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Rushani Epa

Rushani Epa

Rushani Epa is the food and drink editor of Time Out Melbourne and joined the Time Out team in 2020.

When she’s not eating or drinking she’s planning her next meal at one of Melbourne’s restaurants, cafés or bars. She’s passionate about championing diversity in food journalism, and you can also find her editing and writing at her magazine, Colournary Magazine. Though she was born in Melbourne, she’s also a proud Sri Lankan who will chew your ear off when discussing Sri Lankan snacks.

Reach her at melbournefood@timeout.com or connect with her on Instagram @epa___ and Twitter @theoriginalEPA.

Articles (99)

The best soups in Melbourne

The best soups in Melbourne

From comforting classics to sinus-clearing spicy broth, we burned our tongues on a tonne of the city's soups to bring you the very best. Refer to this list when you need some salty, creamy, warming deliciousness – and mum’s not around to dish out the homemade stuff. Feel like some more comforting food? Try the city's best noodle soups or Melbourne's best dumplings.

The best cat cafés in Melbourne

The best cat cafés in Melbourne

If you're not familiar with the amazing concept of a cat café, it's basically a magical place where cat lovers can get their feline and caffeine fixes at the same time. There are very few joys in life greater than sipping a hot cuppa while petting a purring furball, so we've rounded up a couple of cafés in Melbourne (and one in Gippsland, if you're keen on a road trip) to help you on your pathway to a purrfect afternoon.  And if you thought it couldn't get any better than that, most of these spots have adopted their fleet of cats from a shelter or operate as shelters themselves. Fall in love with a particular furball? Take them home and let them be your fur-ever friend.  Already have a four-legged feline? Hit up one of Melbourne's cat-friendly cafés, hotels or beaches.

The best florists in Melbourne

The best florists in Melbourne

Flowers are the no-brainers of the gift world. Everybody loves getting them, and they always look stunning. Whether you've been in trouble and need to make it up to someone, or you want to surprise someone just because, these Melbourne florists are up to the task of making you a pretty bouquet. On a time crunch? We've got you — here are the best same-day and next-day flower delivery services in Melbourne.

The best Melbourne desserts you can get delivered

The best Melbourne desserts you can get delivered

Cakes, doughnuts, pretzels, oh my. There’s something to be said about getting sweet treats delivered to your door, rather than slaving over a hand mixer and waiting an hour or two for your goods to come out of the oven. Plus, when you get these things delivered, it’s infinitely easier to clean up. So here we are – some of Melbourne’s finest desserts that can be delivered right to your doorstep.  Need something to balance out all that sweet? Try these excellent cheese deliveries or even get some Melbourne-roasted coffee for that 3pm snack break.

The best doughnuts in Melbourne

The best doughnuts in Melbourne

Oh, the innocent thrill of elbowing your way to the front of the crowds to get a fresh, steaming hot doughnut. Those plain, cinnamon doughies have evolved exponentially since the early days, with Melburnians able to pick up subspecies that are pimped, infused and even cross-bred with croissants. So whether you spell it doughnut or donut, hitch a ride with us as we trawl a dozen decadent dens that will smash your doughnut cravings out of the park. RECOMMENDED: For more sweet treats in Melbourne, check out our guides to the best ice cream and gelato and hot chocolates.

101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life

101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life

Perhaps we're biased, but we're pretty sure Melbourne might just be the greatest city in the world. Whether you're a first-time visitor to Melbourne or have lived here all your life, there are some absolute must-do Melbourne bucket list items. Melbourne's food, drink, coffee, art, theatre and sport culture are among the best in the world, and we reckon you should try to experience every single one of them at least once before you die.  So here is our ultimate bucket list: 101 amazing things to do in Melbourne right now, plus Melbourne attractions, great restaurants, bars, fun festivals and everything in between. For a deeper look into two of our greatest pastimes – eating and drinking – browse our guides to Melbourne's best restaurants and best bars.

The best patisseries in Melbourne

The best patisseries in Melbourne

It's amazing that pastry, at its simplest, is just flour, lots of butter, sugar, and maybe an egg or two. Yet Melbourne's best bakeries and patisseries have crafted a diverse range of treats from these raw ingredients, from what could be the best croissants in the world to old-school cakes you want to take home to your grandmother. Still got a sweet tooth? Treat yourself and some friends at Melbourne's best doughnut shops and grab some doughy treats. 

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Melbourne

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Melbourne

The time has come again to watch grown men with curiously wide shoulder pads slug it out for the ultimate NFL championship game: the Super Bowl. Get onside at the best places in Melbourne to catch the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams face off on Monday, February 14. Enjoy American food, morning beers (it's nighttime in the USA) and a half-time show headlined by Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.  Just after a drink? Check out one of Melbourne's 50 best bars. In need of fuel after? Why not try one of the best burgers in Melbourne.

Restaurants and bars now doing takeaway in Melbourne

Restaurants and bars now doing takeaway in Melbourne

With many Melbournians stuck in iso or opting to stay in, there's no better time to sample takeaway offerings from many of the city's most beloved venues. We've compiled a rolling list of some the best, so you can eat well and support local businesses at the same time. 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's what you can and can't do in Melbourne right now. Keep supporting your favourite restaurants even when you can't dine in. Here's how you can do it. Jump to a section: CBD NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST  REGIONAL

What you can and can’t do in Victoria right now

What you can and can’t do in Victoria right now

After experiencing more days in lockdown than any other city on the planet, Melburnians are finally saying goodbye to many of the stay-at-home rules, hopefully for good. There are plenty of new freedoms for fully vaccinated people in the state, but a few safety protocols remain in place for the time being. Here's everything you need to know about what life in Melbourne looks like from 11.59pm on January 6. For a full breakdown of Victoria's current restrictions, visit the Victorian government website.  What are the current rules? Lockdown has ended across Victoria. At the time of writing, the state currently has more than 92 per cent of its eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated as the state moves into summer. There remain some restrictions, however, especially in light of the Omicron variant. When can I leave my house? At any time, for any reason. Provided you are not currently isolating due to Covid-19 symptoms or awaiting a PCR test result. Is there a curfew in place? No! How far can I travel from home? As far as you like, with no restrictions on entering or leaving metro Melbourne. Restrictions may apply, however, on entering other states and territories. Can I get vaccinated yet? Yes! All Victorians aged 12 and over can now get vaccinated.  Here's the list of current vaccination hubs in Victoria, and here's more on how to get vaccinated in Melbourne. Those who are 12 to 17 can get a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and anyone over the age of 18 can have eithe

Oyster happy hours in Melbourne

Oyster happy hours in Melbourne

If you're reading this, then we assume you adore oysters. There's not really much middle ground with these tasty treats of the sea. And if there's one thing that unites oyster enthusiasts, it's the joy of being able to eat them by the dozen and have change to spare for a great glass of sparkling on the side.  For more thrifty dining tips, check out our guide to cheap eats or hit up our dining hit list for our latest highly rated restaurants of all price ranges. 

The best sandwiches in Melbourne

The best sandwiches in Melbourne

Ah, the sandwich. The most versatile food. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with one hand while you sit idle in a car, or even as you walk in between meetings. There's always a time and place for a sanga, and while scratch-sambos can hit the spot, we'll one up you with our guide to 24 of Melbourne's best sandwiches.  You won't find bånh mÏ in this list as there are too many great places to mention, but you can find some of our picks here.  Recommended: The best ice cream and gelato in Melbourne. 

Listings and reviews (105)

The Royal Mail Hotel

The Royal Mail Hotel

Nestled in the foothills of the Grampians is the little town of Dunkeld on Gunditjmara country, 283 kilometres west of Melbourne. Blink twice and you could miss it. The most notable attraction? The Royal Mail Hotel.  This little oasis is home to a hotel, a bistro, a fine diner, pool, kitchen garden and its own mini wildlife sanctuary, complete with sprawling views of Mount Sturgeon. Neighbouring bluestone cottages also belong to the hotel and promise a slightly more private experience. Staying on the premises if visiting its resident fine diner is a given considering its location – the accommodation alone is worth the visit. Stay The Deluxe Mountain View Rooms live up to their name. Opening the door to the room never gets old when you’re greeted by the grandiose sight of Mount Sturgeon and its surrounding bushland. The opportunity to indulge in a cup of coffee on the balcony in the morning with neighbouring ash-coloured wallabies is too tempting too. The bathroom features heated floors which is another welcome surprise in the morning and embroidered robes lay in wait. A TV is stocked with an array of films if you choose to stay in and you can choose to sit in your seats or lie in bed and laze away. The minibar stocks ice-cold Cokes if you so desire, along with locally-made Chappys chips if you get hungry. Complimentary breakfast completes the experience with little tubs of yoghurt, muesli, fresh fruits and milks replenished daily. If you’re lactose intolerant you can even req

Lancemore Crossley St

Lancemore Crossley St

Walking down the narrow Crossley St you might be surprised to learn that a four-star hotel remains tucked away, neighbouring grungy, Mexican-inspired venue Bodega Underground. Walk up a few steps and through the sliding door and there you are: at Australian boutique hotel group Lancemore’s newly-opened Crossley Street venue.  A plush, rust-coloured carpet greets you to imitate the feeling of walking down a red carpet, and so it should come as no surprise that the overarching theme of the hotel, designed by the award-winning Carr (Jackalope, United Places), is the theatre. Mood lighting is dotted throughout and the venue seems quite dark. A grandiose chandelier that once adorned the Palais Theatre rests on a podium, black, glossy columns line the walls and a bust resembling the Comedy and Tragedy masks sit in between the lifts, lit up by a spotlight.  Step into the lift and you’re greeted by a wide-screen TV, and an actor playing Frederick Federici carries out in front of you. Federici, of course, was the Italian-born British opera singer who famously died at the Princess Theatre in 1888. Sometimes he will sing on the screen, sometimes he will do his stage make-up, but it’s guaranteed to be eerie every time.  The bedrooms are decked out with sturdy beds for those who can’t stand a soft mattress, and a good night’s sleep is assured in the soundproof rooms. A fully-stocked mini bar boasts the likes of mini Kraken rum, Four Pillars Gin Negronis, Absolut Vodka and a range of Capi

Mount Zero Olives Zero Waste Warehouse Market

Mount Zero Olives Zero Waste Warehouse Market

If you're the kind of person who eats olives as if they were going out of fashion, this market day is for you. Mount Zero is back with its quarterly Zero Waste Warehouse Market so you can hoard away olives and olive-based goodies by the kilo. Mount Zero, the premium Victorian olive, olive oil, pulses (lentils, chickpeas, split fava beans, freekeh, farro, etc) and salt producer is opening its warehouse doors from 9am-2pm and encouraging you to bring whatever size container, jar, bucket, pail, or vessel you choose to purchase your bulk items in to fill and weigh, straight from the source. Mount Zero already encourages sustainability, so this is taking it one step further with the luxury of buying as much as you really need.  Koji and Co and Sunshine Honey will also be at the market selling their wares by weight. And perhaps most exciting is that the market is alsohawking 2L buckets of Meredith Dairy goat's cheese for $60 a pop. Find the market at 6 Law Court, Sunshine West 3020 from 9am-2pm.

Melbourne Street Eatz

Melbourne Street Eatz

Melbourne Street Eatz has brought its food truck festival back to South Wharf for a sixth year. Expect to find a rotation of food trucks (think everything from tacos to pizza), two bars, DJs, games and live entertainment. Food is available to purchase directly from the food trucks, with drinks flowing from two bars. There’s also plenty of comfy daybeds to lounge on, and blankets will be available for hire if it gets chilly at night.  Canine lovers will want to bring their furry friend and join the pack at Cocktails and Dog Tails (Sun Mar 13), with cocktails for the humans and pupachinos for the pooches on arrival along with grooming stations and dog competitions ($20-$25). Melbourne Street Eatz takes place at 1 Convention Place, South Wharf from December 2 until April 25. It's open Thursday and Friday 4pm to 11pm, and Saturday to Sunday noon to 11pm. Entry to the event is $2 (card/contactless payments only), while special events will be ticketed - more info on those can be found here.

Archive Wine Bar

Archive Wine Bar

For some of the finest bar snacks in Geelong and one of the most impressive wine lists in Victoria, look no further than Archive Wine Bar. This narrow hole-in-the-wall was started by Ray Nadeson and Maree Collis (owners of Lethbridge Wines) and partners Graham and Ingrid Sutherland. It boasts a 170-strong list of wines by the glass, and Graham can often be spotted at the bar armed with a trusty Coravin. Barolo, Burgundy, Yarra Valley, you name the region, they’ve got it. This isn’t the spot to visit if you’re looking for a new-age natty number, but an old-world tipple by the glass that you can’t get elsewhere without spending a small fortune on the bottle. A 1989 Vouvray presents itself in pristine condition, its sweet nectar as pronounced and smooth as it would have been when bottled. And it’s paired beautifully with the venue’s grazing platter. A small selection of charcuterie is thoughtfully assembled and totes a local French teacher’s neighbour’s curried tomato relish, Lard Ass’s cultured butter, peppery, fennel-laced salami, soft French cheese and more. The walls inside the bar are lined with panels from wine boxes by some notable producers – Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Domaine William Fùvre to name a few. Graham, who is currently studying his WSET Level 4 Diploma wants to put Geelong on the map for wine. With that in mind, he was the first to start teaching WSET Level 1 and 2 at the venue itself. The bar is pumping all throughout the day with punters heading in and

Navi Lounge

Navi Lounge

Saunter on into the west’s fine diner Navi and straight on into its latest lounge. Yes, you heard us. There’s no need for a coveted booking – disgruntled locals can just walk in and treat themselves to Navi’s wine list along with a curated selection of snacks by owner and chef Julian Hills.  “Since we started booking out, only a month after opening in 2018, I’ve been conscious of constantly disappointing people, particularly locals, who have had trouble getting a table. The lounge space provides a solution, allowing diners to experience a taste of Navi more easily and on a more regular basis,” says Hills. The dimly lit space is joined at the hip to Navi with an arched tunnel offering guests a glimpse into the action. The interior matches its predecessor too with both spaces designed by Finnis Architects, led by (Julian’s brother) Damon Hills.  A long bar on the side of the room is head bartender Elise West’s (Supernormal Atlas Dining, Bar Liberty) domain. Rows of spirits are lit up by the back bar and to the side sit row upon row of West’s hand-made vermouths, lacto-ferments, infusions, botanicals and bitters. Her arrival allows Hills to extend Navi’s commitment to minimising waste. Because of West, poached fruit discards from the restaurant find a new life as syrups in the bar.  Trays of fresh strawberries that feature unripe, green fruits are sent over to West to make use of in her Subtle Nuance cocktail. They’re juiced before being added to her handmade organic blue lotus

New Year Street Feasts

New Year Street Feasts

It's almost time to send off a wild year and with restrictions easing Melburnians are left wondering what to make of their New Year plans. Fireworks will be back and better than ever along with Australia's largest, colourful drone display, and to top it off you can admire it all as you dine outdoors.  Melbourne city council, the Victorian government and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival have joined forces to bring the city’s streets to life once again with open-air dining. Following the success of last year – the New Year Street Feasts event will see us celebrating with our loved ones over an alfresco meal throughout the city and supporting businesses who have done it tough this year. Diners can head into the city and book experiences happening at seven city precincts including Little Bourke, Little Collins, Fed Square and more. The idea is that instead of hundreds of thousands of people gathering together to countdown to midnight, we will be able to celebrate over two days and people’s interactions over the city will be spread out. These New Year Street Feasts will be inspired by the piazzas and squares dotted around Europe and will transport you elsewhere as you drink, dine and share many laughs. Some of Melbourne’s best-loved venues are involved, including Bar Margaux, Bar Saracen, Flower Drum, Hazel, Izakaya Den, Lee Ho Fook and Tipo 00. Think everything from oysters and cocktails at one of Melbourne's latest bars Pearl Diver, to lemon aspen charred octopus at Torres Strai

Pepe's Italian and Liquor

Pepe's Italian and Liquor

Pepe’s embodies the retro glamour of New York and late-night Italian American restaurants. White and black accents make up the venue along with deep burgundy hues that coat the venue’s leather banquette seating and irregular chequerboard floors.  Owner Nick Kutcher gave the former Trunk Bar and Restaurant an Italian American makeover and maintained the charm of the courtyard lined with pontoon lights and burgundy and white striped parasols. Inside, a menagerie of youthful influencers have their photos taken over bowls of pasta; families talk over each other as they celebrate birthdays; and groups of friends catch up over colossal towers of Aperol Spritz. It’s the meeting place for anyone and everyone from all walks of life.  The bar sits at the side and is viewable from any vantage point. An occasional bottle can be heard being popped, cocktails are shaken every few seconds and an impressive array of liquor is lit up in the background.  The cocktail menu is short and sweet. The Dolcezza Martini is recommended and doesn’t contain an ounce of gin or vermouth, but is rather a concoction of Russian Standard Vodka, spiced vanilla liqueur, blood orange and lemon. It’s creamy, sweet and perfectly balanced so we’ll let it slide.  The venue’s seasonally changing themes means there’s always a different Italian-inspired experience to be had here. The flavour of the month now is Sicilian. If it wasn’t obvious enough on the menu, there are Sicilian moor heads lit up by spotlights dotted a

Northside Wines – Christmas Wine Market

Northside Wines – Christmas Wine Market

Wine down at the largest indoor wine market to grace Melbourne since lockdown ended. On Sunday, December 12, many different producers and wine distributors will show you what they've got with a selection of over 100 wines to sample.  So practice your swirl, make sure your sinuses are clear and ensure you're holding your glass properly in preparation. Hosted by wine bar and retailer, Northside Wines, the day will be broken up into two separate two-and-a-half hour sessions so you can fit in enough glasses of vino and chats with the winemakers. If you find the right match for your palate, you'll also be able to buy them on the spot or have them delivered to your doorstep for free that week. Some of the producers on show will include pet nat aficionados Konpira Maru, boutique winery Armstead Wines and premium Alpine winery Delatite. This is a must for any aspiring somms, wine nerds or anyone seeking a decent tipple. Northside Wines' Christmas Wine Market will take place at Northside Wines, 543-545 High St, Northcote on Sunday, December 12. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.

Dodee Thai BBQ

Dodee Thai BBQ

Gone are the days of bleary-eyed partygoers smoking on the Lounge balcony surrounded by heavy-hitting 4x4 techno beats. Instead, it’s been replaced with the sounds of local Thai crooners on live music nights with a band, that gradually eventuates into diners hitting the dancefloor by the early hours of the morning. This is one of Melbourne’s best Thai joints, Dodee Paidang’s, latest venue – Dodee Thai BBQ.   Red stools litter the venue and the venue packs out early on. With no bookings and long lines reminiscent of its sister venue, it’s to be expected. Like any venue whose main offering is Thai barbecue, it’s always advised to go for the Thai barbecue set or the Isaan-style jim jum hot pot. Barbecue sets here are designed for either two to three people, or four-plus. Plastic trays come loaded to the brim with raw slices of chicken breast, rashers of bacon, pork belly, mussels, baby octopus, raw egg and tiger prawns. It’s complemented by individual serves of dipping sauces and another tray of uncooked rice vermicelli noodles, sliced up napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, whole shiitake mushrooms and chrysanthemum leaves. Staff ignite the portable stove and hand you the reins. Grease up the golden dome that awaits with pork fat, fill up the sides with soup and away you go.  There are classic dishes that traditionally feature on Dodee Paidang’s menu on offer too. Blink twice and you might miss the medium-rare slices of Crying Tiger beef and the signature sauce spiked with fish sauce

Cosi Bar Ristorante

Cosi Bar Ristorante

South Yarra’s quarter of Toorak Road is hot property. At the top sits French institution, France-Soir, that’s wined and dined the likes of Mick Jagger. A hop, skip and a jump away is newcomer and heavy hitter Vesper Bar and Bistro. Mosey on across the street to Yagiz, one of the finest Turkish venues in the state. And a few steps down is Cosi Ristorante. An Italian icon that’s served southside masses for over two decades. Co-owners Omar El Deek and Giacomo Pietrantuono arrived in Australia 10 years ago on working holidays visas and sparked up a friendship while waitering at Caffe e Cucina. In 2017, the duo took over Cucinetta and, soon proving themselves a force to be reckoned with, took ownership of Cosi Ristorante in 2019. The result? A complete facelift of the venue that still manages to pay homage to the venue’s origins with white tablecloths, classic, comforting Italian dishes and plenty of old-world Italian charm. Sleek red velvet curtains cordone off nooks and crannies as if one were at the theatre; while Pavarotti is projected onto a little screen and framed black and white prints of iconic Italian celebrities adorn the walls.  A central wraparound bar lit up by neon green lights breaks the fourth wall by making the bar staff and their antics a part of the floor. A gelato cart sits pretty in the middle of the venue, and plush brown leather banquette seating lines the sides with empty premium wine bottles placed along the walls – memories of good times passed.  A sunli

DT Fusionz

DT Fusionz

Footscray may be renowned more for its pho than its fish, but DT Fusionz serves up excellent Japanese/British fusion fish and chips and it totally works. Try not shouting ‘banzai!’ (hurrah!) as a pudgy, oblong hunk of blue grenadier in bronze beer batter is sprinkled with dried nori and accompanied by a bountiful serve of crunchy chips and sweet Kewpie mayonnaise arrives at your table. Order a perky green side salad with Japanese pickles, lotus root and sesame dressing to compliment your meal. This tiny shop also turns out bento boxes, tofu cheesecake and their legendary springy veggie balls that have made them a prime lunch destination for local hospital staff. Surely if health care workers are eating it, that’s a green light for the rest of us?

News (82)

The nation's favourite recipes have been turned into fundraising posters

The nation's favourite recipes have been turned into fundraising posters

Food For Everyone's third collection of limited-edition recipe posters by Melbourne creative, Gemma Leslie, is back and better than ever. The poster prints feature recipes by hospitality heavyweights Guillaume Brahimi (Bistro Guillaume), cookbook author Emiko Davies, Simon Gloftis (Hellenika at The Calile) and Instagram influencer-slash-home cook Jessica Nguyen along with bright images of ingredients inspired by organic forms and imperfections. The purchase of each poster will provide approximately 90 meals through various food banks. This year, 50 per cent of all profits from sales will go to OzHarvest, SecondBite, and Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Since launching in August 2020, Food For Everyone has donated $94,625. OzHarvest is among hundreds of frontline charities and food banks across Australia that have experienced a significant increase in the need for food relief at varying times in the past year due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.  Each poster is A2 (42cm x 59.4cm) and printed on paper made entirely from 100 percent recycled single-use coffee cups. Posters are priced at $90 and are available to order online from Thursday, November 25. Meet the people changing Melbourne's food and drink scene.

Get bottomless gnocchi and cocktails at Mamma's Boy Trattoria

Get bottomless gnocchi and cocktails at Mamma's Boy Trattoria

Mamma's Boy Trattoria has given us bottomless gnocchi before, but there has been a collective carb-hole left in the hearts of Brunswick locals once the promotion stopped. Luckily, Mamma's Boy knows to how keep a good thing going and back by popular demand, the Italian joint will be serving up bottomless steaming hot bowls of pillowy potato gnocchi, garlic bread and cocktails in two-hour seatings once again .  There will be three different sauces available for you to choose from (but really, why wouldn't you have them all?): slow-cooked lamb ragu; a classic Napoli sauce with fior di latte; and a creamy truffle, mushroom and spinach. Mop up whatever's left with garlic bread and wash it down with cocktails from the spritz bar, or with an Espresso Martini or a Mojito.  Bottomless gnocchi is available on Sundays from 11.30am to 9.30pm at $59 per person. Bookings are essential and can be made through the website.  Can't say no to a bargain? Check out our favourite cheap eats.  

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experience a worldwide outage

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experience a worldwide outage

Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger have all gone down in a major outage overnight. Facebook, who owns the aforementioned services, is aware of the outage but the cause is yet to be determined.  "We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products," Facebook said on Twitter. "*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now.  We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible," Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said on Twitter. The outage is said to have occurred at around 2.45am AEST, with outage website Downdetector noting a spike in user reports relating to the services at that time. With social media services down (and slowly coming back), users will need to access their news directly via the source. We recommend you bookmark Time Out and visit this page for any updates, or to access the best of our city.  Here's what we know about the current restrictions in Melbourne...and when things will begin reopening.  

Melbourne's laneways are going to be bustling with food, booze and shopping all summer

Melbourne's laneways are going to be bustling with food, booze and shopping all summer

The CBD’s iconic laneways are going to be the hottest place to be this summer, with indoor trading, dining and entertainment outdoors spilling onto the streets of Melbourne via the City of Melbourne's Inside Out initiative. The initiative could mean selected laneways would be closed to vehicle traffic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to allow hospitality businesses to trade into the evening. Melbourne is due to turn inside out once the state achieves a double-dose vaccination rate of 70 per cent which is currently forecast for late October. The City of Melbourne is also hoping to bring back the ever-popular Melbourne Money program that provided diners with up to 20 per cent off their bill at CBD venues. “This will be an exciting first for Melbourne. Imagine a bustling market with clothing racks and trestle tables on the street, along with food stalls and buskers that will help bring the vibrancy back to our beautiful city, safely,” says lord mayor Sally Capp. Retail trading hours could also be extended so that customers can shop late into the night during the warmer months, and buskers could be employed to entertain crowds. In addition to the 200 outdoor trading permits already granted, the City of Melbourne will look to fast-track new applications from business owners who are interested in participating in the Inside Out initiative too. Unsure about vaccination targets? Learn more about the Doherty modelling and what it means to you.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has cancelled its Winter Edition

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has cancelled its Winter Edition

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has made the decision to cancel its Winter Edition this year. The Winter Edition was originally scheduled to take place from August 20 to 29 and was postponed, but has since been cancelled. Events were slated to take place down the track regionally as well, but due to the current climate all plans have come to a halt. “The challenges around lockdowns and restrictions related to COVID-19 continue to affect event planning and it is with a heavy heart that we have made this decision. We rescheduled the festival twice this year to try and find a place on the calendar where we can run the event safely and with some certainty but these plans are no longer workable in the current environment,” says Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food + Drink Victoria, the not-for-profit parent company behind MFWF. The festival plans on celebrating its 30th year in 2022 instead. Support local venues with this guide to restaurants, bars and cafĂ©s offering takeaway and delivery.

There's $100,000 in prizes up for grabs for vaccinated Melburnians

There's $100,000 in prizes up for grabs for vaccinated Melburnians

Melbourne city council is offering those who have been vaccinated the chance to win prizes in an eight-week-long campaign. The campaign will kick off on radio from Monday, August 16 and is designed to incentivise Melburnians to get vaccinated in order for Melbourne to open up again (and stay open). Melburnians will also get the chance to win a prize a day through social media, with a total prize pool valued at $100,000.  Ten Melbourne experience packages worth $5,000 each will be up for grabs through the radio promotion. These will include $1,250 vouchers to spend at Emporium Melbourne, $1,000 accommodation vouchers, $500 dining vouchers, Frozen the Musical tickets and more.  The second element of the campaign will be hosted via social media every day for six weeks with the chance to win $1,000 shopping vouchers to spend at Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne or Queen Victoria Market. All that will be required for people is to share their vaccine hero stories and what they’re looking forward to when Melbourne opens up again. Keep up to date with any announcements via Melbourne city council’s Instagram or Facebook. Vax and the City: Every public health official in Australia agrees that mass vaccination is the only way out of this crisis. We at Time Out recommend that you get vaccinated as soon as you can, if that is appropriate for your own health. Please speak to a medical professional about what is right for you. Here's what you need to know about how to get a vaccine rig

iPhone users can now top up Mykis using their phones

iPhone users can now top up Mykis using their phones

Welcome, iPhone users, to the exclusive club that was once Android-only, the club that allows you to instantly top up your Myki using just your phone. The technology formerly serviced Android operating systems using Google Pay only, but now provides the same benefits to iPhones that have NFC capabilities (that’s most current iPhones) and requires the user to download or update the free PTV app.  While this doesn't mean you're able to touch on using just your phone yet (that privilege still only lies with Android users) this does detract from you needing to spend umpteen minutes topping up your Myki and causing you to miss your train, tram or bus. Not sure where you can travel to? This map shows you your 5km radius.

Social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane is closing after 12 years

Social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane is closing after 12 years

Social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane is set to close its doors after 12 years of service. Operated by Mission Australia, the Fitzroy-based venue is known for providing hospitality training and employment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentice chefs and dishing up fine diner-style meals championing native bush foods. “We believe we have honoured the cultural heritage and significance of this building and are proud to be able to return the place that we’ve called home for more than a decade, back to the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service so they can re-establish this site for their Aboriginal health service," said Mission Australia manager of social enterprise programs in Victoria, Troy Crellin, in a statement.   “The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service was originally established in 1972 and moved into this iconic building on Gertrude Street in 1979. It is an important mainstay for the local Aboriginal community and a site of activism.”  The eatery and enterprise's last day of trade will be Thursday, September 16. Looking to support your local? Order in from one of these restaurants or bars offering takeaway.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has been postponed

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has been postponed

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has announced that it will postpone its Winter Edition program from August 20 to 29, 2021 to October 1 to 10, 2021. “The current COVID-19 restrictions do not allow us to run the program in its intended format to ensure a successful festival for industry partners and a safe event for our guests,” says Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food + Drink Victoria, the not-for-profit parent company behind Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. “While we are naturally disappointed, we look forward to celebrating the very best this city has to offer with a program of more than 150 events across ten days in October around Melbourne, including our new festival hub at the Queen Victoria Market.” The festival will work through its ticketing arrangements, including refunds, with everyone in the following weeks. The Winter Edition was set to have Queen Victoria Market (its major hub) come to life, hosting myriad free and ticketed workshops, events and demos, including an all-you-can-eat tribute to the hot chip and a Japanese-style convenience store/Brooklyn bodega-hybrid toting sandos and cocktails. Additional MFWF events were to be hosted off-site in venues. Stay up-to-date with any further announcements via the website and Instagram.   In other event-related news, the Royal Melbourne Show was recently cancelled.

A pop-up park is coming to Queen Victoria Market

A pop-up park is coming to Queen Victoria Market

After recently opening a brand-new underground carpark, there's more movement over at Melbourne's famous Queen Victoria Market. This icon of Melbourne will soon be home to its own pop-up park. Works on the new Market Square pop-up are set to begin in August and once completed the park will stay open for a minimum of two years. Its open date is yet to be announced. In terms of size, it's reportedly due to be as large as the sprawling greens of the State Library of Victoria. Hopefully, the new park will encourage more visitors and shoppers to Queen Victoria Market along with providing more green space for local residents. The new space will also play host to live music, community events and recreational activities, and will replace part of the existing asphalt car park on Queen Street. Looking for an excuse to visit? Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's winter edition will soon call Queen Victoria Market home.  

This pub is giving away free pints to those who are vaccinated

This pub is giving away free pints to those who are vaccinated

Getting vaccinated soon? Prince Alfred Hotel thinks you deserve a drink. The Port Melbourne watering hole is giving away free booze again to those who get vaccinated at the neighbouring Town Hall, but for this week only. It's simple: get vaxxed at the Town Hall, then roll up to the venue straight after with your bright blue vaccination card, present it to the pub's staff and choose from a pint, wine or a house spirit and mixer.  The venue's decision comes after several Bay Street venues were listed as exposure sites in May, and the stress of the lockdown hit a little closer to home for residents and businesses in the area.  Nervous about the jab? Two of our editors got their vax - here's what it was like.  

Get fresh truffles delivered to your door within 48 hours

Get fresh truffles delivered to your door within 48 hours

We’re right in the thick of truffle season which occurs from June to September in the southern hemisphere. It’s normal at this time of the year to spot fine diners shaving or microplaning hoards of the stuff all over dishes, but we’re in lockdown and many of us have had to emulate that experience at home. But who said you couldn’t add a touch of opulence to your day-old mac and cheese or your scrambled eggs?  This is where Australian Truffle Traders steps in. The purveyors of the luxe fungus are now delivering fresh truffles direct from the farm in Manjimup in Western Australia’s southwest right to your door. They're carefully cleaned, graded, sealed, cold-packed and shipped via express post within 48 hours (in most cases). Truffles from Manjimup are of the same good quality to those sourced in France and New Zealand due to the climate and soil they grow in. At the farm, trained truffle dogs (AKA the goodest boys and girls Molly, Gidgee or Max) hunt for these underground treasures. What’s even better is that Australian Truffle Traders are able to deliver anywhere across the country. Looking for a gift for your food-obsessed friend? Consider it done. Purchase yours now before truffle season ends here. Looking for something to shave your truffles on to? Get extra fancy with these oysters delivered to your door.