>Thien An, Footscray
Little Vietnam is full of cheap and cheerful eateries, many within or beside the cavernous Footscray Market (recommended by no less than Rick Stein for the quality of its fresh produce, meats and seafood).
Closer to the train station, though, is a famed little place which has a loyal following – you will see a small crowd of people waiting outside each evening before opening time. It’s BYO (bring-your-own) as you would expect, and $20 a head will buy you a substantial three-course feast.
Thai Angels, Barkly Street, West Footscray
Hidden down in West Footscray, this tiny place boasts a lovely coffee shop during the day, but serves up some of the best Thai food in Melbourne at night. The young waiting staff are friendly and attentive, and if you ask for “Thai hot” your taste buds won’t be disappointed! It’s BYO too although the wine list has plenty of good-value choice too.
Sirens Restaurant, Williamstown Beach
One of my local favourites – this lovely restaurant in the old art deco bathing pavilion looks out over the bay, and is a great place to watch the sunset or the pelicans flying past.