What Exactly is Australian Comfort Food?

Beetroot Hamburger

As an Australian, what does the phrase ‘comfort food’ mean to you? As you sit with images of delicious food running through the mind, know that the term normally means something different for everyone. However, one thing is for certain – you’re likely to connect comfort food with specific memories. For example, it could be a favourite dish that a grandparent used to cook while growing up. Either way, let’s celebrate all things Australia and look at some of the best examples of Australian comfort food.

Beetroot Hamburger

Go anywhere else in the world and they will look at you strangely for this one, but there’s something comforting about a slice of beetroot on an Aussie beef burger. Sure, the beef Pattie, cheese, and bun are good alone, but the whole thing is transformed with some beetroot. For those old enough to remember (sorry!), McDonald’s even tried to replicate this with the ‘McOz’. Of course, it failed because this is best served in a local pub with friends.


Back in 1981, Men at Work (an Australian rock group) released a song called Down Under. Among other things, they talk about Vegemite sandwiches, and this is something else that people think is synonymous with the country. While visitors to the country might turn their nose and ask for something else, there’s something homely about Vegemite – the Brits have something similar called marmite and they summarise it perfectly with the slogan ‘love it or hate it’.

Tim Tams

As a child in Australia, you probably had a Tim Tam in your lunchbox. As an adult in Australia, you probably have a Tim Tam in your lunchbox. Let’s face it, this is comfort food that will never die. Regardless of your age, there’s nothing better than needing a sweet treat and pulling a Tim Tam out. Of course, the Tim Tam is comfort food in itself, but so too are the memories that go with it. You’re not the only one to sip a drink through the Tim Tam while it acts as a straw.

Meat Pie

There seems to be a trend with Australian comfort food – not many other countries like it. This time, we’re talking about Aussie meat pies and a delicacy that most Americans don’t understand. While they use pies as a sweet treat, Australians fill their pies with savoury foods. Normally, the goodness includes cheese, minced meat, mushrooms, gravy, and onions. Some Australians will salivate just listening to a meat pie being described (are you included?). The ingredients in these pies are often run through commercial grinders (https://au.shop.electroluxprofessional.com/) to create the ultimate blend of ingredients.

Chicken Parmigiana

Not the most Australian sounding dish but go to any pub in the country and you’re likely to find this on the menu. With this, it has become adopted comfort food for many. In fact, some establishments will even have a Parma Night where everything is discounted (especially when bought with a beer). What’s not to love about breaded chicken, melted cheese, and tangy tomato sauce?


Who invented the Pavlova? Ask Kiwis and they will tell you that this is a proud New Zealand dish. Ask Aussies and they’ll say that its origins are traced back to Australia. This guide won’t settle the argument today, but it’s definitely now a comfort food for many Australians. Head to a bakery, cake shop, or supermarket and you’ll find this delicious dessert.

Other examples of Australian comfort food include:

  • Fish and chips (even if not quite up to British standards just yet!)
  • BBQ food
  • Fantales
  • Green chicken curry pie
  • Chicken and corn soup
  • Kangaroo (rare to medium, of course!)
  • Vanilla slices