About The Store
Standard Opening Hours:

The Essential Ingredient is Australia’s leading retailer of quality gourmet products, cookware and culinary books.

The Essential Ingredient’s Victorian operations commenced in 1990, trading as The Vital Ingredient in South Melbourne. After years of expansion, The Vital Ingredient relocated to a larger site at Prahran Market, Melbourne’s oldest food-only market. With the success of its Prahran store, The Essential Ingredient opened its second Victorian store in South Melbourne in 2016, the suburb where it all began.

The opening of The Essential Ingredient South Melbourne symbolises the brand’s return to the neighbourhood, a move that has been wholeheartedly embraced by the community.

Melbourne Stores Update


To our customers and community,

Although things may look and feel a bit different, our stores remain open and we are doing our best to ensure the products you love are available to you.

We have introduced some extra safety measures to keep our team, our customers and community reassured and safe. We also request that all team members and customers aged 12 and over wear a face mask when visiting our stores.

Special measures to help you shop safely in store

We are working closely with our suppliers, however some of our most popular products may be out of stock for the time being. We would be happy to help you find an alternative.

In case you prefer to keep your visit as short as possible:
– You can book a personal shopping appointment before opening hours, or on Wednesdays at our Prahran store
– You can call our stores to place an order, arrange prepayment & a time to collect

If you prefer to shop from home our online store is open at all times: www.essentialingredient.com.au

We ask that you show courtesy and respect to our team who continue to come to work each day and who are doing their best to look after everyone.

We wish you and your family good health and look forward to seeing you soon.

The Essential Ingredient Team

Public car parking is available at the nearby South Melbourne Market and on Coventry Street
Knife sharpening service: leave your knives in store on the first or third Tuesday of each month. Contact the store for more information.