Wondering what’s been happening behind the scenes in the city? Find out what’s new in our guide to the latest laneway happenings.
Feast on steamy hot pot with your mates
A new hot pot restaurant has just opened in Heffernan Lane. Grab the crew, head upstairs at QQ Chicky Pot and load up your steamy stew. Add your choice of fillings like dumplings, veges, chicken and noodles then get cooking for a hearty feast to fill hungry bellies. Don't forget to order a round of beers or soju to keep the party going.
Find the TikTok famous pasta bar
Silky handmade pasta and creamy risottos take centre stage at this moody late-night pasta bar. Tucked down tiny Niagara Lane, Alt's chefs create art with simple dishes in an open kitchen. Order a plate of glossy cacio e pepe, or perhaps squid ink fettuccine with spanner crab. Everything is made in-house, from the pasta down to the seasonal gelato, and carefully paired with a curated wine list.
Seek out a Japanese hidden gem
Find Equitable Place’s new hidden gem Ilza. The Japanese cafe founded in Docklands is so popular it just opened its second location. Find unique menu items such as homemade curry and thick-cut katsu sandwiches. Drinks are a must-try here too, opt for the refreshing orange latte or the delicious strawberry matcha latte.
Revisit Melbourne's most iconic laneway bar
From Meyers Place to Crossley Street, this impressively narrow fit-out was known as one of Melbourne's most iconic tiny bars. Now the old Six Degrees bones have been given new life in the form of Bard's Apothecary, a bar-meets-art space in the former Meyers Place premises. Pop in at ground level for knock-off negronis. Then head down into the secret basement and enjoy live music, comedy and more.
Eat late night desserts in Melbourne's most hidden cafe
We often describe things as hidden, but Snow Moon is seriously hidden. Like, walk down a never-ending tunnel off a laneway and stop dead in the centre levels of hidden. But for these delicious Thai-inpsired bingsu desserts, it's definitely worth the journey. Classic milk tea and Oreo flavours are on the menu. Along with pandan-soaked toastie sticks, Yakult jelly creations and Lotus Biscoff waffles. Other delicious toppings include salted egg sauce, foithang (sweet egg yolk strands) and butterfly pea.
Seek out a hidden oyster bar in MidCity Arcade
Insiders know MidCity Arcade is like a detour to Japan. But ride the escalator above this little laneway, push back the unassuming door and you'll find a world of French wine and premium oysters. Pull up a velvet stool at the bar, where a display of the day’s fresh selection will tempt you. Try rock oysters sourced from around Australia. And order a glass from the country’s (and perhaps the world’s) largest Chablis library.
The Butter Room
A new Korean and French-inspired bakery has just opened in a hidden Melbourne laneway. Look for the cute bunny mural out then enjoy injeolmi (roasted soybean mochi-style Korean treat) croissants, black sesame scones, matcha pandoro and more sweet treats. There are plenty of savoury options as well as signature drinks like dirty matcha lattes and cream strawberry milk.
Enjoy steaming hot pots at Khaosan Lane
Named after a popular street in Bangkok, Khaosan Lane is the place to go for steaming seafood hot pots. Roll up your sleeves and sizzle your own selection of meats and BBQ favourites. Order delicious, giant fruity cocktails served in jugs for the whole table to enjoy. Stretching down a hidden laneway lined with rainbow-coloured string lights, the atmosphere is more South East Asia than it is Melbourne. Live music kicks off at 8.30pm every night too.
Spice up your lunch at Paik's Pan
Find some of the best authentic Korean in Melbourne. Healeys Lane is home to Paik’s Pan – be warned, this place packs quite the punch. The hero on the menu is dakgalbi – a spicy chicken stir-fry dish – but there is a whole lot to choose from. Go for soupy shabu shabu or rabokki – a hearty stew with ramen noodles and tteokbokki (rice cakes). Pack your chef's hat for this cook-at-the-table experience.
Try fancy potato cakes in Warburton Lane
Enjoy Australian wines paired with native produce in a warm and inviting space at Myrtle Wine Bar. A newcomer to Warburton Lane, the two-storey space is beautifully rustic. To eat there’s aniseed myrtle and saltbush spiced squid. Sardine fingers with whipped Murray cod. Buttermilk damper. And oh-so nostalgic chip shop potato cakes, elevated to gourmet status with salmon roe and cultured cream.
Have futuristic bingsu and matcha desserts in Hardware Street
With flawless interiors, laneway location and creative dessert options, Nimbo was bound to be an instant classic. Join the queue in Hardware Street and order the fan-fave ube (purple sweet potato) flavour, topped with sticky sweet cornflake clusters. Try inventive toasties like miso cheese or pear and foie gras. Or go dairy free with vegan options, including a tofu pudding bingsu. Then, after-dark it turns into cute night cafe Matcha Mate specialising in a matcha-lover's menu.
Make Filipino your new fave food off Guildford Lane
Take the stairs up to Barkada Pinoy on Sutherland Street. The menu is stacked with barbecued delights. This includes smoky skewers, burger steaks, cult-status inasal (flame-grilled chicken) and hearty breakfast sets. Save room for dessert – 'ice scrambles' stacked with cream, seasonal fruit and buttery crumble are a must-try. Or bring your bestie to try the 'taho'. A delicious sweet tofu and sago syrup pudding, freshly scooped from a a giant metal serving dish.
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