The city's keeping it safe with heaps more room to wine and dine. Find mini green parklets and laneway-wide takeovers spilling onto the streets.

A laneway restaurant

StoryVille

Melbourne's original (and potentially only) fairy tale bar has taken it outside with awesome new laneway dining. Located in Waratah Place, al fresco diners at StoryVille are treated to a glowing purple light show on the wall beside them and twinkling trees above. Combined with the theatrical cocktail menu, it's not a night you'll forget any time soon.

Street art in a laneway

Spice Market

Behind a red VIP rope, surrounded by Heesco's iconic street art and hidden down a tiny laneway. It doesn't get much more Melbourne than Spice Market's outdoor dining offer. Book ahead and feast on mezze goodness next time you visit.

Outdoor dining beside the river

Park Lane by Pure South Dining

Another riverside escape comes in the form of Pure South's Park Lane pop-up. Their drinks menu featuring cocktails, summer spritzes, premium beers, sangria and more is designed to be enjoyed on their waterside lawn.

Middle Eastern food on a plate

Layla by Maha

Maha's Bond Street digs have closed off the street for a new outdoor cocktail bar called Layla. Settle in under the sparkling lights and feast on mezze style brunches, hearty Middle Eastern dinners and refreshing bevs. Photo by Sofia Levin for What's On.

A beer garden on a sunny day

Pétanque Social

Euro beach club meets Melb city views at Petanque. This new sunny spot on Crown Riverwalk combines all the best parts of chilled out al fresco fun with food from some seriously luxe operators. Think Gradi, Nobu, Ging Thai and more.

A laneway bar

Bar Americano

Ok, so it’s not quite dining, but we couldn’t leave out Melbourne’s tiniest hidden bar. While the Bar Americano only has room inside for a handful of (standing) patrons, they’ve now taken over Presgrave Place with outdoor seating for up to 32 guests. Book online for your next negroni fuelled night out.

Riverside Quay signage and cityscape.

Riverside Quay al fresco pop-ups

Southbank is set for five months of pop-up al fresco dining outside Left bank, Hopscotch, Ludlow, Soho and Breslin. The instant pop-up terraces are dotted along the Yarra, perfect for your next summer sesh.

An outdoor dining spot in a laneway

Bar Lourinhã

The Bar Lourinha parklet is locked and loaded with umbrellas, gorgeous plants and good vibes. If it’s been far too long since you were blessed by the empanadas and cheesy croquettes, book online for your next Mediterranean inspired feast.

Array of dishes on white tablecloth, including rice and stir-fries.

Shark Fin Inn

Get in with Shark Fin's new al fresco dining in Little Bourke Street. This Chinatown fave now serves their delicious food outdoors, fenced in by a cute new flower bed display.

Outdoor dining on a sunny day

Grossi Florentino

Grossi is welcoming back loyal customers with instantly iconic street-side dining. Catch us crying tears of joy the second we lay eyes on the chocolate souffle.

A man walking past a backlit bar with bottles and signage, tables and chairs in the foreground.

Pepe's Italian & Liquor

Pepe's boasts a 600-square metre courtyard, complete with a 150-year-old heritage-listed tree. Head through this summer for a spritz station, cocktail towers and gelato.

Last updated on Tue 12 Jan 2021

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