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10 Australian Grubs You Must Taste on Your Holiday

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Because of Australia’s multicultural makeup, a lot of people tend to think that food in Australia is largely similar to British or Asian food. While that’s certainly true, Australians have, over the years, learned to put a spin on the food their European and Asian ancestors have brought from their homelands to make them uniquely Down Under. Don’t miss a chance to taste these awesome Australian grubs when you’re there.

Balmain Bugs

Balmain bugs are a species of slipper lobster
Balmain bug served with spinach.

Ask for Balmain bugs if ever you find yourself in a seafood restaurant. Balmain bugs are a species of slipper lobster found only on Australia’s coasts. You can cook these yourself too if you’re staying at a self-service accommodation rather than a hotel. Balmain bug tails taste so good sautéed in butter and lemon.


Barramundi is a famous seafood enjoyed in Australia
Barramundi has a firm, moist, white-pinkish flesh.

Aussies love fishing for barramundi because they fight so hard when caught. If the barramundi are not released back to the water, though, it usually ends up on someone’s dinner plate. Barramundi are delicate and best cooked just seared or pan-fried.

Burger with Beets

You can only find Beet Burgers in Australia.
Aussie Burger with beets eggs and tomato relish.

You can find a hamburger in almost any corner of the world, but only in Australia will you find your burgers often served with a slice of beetroot. The beetroot may stain your hands, but you’re guaranteed to have an extraordinary experience eating your burger.

Chiko Roll

Chicko Roll is a popular Australian snack.
Credit: @yoshi_asa_melbourne

The Chiko Roll is a popular snack inspired by Asian spring rolls. A staple of sporting events and typically found at fish and chips joints, the Chiko Roll usually contains cabbage, barley and other veggies wrapped in a pastry tube and deep-fried in oil.

Dog’s eye

Dog's Eye pie is often eaten as a snack.
A meat pie which is eaten as a snack.

Dog’s eye is Australian meat pie. And while it certainly does not contain dog meat, as its name may suggest, anything goes when it comes to this dish. You can go pedestrian or gourmet with dog’s eye, and you can eat it as a snack, a side dish, or even an entrée.


A lamington is an Australian dessert with a distinctive texture.
Credit: @generalstoreworthy

Lamingtons are Australia’s national cake. These sponge squares are coated with chocolate and shredded coconut. Sometimes they come layered with some jam slathered in between the layers. Lamingtons are really nice with tea or coffee.

Grilled Roos

Kangaroo steak served in broth
Credit: @__yumyum_chu

The Australian countryside is often overrun by kangaroos, and the best way to keep the roos’ population in check is to hunt them down and serve them up as food. Be careful with kangaroo meat, though – it’s best served rare and cooked only on one side. Otherwise, it could be as tough as really dry jerky.


Pavlova are often topped with lots of berries
Pavlova with berries.

Both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented the pavlova, that fruit-topped meringue cake that’s as light as air. But it is often agreed that the pavlova was inspired by the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, and the cake was reportedly invented in honor of her visit to Perth.

Pizza Marinara

Marinarai pizza is different in Australia
Credit: @yukiuenotokyo

In the US, the word “marinara” often refers to a kind of tomato sauce that goes into many Italian pasta dishes. But in Australia, when people say “marinara,” they’re referring to a type of pizza topped with seafood.


Vegemite is the jam of Australia
Credit: @the_salted_turnip

If Westerners spread jam on buttered toast, Australians typically spread vegemite on theirs instead. Where jam is sweet, vegemite is savory with a slightly bitter undertone. Some have compared the taste of vegemite to beef bouillon, except vegemite is tastier.

Fill your tummy with Australian grubs on your visit there. If you’re still in the midst of planning your trip, you can check out other articles on Australia to get some ideas!

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