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Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is back for 2021: here's what to expect

The festival was cancelled in 2020, but many of the events will make a triumphant return this year

By Rushani Epa
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Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is back for 2021, folks. This mega event is set to fill your calendar with a long list of brunches, lunches and dinners, and it's all starting on March 12. 

However, this won't be the festival you remember. For 2021, MFWF will be stretching into three seasonal events. In line with the seasons, the festival will host its March events, then move on in winter to its signature two-week festival all about Melbourne, and then throw a never-been-done-before festival in spring celebrating the food and drink of regional Victoria.

Melbourne’s western suburbs will be heralded in the 12 Westside Crawl events which are set to take place in suburbs including West Footscray, Seddon, Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Spotswood, Altona, Caroline Springs, Melton, Sunshine, St Albans, Werribee and Wyndham Harbour. The events are the result of a collaboration between Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Eat Drink Westside and six western Melbourne councils. Events like the Sunshine Crawl will get guests trying a traditional Ethiopian coffee ritual at Gojo Café, northern Vietnamese food at Xuan Banh Cuon then heading to the neighbourhood’s celebrated Persian community eatery, SalamaTea. Similarly, the West Footscray Crawl will introduce punters to Barkly Street  a vibrant, multicultural street that’s dotted with exceptional restaurants including outdoor bar Zymurgy, pepperoni pizza masters Harley and Rose, and Filipino eatery Chibog. 

The March program also includes over 50 events that were set to run before the pandemic, plus some of the festival's most-loved events, which were postponed in 2020. The Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch returns on Friday, March 12 with an all-star line-up including Stephanie Alexander, Philippe Mouchel and Jacques Reymond, to serve up an outdoor feast for over a thousand people in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens. The festival will also host a brand new event, Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Brunch, that will take place on Saturday, March 13 also in the Treasury Gardens. In celebration of Melbourne’s obsession with brunch, the event will be designed by Kate Reid (Lune Croissant) in collaboration with Nathan Toleman (Apte, Three Bags Full, Two Birds One Stone, Top Paddock, Higher Ground, Kettle Black and Liminal).

Dandenong will have its time in the sun with the Dandenong World Fare bringing together food, culture and history at Dandenong Market, and O Tama Carey from Sydney’s Lankan Filling Station will collaborate with Matt McConnell at Bar Lourinhã on a Sri Lankan-Portuguese spectacular. 

Tickets for the 2021 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Bank of Melbourne’s World’s Longest Lunch and Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Brunch will go on sale via the website from 9am on Friday February 12, 2021. Pre-sale tickets are available for 2020 ticket holders and MFWF subscribers. 

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s March program runs from March 12 to 31 and all program details can be found here.

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