Melbourne is the culinary capital of Australia. Every area and suburb is littered with world-class eateries and bars. In fact, it’s harder to decide where to eat than to actually find a good spot. To help make your choice a little easier, we’ve done some research for you.
The Central Business District
Melbourne’s Central Business District has transformed from a drab office space to a veritable hotspot for eating and drinking. These venues will be closest to the conference venue, so it’s worth writing down some addresses:
- Cookie: Part beer hall, part nightspot and home of incredible Thai food. You can head upstairs after dinner and have a drink on the Rooftop Bar. Located on Swanston St, this is the perfect spot to grab a bite after taking in a talk.
- Chin Chin: Melbourne icon. The cue is always out the door at this place, but it's worth the wait. If you're lucky, you might even get a table in the downstairs GoGo Bar. This is contemporary Asian food that is well worth the wait, and it’s just a short walk away at 125 Flinders Lane.
- Chinatown: Ok, to continue the theme of world-class Asian food, we can’t leave out Chinatown. You can walk into any restaurant on this famous strip on Little Bourke Street and get some good and cheap dumplings, noodles, soups and everything in between. And, most of them are BYO too!
Swinburne’s home has always been a dining hotspot. Short Straw offers a high-quality brunch, Vaporetto is an Italian-style wine bar offering great food and drink atop the famous Lido cinema and Ocha offers world-class Japanese.
Lygon Street, Carlton
Melbourne is a truly multicultural city. You can find cuisines for all over the world, and if you want Italian, you go to one place – Lygon Street. You’ll hear Italian being spoken in every restaurant and if you know where to look, you’ll get an authentic experience.
Chapel Street, Windsor, South Yarra and Prahran
This fashion strip is slowly becoming more famous for its food than its frocks. There's enormous variety up and down this street, running from the grungy, hipster haunts of the Windsor and Prahran end to the glitzy establishments that start popping up when you hit South Yarra.
Mr Miyagi: Contemporary Japanese and arguably the best espresso martini in town, sound like a good combination? It is. You can’t book in here, but you can always sample the incredible cocktail list while you wait for a table to free up. The Salmon Nori Taco is a must-have.
Boston Sub: At the front, you'll find incredible American-style sandwiches and poutine that would impress even the most well-versed Montrealer. But, if you walk through the fridge door behind the counter, you'll find a hidden Tiki-style bar serving great drinks including the infamous Jungle Juice.
France-Soir: This Melbourne icon is actually on adjoining Toorak Rd, but it's still a Chapel Street icon. Serving French-classics for over 32-years, you'll always get absolute quality here.
Not only is Southbank a beautiful place for a night time stroll, it also packs a punch when it comes to dining spots. Most people come for the Casino, which means you do have to avoid the tourist traps, but places like Pure South offer contemporary Australian fare with a focus on quality local ingredient and reimagined classics. Well worth a visit.