As the undisputed foodie capital of Australia, Melbourne sets itself very high standards when it comes to new dining and drinking experiences. With countless new venues opening in 2017, competition for customers is fierce and the quality of produce and tipples on offer is as high as you’ll find in any culinary centre across the world. In classic True Local style, we’ve put together this concise list covering 5 of the best food and beverage establishments which have caught our eye in Melbourne this past year. Read on and let your tastebuds wander!
20 Pesgrace Place, Melbourne
Appropriately hidden off Melbourne’s Little Collins Street, Bar Americano is a tiny, old school cocktail bar reminiscent of 1920’s New York City as much as its vibrant home town. With this local favourite having recently made it into Phaidon’s World’s Best Bars Guide, it’s safe to assume your drinking experience here will be sublime. Don’t know where to begin with their impressive list? Why not opt for their Whisky Fix ($23.00).
“Really funky cocktail bar hidden down a laneway. We were lucky enough to come on a weeknight and therefore have a lot of room to ourselves. The room had a really cool vibe, very old school. The bartender was chatty and very friendly. The cocktail list was small but excelled in taste! They have seasonal cocktails which rotate. And the bartender whipped me up something that I loved when I told him what I liked. Great for a date night!” – Lisa Giles
120 Hardware Street, Melbourne
With a menu combining the two great European cuisines of France and Spain, Hardware Societe is one of the most popular brekkie and lunch spots in Melbourne. Its quiet laneway location just off Little Lonsdale Street makes it a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area, whilst its butterfly-print wallpaper brings a comforting homely touch. Popular pieces to try include The Continental ($18.00) for brekkie, Beef Cheek ($25.00) for lunch followed by a Matcha Green Tea Latte ($5.00) to wash it all down.
“This is a delightful cafe. It offers a bright, welcoming space with appealing decor, great service and good coffee. Most tables are for sharing but there’s plenty of room. I love the casual ‘homey’ feel and the whole atmosphere. I’ll be back” – Ali-Hawk
Level 3, 59 Bourke Street, Melbourne
As far as Melbourne bars go, Madame Brussels sets itself apart with a seriously kitsch, over-the-top 1950’s, inspired “garden party” theme. Complete with faux grass, wrought iron furniture sets and generous city skyline views, Madame Brussels has been the scene of many late night celebrations over the years. We should also mention it’s dog friendly, so bring along your pampered pooch and it’s also open from 12 PM for those who’d prefer to keep more regular hours.
“The cutest rooftop bar, perfect for a meet up with your gals on a Saturday afternoon. Make sure you embrace your 50s poodle skirt!” – Kira Warren
285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
After a vintage drop with a stellar view? You’ve come to the right place. Occupying a roomy open air space atop the iconic Naked for Satan restaurant in funky inner city Fitzroy, Naked in the Sky is an impressive bar with a very impressive wine list – including their gorgeous Langmeil Bella Rouge 2015 Rose, which can be paired with Tapas plates ($9.00) or sweets including their Oreo Trifle ($9.00).
“I think this may be my new favourite bar! The rooftop bar has an amazing view of the city, plenty of seating area and heaters in winter! The crowd is good, every one there just to have a good time and stick to their own group of friends. Bar service takes a while though, understandable as they have a lot of cocktails which take time to make” – mass.d
59 Napier Street, Footscray
Smug in the heart of the west, Footscray’s Station Hotel is a classic Melbourne pub housed in a distinctive and impressive heritage building. Its menu is also very impressive and includes a range of enticing, French inspired items such as their delicious Crème Brulee, Valrhona Chocolate Petit Fours and extensive cheese range covering Blue Fourme d’Ambert to Washed Rind (all $14.00).
“Probably the best steak in the western suburbs, possibly in the top ten steak restaurants in Melbourne. Steaks here are always cooked to perfection but be sure you book ahead especially on weekends. The atmosphere is wonderful and the staff are so lovely and so helpful” – svchu1