There’s a reason why Melbourne hosted the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants last year; the city is one of the world’s most exciting culinary capitals. What's more, plenty of Melbourne's newest restaurants and bars are ideal for cosy winter dining.
If your idea of perfect winter comfort food begins and ends with pasta, you’ll want to book ASAP for a table at Osteria Ilaria – the Italian restaurant that took out Time Out’s 2017 Food Awards. Speaking of Italian fare, Lygon Street – which has long been famous for its Italian restaurants – has seen a resurgence in the last few years, with the likes of new-guard eateries like pizza haven Mr Pietro.
Searching for somewhere you can really treat yourself? The Mayfair – which you'll spot glowing enticingly from the Sofitel forecourt – represents the best of old-world dining wrapped in a very contemporary package. Slip into a plush circular booth, sit back and listen to live jazz and take your pick of mod-European fare; you won't be disappointed.
To really escape the cold, head underground to the newly opened Beneath Driver Lane – a cocktail and whisky bar located in an old bank vault. This candle-lit, cosy and cavernous space is the perfect place to while away the hours with an Old Fashioned in hand. Plus, any venue that serves Reuben sandwiches at 2am is alright by us.
You can’t spend a weekend in Melbourne without engaging in the city's favourite pastime: brunch. Our favourite new café is Industry Beans – the new CBD outpost of one of Fitzroy’s finest cafés serving some of the best coffees in town (they roast the beans in their sister café). Order (and Instagram) the granola; a pretty affair filled with granola, bright-pink compressed watermelon, slices of coconut flesh, a splash of mango-and-orange puree and white pineapple foam.