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Food and Cuisine in Australia: Must-Try Expat Experiences

Embark on a mouthwatering journey for your taste buds when you uncover the unique culinary experiences that every expat in Australia should try! Australia is known for its rich culinary heritage and gastronomy, so it is a haven for foodies. Food is one of the best places to start if you want to immerse in the local culture. Delve into unique and must-try expat experiences for your taste buds and discover Australia in the best way possible!

Must-Try Cuisine and Culinary Experiences in Australia: Expat’s Guide

Discover the fusion of global cuisines and influences when you try these unique foods in Australia.

1. Vegemite Toast

You can’t discuss the must-try Australian foods list without mentioning vegemite. While it’s one of those food items that is polarizing, expats should try it if they want to immerse themselves in the culinary heritage of Oz. It is a salty and savoury spread that has a bitter aftertaste. 

Vegemite is a staple in an Australian breakfast, where it is best paired with toasted bread or thin crackers. Thinly spread vegemite onto your toast or crackers, and then add some cream or butter to balance the saltiness. Australians like to top their vegemite toast with slices of avocado. While foreigners might find the flavour odd, especially on the first try, Australians have a long-lasting love affair with this breakfast classic.

Vegemite is a staple in an Australian breakfast

2. Fairy Bread

Fairy bread is a staple at many childhood parties and special celebrations in Australia. For this reason, you need to try fairy bread  at least once if you move to Australia.

Fairy bread is sliced white bread covered with margarine and cut into triangles. The bread is covered in colourful sprinkles to make it look appetizing! It’s easy to make and more fun to look at. 

3. Meat Pies

From sweet to savoury, meat pies are another one of the must-try food experiences for expats living in Australia. The rustic and hearty meat pie is a traditional Aussie dish wherein chopped meat and gravy is enclosed in a savoury pastry. 

The outer crust is flaky and buttery, with the pie crust looking golden brown. Meanwhile, the inside is a savoury delight filled with cooked minced meat with vegetables and gravy. It’s Australia’s version of the American pot pie.

4. Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana, known simply as Chicken Parm, is a classic Aussie comfort food. Hence, it is a must-try for expats because it is filling and incredibly tasty. The parm is a traditional pub food in Australia, which is essentially chicken schnitzel smothered in tomato sauce, ham, and cheese. Many Australians like to pair their chicken parm with beer. 

If you also like an Italian twist to your meal, this is the dish for you! 


5. Aussie BBQ

Aussies love to grill. And when they do, they cook up quite a feast! Therefore, expats wanting to immerse themselves in the local culinary scene should have a taste of local Aussie BBQ. 

They like to use the grill for various meats, such as sausages, prawns, burgers, and seafood. 

6. Kangaroo

Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia, so it’s not surprising that they also like to cook and eat it. Kangaroo is known for having lean and nutritious meat, which is another reason why Australians love it.

It is a meat unique to Australia, so it’s no surprise why it is one of the must-try dishes when you move to the country. This low-fat, high-protein meat can be cooked using various methods, although the Kangaroo steak is quite popular. Many restaurants also serve dishes using Kangaroo meat, so you should check them out if you’re curious about this culinary experience.

7. Lamingtons

Ask any Aussie local about their favourite dessert, and chances are they’ll tell you it’s Lamingtons. It could be one of Australia’s most well-known desserts. A Lamington is a soft and delicate sponge cake cut into squares and then covered in a chocolate sauce and desiccated coconut coating. Most Lamingtons have a jam and cream filling for added decadence.

The excellent flavour profile is so popular among Australians that you can easily find them in most bakeries to serve on special occasions. 

Lamingtons are popular among local Australians

8. Pavlova

If there is an award for the prettiest dessert, pavlova takes the cake (pun intended). This popular Aussie dessert is made with fresh whipped cream and topped with fruits, mainly berries. While there’s a debate as to whether pavlova originated in Australia or New Zealand, it’s clear that Aussies love it!

Pavlova is a meringue cake with a hard outer shell. The inside of the cake is soft with a marshmallow-like texture. It’s a versatile dessert since you can choose your topping using various fruits, such as strawberries, kiwis, passionfruit, blueberries, and raspberries. 

Pavlova is often served during the summertime to take advantage of the seasonal produce. Therefore, pavlova is also a part of the Australian Christmas tradition.

9. Barramundi

Like kangaroos, Australians love to use whatever is locally available to them. Barramundi is another example. This fish is native to Australia, and the name is an Aboriginal word that means ‘sea bass.’ Australians love to cook with barramundi because it is lower in calories than salmon, with a mild buttery flavour.

Barramundi is versatile, and there are many ways to prepare it. Locals like to pan-fry it or use it for making fish & chips. It can also be poached or made into a curry dish. Some Australian chefs even like to serve it raw, like sushi. 

10. Flat White

Australia has a strong coffee culture, with Melbourne as the nation’s coffee capital. You cannot walk up a block without finding a coffee shop! 

But while there are several ways to enjoy coffee, most Australians prefer the flat white coffee. It is a white latte but with less foam.

Final Thoughts

From sweet to savoury, Australians are serious about their culinary experiences. If you’re moving to Australia, familiarise yourself with these gastronomical experiences to fully embrace Australian culture. There are more iconic food options, but you can dip your taste buds into the ones listed above to help ease your transition.

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