can find chicken parmigiana on the menu of pretty much any pub or restaurant in Australia.
The difference between the Americanized “chicken parm” and Australia’s chicken parmigiana is that the chicken is fried after it’s covered in cheese and sauce instead of before it.
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
It’s a popular choice for many Australians during summer, as it’s light and refreshing.
Pavlova consists of a crispy meringue exterior and a soft, marshmallow-like interior.
I like to top my pavlova with whipped cream and fresh fruit, the most common toppings; however, you can top yours with whatever you like.
If you’re looking for a summer treat that’s sure to impress, look no further than pavlova. It might just impress all of your party guests.
7. Tim Tams
Tim Tams are a type of chocolate biscuit consisting of two layers of malted chocolate biscuit, with chocolate cream in between.
They’re then coated in a thin layer of chocolate on the outside.
Tim Tams are available in a variety of flavors, but the original and most popular flavor is still the best, in my opinion.
These biscuits are so popular in Australia that there is even a “Tim Tam Slam” challenge, where you have to eat a Tim Tam in one bite without biting into it.
I’ve never been able to do it, but I’ve seen people do it on YouTube, and it’s pretty impressive.
8. Aussie BBQ
No list of Australian food would be complete without mentioning the Aussie BBQ, or barbie as it’s commonly called.
This tradition is deeply ingrained in Australian culture and something that many locals take very seriously.
There’s something truly special about cooking up a storm on the BBQ with family and friends and then sitting down to enjoy a meal together outdoors.
Foods here will consist of steaks, seafood, chops, and sausages as they are being cooked over a live or coal fire with seasonings.
If you’re lucky enough to be invited to an Aussie BBQ, you can expect to find foods like sausage sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken, and steak on the menu. And, of course, no BBQ is complete without a few cans of beer.
9. Fairy Bread
Fairy bread is a type of sandwich popular among kids in Australia, but honestly, I still love it!
This snack is very straightforward to make and only requires three ingredients: bread, butter, and sprinkles. You cover the bread with butter and add the sprinkles on top. That’s it!
Fairy bread is the perfect party food and is often served at kids’ birthday parties and other celebrations due to the sprinkles’ festive look.
If you’d like a quick and easy snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth, whip up a simple fairy bread.
If you don’t believe how simple it is to make, just check out this fairy bread recipe and find out for yourself!
Barramundi is a type of fish that’s native to Australia and is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
It has a mild flavor, and people often describe it as similar to sea bass or halibut.
Barramundi is a versatile fish that you can cook in various ways, such as grilling, baking, frying, or even smoking it.
Additionally, this fish tends to go well with ingredients like butter, lemon juice, tomatoes, and garlic.
All that said, I highly recommend including Barramundi for a healthy and tasty meal.
11. Golden Gaytime
Like Pavlova, Golden Gaytime is another incredible Australian summertime treat.
It’s a vanilla and toffee ice cream bar with a hard chocolate and bread crumb coating.
The Golden Gaytime was first introduced in 1959 and has been a popular choice among Australians ever since.
If you’d like a delicious and nostalgic treat, I recommend trying a Golden Gaytime.
You can find Golden Gaytimes in most supermarkets and convenience stores across Australia.
12. Anzac Biscuits
Anzac biscuits were originally made as a way to send food to soldiers during World War I, as the ingredients were thought to be non-perishable and would stay fresh for a long time.
Anzac is actually an acronym — ANZAC — which stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Nowadays, Anzac biscuits are still popular and are often eaten as a snack or given as a gift.
Non-Australians may consider Anzac as cookies, but to Australians, they are biscuits, so make sure to address them correctly when you’re there!
Milo is a tasty chocolate powder you can mix with water or milk for a quick beverage.
It may come as a surprise that Milo is on a list of most popular Australian food, as you can find this drink globally.
But sure enough, it originated in Australia and is still popular among Australians.
I prefer to mix it with milk, as I think it has a nicer flavor than when mixed with water. Plus, it makes a lovely “hot chocolate milk” drink in the wintertime.
14. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are a classic dish that can be found in various countries around the world, Australia included.
The fish is usually battered and fried and is typically served with chips (French fries), although you can also find the same type of fried fish served with rice or salad as well.
Barramundi, the previously mentioned fish popular in Australia, is an excellent choice for fish and chips.
This meal is often eaten as a quick lunch or dinner and can be found at many restaurants and pubs. I like ordering fish and chips to go and eat on the beach with my friends.
If you’d like to do the same and order it to go, make sure to ask for a lemon and some salt in your to-go order, as a touch of both does the trick!
15. Witchetty Grub
A classic for Aboriginal Australians is Witchetty grub, a type of wood-eating larva found in the Witchetty Bush.
Witchetty grubs are high in protein and have a nutty flavor described as similar to almonds.
The taste also changes depending on whether you eat it raw or cooked. It’s similar to almonds when raw but more like chicken or scrambled eggs when cooked. I prefer it when it’s cooked.
So if you’re feeling adventurous, you have to try Witchetty grub at least once or twice. They’re typically fried or roasted and are sometimes used as bait for fishing.