Where to eat, drink and stay
Make the most of your trip to Melbourne and Victoria.
Melbourne comes into its own in wintertime. Embrace a fleecy jacket and flit across glistening streets and cobbled laneways, for the next hole-in-the-wall bar, the new Broadsheet-recommended eatery, the MCG, a gig or an art opening.
EAT AND DRINK
Formidable bars, restaurants and eateries blanket Melbourne—a true food epicentre is impossible to pinpoint. This year, RISING's fine-dining centrepiece is The Lighthouse, a sparkling glasshouse bistro floating above the The Wilds art park. Also in The Wilds, we have a spread of Melbourne's favourite chefs and restaurateurs helming pop-ups including 1800 Lasagne, Poodle Bar & Bistro, San Telmo, Hoy Pinoy, Piccolina Gelateria, and more—serving up what they do best in dedicated pop-ups in the Bowl. Before heading into the Bowl, stop by the NGV or Australian Music Vault.
If you’re checking out Golden Square over in Chinatown, the Chinatown Precinct Association is dishing up the area's quintessential menu via the Heffernan Lane Market. Or if you're after a sit down meal, head over to Jesse Singh's Daughter in Law for playful contemporary Indian cooking; grab a cocktail at Nick & Nora's; or get competitive at Ballers Clubhouse.
Outside of the festival program, there is even more on offer. Melbourne’s Chinatown on Little Bourke Street is the Western world’s oldest continuous Chinatown and home to dozens and dozens of restaurants for those with a dumpling craving. You could have a drink down Tattersalls Lane next door at Ferdydurke or Section 8 next door, and then head to the Supper Inn for dinner.
Throughout the city, there are loads of local favourites and new hotspots. In the city, check out Collins and Bourke Street between Swanston and Exhibition Streets, and find fresh favourites like Andrew McConnell’s Gimlet at Cavendish House. Sample First Peoples food and drink in Fed Square at Big Esso by Mabu Mabu or hit Karen Martini's new diner, Hero. And for drinks, head to multi-level eatery, bar and music space HER; or Curtin House (home to Rooftop Bar and Cookie). On Lonsdale Street, Little Lon Distillery’s 20-seat bar is your stop for gin cocktails.
And for a few others to explore outside the CBD:
WHERE TO STAY IN THE CITY
To be smack-bang in the middle of city and a walkable distance to many of RISING’s events, we recommend checking into one of these hotels:
- Lancemore Crossley St., 51 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
- Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands, 15 Waterfront Way, Docklands
- Next Hotel Melbourne, 103 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
- Quincy Hotel Melbourne, 509 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
- W-Hotel, 408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
WHAT TO DO
An ever-present undercurrent of energy and excitement pulsates through Melbourne, ready for you to explore. Go on an interactive trip into the history of cinema at ACMI's The Story of the Moving Image exhibition before squeezing in a round of shopping in Block Arcade's tiny boutiques or the ALPHA60 flagship store (where you can check out their merchandise collaborations with RISING).
Work up a hunger on a street art tour through Melbourne's labyrinth of world-class laneway murals, before dropping by the Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market for fire pits, street food, performers, artisans, brewers and distillers.
In only an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, you can find yourself entirely removed from city life and in the bush, beach, rainforest or farming heartland of Victoria. On either the Bellarine or Mornington Peninsula you can take in spectacular coastal drives (winter’s the perfect time for moody beach view vibes), meet koalas, echidnas or wombats, and taste vino from internationally recognised wineries.
Golden beaches, art galleries, hedge mazes, geothermal springs, and boutique wineries, breweries and distilleries nested alongside innovative restaurants and local produce stores. Sounds like a good way to wind down after festival fun to us.
- Laura at Pt Leo Estate, 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
- Ten Minutes by Tractor, 1333 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge
- Montalto, 33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
- Doot Doot Doot, Jackalope and Rare Hare, 166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North
- St Andrews Beach Brewery, 160 Sandy Road, Fingal
- Peninsula Hot Springs, 140 Springs Lane, Fingal
- Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park, 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
- High Country Maze, Gardens and Gallery, 678 Piries-Goughs Bay Road, Goughs Bay
- Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsula
For coastal vibes with still a touch of city, Geelong and the Bellarine are home to coastal villages and the lively waterfront city, Geelong. Industrial spaces are transformed breweries, museums, Mill Markets and eateries. The Bellarine is home to some of the world’s most famous surf beaches, like Bells Beach, al fresco dining, just-caught seafood, boutique wineries and wildlife experiences on Port Phillip Bay.
Prefer rolling hills and expansive plains to the ocean? This idyllic region is home to Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs. With day spas and well-being centres, award-winning restaurants serving local food and wine, and sleepy villages to explore, it’s a good spot for indulgence, relaxation and rejuvenation.
If you're keen to get out of town, but don't want to miss RISING, Lou Bennett is debuting wurukur djuanduk balag—Ancestors Are Calling on Dja Dja Wurrung Country on Wednesday 1 June. Pair the performance with a walk through Djarra Lights, an augmented reality and art experience that tells the stories of the Dja Dja Wurrung people's six seasons.
Stick around for a dose of history and culture. Bendigo is home to multiple museums steeped in stories of the goldrush like Sovereign Hill and the Golden Dragon Museum. Or be transported to Graceland at Bendigo Art Gallery's Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition, to see the King's costumes and memorabilia from his wedding to Priscilla to his time in Vegas. Bendigo has been a UNESCO Creative City and Region of Gastronomy since 2019, sporting top restaurants like Masons and The Woodhouse. Check out their interactive Gastronomy Guide.
Plan where you play. Discover more restaurants, bars, accommodation, things to do and day trips with Visit Melbourne.
RISING IS AN INITIATIVE OF THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT THROUGH CREATIVE VICTORIA AND VISIT VICTORIA.