You might not instantly think of Werribee as a foodie destination. You’d be wrong. Very wrong. You’d be denying a gastronomic pedigree that stretches back through time.
Before European settlement, this area had long been a gathering place for indigenous people. A locale to meet, to trade, to hang out and celebrate the good things in life. That spirit lives on in the multicultural smorgasbord on offer in the Watton Street precinct.
Locals say the Italian market gardeners who settled around Werribee South between the 1920s and 1950s kicked off the café culture in town. They loved to don their good gear and come into Watton Street early morning, meet up and sip espresso while watching the world go by. Just like the old country. The habit stuck.
These days, Werribee is loudly, proudly multicultural and the diversity is no better illustrated than in Watton Street’s vibrant foodie and café strip. If you can imagine a cuisine, chances are it’s represented here – Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and more. And for pizza, the choice is staggering. Obvs.
Here’s my typical modus operandi for a trip to Watton Street.
Bruno’s Deli and Café is an institution. I wind my way around the continental grocery section then settle in for an authentic Italian-style barista brew. When in Rome.
Drool over row-upon-row of sweet treats and canapés at Mondells Patisserie. It takes me forever to decide! Then I’m off to A1 Bakery, the Lebanese bakery where khobz bread, pita and baklava are always on my must-have list.
Now, with my pantry and weekend entertaining sorted, it’s time for lunch. Truck Stop Deluxe is always fun with its west-coast-inspired truck-stop diner vibe. There’s a burger to suit any taste (and a not-to-be-missed side serve of trucker fries).
And, if I leave my run until later in the day, dinner is a chance to add one more stop on my taste testing tour around the globe, one delicious international cuisine at a time. Nom, nom, nom.