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People sitting around on astroturf at Federation Square
Photograph: Federation Square

Check out some of Melbourne's newest outdoor dining precincts

Sit back with riverside views or dine in the middle of the road with friends

Written by
Rushani Epa
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If you weren’t able to live out your dreams of dustily sipping on mimosas somewhere along the French Riviera, this one’s for you. Melbourne’s slowly coming back to life and just in time for summer. With that, many venues have lobbied to renew the city with pop-up outdoor dining precincts. Think riverside or lakeside views or experiencing the thrill of dining in the middle of the road.

So what is an outdoor dining precinct you ask? It's an area that provides guests with the chance to drink or dine in an alfresco setting. It’s basically a safe way for us to spill out onto the streets, laneways and even parking spaces and have a ball together as the weather warms up.

As many of these areas are temporary they’re here for a good time, not a long time, so check them out while you can.

Albert Park Lake 

Women sitting around on chairs under a beach umbrella on a grassy lawn drinking cocktails
Photograph: Lakeside at Carousel

Head to and set yourself up under a beach umbrella with Lakeside at Carousel. There are umbrellas for hire plus plenty of food options from Carousel Café to keep you and your friends fuelled throughout the day. There are plans for live music to take place, al fresco dining right by the lake at Carousel and a pop-up bar too. 

22 Aughtie Dr, Albert Park

Federation Square

People sitting around on astroturf at Federation Square
Photograph: Federation Square

Cruise on over to Fed Square and eat under the stars. There’s live entertainment on offer every day to set the mood, and free parking for those dining at any of its venues in November. Sink a pint at Beer DeLuxe or grab a bite at either TimeOut (no relation to us), Riverland, Pilgrim or Chocolate Buddha. 

Corner of Swanston St and Flinders St, Melbourne

Crown Melbourne

Chairs and tables on astro turf with a bar behind it
Photograph: Crown Melbourne

For those of us who are desperate to be on a sunny beach in St Tropez, there’s a closer alternative: Pétanque Social by Crown Melbourne. The newly constructed outdoor bar and dining space along the Yarra comes fitted out with day beds, lounge chairs and plenty of food offerings. Think hand rolls and tacos by Nobu, freshly shucked oysters or frites from Bistro Guillaume, and a gelato trolley by 400 Gradi. 

Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank

Ballarat Street, Yarraville 

Get acquainted with a pizza and an Aperol spritz from Pizza d’Asporto and settle down on the bright green astroturf at Ballarat Street in Yarraville. The newly resurrected outdoor dining area is fast becoming a watering hole for locals and is the perfect spot to catch up with mates and get a bite to eat from surrounding businesses. 

Ballarat Street, Yarraville

Yewers St, Footscray

We're back with more outdoor pizza and ice-cold beverages but this time at Footscray’s own Yewers Street. Casual restaurant and bar Back Alley Sally’s has currently set up chairs and tables with the choice for you to grab a slice from Slice Girls West and indulge in as many pints as you want. The street is now open to pedestrians between Thursday 4pm until Sunday 10pm as per council guidelines.

Yewers St, Footscray

St Kilda Beach

Benches, bar, sand and grass
Photograph: Pontoon Park

Don your nicest pair of shades, slap on some sunscreen and head to Pontoon Park situated on St Kilda Beach. The team at Stokehouse Precinct have landed exclusive access to the Catani Archway garden area where Pontoon Park will be set up during Melbourne's warmer days. It's a casual walk-in affair offering hard seltzers (courtesy of its sponsor White Claw), beers, cocktails and fresh wood-fired pizzas. The area is decked out with picnic tables and umbrellas and is set to feature live music pop-ups in summer.

Catani Archway, Jacka Blvd, St Kilda

Nelson Place, Williamstown

Astroturf, fencing and tables and chairs with trees around
Photograph: Rushani Epa

The artificial turf trend continues on at Nelson Place in Williamstown. Take in views of the neighbouring park, yachts in the distance or the bright blue horizon of Port Phillip Bay as you sit down outside one of the area's numerous cafés or restaurants. Dig into fresh Greek food at Remvi by the Bay or grab a scoop of chocolate brownie ice cream at Gelateria. There's also Customs House Hotel for those looking for a pint at the pub. 

Nelson Place, Williamstown

Greville St, Prahran

What could be perceived as a nightmare to motorists is now a safe haven for diners and darlings of Prahran alike. The trendiest street in the area has cordoned off a section so the likes of steakhouse Angus and Bon, Italian pizzeria Ladro, cocktail connoisseurs Ivy on Greville and jaunty café Oscar Cooper can spill out onto the street. Patrons can expect bench-style seating, umbrellas aplenty and some see-through marquees. And, of course, synthetic grass. 

Greville St, Prahran

Southbank

Crown Casino, Southbank, Melbourne
Photograph: Josie Withers

Riverside Quay was once a hotspot for bar hoppers and corporates alike and is now set to transform into an undercover, outdoor dining precinct from November 19 onwards. Dine at either Leftbank, Breslin Bar and Grill, Hopscotch, Ludlow or Soho and treat yourself to everything from burgers and craft beer to cocktails and pasta. 

Riverside Quay, Southbank

Here's a list of beaches that you can head to afterwards.

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