Where to eat, drink and stay
Plan your visit and 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 food and drink program orbits Flinders Street and Fed Square, with our special Moon Bites and Dine at Dusk series, presented by Broadsheet. Stop in for at Nomad, Cumulus Inc., Eau de Vie, Hero and more for Moon Bites—a quick snack and drink before or after a show. Or for a dinner that’s an event in itself, book in for a one-off Dine at Dusk experience, at Mabu Mabu, Kisumé and Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters. Each restaurant is responding to the theme “under the moon” with conceptual set menu and drinks pairing.
Up in St Paul’s Cathedral, Night Trade presented by Up, icy tinnies are cooled in an unanchored Bodriggy tinnie and Archie Rose’s giant Negroni tank—think 6,000 cocktails—is in full flow. The Up Bar is slinging cans and warm cocktails. Meanwhile, Hoy Pinoy has Filipino BBQ skewers are cooked over coals, and there’s Ukranian, Sri Lankan, Egyptian and Columbian street food from Free to Feed participants. Pearl Diver have their shuckers on site, sorting the fresh oysters. Indulge, then it’s RISING that’s your oyster—Anthem, Ghetto Biennale, Queer Powerpoint, and music at the Forum are just around the corner.
For those heading down for a skate at The Rink at RISING on Birrarung Marr, supper is taken care of courtesy of the huge range of vendors serving up food and drinks for all tastes, and all ages. Rest rink-side by the open fire with a coffee by St Ali, or a Mörk Chocolate x Archie Rose boozy hot chocolate. The drink selection is plentiful with Bodriggy beers, wine curated by Glou, low-sugar and probiotic soft drinks by Bobby, Bubble Tea by Cha Time, and an Indigenous-designed cuppas of Mabu Mabu tea. Munch on hot-buttered popcorn (choose your own salt!), or snacks from Hot Dog Deli, woodfired Fugazi Pizza, Manny’s Doughnuts, as well as sweet and savoury crepes by not-for-profit Crepes for Change.
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, or discover the hidden Berlin Bar, and then head to the Supper Inn for Chinese. Snack on modern Australian fare at ARU, or head over to Jesse Singh's Daughter in Law for playful contemporary Indian cooking; grab a cocktail at Nick & Nora's; get competitive at Ballers Clubhouse; or sing your heart out at karaoke at rooftop bar Heroes.
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; Tres a Cinco for Mexican cantina vibes; Lucy Liu modern Asian set among striking décor; an underground French bistro in Bar Margaux; and Dom’s Social Club for pizza, beer, pool and city views.
For drinks, head to multi-level eatery, bar and music space HER; Curtin House (home to Rooftop Bar and Cookie); or an all-night cocktail bar experience at Curious. On Lonsdale Street, Little Lon Distillery’s and Caretaker's Cottage are your intimate stop-ins for cocktails.
And for a few others to explore outside the CBD:
- Bodriggy Brewing Company, 245 Johnston St, Abbotsford
- Carlton Wine Room, Carlton, 172—174 Faraday Street, Carlton
- Lona Misa, 234 Toorak Road, South Yarra
- Mya Tiger at The Espy, 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Victoria
- Chibog, Shop 1, 553 Barkly Street, West Footscray
- Pawa Café & Bar, 100 St Kilda Rd, Southbank VIC 3006
- Lilac Wine, 31 Stephenson Street, Cremorne
- The Prince Dining Room, 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
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:
- QT Melbourne, 133 Russell Street, Melbourne
- The Ritz-Carlton, 650 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
- Lancemore Crossley St., 51 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
- Next Hotel Melbourne, 103 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
- W-Hotel, 408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
- Veriu Queen Victoria Market, Therry Street, Melbourne
WHAT TO DO
An 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, Moving Image exhibition, or peruse the Australian art at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and exhibition Melbourne Now. Afterwards, squeeze in a round of shopping in Block Arcade's tiny boutiques or the ALPHA60 flagship store on Flinders Lane (where you can check out Ghetto Biennale, on show in the space upstairs).
Work up a hunger on a street art tour through Melbourne's labyrinth of world-class laneway murals, before dropping by the Queen Victoria Market to explore multicultural street food, and unique products in over 600 stalls.
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, wellness sanctuaries, 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.
- Audrey's, 1 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento
- 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
- Alba Thermal Springs & Spa, 282 Browns Road, Fingal
- Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park, 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
- Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsula
Geelong and the Bellarine
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.
- Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Bellarine
- Portarlington Grand Hotel, Portarlington.
- Austin’s Wines, Sutherlands Creek - SUMI, Geelong
- La Cachette Bistrot, Geelong
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges
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.
- Bar Merenda, Howe Street, Daylesford
- Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend
- Sault Restaurant, Sailors Falls
- Surly Goat, Hepburn Springs
- Mount Monument Cellar Door & Sculptures, Romsey
- Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford
- Hanging Rock, Newham
- Hepburn Mineral Springs Bathhouse & Spa, Hepburn
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges
Take an early morning balloon flight, meet passionate food and wine producers, and encounter a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley. Wander the walking trails, meander the villages and discover the hidden delights of the Dandenong Ranges among its scenic winding roads, abundant artist studios, craft stores and renowned gardens.
- Medhurst Wines, Gruyere
- Coombe Yarra Valley, Coldstream
- No 7. Healesville, Healesville
- Oakridge Wines, Coldstream
- Mary Eats Cake, Montrose
- Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville
- TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville
- Global Ballooning Australia
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.