Any food fanatic worth their salt knows the hottest places to wine and dine in Melbourne, but what do Melbournians eat when they grab dinner on the run?

These standout takeaway dishes come straight from the kitchens of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants, and are beloved by the local customers. Judged by the people, for the people.

Thai Culinary: Fried Chicken Spare Rib (Spicy Chicken)

Just around the corner from Melbourne’s Central Station, Thai Culinary is a relative newcomer to the CBD but has earned a solid reputation for having the best fried chicken around. The deep fried chicken ribs are stir fried with spring onion, fresh chilli and fried garlic. Spicy and flavourful, Thai Culinary’s star takeaway meal is a kick to the senses.

Pepperoni’s: Meat Lovers Pizza

Meat Lovers isn’t the crème de la crème of the pizza world, let alone any other world, but there’s something about the one dished up at Pepperoni’s. Speckled with ham, lamb, bacon, hot pepperoni and BBQ sauce, it might not be fancy, but it has everybody coming back for more.

Panned Pizza: Cheese Burger

This American-style pizzeria does the States proud. Forget about the pizzas for a moment—the burgers are the menu celebrities that make this late-night eatery unforgettable. A mouth-watering 180g of Wagyu beef cooked to a perfect pinkish medium, smothered in cheese, red onions, pickles, tomato sauce and American mustard

Soolzip Korean Restaurant: Spicy Pelicana Chicken

Famous for their four kinds of Korean fried chicken, Soolzip has a cult following for their spicy Pelicana Chicken. Hot, tart and softly sweet all at once, the Pelicana is a melting pot of flavours and textures. If you aren’t fond of the fiery heat, there is still a milder Pelicana so nobody misses out.

Salon De Sushi: Salon De Complete

First-timers experiencing Melbourne’s sushi specialists are always pleasantly surprised by the beautiful packaging—takeaway shouldn’t be completely devoid of in-house aesthetics. Salon De Sushi’s star performer is the Salon De Complete, offering traditional Japanese sushi, as well as more unique additions that you might not ordinarily be game to order, like the Prosciutto and basil roll.

SR’s Namasthe On Lygon Indian Restaurant: Baigan Masala

SR’s Namasthe is nestled within Melbourne’s famous Little Italy district, offering a range of North Indian, South Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes for good measure. The star of this restaurant is the Baigan Masala. Eggplant cooked with onion, tomato and a heavenly combination of spices, this baby is an Indian takeaway crowd-pleaser for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Mojo’s Weird Pizza, Port Melbourne: Mighty Duck Pizza

Specialising in ingeniously creative gourmet pizzas, Mojo’s offers combinations like the Heavy Trash pizza (basically a spaghetti bolognaise pizza—wow) and the Prickly Pear pizza (caramelised onions, prosciutto, poached pear, feta cheese and fresh basil).The show-stealer is the Mighty Duck pizza: Peking duck with a plum and ginger sauce, Spanish onion, roasted red capsicum and spinach, topped with spring onions, and red and green chilli.

Punjabi Curry Café: Butter Chicken

Rave reviews and dedicated fans have made Collingwood’s Punjabi Curry Café a takeaway hotspot, especially for lovers of authentic North Indian cuisine. The takeaway star is the humble Butter Chicken. Boneless, succulent chicken cooked in a butter sauce with coriander, tomato and ginger—it mightn’t be a courageous choice, but Melbournians can’t get enough of Punjabi’s.

Thai Thani: Pad Thai Goong Zod

Thai Thani has been a Brunswick Street staple since 1986, and for good reason. They give the locals what they want—Pad Thai Goong Zod. This takeaway star is a variation of Australia’s Thai favourite Pad Thai—a spicy stir-fried combination of thin rice stick noodles, prawns, eggs, bean curd, grounded peanuts and bean sprouts.

Ghurkas Express: Kuhura Ma Krim

Nepalese restaurants are far and few between in Melbourne, but Ghurkas on Flinders Street pulls in quality reviews from the locals. The fan favourite is the Kuhura Ma Krim, a boneless chicken curry cooked in the traditional Nepalese style and finished with cream.