About Books for Cooks

We are a small independent, culinary specialist bookstore owned by  cooks & lovers of good food; situated at the Queen Victoria Market, right in the heart of Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature .

We cater for armchair cooks, professional chefs, winemakers and avid foodies and stock over 40,000 new, old, vintage & antiquarian books on wine, food & the culinary arts. 

All of our books are some how about food or drink.  Whether antiquarian and vintage books or the latest new books on food, wine and cooking,  our interests include agriculture, dining, food history, artisanal food production and drinks.  About half our stock is new.  Although our stock is mostly from the 20th century, we have a growing range of books from earlier periods.  We also have an increasing stock of related ephemera, pamphlets and menus.

We are members of ILAB, ANZAAB, the Australian Booksellers Association, and the Ephemera Society of Australia

Our story

Books for Cooks opened in Wattletree Rd, Melbourne in 1983 and for many years was run by Margit & Pearl as a part-time labour of love. 

In early 2000, Tim & Amanda realised a long held dream and bought a tiny bookstore about wine and food and moved it to 'bohemian' Gertrude St, Fitzroy.

After 16 years having outgrown our Fitzroy home, we moved to the Munro Buildings at the Queen Victoria Market. 

And, in 2018, with the beginning of the Queen Victoria Market renewal program, we moved to the Heritage listed Market shops on the other side of the Market at 115-121 Victoria Street, Queen Victoria Market.

Along the way we've been recognised as Victorian Specialist Bookseller of the Year on several occasions.  And CNN once described us as "one of the coolest bookstores in the world".  In 2019 we were recognised by Queen Victoria Market customers as one of their  favourite businesses.

Our Services

We:

  • provide a free search service for hard-to-find or out-of-print cookbooks
  • ship worldwide
  • offer in-store lay-by (4 weeks, 20% deposit – terms apply)
  • issue gift vouchers that don’t expire (any value)
  • appraise and value cookbook collections
  • provide quotes and a replacement service for insurance claims for lost cookbooks

We are always interested in buying large or small collections of good books, and rare or unusual items including maps, posters, pamphlets and ephemera; so long as they relate somehow to food and/or drink.

If you are a library or educational institution, please ask about the special services and arrangements we can provide.

About Tim & Amanda

For us, avid food lovers, cooks and cookbook collectors for years, owning a culinary bookstore was a long cherished dream. Cookbooks clutter our house and dining table and if we are not reading one, we are usually cooking from another.

Amanda has worked as a professional cook, caterer, cake maker and kitchen manager. Her particular passion is baking but she will give anything a go!

Tim, a former lawyer, is passionate about wine, food, jazz and books (not necessarily in that order).  He has worked in restaurants, pubs and the food industry.  Tim is an avid bibliophile and he has long had an interest in the history, sociology, science and literature of food. His particular passions are European style peasant food and wine.

All our staff (currently Sarah & Tracy) are keen cooks who have worked or work in hospitality or the food industry and who read cookbooks every day.