Where to dine out when the restrictions are lifted in Melbourne
The doors of Melbourne's hospitality venues were shuttered for dine-in services when the federal government announced a nationwide shutdown. Now, dining establishments around Melbourne have been given the green light to start operations again – though within strict physical distancing parameters. As of June 1, venues will be allowed to have a maximum of 20 patrons at one time. We've collated a rolling list of Melbourne's venues that will be offering dine-in services. It's by no means an exhaustive list of the venues taking action right now; rules and restrictions are changing quickly, and everyone is doing their best to keep up. We recommend checking the social media accounts of your favourite venues for the most up-to-date information. If you'd like to contact us to add your venue to the list, please email us here. Note that with the number of patrons capped at 20 people, bookings are essential for all venues on this list unless otherwise stated. Don't be a jerk and do a no-show; people's livelihoods are at stake.
What dining will look like in Melbourne after lockdown
For months, restaurants, bars and cafes have been unable to serve people in the way they were designed to. Rooms that were once filled with waitstaff, diners, outrageously designed furniture, endless bottles of wine, the clang of crockery and upbeat playlists are now empty. If the doors are open, tables have been pushed to the side, chairs are stacked, and you shuffle to the counter, where a lonely member of staff (most likely the owner) takes your order and unromantically hands your food to you in a sweaty paper bag. Cash might not be an acceptable form of payment. Staff have been stood down, bills are unable to be paid, stock has been sent back, and in most cases rent is still being charged. So what can we expect when venues are allowed to reopen to a maximum capacity of 20 diners per enclosed space on June 1? We spoke to restaurateurs, bar owners and distributors about their plans and projections for dining in Melbourne. Be prepared to provide credit card details when you book a table It’s no secret that hospitality is a hard industry in which to make a buck. Even in the Beforetime, a survey conducted by the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia reported an average profit between 2 and 4 per cent for hospitality – and this is when businesses were capable of running at 100 per cent capacity. With reduced numbers allowed in venues at any one time, it’s impossible to simply break even. Jessi Singh, owner of Daughter In Law, Mrs Singh, Horn Please and Sydney’s Don
Restaurants and bars now doing takeaway in Melbourne
The government has announced closures of restaurants and bars, but takeaway and delivery services are still currently available. This is a list of restaurants and bars still able to offer you food from their menus, rescue packs and even produce boxes that can get you through these tough times. Please be sure to check the social media accounts of your favourite venue to keep up with what they're doing. We endeavour to keep this list as up to date as possible. If you would like your venue featured or know of any changes, please get in touch via email. Keep track of what else is going on. Here is a list of all cancelled events in Melbourne. Keep supporting your favourite restaurants even though you can't dine in. Here's how you can do it. Help support those in the hospitality industry by signing this petition and having your say.
Restaurants and bars now selling groceries in Melbourne
The government has announced closures of restaurants and bars. Some venues have pivoted to takeaway and delivery, but not all menus are delicious once transported. Instead, some cafes, restaurants and bars have transformed into grocers, offering you stunning produce, direct through restaurant suppliers for you to cook at home. Please be sure to check the social media accounts of your favourite venue to keep up with what they're doing. We endeavour to keep this list as up to date as possible. If you would like your venue featured or know of any changes, please get in touch via email. Keep track of what else is going on. Here is a list of all cancelled events in Melbourne. Keep supporting your favourite restaurants even though you can't dine in. Here's how you can do it. Help support those in the hospitality industry by signing this petition and having your say.
How to support your local restaurant during the outbreak of COVID-19
Have our restaurants and bars not been through enough? As the hospitality industry banded together to support one another during the catastrophic bushfires across the country and both restaurants and farmers were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, a global virus pandemic has broken out. The measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus might seem extreme, but it is our social responsibility to self-contain, self-quarantine, engage in social distancing and generally be more aware of our personal hygiene. This is causing even more strain on a restaurant industry that is already operating at a loss after a major disaster on wafer-thin margins. To ensure that your favourite diner, bar or eatery is going to remain open, here are some things you can do to help. 1 Buy a gift voucher When you purchase a gift voucher, the money goes directly to the restaurant right now, which means the venue can keep the doors open another day. Gift vouchers generally don't expire for at least 12 months, so you will be able to claim your meal back at a later date. 2 Buy merchandise Does your favourite restaurant sell a branded tote bag, T-shirt or any other sweet merch you've been eyeing off? Buy it. If your local is technology savvy, it probably has an online store to back it up. Every dollar will help keep the lights on. 3 Get take away Restaurants and bars are changing up the way they do business to get through tough times. This means that even if they haven't been able to previous
Where to eat right now
The best steak in Melbourne
Australia’s got a hard-earned rep for producing some of the best beef in the world. Unfortunately, our track record at cooking the stuff hasn’t been quite as golden, with “grilled to within an inch of its life” a common approach, historically. Thankfully, Melbourne’s restaurants are catching on to what many have known for years – that when it comes to premium cuts, fresh is not always best. Dry-ageing, the longer the better, has finally taken off, and the result is tender steaks packed with meaty flavour, worthy of the noble beasts from whence they came. If you’re in need of a red meat fix, here’s our list of ten of the best places in Melbourne to get yours. These are by no means the only places in town throwing a rump on the grill, but they’re our go-to for every budget and occasion. Not sure exactly what you want? Here are the 50 best restaurants in Melbourne.And for dessert? The 8 best places for ice cream and gelato. Just want something fun? Try one of Melbourne's best teppanyaki restaurants.
Latest restaurant and cafe reviews
The best Melbourne cafés
The best toasties in Melbourne
Melbourne loves us a toastie: you’ll find superlative renditions from day break at bright and buzzy bakeries, and just as many plated up until 2am over drinks in cosy underground bars. Whether your hankering looks like white bread tuckshop jaffles or highbrow ingredients layered over the finest artisan sourdough, you’ll find hot pockets of joy in the five-star sarnies we’ve gathered below. Don't like your bread crunchy? Here are Melbourne's best sandwiches. Or for a hot liquid lunch, try one of Melbourne's best noodle soups. Recommended: The 50 best restaurants in Melbourne right now.
Have you heard about...
This Chapel Street restaurant is offering drive-through gnocchi
Like many other Melbourne restaurants, Windsor’s Lover has thought outside the box during this COVID-19 pandemic to keep the venue afloat. While it remains possible to do so, Lover is offering delivery and drive-through options for some of its menu items. There’s croquettes, oysters, pizza pockets and more, but what we’re most excited about is the gnocchi. Lover is offering six different types of gnocchi including a lamb ragu gnocchi, blue cheese gnocchi, pumpkin gnocchi and a “Nonna style” meatball gnocchi. The team is also hoping to sell pre-bottled cocktails called Quarantinis (hehehe) and a selection of Australian wines, but this has to be cleared by licensing first. Stay tuned. You can order your gnocchi online or over the phone. For pick up, you’re invited to pull up in the street alongside the restaurant and the Lover team will drop it off to your car. Head to Lover’s website for more info or give them a call on 03 9510 6655. See what more of Melbourne’s restaurants are doing during the COVID-19 outbreak or order yourself a book online and get it delivered by Readings staff.
Annam and Pho Nom are making ready-made meals
Chef and owner of Annam and Pho Nom Jerry Mai has grown out her mohawk, but make no mistake, she is still a tough nut. After the initial ghost town of Chinatown after the first announcements of COVID-19, Mai endured, adapted and brought the crowds back to her doorstep, but things have now taken an obvious turn for the worst. So, for those who are practising social distancing, Mai has created take-home menus for both Annam and Pho Nom. All orders will be taken over the phone for Annam starting from 2pm, tomorrow (March 18), and meals can be picked up between 5-7pm. Food will be packed in a way that you can either heat and eat or freeze for a later date. Pho Nom's meals will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Dishes will change daily, but the meals will always be $18 each. Please keep up to date with the menu by following the social media accounts. The current menu for Annam is as follows: - Mekong beef curry, bamboo shoots, morning glory, Thai basil- Roast pumpkin rendang with potato, toasted coconut and baby corn- Pad Thai with prawns or tofu- Tom Yum duck fried rice- An entree pack of dumplings and spring rolls that you will need to cook at home If you spend more than $30 at Annam, Mai will personally buy you a beer while you wait, or throw in a complimentary bog roll (!!!). Pho Nom's current menu is: - Chicken curry with potatoes and rice- Vegan curry with mock chicken- Grilled chicken rice with nuoc mam dressing and vegetables- Thit kho (braised pork belly) with rice
Lentil As Anything is now delivering its pay-as-you-feel vegan meals
Lentil As Anything has been providing tasty, healthy, affordable meals across Melbourne and Sydney for around two decades. The 100 per cent vegan restaurant is famous for offering a pay-as-you-feel system. Put simply, diners pay what they can afford for their meal. Well now you can pay-as-you-feel for Lentil As Anything’s meals and have them delivered to your door. The restaurant’s Thornbury and Newtown venues now let you order online or on the phone, pay-as-you-feel for the meal, and have it delivered to your door. Lentil As Anything’s delivery service is only available if you live within two kilometres from the venue, but if you live further afield you may be able to order through UberEats. For those of us who haven’t established a healthy relationship with our kitchens, the restaurant is also making vacuum-packed vegan meals to eat later. There are four-meal or eight-meal options, with dishes like Moroccan vegetable tagines, spiced tofu rendang and pumpkin, chickpea and spinach curry to choose from. The team will also donate a meal to someone in need for every meal you order. As part of this “Together As Anything” initiative, the restaurant is also looking for volunteers to help deliver the meals. So if you’re healthy and well with some free time on your hands, this might be a way for you to help your community. Here are more ways you can help out during the Covid-19 crisis. Or check out the quarantine-friendly deals these restaurants are running.
Melbourne's restaurants and bars have closed – here’s what that means for you
UPDATE 25/03/2020: Overnight the Australian government has released updated bans on venues. Please see updates below. The Australian government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic is getting serious, as we anticipated. Prime minister Scott Morrison announced last night a closure to "non-essential" businesses across the country. This morning, Daniel Andrews doubled down on that sentiment in a press conference, noting a number of Victorian venues will be shut from midday today. If you’re wondering how that affects you while you’re physically distancing at home, here’s what you need to know. Essential services are still open There is no need to go panic buy food from supermarkets or rush to Bunnings for those DIY projects you want to get done at home. Both of these venues are remaining open. So what exactly is open? Supermarkets, shopping centres, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores, delivery and freight services, childcare centres, bottle shops and hairdressers (now limited to 30-minute consultations only). Public transport is still running. Weddings are limited to five people and a celebrant. Funerals are limited to a maximum of ten people. Personal training and boot camps are limited to ten people. And what is now closed? Bars and pubs, clubs, cinemas, nightclubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, entertainment venues, casinos and places of worship. Schools are now shut. Cafés and restaurants are restricted to takeaway only. As of March 25, additional closu