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The ultimate guide to outdoor dining in Melbourne

Getting on the beers is better outside. Perch by the river, make a rooftop escape or uncover a laneway diner. Better yet? Solo musicians are back out in full force, making sweet music to fill the streets. The ANZ City Vibes program is bringing buskers back to the city and you can find them in Hardware Lane, Flinders Lane, Southbank, and throughout Docklands.

Pétanque Social

Euro beach club meets Melb city views at Petanque. This new sunny spot on Crown Riverwalk combines all the best parts of chilled out al fresco fun with food from some seriously luxe operators. Think Gradi, Nobu, Ging Thai and more. The full-service bar, day beds and lounge seating are a sweet cherry on top.

Riverland

Don’t miss the Insta-perfect views at Riverland Bar. Tucked under one of the busiest bridges in Melbourne, it offers an uninterrupted view of the Yarra River and city skyline. The wine and cocktail list is ideal for warmer months, and it all goes down well with a cheeky burger and fat chips. Book on their website to enjoy the brand new pop-up urban oasis from 6 November.

A riverside restaurant with outdoor dining

Riverland

La Camera

La Camera is more than ready for relaunch 2.0, with temperature checks and a thermal body scanner part of their COVID safety plan. Book online and dine on the gorgeous balcony (the biggest in Southbank!) and enjoy a million dollar view across the city. After you’ve had your fill of gourmet pizzas and dessert calzone, pencil in a nightcap at Waterslide Bar next door.

A restaurant balcony with a city view

La Camera

Johnny’s Green Room

Johnny’s Green Room is back from 3 November, boasting a post-iso glow up. The rooftop now offers table service, along with a new menu. Think Neapolitan thin crust pizzas loaded with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. Other faves include a local collab with Donati’s meats for the ultimate wagyu burger, charcoal grilled lamb and fried calzone. They’ve also joined forces with Pidapipo to create a lemon sorbet, gin and prosecco cocktail. Book online.

A couple on a rooftop bar

Johnny’s Green Room

Arbory Bar and Arbory Afloat

Why dine on land when you can float? Jump aboard the Arbory Afloat pontoon for views over Southbank, fig tree canopies, Mediterranean food and brand new cocktails. Like the salted grapefruit soda with Four Pillars Gin. Lost your sea legs? Arbory Bar up on land is open for outdoor bookings too, and the view is just as stunning.

Umbrellas along the side of a river at sunset

Arbory Afloat is back

Pilgrim Bar

Riverside grazing doesn’t get any better than Pilgrim. Along the historic vaults at Federation Wharf, soak up the Yarra view with a local craft gin cocktail. To celebrate their return to the city, the Pilgrim crew are bringing back ‘Juniperlooza’ in the form of a summer long gin bar. Book online.

A city view beside the river

Pilgrim Bar

San Telmo

San Telmo is bringing back that melt in the mouth meaty goodness to Meyers Place. Nab one of the coveted laneway tables and have your foodie feast with a side of people watching. Book online for bottomless lunches on Sundays, set menus filled with Argentinian classics and more.

An outdoor dining area in the city

San Telmo is back

Boatbuilders Yard

Yacht-lovers ahoy. Boatbuilders Yard offers views over Melbourne’s iconic Polly Woodside ship and a cooling waterfront breeze for when the mercury soars. Book in a lounge at the new beach club pop-up and while away a sunny afternoon of music, bevs, lobster rolls and more.

A large venue on the waterside

Boatbuilers Yard

Pepe’s Italian & Liquor

Housed in a handsome 19th century synagogue, Pepe’s Italian & Liquor comes complete with a picturesque courtyard. Enjoy a drink under the garden’s 150-year-old heritage-listed tree, or settle in for dinner in the garden lounge. But be sure to get in early with a booking – seats go fast at this spot during summer.

A large brick building with a courtyard and a restaurant

Pepe’s Italian & Liquor

The Quarter on Degraves

The Quarter is a classic laneway spot for coffee and lunch bites. During lockdown they’ve had a fancy refurb, which makes tucking into the fairy floss topped sticky date even sweeter. Settle into their street seating in one of the city’s most iconic locations and everything feels just right again.

A cafe in a laneway with people eating

The Quarter on Degraves

Bar Americano

Ok, so it’s not quite dining, but we couldn’t leave out Melbourne’s tiniest hidden bar. While the iconic Bar Americano only has room inside for a handful of (standing) patrons, they’ve now taken over Presgrave Place with outdoor seating for up to 32 guests. Book online for your next negroni fueled night out.

A laneway with street art and a small door leading to a bar

Bar Americano

Keen to see what else is open? Head to our master list of what’s open for dining in Melbourne again.