10 Traditional Australian Foods You Must Try



10 Traditional Australian Foods You Must Try

by Holxo Travel Specialist


Australian cuisine has developed from an amalgam of a variety of cultures over the course of many centuries. Curiously, you cannot find Australian food anywhere else! Hence, When in Australia, do as the Australians do. Or at least, eat like the Australians do as they’ve got a ton of unique food with a dash of authentic Aussie in them. Once you taste them, you’ll wonder why you’ve been living in blissful ignorance and hope that Australian food should be available everywhere.

Australian food is inventive yet wonderful and Aussies have an affinity for classic foods which indicates that they prefer simple over fancy. Be it watching a football match in the middle of winter or a Christmas feast during an unbearable summer, Australia’s favourite food is anything that compliments their easy-going lifestyle. Typically, Australian delicacies are foods that have their origins elsewhere but have been adapted in a unique way as their own.

Here’s some of the best Australian food that will tantalize your taste buds and remind you of the days you spent on the sunny Bondi Beach or on the waters of the Great Barrier Reef or on the busy streets of Melbourne. 

1. Pavlova

According to the Australians, ‘pav’ how it’s affectionately called is a quintessentially Australian dessert. But there’s a never-ending squabble between the New Zealanders and Aussies as to the origin of pav. However, many studies suggest that the true origin of pavlova is America and Germany.

The origin aside, pavlova is a dessert made from crisp meringue shell topped with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruits. Usually, the standard toppings are strawberries, kiwis and a drizzle of passionfruit sauce, plenty of other modern combinations exist. It’s a popular summer dish and also a classic Christmas favourite.   

This Australia dessert dates back to the time of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The legend says that when Anna visited Australia, a chef created a dessert inspired by the ballerina’s lightness. Today’s it’s an iconic dish and one of the Australian foods to try during your travel.


2. Meat pie

This ubiquitous dish is found throughout Australia and you’ll time and again see people tucking into them at sporting events, house parties, late-night drinking session or even morning after a big night.

It’s a dish which draws inspiration from British steak pies and the Aussie version is a thin crispy pastry filled with minced meat and gravy. You get vegetarian versions too.

This Australian local food is served at canteens, service stations, sports clubs and even gourmet bakeries. The epitome of Australian food, this flaky package is a guilty pleasure that locals indulge in. Ask any local what their comfort food and if they don’t say meat pie, you know they’re lying!  

3. Lamingtons

Often referred to as the ‘National Cake of Australia,’ this dessert is what dreams are made of. It’s a sponge cake that is coated in a layer of chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. Although simple sounding, a fresh lamington is a mouthful of sweet cloud-like fluff. Variations include a layer of cream of jam in the middle among others.

You can munch on these bite-sized delights which can be found commonly throughout cafes and they pair perfectly with coffee or tea.

They’re popular at fair and fundraisers where you can find the homemade version of this popular Australian food.


4. Vegemite

Likely considered Australia’s most iconic brand, Vegemite is as Australian as it gets. No Australian food journey would be complete without tasting Vegemite.

What is it? It’s a dark brown paste made from brewer’s yeast, vegetables and spice additives. It was invested by Cyril Callister, a young scientist and since then been a crowd-pleaser. Although Aussies have an almost nationalistic attachment to Vegemite, it requires an acquired taste not suited to everyone’s buds. You’ve got to try it once to discern for yourself what all the fuss is about. Vegemite is used as a spread on toast and sandwiches or to enhance the flavour of gravies, soups, and stews. While you might not enjoy the taste, enjoy the fact that it is a fat-free source of folic acid and Vitamin B.

It’s an Australian food which you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Aussie way is to toast bread and liberally spread butter and frugally spread vegemite on the toast.


5. Aussie BBQ

Synonymous with Australia’s culture, it’s one of the favourite pastimes of the country. When you’re Down Under, grab a bunch of your friends, meet at a beach, park or backyard and barbie (that’s how Aussies like to call it) like there’s no tomorrow. From veggies to seafood to burgers to snag (Australian way of saying sausages), Australians will throw anything on the barbeque. An excellent accompaniment is barbeque sauce or ketchup.

Aussie BBQ
Aussie BBQ

6. Tim Tams

Meet Australia’s favourite biscuit: Tim Tam. It’s a much-loved crunchy biscuit covered in chocolate and filled with smooth cream in between. Those with a sweet tooth will love this Australian snack.

They hit the shelves in the early 1960s and today, you can choose between a number of different flavours. They have original flavours like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate or exciting flavours such as salted caramel, mint chocolate chip and red velvet.

The Tim Tam Slam is a trick the Aussies do with these biscuits where they bite off the opposite corners and use the Tim Tam as a straw to drink their beverage. One end is dipped in the hot beverage while the other end in the mouth. You can try this too!

Tim Tams
Tim Tam

7. ANZAC biscuits

ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that fought together during World War I.  During the war, wives baked delicious biscuits to send to their husbands who were in the war. Back then the ingredients used were flour, oats, butter, coconut, bicarbonate of soda and golden syrup - it’s a divine combination which was cheap yet could withstand long journeys through road and ship.

Today you can buy this Australian snack at grocery stores or supermarkets.

ANZAC biscuits
ANZAC biscuits

8. Hamburgers with beetroot

Nearly every burger in Australia which features the name ‘Aussie’ or ‘Oz’ comes with a unique twist - the addition of beetroot. The American creation takes on an Aussie twist with burgers stuffed with beetroot. This was introduced in the 1940s and today, it’s become an epidemic in the country’s pub culture. The popularity of this Australian food was so widespread that McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks caved in too. They introduced the McOz and the classic ‘Aussie’ burger on their menus respectively.  

9. Witchetty Grub

Witchetty grub is an indigenous Australian food and a proper Aussie Bush tucker (bush food which is native to the land). The Aborigines have been consuming witchetty grub as it’s high in nutritional benefits and an excellent source of protein (nearly that much of a full steak).

Its small white larvae of ghost moth are found in the desert of the Outback. Do worry – this IS an actual bug. It claims to taste like chicken with a nutty flavour. If you’re brave enough, you can give it a try. Traditionally, they’re eaten raw, but you can also barbeque them. Although it’s not for everyone, for those who are adventurous, it’s worth trying to experience true native Australian food.

Witchetty Grub
Witchetty Grub

10. Barramundi

Throughout your travels in Australia, you’ll see Barramundi on a menu at least once. It’s one of the most Australian fish out of all varieties and it’s a type of sea-bass and Barramundi is the Aboriginal name. This fish is desired for its delicious buttery/sweet flavour and is best served pan-fried or seared-skin as a fish steak with herb oil. It’s rarely deep-fried of batter fried.

Whether you let someone else do the hard work or sit back and catch your own, you need to head to Queensland for some of the best in the country.


A galore of food waits for you as soon as you enter Australia. When in Australia, the dearth of restaurants can leave you in a tizzy. You can find some of the best Australian food in Quay when you’re in Sydney. They serve dishes made from a range of locally sourced ingredients which are sure to tantalize your palate. Plus, the incredible views of the city are an added bonus. Other places in Sydney include Marque and Momofuku Seibo. When in Melbourne, you can drop by Vue de Monde and Attica. To sample some delicious Australian street food and Asian gastronomy, head to the jam-packed Night Noodle Market in Melbourne.


Join our newsletter and never miss the best deals
and great travel stories.

Let our travel experts plan out the best vacation within your budget.