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31 Iconic Australian foods You Must Try On Your Next Visit

Annabelle Allpass

Reviewed by:

Tim Tam in Australia

Chasing down the most iconic Australian Foods on your visit to the land down under will send you on a bit of a scavenger hunt. From iconic supermarket staples to full-on gastronomic experiences, we’re serving up a list that’ll have you drooling and planning your next meal before you finish the first!

From the sun-bleached beaches to the vibrant cities buzzing with life, Australia is not only a land of breathtaking landscapes but also a culinary paradise. One that, with our help, you can easily scoff your way through, albeit if making an itinerary is necessary. Scroll on traveller, and feast your eyes on the 31 most iconic Australian Foods to try. 

1. Vegemite Toast

Whether it’s love at first bite or a taste that takes some getting used to, Vegemite toast is an iconic part of Aussie foods and Australian cuisine. Many Aussies grow up with it, embracing its distinct flavour. The secret? A generous slathering of butter and a light touch with the Vegemite – a downright mouth-watering combo.

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2. Meat Pies

These hot, flaky parcels are the life of every social gathering, sports match, or as a hearty breakfast remedy after a big night out. Dive into a classic Meat Pie paired with tomato sauce from the local bakery or service station. And you can explore the vast world of Aussie pie variations for yourself, from Beef Curry Pie to Butter Chicken Pie – pies are an absolute must-have in Australia

3. Tim Tams

These much-loved chocolate-malted biscuits are now sold around the world due to their addictiveness. To say Tim Tams are a popular Australian food is the understatement of the century. Do the ‘Tim Tam Slam’ by biting a corner off the top and opposite bottom side of the biscuit, then use it like a straw to drink a warm glass of milk or hot chocolate. You’ll thank us.

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4. Fairy Bread

A childhood classic at every kid’s birthday party (that we still wouldn’t refuse as adults), fairy bread is made from three simple ingredients: white bread, butter and hundreds and thousands (rainbow sprinkles). Just quietly, this humble dish is fiercely loved by Aussies and could genuinely take out the title of ‘best food in Australia’ on sentimental value alone. 

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5. Barramundi

As one of Australia’s most prized fish, barramundi stands out for its delicate flavour and versatility in various cuisines. Whether grilled, pan-seared, or cooked in traditional Indigenous methods like wrapping in paperbark, experiencing barramundi is a must for seafood enthusiasts. For a true-blue experience, grab a piping hot serving of fish and chips and enjoy it on one of our stunning beaches. 

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6. Chicken Parmigiana

Despite its Italian roots, the “parma” is a quintessential Aussie pub classic. Imagine a chicken schnitzel crowned with tomato sauce, ham, and melted cheese. Paired with crispy hot chips and a side salad (that barely gets touched), Chicken Parmigiana is comfort food at its finest. Its shortened nickname will change depending on what state you are in – regardless, by any name they are a mandatory Australian food to experience. 

7. Pavlova

Pavlova is Australia’s national dessert, made of a soft filling and crisp meringue crust, topped with whipped cream and seasonal fresh fruits like banana, passionfruit, kiwi fruit and strawberries.

Australia and New Zealand have a long-running dispute over who invented the dessert – but we Aussies claim it to be ours, regardless. See also the Pavlova Roll: A delightful twist on the classic pavlova, this dessert features a rolled pavlova filled with cream and fruit, offering a lighter and more portable version of the iconic dish.

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8. Witchetty Grubs

Now, before you scrunch up your face in horror, know this – these grubs pack a protein punch that would make a bodybuilder jealous. Sure, they might not win any beauty contests, but they’ve got that crunchy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside appeal (if you dare to give them a little sizzle on the Barbie). 

Eating Witchetty Grubs is a unique rite of passage, a story you’ll be recounting to friends with exaggerated gestures and wide-eyed disbelief. So, channel your inner survivalist and take a bite into these little critters. Who knows, you might just discover your newfound love for Outback delicacies – or, at the very least, an excellent tale for your next hostel-ice-breaking sesh. 

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9. Lamingtons

These square sponge cakes are Australia’s next most-cherished cake – often filled with jam and cream, the sponge is then coated in chocolate icing and dusted with coconut. You’ll soon find yourself in a debate: Are Lamingtons best enjoyed with a cuppa or snuck in as a sneaky midnight snack? The answer: anytime and anywhere.

Just brace yourself for the coconut avalanche and embrace the joyous chaos of crumbs and chocolate smudges – because when it comes to Lamingtons, the mess is part of the magic. 

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10. Aussie BBQ

From sausages to steak, Aussies know how to throw a Barbie. Though we’re not sure who coined the phrase “chuck a shrimp on the barbie” (they’re prawns, by the way), barbeques are an Aussie institution and a cornerstone of Australian food and social culture.

11. Golden Gaytime

Arguably Australia’s most-loved ice cream, the Golden Gaytime has a vanilla and toffee ice cream centre, dipped in chocolate and coated in biscuit crumbs. Nothing beats one of these ice creams on a hot summer day. If you’re truly after a Gay Time, enjoy one of these baddies post-Bondi swim strolling down the home of our annual Mardi Gras Parade – Oxford Street. 

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12. Freddo Frogs and Caramello Koalas

These little chocolate frogs and koalas are made from the best of the best, Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate. They come in a range of delish flavours like strawberry, peppermint, pineapple and popping candy, too, though the plain Freddo Frog and gooey caramel Caramello Koalas are the most iconic.

13. Pods

Pods are crunchy yet gooey bites of heaven with Mars Bar, Snickers or Twix filling. Shockingly, you’ll only find them in Australia and New Zealand.

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14. Snags

“Snags” or sausages are Australia’s version of the USA’s hotdog. Our version is simply a slice of white bread paired with a sausage and whatever sauce you fancy, and even caramelized onions if you want to be fancy. Head to the hardware store Bunnings Warehouse on the weekend to find yourself an iconic sausage sizzle.

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15. Arnott’s Biscuits

Arnott’s is the brand responsible for our beloved Tim Tams, but they also make other favourites like Mint Slices and Tiny Teddys. Buy an assorted biscuits pack to taste all the classics. They also have a range of savoury biscuits called Shapes that come in moreish flavours like Pizza, BBQ, Cheese and Bacon, and Chicken Crimpy. Every Aussie kid knows what it’s like to find a packet of Shapes or Tiny Teddies in their lunch box, and it’s still the ultimate road trip snack.

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16. Twisties and Cheezles

These are two types of cheesy flavoured potato chips, comparable to the likes of American Cheetos – but these Australian cheesy snacks are on a whole other level.

17. Caramel Slice

This treat has a simple biscuit base with soft caramel filling and a thick dark chocolate top – all the ingredients for a recipe of success. It would be un-Australian for you to not indulge in one while you’re here! They’re easy to find too, with most Hot Bread shops and cheap bakeries selling them for just a couple of bucks.

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18. Milo

Milo is a malt drink powder that, when added to milk, makes a delicious, chocolatey, crunchy beverage. Ignore the tin’s recommendation of one scoop PER serving – you’ll want to add as much as possible to your glass of milk! Pro tip – sprinkle some on top of a generous helping of vanilla ice cream for a desert Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irwin and Russell Coight would happily dig into. During the cooler months, you can heat it up and enjoy a hot mug of Milo to keep you toasty.

19. Bowen Mangoes

Australia has an amazing variety of tropical fruits, especially in the summer. It’sIts not uncommon to see patrons hauling entire trays to their cars from the shops – there is no mistaking they are an extremely popular Australian food.

There’s nothing better than a ripe, juicy mango to cool you down on a scorching day. We have a LOT of varieties, but the Bowen – or Kensington Pride – is one of the most popular types to enjoy. There’s even a giant Bowen Mango statue in Queensland, made in honour of this perfect fruit…

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20. Bubble O’Bill

When a mango won’t do the trick on a summer’s day, you need a Bubble O’Bill. It’s an amazing blend of strawberry, caramel and chocolate ice cream on a stick and it’s a classic Australian food. The ice cream is in the shape of a cowboy – Mr Bill himself – with a bubble gum ball for a nose.

21. Cherry Ripe

Australia’s oldest chocolate bar is one-of-a-kind. Cherry Ripes are a long dark chocolate bar with a cherry and coconut filling. They’re so popular, that they now come as an ice cream, huge Cadbury Old Gold chocolate block and baked cheesecake.

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22. Sausage Rolls

Australian sausage rolls are another lunchtime favourite, made of sausage meat wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. Much like pies, they’re perfectly paired with tomato sauce. For the vegetarians out there, the popular spinach and cheese rolls are just as good!

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23. Smashed Avo

Avocado on toast is a breakfast staple among Aussies, usually sprinkled with feta cheese, pepper, salt, olive oil, sesame seeds and sometimes topped with poached eggs. It normally sits comfortably high atop all the ‘Best Food In Australia’ lists – and for good reason. You’ll find it in nearly any breakfast or brunch cafe, with extravagant varietals served in each eatery. 

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24. Chiko Rolls

Optional: Binge iconic Aussie coming-of-age drama Puberty Blues to get a small gist of the cultural significance of the humble Chiko Roll. Inspired by Chinese spring rolls, Chikos, consisting of deep-fried rolls filled with beef, cabbage, celery, and veggies, are a quick post-beach munchie, available at fish & chip shops or corner stores. 

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25. Kangaroo

Some might find it weird that Australians eat their national animal, but kangaroo meat is incredibly lean and delicious – it’s also increasingly common in shops and restaurants. It’s low in fat and high in protein, iron and omega-3, talk about a nutrient powerhouse. You can buy kangaroo meat in fillet steaks, sausages or minced meat.

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28. Macadamia Nut Brittle

When we talk ‘best Aussie food’, the humble Macadamia Nut often cops a cold shoulder. But, no more. Creamy and rich, macadamia nuts are one of the best foods in Australia. Featuring our beloved Australian nut, macadamia nut brittle is a popular Australian crunchy and sweet treat, perfect as a standalone snack, a pairing with our elite coffee, or a topping for ice cream and desserts. 

29. Vanilla Slice

Indulge in an Aussie classic that’s the epitome of decadence within Australian cuisine – the Vanilla Slice. Imagine layers of flaky pastry, a creamy, velvety custard filling, and a smooth, glossy layer of vanilla icing on top – it’s like a sweet symphony in every bite. Known affectionately as the “snot block” (yes, seriously!), this dessert is a cultural institution and a must-try among popular Australian foods. 

Whether you’re savouring it at a local bakery or attending The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph in Merbein, Victoria (yes, it’s that big), experiencing this slice is a serious affair. So, brace yourself for a taste of our slice-crowned jewel, and prepare to enter a dessert world where sophistication meets delicious chaos, all in the pursuit of the best food in Australia. 

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30. Moreton bay bug

Rogue-looking they may be, Moreton Bay Bugs are a relatively new VIP addition to upscale long lunches, fancy black-tie dinners and Christmas lunch spreads alike here in Australia. Whether barbecued, sizzled in a garlic-infused butter bath, or showcased in a seafood platter, these bugs bring a taste of seaside indulgence to your plate. 

We are one big island you know – seafood is kind of our thing. Imagine a critter that’s part lobster, part prawn, and all deliciousness. Found along the picturesque Australian coasts, the Moreton Bay Bug is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts seeking a unique food adventure.

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31. Chocolate Ripple Cake

This dessert made from deliciously dark brown Arnott’s Chocolate Ripple biscuits layered with whipped cream, is a beloved treat at many Australian gatherings. Its simplicity and deliciousness make it a favourite among locals, and also conveniently easy to chef up in a humble hostel kitchen for you and your travel buddies. 

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