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Charcuterie, canapes, drinks on a table with someone pouring a drink
Photograph: Supplied/Arbory Afloat

The best New Year's Eve feasts in Melbourne

Celebrate the end of this ridiculous year with flowing food, drinks, family and friends at these Melbourne venues

Written by
Rushani Epa
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We all have certain words to describe 2020, but they're probably best left to the imagination. Send off this whack year with a feast, loved ones and some top-notch booze thanks to these much-loved Melbourne restaurants and bars. 

There's everything from Aperol Spritzes, live DJs and Italian-inspired fare at Johnny's Green Room, to a five-course menu inspired by Hong Kong's street food at Flower Drum. Melbourne is putting it on for one huge celebration to say sayonara to 2020, so what are you waiting for? Book your spot, don your schmancy clothes that have been gathering dust in the closet and brace yourself for the party of the year. 

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Melbourne in December.

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Where to eat this New Year's Eve

CBD

The following CBD restaurants are open on New Year's Eve.


+39
  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Spend your countdown at +39 Pizzeria with pandoro cake in your mouth, mascarpone cream on your face, and joy in your eyes. The venue has sittings available from 4:30pm to 12:30am on New Year's Eve and an Italian menu featuring the likes of linguine al nero and gnocco fritto with salumi that will knock your calzini off. Book online via the Fork.

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Raise your glass at the Arbory and take in views of the Yarra River this New Year’s Eve. The drinks will flow and there will be DJs and entertainment all night long, with the option to join them for two evening sittings: commencing from 5pm to 6pm or 8:30pm to 9:30pm (with the later sitting being catered to adults only).

Sit down to an all-inclusive menu of canapés, flowing beer, cider, wine, Champagne and premium house spirits. Each sitting goes for two and a half hours and costs $195 per adult, $105 per teenager aged 13 to 17 years and $45 per child aged 12 years and under (who can opt for a kids meal and soft drinks instead). Book online.

Arbory Afloat
Photograph: Simon Shiff

Arbory Afloat

Arbory Afloat is kicking off a beach house-themed party this year. Join the celebrations from 8pm and take advantage of unlimited drinks including beer, cider, wine, Champagne and premium house spirits, and snack on canapés until the party ends at 12:30am. Local DJs will take to the decks and there will be plenty of entertainment to keep you amused. Main deck admission costs $250 per person while upper deck will cost $300 per person. There's also daybed and cabana packages on offer for four to ten guests that includes a dedicated waitress serving serviced beverages too. Find out more information including how to book via the website.

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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Iberian joint, Bar Lourinhã, will host sittings from 6pm to 11pm. Share your meal tapas-style with your nearest and dearest. Think tuna and radish pintxos crudo with espelette oil and raciones like clams with manzanilla and butter. Reserve via the website.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Step into the lavish underground haunt that is Bar Margaux. Toast with French 125s (a refreshing combination of Cognac, lemon and Champagne) and take advantage of its French-inspired menu. It's almost guaranteed that oysters will make an appearance too. Sittings will take place from 6pm to 11:30pm. Reserve online.

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  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Bar Saracen is famed for its hummus, but set aside what you already know because this time you’re invited to feast in Luxuria, inspired by The Banquet of Cleopatra. There will be a strong focus on Egyptian-style seafood dishes, with matched wines included. It’s $250 per person and bookings can be made online

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

We all know that Spaniards know how to party and have a good time, and Bomba's New Year's Eve fiesta is no exception to the rule. A vibrant Spanish feast will take place showcasing the likes of Wagyu beef pinchos morunos, and aged cava served with Sydney rock oysters and oscietra caviar. Matched drinks will also flow and those opting for the later sitting will be serenaded by live music until 1am. Open 5pm to 1am. Reserve via the Fork.

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  • Things to do
  • Expos and conventions
  • South Wharf

Take in the sunset and give 2020 a proper send-off at Cargo. Situated in Docklands, you'll have waterfront views alongside a three-course menu that is designed to share. Expect saganaki with red grapes and balsamic vinegar, grilled baby octopus with romesco and a chorizo crumb, or slow-cooked lamb shoulder. It's $150 per person and includes wine and beer. Reserve via Try Booking.

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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne

Daughter in Law's cladded in myriad colours on the inside and its Indian-influenced dishes match the theme. Expect bright pops of colour in its six-course menu with the deep yellow hues of its butter chicken or yellow dhal, and the fire-hydrant red of its chicken tikka served with onion salsa. Sittings will take place from 4:30pm to 12:30am and tickets range from $79 to $124 (depending on if you include drinks or not). Reserve via the website.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

Join Cantonese fine-diner Flower Drum as it puts on a five-course menu inspired by Hong Kong's legendary street food. There will be scallop siu mai, fish balls cooked in a spicy curry sauce, soy-poached chicken cooked in a 30-year-old master stock and freshly baked egg tarts. It’s $120 per head with drinks charged upon consumption and sittings are available from 6pm to 9:45pm. Book via email at enquiry@flower-drum.com.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

Andrew McConnell's swish new-ish venue Gimlet is putting it on for New Year's Eve. Choose to sit indoors or outdoors with each section giving you a different offering. Indoors will open from noon with live music taking place during dinner and its menu is set to feature crudités, fromage blanc and lovage, and shellfish salad. Step outdoors for its à la carte supper menu and treat yourself to rock oysters or caviar with French fries. It's priced at $160 per person and drinks will be charged additionally. Book online

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

It’s always tempting to get into the defunct bathtub at Gin Palace, but you’ll need to sit down like a proper adult for this one. But don’t fret, it’ll be worth it. A five-course set menu will be on offer featuring an appropriate boozy theme with canapés (including oysters with absinthe “caviar”), kingfish ceviche and braised pork belly with roast pear and ginger purée, salsa verde and crackle. There will also be an absinthe truffle but you won’t be seeing the green fairy anytime soon. It's $80 for the set menu or $130 for five courses plus drinks (choose from one Gin and Tonic and two Martinis or one Gin and Tonic and two glasses of Champagne). Email functions@ginpalace.com.au to reserve your spot. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Hot dogs and cold ones are on the menu at Hihou, but don't be fooled into picturing mystery meat sausages with white sandwich-sliced bread: these hot dogs have class. The Hihou Dog includes an arabiki pork sausage on a Baker D Chirico bun with enough pickles and condiments to suit your every wish. There's also a shiitake option for the mushroom-loving folks out there. Japanese beers and the Hihou's signature Negro-kan Spritz will also add to the fun. Join in at one of the sittings from 6pm to 11pm. Book online.

HuTong
  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Say hello to the nine-course set menu that might see you falling asleep before the countdown. We think it’s worth it to roll into the New Year with a full belly though. The menu comes with a glass of wine too and you can expect the likes of silky chilli wontons, bursting xiao long bao and scallops tossed in salt and pepper. And the pièce de résistance? A golden, deep-fried banana with ice-cream. Arguably more beautiful and enjoyable than any display of fireworks. It’s only $68 per person with sittings occurring from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. Email eliza.lane@goldenagegroup.com.au to book.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

Kaiseki is at the forefront of Japanese haute cuisine, and here in Melbourne we’re lucky enough to have Ishizuka to provide us with the expertly crafted multi-course experience. Creative director Masahiko Yomoda will provide guests with a celebratory kaiseki menu on New Year’s Eve including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink pairings on offer from its award-winning sommelier team. Tickets are $450 per head and bookings can be made via Ishizuka’s website or via email at reservation@ishizuka.com.au.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4

Make sure you sit next to the person you're looking to canoodle with for this feast, especially if you're gearing up for the later sitting. Marameo is putting on an Italian-inspired three-course feast fit for a principessa. Start with fresh burrata, olives, walnuts and basil, and graduate onto the likes of Reginette cacio e pepe with black truffles. Tickets are $85 for earlier sittings and include three courses, while the later sitting is $130 for three courses and music. Drinks are charged on consumption. Sittings will take place from 5:30pm to 12:30am and reservations are to be made online

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Melbourne

Palermo is putting on an Argentinian style feast this New Year's Eve. Start your evening with a Palermo Sour, beef, roasted garlic and prune empanadas and then branch out depending on which menu you choose from. There's the $99 menu or the $149 menu but both promise to leave you unbuttoning your top button for breathing room as you leave. It also has a dedicated kid's menu and bookings can be made online for its sittings that commence at 5pm to 6:30pm or between 9pm and 12:30am. Reserve online.

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 1 of 4

Pellegrini's have always kept things simple, which is what makes it so comforting. Head to the landmark on the corner and sit down to a family-friendly meal. It's $85 per head for adults who get a set menu of antipasto, lasagne, housemade tiramisu, coffee, tea, local sparkling and wine or beer. And for kids it's $45 per person with dinner, gelato and soft drinks to keep them buzzing in anticipation for the countdown. Sittings are from 6pm to 11.30pm and tickets are available via Pellegrini's. Phone 9662 1885.

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Melbourne

Vegans rejoice, for it’s your time to shine thanks to Rice Paper Scissors. While there’s a dedicated menu for our herbivorous friends, there’s also a set menu for the omnivores with both menus offering eight south-east Asian-inspired courses to share, and two hours of sparkling wine and beer. Sittings are from 4:30pm to 12:30am and prices vary from $100 to $125 per head depending on when you decide to dine. Reserve via the website

North

The following northside restaurants are open on New Year's Eve.

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  • Bars
  • Carlton

Head up the lift to Johnny’s Green Room this New Year’s Eve. Arrive at the terrazzo-cladded rooftop and be handed a refreshing Aperol Spritz, then sway along to the live DJs spinning tunes all night and check out the live entertainment. Sit down to a four-course menu and take in the twinkling lights of Carlton and the CBD. Who says you need fireworks? It’s priced at $130 per person and additional drinks can be purchased on the night. Reserve via the website.

  • Restaurants
  • Carlton
  • price 2 of 4

Lagoon Dining will open its doors on New Year's Eve and offer a Chinese-inspired Feed Me menu that will showcase the latest dishes from its new menu. Priced at $80 per person, each meal is set to excite with chilled goolwa pippies, fresh sambal oelek and citrusy ponzu dressing, and charcoal roasted char siu with a spring onion relish and tare making an appearance. Reserve via its website.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Carlton
  • price 2 of 4

Chinese-ish diner Super ling, famed for its mapo tofu jaffle, is set to offer a banquet menu that will end 2020 with a bang. Join the team from 6pm or 8pm and stimulate your palate with dishes like pepper beef tartare with pickled garlic stem, spring onion mayo, fried potatoes, topped with sesame seeds on a rice cracker, or its silky lap cheong fried rice. It’s priced at $65 per person and bookings can be made via Obee.

South

The following southside restaurants are open on New Year's Eve.

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Entrecôte
  • Restaurants
  • Prahran
  • price 2 of 4

French diner Entrecôte is dishing up a bunch of its favourites on New Year's Eve along with music by La Mauvaise Rèputation. On New Year's Eve, $199.90 gets you four courses and free flowing wines, while for $249.90 you can enjoy five courses and free flowing wines. Sittings will go from 5.30pm to 12.30am and you can expect canapés like smoked Yarra Valley salmon roe and crème fraîche blinis, entrées like scallops with spiced citrus and mains like a classic steak frites. Reserve by phoning 9804 5468. 

  • Restaurants
  • South Yarra
  • price 2 of 4

Matilda promises no surprises with its set four-course menu, but that might be the perfect way to end a year filled with uncertainty. Scott Pickett and his team will offer some of the restaurant's signature dishes served in one-and-a-half hour sittings. Tickets are $120 and include a four-course tasting menu and summer cocktails poured throughout. Other drinks will be charged on consumption. Book online.

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Rockpool Bar & Grill
  • Restaurants
  • Southbank
  • price 3 of 4

Head to upscale steakhouse Rockpool this New Year’s Eve and sample a very opulent five-course menu dishing up the likes of poached lobster with stone fruit and macadamia salad, whole marinated grilled King prawns and Robbins Island Wagyu sirloin with radicchio, cos and endive salad with palm sugar vinaigrette. Priced at $255 per person you can add a wine pairing for $85. Reserve online.

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  • Restaurants
  • Southbank

Spice Temple is also located in Crown and is offering a regional Chinese gastronomic tour with a set menu of share plates. Think hot and numbing crispy duck, chargrilled, marbled Cape Grim scotch fillet with Sichuan black bean and chilli and caramel chocolate and peanut parfait. The menu costs $119 per person, plus an optional wine pairing for $85 each. Group bookings of eight or more guests receive a complimentary Magnum of Moet & Chandon NV. An à la carte menu is also available. Make your booking via the website.

West

The following restaurants in Melbourne's west are open on New Year's Eve.

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Ragusa Republika
  • Restaurants
  • Eastern European
  • Williamstown

Croatian restaurant Ragusa Republika is a stone’s throw from Port Phillip Bay and is currently finalising its set menu for New Year’s Eve. Keep up-to-date on details and how to book via its website and Facebook page

  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • Williamstown

Celebrate the end of the year by the beach. Relax to the sounds of crashing waves as you treat yourself to a set four-course shared menu with loved ones, or do so indoors if you would prefer. The Basque-inspired venue will put on two sittings: the family feast from 5:30pm to 8pm costs $90 per adult and $40 for children aged under 12. For the little ones, there’s a three-course menu with a mocktail so they can join in on the toasting too. Bottomless bubbles cost an additional $50 per adult. Or get boozy with bottomless bubbles at the adults-only party feast from 8:30pm to 12:30am that includes sparkling wine for $170 per person. Book online.

Looking to dine-out on Christmas?

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés

This year's Christmas on December 25 will mark a time for us to share our joy with loved ones after spending a chunk of the year in isolation. In this case that can also include cosying up to a roast turkey or steamed xiao long bao at one of our favourite restaurants. These city restaurants, bars and cafés are opening their doors to share in the Christmas spirit, and we've included information on how you can join them. 

Still need to get a gift or two? These are some great last-minute Christmas present ideas. Need something to do this silly season? Melbourne has plenty of festive events to yule-tide you over. 

 

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