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Stalactites - Iconic Greek in Melbourne CBD

Posted by on in Cheap Eats
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A taste of Greece in the CBD, Stalactites is a Melbourne institution (for over 30 years)! The superb ambience is only trumped by the food! Many Melburnians come here late at night for a fix of Greek cuisine. Day or night, this place is sublime! It’s open 24/7 – the restaurant that never sleeps!

Love the position on the corner of Russell and Londsdale! You can sit and enjoy the ambience of either through large windows on to the street! Love the ceiling effect of stalactites! The effect is done to appear like a cave. Ambience is also defined by funky lighting, specials written on little boards, timber floors, and slate tiles on the walls.

Stalactites is a busy restaurant and it can be hard to get a table. Fortunately I secured the last table in the place to enjoy lunch. I was keen to try the legendary lamb souvlaki. How would it compare to others I’ve tasted here and overseas? I asked the friendly waiter whether I should order extras such as cheese, or indeed a side bowl of chips. “It’s a huge meal,” he said, motioning with his hands. So I went for the lamb souvlaki with a coffee.

I love the convivial atmosphere at Stalactites. Loud conversation semi drowns the European music playing through the speakers. Love it!

Very quickly my souvlaki appeared before me – yes it was indeed massive! No cutlery was supplied, encouraging me to attack the souvlaki with hands. As I went to pick it up some tomato and lettuce rolled off onto the floor. As I brought the souvlaki to my mouth some of the meat fell out on to the table. This was a mother of a souvlaki and I was finding it harder to control than a runaway horse!

To make matters worse people were staring at me as I ate. Like I was a freak in a side show! This even included people on the street who seemed to be staring at me through the window!

Minutes earlier I was looking cool in my suit and wayfarers – now dismantled by a massive lamb souvlaki!

The quality of the souvlaki was sublime! The lamb was tender and cooked to perfection! And so much of it! The wrap was sensational! Fresh! The garlic sauce was great but of course started dripping out of the end (as it always does). Altogether the way a souvlaki should be! These guys rank high in the Melbourne souvlaki rankings!

The coffee was also excellent – strong coffee with great crema.

Other popular meals here include other versions of souvlaki, dips, skewers, seafood and giros (classic Greek sandwich). And they serve great Greek desserts! I’m keen to come here for the breakfasts including the breakfast souvlaki.

Service here was wonderful. I apologised to them for the food that I spilled on the floor.

I returned to the office a happy man – albeit my colleagues and later the train passengers near me had to suffer my obscene garlic breath. Love it!

Stalactites, 183 Lonsdale Street CBD – Greek - Food 9 Coffee 9 Ambience 9

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David Hagger is a bald headed man with a penchant for finery, convivial dining, and festive culture. He honestly believes Melbourne is an impressive global city.


  • Guest
    Kenny Friday, 06 January 2012

    Prices have crept up but the food is pretty damn fine. I love the creamy, mild taramasalata! When I moved to Melbourne from NZ, the booze laws had yet to be truly freed up. Stalactities was a regular haunt for after hours beer - brought to your table in a brown paper bag. Classic! Kenny @

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Guest Saturday, 30 May 2015