Melbourne’s weather has turned a sunny corner which can only mean one thing. Outdoor dining! Whether it’s lunchtime pizza, antipasto, knock-off drinks, or golden hour cocktails, this is your guide.
Sprawling along a scenic stretch of the Yarra, Riverland Bar is an unexpected escape. Spend a sunny session listening to local DJs and feasting on no-fuss pub grub. Order the classic American cheeseburger or chargrilled. Or go for shareable sides like prosciutto croquettes. And for a weekend lunch, enjoy two hours of free flowing spritz and bottomless pizzas for $55.
Afloat Viva Mexico
Melbourne's favourite floating restaurant and bar, Afloat Viva Mexico, is back on the Yarra River. This year, it's taking us to Mexico with a fiesta-style paradise drawing inspiration from the culture and flavours of Oaxaca, Tulum, Mexico City and the Yucatan coast. Think tacos, mezcal cocktails, margaritas, tostadas and more menu highlights to transport you out of winter and into sunny Central America.
Johnny, Vince & Sam's Ristorante
Soak in the atmosphere of Melbourne’s Little Italy on Lyon Street and ask for an outdoor table at Johnny, Vince and Sam’s Ristorante. This retro-style diner pays tribute to Nonna’s house with its nostalgic decor and authentic homestyle menu. Enjoy parmesan-crusted schnitzel, slow-cooked beef meatballs, arancini and more while you sip on summery spritzes.
If you’re after generous servings of pasta and classic Italian pizzas head to Tiamo. This iconic favourite spills out onto Lygon Street's famous outdoor dining strip, seven days a week. Load up on big bowls of pasta. Or cast your eyes over the little specials blackboard for something different.
The Royal Botanic Gardens' leafy cafe has had a glow-up. This newly relaunched spot serves refined breakfast dishes, cult-status hotcakes, fresh summer cocktails and top-tier iced coffee. Pull up a seat in the sun-soaked courtyard and enjoy a meal by the stunning Ornamental Lake. And yes – you'll still find those iconic scones with berries and cream on the menu.
Settle in and enjoy the sunny outdoor dining at San Telmo. You'll find this vivacious and welcoming bohemian restaurant along Meyers Place. From midday to midnight San Telmo offers authentic Argentinian flavours. Try empanadas, chorizo, morcilla (spiced black sausage), and premium steak off the grill.
Pepe's Italian & Liquor
Pepe’s provides the perfect serene summer setting in a red brick courtyard with beach umbrellas. Enjoy generous plates of vodka rigatoni, or wood-fired pizzas. Indulge in classic cocktails. Finish with the world-famous lemon cheesecake.
In the shade of Hardware Lane's bustling strip of restaurants you’ll find the Mediterranean style cafe, Miznon. Try the roasted eggplant. It comes with melted chickpeas on a bed of creamy tahini. Or the perfectly-charred baby cauliflower. Expect only fresh ingredients and sensational flavours.
Yarra Botanica is the ultimate golden hour spot in Melbourne. The two-level floating bar is in the heart of Southbank and celebrates seasonal local produce. From artisan cheeses and sustainable seafood, to farm-fresh fruit and vegetables. With an all-local line-up of drinks, Yarra Botanica is an Insta-worthy visit this summer.
Dikstein's Corner Bar
Is this old-school bar one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets? Dikstein’s is a narrow and cosy wine bar with a casual pub vibe. Be transported when you dine alfresco in the European-inspired laneway. You’ll find it in a Victorian terrace on the corner of Bank Place and Little Collins Street. Dig into a bowl of pasta and pair it with one of the beers on tap.
Sit amongst the lush greenery at Jardin Tan with a cocktail in hand. The warm and welcoming space is set in the Royal Botanical Gardens. It provides the perfect sanctuary for groups big and small. Try the miso glazed salmon or 16-hour braised beef cheek. If you're spoilt for choice, indulge in the chef's selections for only $66 per person.
City Wine Shop
Escape the sun and enjoy a glass of wine in the shady outdoor dining area at City Wine Shop. It specialises in both local and imported wines. Order a selection of starters like marinated olives, polenta chips, oysters or saganaki. Did we mention that it's dog-friendly too?
Last updated on Mon 4 Dec 2023
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