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What Food Do Australians Eat

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: August 3, 2020
What Food Do Australians Eat

Many pictures must come to mind when thinking about what food is typical Down Under. Do Australians eat kangaroo? Do they have a typical dish? There are so many things many people don't know about Australian cuisine, that it's difficult for foreigners to imagine sometimes.

The truth is that actual Australian cuisine has been greatly influenced by immigration during the past 300 years, though there are still certain food that makes Australian food unique. Let's take a look at all the aspects so we can answer your question: what food do Australians eat?

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  1. Native Australian Food and Ingredients
  2. Typical dishes from Australia
  3. What do Australians eat?
  4. Food for special occasions
  5. Eating habits of Australians

Native Australian Food and Ingredients

Now when we talk about Australian food, we need to go right back to the origins of Australia. As you may know, Australia was colonized by the British, which is why many of the food has been influenced by this and other cultures that have emigrated to Australia. However, if we're talking about food that's special to Australia only, we obviously have to take a look at ingredients that are found on this island.

Australian fruit & vegetables

Indigenous Australians have fed on the wide variety of fruit and vegetables hidden in the Australian bushes. Among the most common native bush foods we can find:

  • Kakadu plums: These fruits, also known as kubinge, are a yellowy-green on the outside and has a tangy taste similar to peaches or apricots.
  • Munthari: Munthari or Muntires are what are known as native cranberries, as they are similar in size but have a tangy apple-like taste.
  • Bush tomato: Having the size of a peanut, these close relatives of the common tomato have a sweeter taste than their American counterpart.
  • Akudjura: This is another species of native tomato that is usually combined with butter or as a salad dressing.
  • Rosella:Bright red and acidic, this berry has a very similar taste to rhubarb and is usually found in jams, sorbets and several pastries.
  • Wattle seed: As its name suggests, is in fact a seed, which is usually ground and used as an excellent condiment in granola, chocolate, bread and even one of Australia's most famous dishes: Pavlova. It is known to have a coffee or hazelnut-like flavor.
  • Macadamia nuts: Yes, Macadamia nuts are actually native to Eastern Australia and is in fact one of the biggest producers of this nut in the world, only surpassed by South Africa.
  • Lemon Myrtle: Also known as lemon scented ironwood, this Queensland native plant is used dry to season and add a citrusy flavour to many dishes.
  • Peppermint: The native variety of peppermint is used in the country to flavor many desserts such as ice cream or several sauces.
  • Aniseed:The variety found in Australia is commonly used for custards and other marinades. It can also be found in teas.
  • Pepperleaf: This leaf can be described as the European equivalent of the bay leaf, as it serves as a nice seasoning when used occasionally in sauces.

You'll find them pictured below.

Australian meat & fish

Yes, indigenous tribes were hunters and, yes they did actually hunt kangaroo.Nowadays, Australians still actually have many of their native animals on restaurant menus.

Emu meat is eaten many pies, as well as being eaten smoked too.

Balmain bugs are a lobster-like crustacean that lives in the Australian coast. It is also a delicatessen in many parts of the country. Other typical fish you can eat in Australia are Barramundi, which is eaten as a steak.

Though it's not that usual, some locals still eat Crocodile meat nowadays, though due to many of the species' endangerment, it's not easy to come by.

Last but not least, Kangaroos are overpopulated in certain areas of the county, which is why it can be found easily in Australia. The dish preferred by locals is grilled Kangaroo, with juniper, pepper, rosemary and red currant sauce.

What Food Do Australians Eat - Native Australian Food and Ingredients

Typical dishes from Australia

Apart from the ingredients mentioned above Australia has several dishes that have been invented on the island and are considered National dishes.


Australian cuisine's claim to fame is this famous dessert which is said to have been inspired by Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who stayed at the Hotel Espalande in Perth in the 1920's. This dessert inspired by the lightness of the dancer is made of meringue, layered whipped cream and topped up with fruit.

However, New Zealand also claims to have invented this recipe.


This bread, which is prepared with soda, was typically made by stockmen when travelling long journeys through remote areas. Nowadays, it's still an essential for campers and is widely available in Australian bread shops and supermarkets, though the common Australian person may not have eaten it for years.

Anzac biscuits

Though its creation is also in dispute with neighboring New Zealand, thins biscuit owes its name due to the union of the Australian and New Zealand army during World War I. This biscuit is made from oats, flour and sugar and usually comes with a coconut flavor. Here's how to make Anzac biscuits chewy for more information.

What Food Do Australians Eat - Typical dishes from Australia

What do Australians eat?

All this is great, but what do Australians eat on a daily basis? What type of food do Australians eat on a day to day basis and enjoy the most? Let's take a look at common products and dishes in an Australian's diet.

Products made in Australia

Australia has a long list of products created to suit the palates of their consumers. These products are all favorites.

  • Vegemite: Made with yeast extract and spices, this spread is an Australian all-time favorite. Salty and bitter in taste, it is used in sandwiches, crumpets and steaks as well as having other uses.
  • Lamingtons: This sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut is one of Australia's favorite treats.
  • Tim Tam: This is Australia's all-time favorite cookie. Two layers of biscuit covered in chocolate and all the variants in between, from caramel to orange make it one of the most sold brands in the coutry.
  • Melba toast: Named after opera singer Nellie Melba, this is a type of sliced bread toast that is made under the grill. It is served with paté and jams.
  • Meat pie: Probably the pride and joy of a true Australian, meat pie will usually be on the menu in most restaurants and take-away places where you can eat in Australia.

Common dishes Australians enjoy

As most of the Australian population lives near the sea, it's no wonder a lot of their cuisine is based on seafood. Common appetizers include salt and pepper calamari, prawn cocktail and crab sticks. Not only that but you can actually even find seafood on pizza!

Of course, modern Australian cuisine has been greatly influenced by the migration this country have had throughout the years. Here are the international dishes that Australians have adapted to their own tastes:

  • English: Fish and chips sounds like a great idea for Beach-goers, especially when cooked with local fish and a light touch of lemon. Pea and ham soup is another British dish that's been adopted by Australians in many country houses.
  • North-American: Roasts are usually accompanied by Pigs in a blanket, though Australians wrap the meat in even more meat instead of dough. Sausage rolls are another easy solution for a quick lunch, but the king of meals for Australians has to be The hamburger. The Australian version includes beef hamburger topped up with a slice of beetroot. It's no wonder they adore eating at Macca's (McDonalds), though they prefer the local pub's version. In Perth, they've even patented their own invention, the Hamdog!
  • Italian: Italian cuisine has also warmed hearts Down Under, by adapting a version of Chicken parmigiana, a dish you'll find in most Australian pubs. The Spag bol is their intake on spaghetti Bolognese, which Australians eat with beef and mushrooms to give it a native touch.
  • Chinese: Oriental cuisine is present through the Australian version of Spring rolls, which are called Chicko roll, which you might have guessed, contains chicken apart from vegetables too. Chicken and corn soup is found in most menus in Chinese restaurants across Australia, though the country has embraced the dish as their own.
  • Thai: Spices from Thailand are also present in green chicken curry pie, which is absolutely loved across Australia.
What Food Do Australians Eat - What do Australians eat?

Food for special occasions

Ozzies have special meals for special occasions too. Let's take a look what Australians eat on special occasions and their most praised cuisine.

Sausage sizzle

The sausage sizzle is highly popular across Australia, loving BBQ's as they do. This fund-raising event has typical barbecue dishes such as Barbecued snags, which are pork or beef sausages; and sausage sanger, which is basically a sandwich with a wiener in between. Take a look at how to organize a Sausage sizzle for more on this event.

Christmas in Australia

What do Australians eat at Christmas? Being summer Down Under, Australians usually gather with family to enjoy a meal based on seafood. Prawns, lobster and other fish are barbecued, though many of the British traditions such as Christmas pudding and Turkey are still maintained, though it is usually eaten outdoors or by the beach.

Anzac Day

A day to commemorate those Australians who fought during World War I, this is one of the most celebrated days in the country. Apart from Anzac biscuits, people usually eat other popular Australian dishes such as Anzac toast, which is basically Turkish bread with Vegemite and margarine,or what is known as 'Gunfire breakfast', which is similar to a Full English, that includes, bacon, sausages, eggs, beans tomato, damper and tea.

What Food Do Australians Eat - Food for special occasions

Eating habits of Australians

Now you know about all the food Australians eat, let's take a look at how they eat them.


So what do Australians eat for breakfast? One of the most famous breakfast products is Weet-bix, which is similar to Weetabix, though it has a sweeter taste, is smaller and is usually accompanied by fruits like strawberry and banana. The Vegemite sandwich is also popular for breakfast or mid-morning snack. Some Australians like to mix their cup of coffee with wattle seed, especially after a bad night's sleep.


Lunch is usually a quick deal in Australia. Quick lunchbox meals Australians eat include cheese and bacon rolls or stir fries and other quick fixers.


Dinner is considered the main meal of the day, and tough there is a variety of dishes which have been mentioned above, but nothing meets a delicious Barbecue by the sea in the good weather. Sundays are for a good family meal with lamb leg roast, deliciously seasoned with garlic rosemary and olive oil.

What Food Do Australians Eat - Eating habits of Australians

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