Diner pouring gravy on a Sunday roast dish with a glass of red wine.
Photograph: Supplied / Three Blue Ducks

The best Sunday roasts in Melbourne

All the slow roasted meats and trimmings to warm you up this winter

Cjay Aksoy
Contributor: Lauren Dinse
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There's nothing quite like the warmth and comfort of a succulent, slow-cooked roast. It's both the culinary equivalent of a hug from your grandma and the tastiest way to get your meat and three veg in the chillier months. But on a cold winter's Sunday, you might not feel like spending five hours making it yourself – luckily, a whole host of venues across the city offer some hearty, homely and excellent value cook-ups.

So with Melbourne's lowest temps officially upon us, why not make it your new weekly tradition to traverse your way through our guide to Melbourne's best Sunday roasts? Complete with gravy, sides and the odd Yorkshire pudding, of course.

And for when you need some extra warmth, check out our guide to the best pubs with fireplaces

Best roast in Melbourne

  • Cocktail bars
  • Brunswick

At the former site of the Alehouse Project, this Brunswick East newcomer features a courtyard, natural wood fireplace and snazzy cocktail lounge. Sustainability and a minimal waste ethos are at the fore, with a partnership with Werribee Community Garden to grow heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits. If you haven't checked Maggie's out yet, Sunday's a great day to pop in – there's a $30 roast that includes a tap beer or vino, available from 2pm until sold out. 

 

  • Wine bars
  • Fitzroy North
  • price 2 of 4

At $65 per person, Neighbourhood Wine’s Sunday roast offers a  three-course set menu every week until 4pm or sold out. While the rotating menu changes according to what's in season, here's a couple of examples of the types of dishes you can expect: porchetta, roast cabbage and potatoes with a Yorkshire pudding and jus, followed by caramelised pear with chantilly cream; or a creamy potato and leek soup, followed by porterhouse, kale and potatoes and a cheese cake for dessert. The menu might sound humble, but the kitchen doesn’t mess around. Wine is not included, but the list is as well-priced as, well, the Sunday roast. 

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  • Hawthorn

This historic pub is a popular spot for drinks, pub grub and post-work gatherings, even more popular now since some much-needed flashy upgrades last year. And in good news for meat lovers, its famous pub roast is back until the end of winter! Available from 12pm on Sundays until sold out, the rotating weekly protein comes with all the roast trimmings, including Yorkshire pudding. All you need to do is a book a table and enjoy! 

 

  • Modern Australian
  • Northcote
  • price 2 of 4

The Estelle might have received a refurb and shake-up in recent years, but we're glad to report its Sunday roast roster hasn’t. Over winter, $50 gets you three courses that could be gnocchi with smoked ham hock, pork belly with a quince puree and a rhubarb tart; or tartare, roast lamb and a house made lamington. The menu is updated weekly and also includes a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail, while kids too can get a seat at the table for just $25 a head. This is one that you definitely have to book for. Go here for more info and to make a booking.

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5. Three Blue Ducks

At Three Blue Ducks out in Tullamarine, diners can choose from three delicious roast options: lamb rump with mint sauce; porchetta and apple mustard; and maple-glazed slow roasted pumpkin, all served with a sourdough Yorkshire pudding, rainbow chard, roast potatoes and carrots. Depending on what you pick, it'll cost about $36 to $40, and you can even add on extra Yorkshire puddings for $3 a pop. 

6. The Orrong Hotel

Every Sunday, The Orrong Hotel in Armadale offers a different pub roast special with all the trimmings, all for just $25. And now that the weather has cooled down, they've cranked up their open fireplaces giving pub-goers the perfect opportunity to defrost. They've got a solid list of Australian wines and beers to pair with your toasty roast, too.

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  • Thornbury
  • price 1 of 4

The Sunday roast was brought to us by English tradition, so it makes sense that British chef and owner Michael Slade does a mean one. It also doesn’t hurt that he used to be a butcher, so he gives that meat some much-deserved respect. Meats and sides change weekly, but expect the typical beef, pork or lamb with sides like roast spuds, brussels sprouts or cauliflower gratin with the obligatory Yorkshire pudding and gravy. It's guaranteed to be better than your mum’s.

  • Pubs
  • Prahran
  • price 1 of 4

The Mount Erica Hotel is huge and heaving for good reason. This place is the kind of outer suburban barn designed to hold and service hundreds of people at a time. Pop in for a fab roast on a Sunday that'll only set you back $25. The special rotates weekly, and the last one (at time of writing) was a juicy beef sirloin with celeriac puree, potatoes, broccolini and red wine jus.

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  • Pubs
  • Brunswick

Brunswick's heritage-listed Hotel Railway has a sordid history that came to an end in 2016 with a highly publicised drug bust. After several years and a massive facelift from the Riverland Group, new life has been breathed into the space and the public can once again pop in for a pint. 

Looking at the fresh brickwork, light wooden fixtures and the terracotta and white plaster walls, it's hard to believe that just recently this building was littered with graffiti, sketchy holes in the walls and random things left behind by urban explorers. Now, the three-storey building can now count itself among the biggest hospitality venues in the north, and has the capacity to host nearly 1,000 patrons. 

Punters can now choose from five different spaces within the venue including the main bar, a corner bar, a dining room, a beer garden and a courtyard. Whatever sort of atmosphere takes your fancy, you're sure to find it here. Swing by on a Friday to enjoy tunes by local DJs, or pop in with mates on Saturdays to get your footy fix on the big screens in the beer garden. 

The open-fire kitchen pays homage to Brunswick's migrant past with a menu filled with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Southern European flavours and dishes. Think lamb merguez served with baba ghanoush, celeriac shawarma served on pita with pickled vegetables and hummus and spiced lamb shoulder topped with a sweet and sour mint sauce. 

The beverage menu champions Australian makers, so you can expect to see a variety of local wines, tap beers and craft brews available. The cocktail menu features twists on classics such as an Espresso Martini made with macadamia and wattleseed liquor, as well as mixes made using house ferments and syrups. For those not drinking, there are also several delicious no- and low-alcohol beverages to choose from. 

Love enjoying fresh air while downing a cold pint? Here are the best beer gardens in Melbourne. 

 

  • Carlton

The Lincoln might not be your standard pub, but it does offer a Sunday roast like a standard pub. Each week, the menu rotates between chicken, pork and beef, and the meat is accompanied by roast potatoes and heritage vegetables from Day’s Walk Farm. It's $34 a serve, but if you’re a big eater, the regular menu is also available, so you can start yourself off with some cheddar and leek croquettes, throw in some triple-cooked chips and end on some Harper and Blohm cheeses. Book your plate of roast in advance if you don’t want to miss out – the word’s out!

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  • Fitzroy

When you call up this Fitzroy neighbourhood fave to ask what the day’s roast is, don’t be surprised if the answer is a tad vague. We were greeted with, “I’m not sure yet, but it’s always changing, and it’s always delicious.” Correct on two points, Mr Marquis. The roast changes but on one particular weekend, the cosy backstreet pub was dishing out slow-cooked lamb shoulder with golden kipflers, a savoury lick of gravy and a bitter note from the charred radicchio. Expect something just as sophisticated. 

  • Carlton

Epocha has been known for its generous Sunday roasts since it opened. Angie Giannakodakis uses what other venues consider the day of rest to change the pace of this fancy diner, and she delivers the kind of Greek hospitality she would provide in her own home. For $65 you get a roast lunch with snacks (think crispy pig ears or chicken liver pâté) and all the trimmings, served family-style. Keep an eye out on their website as the protein changes every week. Book ahead or be prepared for disappointment.

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  • Carlton North

Why do we subject ourselves to a full roast on scorching-hot Christmas days? The kitchen crew at the Great Northern Hotel in Carlton North – quite rightly – believe that you should be able to eat a roast any time of the year. Which is why you might get served roast turkey breast with cranberry sauce, vegetables and sauteed pine mushrooms in the middle of May for only $30. The roast changes often according to what interests the chefs, so the staff will only know what's on a few hours before you do. And the best part? You can drink as many pints as you like and you don’t have to deal with your mad old aunty.

  • Fitzroy
  • price 1 of 4

There’s more to the Napier Hotel than the gargantuan bogan burger (you know, that head-sized assembly of steak, chicken schnitzel, bacon, egg and potato cake). This historic boozer in the backstreets of Fitzroy also does one helluva weekend roast. Grab a seat by the fire in the art-filled dining room for the weekly special, perhaps rolled pork belly with high-decibel crackling, caramelised figs, charred broccolini, pumpkin, potatoes, braised cabbage and a little jug of herby cider gravy. Pure comfort.

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  • Port Melbourne

When you’re feeling nostalgic for Nanna’s roast, get yourself down to the Exchange Hotel in Port Melbourne for the Sunday Roast Collection. From midday until sold out, $27 buys you a choice of meat with the classic counter-meal accoutrements of carrots, peas, parsnip and potatoes. Serviceable and sturdy, it tastes like childhood, right down to the fluoro green mint jelly spooned straight from the jar.

Now fancy a drink?

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