The meat pie is the darling of Australian cuisine and in many ways is a reflection of our culture – a place where ideas and influence from across the globe come together to achieve great things. The criteria for a sensational meat pie is simple enough: flaky pastry, premium ingredients and rich filling hot enough to burn through your palate if you’re not careful. It’s what makes up that filling where things get interesting. It can vary from classic chunky beef and gravy to Thai green curry chicken, or scallop and saffron, to beef bourguignon or rosemary lamb. Pies are multiculturalism packed into a pastry shell.
In comfort food season, there is nothing more comfortable than an Aussie meat pie, so we’ve taken a look at 18 of the best meat pies Melbourne has got to offer. This list judges each pie not only by the golden hue of their flaky exterior but also by the content of their character, in this case, the piping hot delights under each pastry lid.
Fatto a Mano
The pies at Fatto a Mano are just one reason this Fitzroy bakery has accumulated a cult following over the years. The husband and wife duo behind the restaurant have over 50 years’ experience between them which is evident as soon as you take a bite of the mushroom, spinach & halloumi pie. There are also gluten-free options so everyone can join in the fun.
228 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, ph: (03) 9417 5998
After inspiration struck during a stint in a North Cornish village in England, Boscastle’s founder and head pie-maker returned to Melbourne with a vision to produce classic Cornish Pasties with premium Aussie ingredients. After 28 years, Boscastle has become a veritable pastry empire, supplying pies across the country as well as out of their Pie HQ in Melbourne. The Black Angus beef is a crowd favourite.
260 Barkly Street, Brunswick, ph: (03) 9092 8113
Throwing in a little Eastern European influence, Babka has been keeping Melburnian brunch enthusiasts satisfied for over 15 years. Alongside all the bakery staples and some more unusual offerings (borscht and a blintz anyone?), there are 6 different house-made pies to choose from. The beef, red wine and mushroom is a standout – liberal amounts of wine create a rich flavour while softening the beef to melting point.
358 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, ph: (03) 9416 0091
The blend of herbs & spices that helped Tony’s Pies along to legendary status among Essendon locals is so hush-hush he won’t even tell his own son, the shop’s co-owner, what they are. Grab one of Tony’s classic chunky beef pies, pull up a chair under the umbrella out the front and engage in a passionate debate as to whether tomato sauce belongs on a meat pie. Hint, it does.
309 Buckley St, Essendon, ph: (03) 9337 1034
If you’re after a bite on the run, you can’t go past Dinkum Pies. A self-styled icon of the Melbourne pie shop scene, Dinkum has been baking meat pies, pastries and sausage rolls for more than 40 years. Their sunny laneway patio is the perfect place to gobble down a pie or two before brushing piles of crumbs off your pants and continuing on your way.
29 Block Place, Melbourne, ph: (03) 9654 6792
Where would modern Australian cuisine be without the comfort and aromatic delights of Lebanese food? A1 Bakery in Brunswick puts a Middle Eastern spin on the bakery pie, and the results see punters from across Melbourne travel to chow down on these cheesy, chewy tidbits. The cheese and spinach triangle is the crowd favourite here, and A1 keep a constant stream marching out of the ovens.
643-645 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, ph: (03) 9386 0440
Baker D. Chirico
With three locations across the city, Baker D. Chirico may be best known for their world-class sourdough, but the magic rubs off on their beef ragu pies too. This pie strikes a delicate balance between aesthetic value, taste and pragmatism – the light, buttery pastry is golden brown and flaky, yet it is substantial enough to stop the rich beef stew filling from falling out the bottom and ruining your pants.
149 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, ph: (03) 9534 3777
Pure Pie offers only four choices of savoury pie, but when your pies are this good, you don’t need to overdo it. Choosing between them is so difficult you may as well be deciding which limb to remove. We suggest starting with the braised beef, Guinness & cheddar pie, with chunks of free-range Victorian beef swimming in a dense Guinness and thyme gravy and encased in a hand-crimped sour cream and butter pastry. Need we say more?
383 Bay St, Port Melbourne, ph: (03) 9041 5004
The pies from Green Refectory are everything a pie should be; homemade from fresh ingredients, capable of being eaten anywhere, tasty and not too hard on the back pocket. Their mince beef, tomato and oregano pie check all those boxes. Coming in at a refreshing $4.20 a pop, it’s a blast from the past and a reminder that a great Aussie meat pie doesn’t need to be overly fancy.
115 Sydney Road, Brunswick, ph: (03) 9387 1150
Injecting some American influence into the Melbourne bakery culture hasn’t affected Candied Bakery’s ability to whip up a killer Aussie meat pie. Their classic beef pie benefits from a secret ingredient that adds richness and depth and couldn’t be more Australian: Vegemite. This meaty morsel is rounded out with no less than five layers of flaky pastry and not a vegetable in sight.
81A Hudsons Rd, Spotswood, ph: (03) 9391 1335
Richmond Pie Shop
With almost 20 different pies on the chalkboard, Richmond Pie Shop is the go-to pie shop for punters after a pre- or post-footy feed. It’s so close to the MCG you could munch on their renowned chunky pepper steak as you amble over, enjoy the chicken and mushroom you’ve stashed in your jacket at halftime and indulge on a chunky Angus beef on the walk home.
200 Swan Street, Melbourne, ph: (03) 9421 2711
Keith’s has been satiating Melbournians’ hunger for all things pies and pastries since the early 60s. These guys are the masters of the traditional meat pie from the good ol’ days, yet they aren’t afraid to embrace modernity – they’re one of the only entries on this list you can order by Ubereats. Their chicken Thai green curry pie will embrace you like an old friend while giving you a much-needed yet gentle kick of heat all at once.
119 Burnley Street, Richmond, ph: (03) 9428 7502
Bendigo St Milk Bar
A contemporary urban revival of the small-town corner store, you’ll come to the Bendigo St Milk Bar for the coffee and conversation and stay for their sensational pies. Their plain beef number takes inspiration from a translation of a traditional spanakopita recipe, so you can expect the flaky pastry goodness to be on another level. And what would a true milk bar experience be without a sherbet bomb from of the glass jar on the way out?
37 Bendigo St, Richmond, ph: (03) 9428 4196
Gourmet Pies Truck
With 25 years of experience in some of Melbourne’s top culinary institutions, the chef behind Gourmet Pies has got so many awards for his pies he’s running out of room in the truck to put them. The Gourmet Pies truck will make you work a little harder for your feed. However, the quick social media investigation and subsequent scramble to the correct farmer’s market will make the scallop and saffron or the pulled lamb and caramelised onion pie feel like a little reward.
Somewhere in Brunswick, Melbourne, ph: 0413 812 006
The king of the devilishly intricate and deliciously complex desserts likes to keep it fairly simple when it comes to his meat pies. But then again, if anyone can get away with a hamburger/pie combo it’s the pastry kingpin himself. Forgoing the pastry lid for a hamburger bun, the rest of the pie is rather straightforward. Although forgoing the theatrics of Zumbo’s famous sweets, the hamburger pie is different enough to keep things interesting.
14 Claremont St, South Yarra, ph: 1800 858 611
Tivoli Road Bakery
There’s something extra special about a meat pie when it comes from the mind and hands of a master baker. The chicken, leek, mushroom and mustard pie from Tivoli Road Bakery is just that. If you need a little something to help fight off the winter blues, chances are it’s being pulled out of the ovens at this South Yarra bakery any minute now.
3 Tivoli Rd, South Yarra, ph: (03) 9041-4345
The secret to staying warm during Canada’s miserable winters is decidedly simple: add maple syrup to everything. Rolf’s Pies understood this principle when they dreamt up their Canadian maple steak pie over 35 years ago, and it’s been keeping Melbournians toasty ever since. This pie, with its rich steak filling marinated in maple syrup and simmered with caramelised onion and fresh basil, has won multiple awards.
181 Middleborough Rd, Box Hill South, ph: (03) 9898 3403
The Alcaston House Café
Situated across from Parliament House, The Alcaston House Café is one of Melbourne’s more unassuming spots to hole up and enjoy a great pie on a cold winter day. The jury’s out between the beef and red wine or the shepherd’s pie – each perfected over months of refining and both reminiscent of country homestyle quality. In the name of fairness, try both and come to your own conclusions.
2 Collins St, Melbourne, ph: (03) 9650 9387