It's showtime! But first, we eat. Keep the tummy rumbles at bay with Melbourne's best bottomless banquets, express pre-theatre dining, post-show cocktails and late-night eateries.

If you’re going to Her Majesty’s Theatre

Planning ahead for Grease the Musical? It's a high-energy production, so you'll need a full belly going in. The brand new Bossley at Rydges is right across the road and the pre-theatre menu is a must. Starting at $68, try a highlights reel of the best dishes like handmade burrata and pan-seared snapper. Fuel up with Bodega Underground’s spicy Mexican pre-theatre set menus. Whether you go the regular or vegan option, everyone gets yummy churros, and it’s all gluten-free.

Robata has also just launched a quick bites menu, which will have you in and out in under an hour. Sit at the bar and enjoy sushi, yakitori and an ice cold Asahi. Book ahead. Around the corner there's Pinchy's. This luxe bar is doing bottomless sparkling wine and oysters for $50 a head before the show. It's available Wednesday to Friday, 5pm to 6pm.

Inside a busy Japanese restaurant with street sign light boxes on the ceiling.
Robata

If you’re going to the Regent or Athenaeum Theatre

Before you head to Moulin Rouge! The Musical, fuel up next door on the terrace at Allegro. The restaurant is reopening just in time with a new $65 pre-theatre menu. Choose from dishes like caramelised gnocchi with burrata or black angus striploin. The George's pre-theatre express menu is just the start of your fabulous night out. For $59 you'll load up on lamb ribs, green chicken curry and more.

Go for oysters and a pet nat before the show at the newly reopened Parcs. Or step over to Supernormal, where you can splurge a bit. From lobster rolls to peanut butter parfait, it’s Asian-inspired dining with a contemporary twist. Looking for a romantic French bistro? Conveniently located opposite the Regent and outside the Athenaeum Theatre, you'll find Bistrot d'Orsay.

If you’re going to the Princess Theatre

Here we go again, Mamma Mia! The Musical is returning to Melbourne. Embrace the Euro vibes with dinner at The European. This Old World–inspired, wood-panelled restaurant is the perfect spot to start your night out. Or grab some pub grub at eternal top-end favourite The Imperial. Choose the regular parma with shaved ham, or try the eggplant with Napoli sauce and mozzarella.

Kicking on afterwards? Stay on-theme with a late-night Greek supper at pop-up restaurant Kafeneion. New luxe pub Amphlett House has a pretty sweet pre-theatre deal too. For just $49 enjoy any two courses and a limoncello Mamma Mia spritz.

A couple eating Greek share plates in a restaurant with wine bottles lining the walls.
Kafeneion

If you’re going to Arts Centre Melbourne

From circus acts, to the Australian Ballet – you could see a new performance here every week. There are heaps of fab feeds nearby too, like 10-hour pork knuckle at German-leaning Hophaus. Tutto Bene overlooks the water and specialises in risottos. The staff are masters of pre-theatre efficiency, so you can linger over dessert with no stress.

Nearby Protagonist and The Barre are perfectly positioned for a quick coffee or post-show drinks. La Camera in Southbank also offers speedy pre-theatre dining. Or start your date night out right at The Deck. Think fine wines, fresh pasta and sparkling city views.

If you’re going to the Comedy Theatre

A visit to the Comedy Theatre could be the perfect opportunity to experience Farmer’s Daughters. This three-level dining destination is all about the Gippsland region’s great seasonal produce. Or make a date at Shujinko. Fill up on steamy ramen for less than $20 at this Chinatown favourite. You'll also find Gingerboy nearby with a modern Australian adaptation of Asian hawker-style dishes. The one-hour pre-theatre menu showcases seasonal favourites like red duck leg curry. La Madonna is also in the vicinity and has a $50 pre-theatre seasonal menu with three gorgeous dishes.

Two women sitting at a table in a busy restaurant during the afternoon.
Farmer’s Daughters

If you’re going to the Malthouse Theatre

Head online and see what's on for the year at the Malthouse. Then book a table at The Atlantic Restaurant. You can go large at this seafood place, or opt for the affordably fancy fish and chips. Or feast on cult-status empanadas and dulche de leche flan at Asado. Make it a meal to remember with the Saturday bottomless lunch. The hand-picked menu of signature dishes is paired with bottomless beer, wine and sangria for two hours.

If you’re going to Hamer Hall

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s home is a short walk from Federation Square. Swing by Taxi Kitchen for Wagyu dumplings, Szechuan spiced duck and sweet treats to finish. Or kick back with drinks and comfort food right by the water at Riverland Bar. We love this very Melbourne beer garden’s $55 weekend bottomless pizza and spritz deal. After the show, you won't have to stray far. Cap off your night with a cheese plate and cocktails at Hamer Hall's new cafe and bar Pawa.

An outdoor bar looking out on a river with skyscrapers in the background.
Riverland Bar

If you’re going to the Melbourne Recital Centre

You need look no further than the wining and dining establishments right on this temple of beautiful music’s doorstep. The lineup of upcoming shows is stacked. Peckish? Often lively Blondie Bar spills onto the pavement in front of the MRC. It’s all about good times, from beer and bao to more substantial dishes over a bottle of vino. Next door is the buzzy Miss Pearl Bar + Dining. Indulge in dim sum, Asian fusion dishes and vibrant cocktails, knowing you’re literally steps from where you need to be.

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