Food Court Dining – Is this the new Melbourne foodie trend of 2019?
The short answer to that question is yes. Food court dining is looking to really take off in Melbourne this year. It’s set to be a year of affordability and tightening budgets for a lot of people and food courts hit that price point perfectly.
There’s so many food courts getting revamped now, Chadstone have just upgraded theirs (again), Pran Central are putting a huge focus on theirs with charging stations, free WiFi and flat screen TV’s, and Camberwell Place is just beautiful (we recently checked out Yum Yami). STN cafes moved into shopping centres last year and on the mall dining spaces like Le Mille Creperie have also upped the ante for what to expect from our mid-shopping feed.
Shopping centres are increasingly responding to the pressure to make their food courts more desirable, and more competitive. They’re providing nicer environments for restaurants, ditching their fast food dominated past and focusing on local, new businesses making great food. As a start up, they take away the hassle of getting people through your doors with instant passing traffic, you’re also likely to benefit from centre marketing and a cheaper rent than a stand alone store.
As well, Melbourne’s beginning to feel as though it’s getting a bit brunched out. While there will always be a market for that, there’s always restrictions on what classifies as brunch food. The more adventurous foodies have been-there-tried-it-all now. While they’ll save a special place in their heart for bottomless Sunday brunches, they are looking for something new. Cue food court dining. You can enjoy a whole range of cuisines and styles of food – for probably less than half the price of a brunch. The disadvantages of the past – grotty eating areas and low quality mass produced food – have now disappeared, replaced with beautiful individualised spaces, often designated seating areas for each vendor and hard working independent owner/chefs doing amazing things in small spaces.
Finally there’s the obvious advantage of being able to eat great food while you’re going about your day. Almost all of us are in the vicinity of a food court at some point in our week. They’re convenient, time saving and practically everywhere will do takeaway. Whether it’s a quick coffee or bubble tea, a cheeky 3pm sweet treat or a chance to try an affordable new cuisine, if the quality is there then we will use them, build them into our routine and love them. Be it coffee after Coles, dumplings and dry cleaning or pharmacy visits with a side of pho, laid back Melbourne life is getting busier by the day. We all appreciate those places than can make our day a little easier or a bit more enjoyable.