Missing the raucous restaurants and delicious dishes of Melbourne’s foodie scene? Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, make those lockdown days a little brighter with these lockdown specials and pop-ups.  

Live near the city? Visit these pop-up takeaway spots in your 15km.

Elsie’s Butter Chicken 

Chef Mischa Tropp is easing our lockdown pains with his pop-up butter chicken shop, named after his grandma Elsie. $30 will get you a big serve of comforting butter chicken or vego butter paneer. It comes with all the trimmings, including naan, dal makhani, saffron rice, pickled onion and raita. Pre-order now and swing by Pope Joan on Fridays and Saturdays for a Delhi-style feed.

A tattooed man eating with his hands from a silver tray with butter chicken, rice and condiments in different compartments.
Elsie's Butter Chicken. Photo: Parker Blain

Jimmy Watson's BBQ

Lygon Street legends Jimmy Watson's and Snack Monster are popping up with a roadside food stall on lockdown weekends. Their 1930s-style snacks include pinchos boxes and BBQ staples like pork and fennel sausages. Plus a tasty snack option for vegos. Visit Friday to Sunday between 12pm and 2.30pm.

Dalam Nusantara Balinese takeaway

Look, you’re not going to Bali any time soon. This limited edition pop-up is as close as you'll get for a while - and from what we've heard, it's pretty damn close. Think Javanese black pepper wagyu, grilled chicken with palm sugar sauce, plantain coconut fritters and jumbo tiger prawns served on banana leaf. Pre-order via Instagram DM or What's App and pick up in the CBD.

A plate with various indonesian dishes on it
Dalam Nusantara

Mabu Mabu – Big Esso Snack Bar 

Get to Mabu Mabu for a snack to go, loaded with native ingredients. The Big Esso Snack Bar is slinging treats in Fed Square every Thursday to Saturday. You’ll find take-home meals, grazing boxes, wild game meats and cheese and deli goods. Plus plenty of vegan options. The wine, cocktail and beer lists are 100 per cent Aussie-made and if you want to BYO, they’ll fill your beer bottles. 

Seven Seeds sandwiches

Looking for a tasty lunch with your caffeine hit? Carlton warehouse cafe Seven Seeds has become our lockdown sandwich dealer. There’s a different special every weekend. Think katsu sandos, cheesy toasties, steak sangas and loaded brekkie rolls. Follow their socials to find out what their latest sandwich creation is and swing by on Saturdays and Sundays before they sell out. 

Someone holding a sliced toastie in front of a green city park.
Seven Seeds

Bar Holiday bottle-o

Carlton's new hidden bar has flourished into a bottle-o/florist hybrid this lockdown. During the week you'll find the usual suspects like baguettes and coffee. But swing by Bar Holiday's takeaway window on Fridays and Saturdays and you can treat yourself to a cheerful bunch of sunflowers. Be sure to grab a bevvy to go from the tap. If you BYO bottle, they'll fill it with Stomping Ground beers or fine Aussie wines. Open 10am to 3pm.

The Cricketers Bar Side Hustle

Another Indian pop-up that’s hard to say no to. Sidle up to The Cricketers Bar window at The Hotel Windsor and be bowled over by an array of street treats. Take home ready-to-eat vada pavs, chicken tikka rolls, smoked lamb naan and mango lassi soft serves. There’s also cakes, caneles and coffee. Or refreshing spritzes and cocktails from Aru, if the mood strikes. Get in quick, the window is only open Fridays and Saturdays until 25 September. 

A naan wrap with meat, leafy greens and onion in a takeaway container.
The Cricketers Bar Side Hustle

Out in the ‘burbs? Let the city’s best come to you.

Atiyah street food

Atiyah’s carbon neutral Lebanese street food is usually found off-grid at Fed Square. During spring they're popping up at the Prahran Market to offer their foodie treats Southside. Think hand folded manakish flatbread, loaded with organic za’atar, cheese, salad, lamb or beef. Feel good as you feast - the Atiyah kitchen is 100 per cent renewable-run.

Pinchy’s lockdown cocktail tour 

Our favourite champagne and lobster bar is going on tour. The lockdown cocktail tour hits different suburbs each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Choose from a premium seafood or vegan menu and enjoy classic Pinchy’s dishes like lobster or mushroom rolls, tacos and truffle fries. Don’t forget the drinks. Grab a negroni, spicy margarita or a bottle of Dom if you’re feeling bougie. Pick-up from a suburb in your 15km.

A table set with two cocktails and a plate of three croquettes, sitting on sauce, topped with flowers.
Pinchy's. Photo: Brandworks

Greta’s sandwich shop takeover

Craving Greta’s moorish Euro-style fare? Get all your faves plus never-before-tasted specials at the wine bar’s sandwich shop takeover. You’ll find the limited edition Greta pop-up at Mayday in Richmond every weekend and Monday of lockdown from 8am to 3pm. Take your lockdown lunch up a notch with an aperitivo. There’s negronis, spritzes, bellinis and more. With a fresh menu every week, you'll just have to keep coming back.

Lune hot suburbs 

Pastry dreams do come true. If Melbourne’s iconic croissanterie is outside your 15km, you don’t need to miss out on buttery, flaky good times. Lune is doing ‘hot suburbs’ delivery spanning as far as Geelong. Hot suburbs are announced at 8:30am every morning on Instagram, three days in advance. Cross your fingers for your neighborhood to come up and you’ll be enjoying a lemon curd cruffin in no time. 

A close up of someone holding a ham and cheese croissant.

Brioche by Phillip

Phillip’s team are hitting the road one day a week to visit suburbs around Melbourne. Bringing their decadent pastries, artisan breads and of course, their eponymous brioche, right to your door. Past lucky ‘burbs have included Kew, Blackburn and Maribyrnong. Get your order in for these Japanese-inspired French bakery goodies. Follow Brioche by Phillip on Instagram or Facebook to see where they’ll turn up next.

More lockdown feeds for foodies

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The best Korean street food in Melbourne

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Last updated on Mon 25 Oct 2021

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