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Melbourne’s waterfront dining

The breeze in your hair, the sun on your back and a cocktail in hand. Here are some great places to dine by the water in Melbourne.

A city skyline at dusk by the water

Dine by the sparkling waterfront

BangPop

Pop into BangPop and you’re guaranteed fresh Thai-inspired hawker meals. Each dish is helpfully rated with a spice level, including the fall-off-the-bone lamb shank Panang curry. Too hot? Cool off with a cocktail. We’ll take the ‘Old Thai Pirate’ – that’s lime, mint and sparkling wine.

Meat Market

Let Meat Market do the hunting while you enjoy locally sourced dishes. An airy high ceiling, outdoor bench-tops, and wide windows make for an exceptional venue. Charcuterie and natural oysters are a must for starters.

Boatbuilders Yard

Share-style is the way to play at Boatbuilders Yard. From crispy fried chicken burgers to med-style halloumi fries. You’ll never suffer from FOMO again.

The Boatbuilders Yard

Left Bank Melbourne

Enjoy people-watching and river views at Left Bank Melbourne. Pop in for coffee, waffles, and eggs benny for breakfast. Then visit in the evening for their crispy skin salmon, fried calamari and grass-fed rib eye. They even have dedicated plant-based menus.

Arbory

Expansive outdoor spots along the Yarra make Arbory Bar and Eatery a Melbourne must-visit. With burgers, cocktails, and views across to Southbank, it’s the perfect location for after-work drinks. Or Sunday afternoon snacks. Or midday coffee stops.  Head to Arbory Afloat, the bar’s pop-up floating pontoon.  With a Miami Beach Club vibe, guests can lounge in a day bed or dine by the pool.

People standing around and lounging on day beds next to a paddling pool with umbrellas. The city skyline is in the background while the sun sets

Arbory Afloat

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. Move on to a seasonal share plate as the sun sets.

Riverland Bar

Sprawling along a scenic stretch of the Yarra, Riverland Bar is an unexpected escape. A year-round alfresco venue (based out of several old wharf vaults), it’s a summer essential on balmy afternoons and late nights. Grab a snack and some beers, or live it up with cocktails and Champagne.

Ging Thai

Opening with a chilli-loaded bang in late 2019, Ging Thai brings a little bit of Thailand to Melbourne’s riverside dining scene. Go light and fresh with steamed lime and garlic barramundi, or indulge with fiery red duck curry. Cocktails include pastel coloured Bangkok sours, and mocktails are just as delicious. Think iced tea, pineapple soda and purple pea flower creations. End the evening with toasted coconut banana fritters and a walk beside the water under the lights of Crown Riverwalk.

A range of colourful Thai food dishes on a white table

Ging Thai

Frankie Walter Peta

Looking for a reason to romanticise Melbourne? Look no further than Frankie Walter Peta. This cute little gem on Freshwater Place offers specialty coffee, 5 and dime bagels, and vegan treats. And if you bring a KeepCup, they’ll knock 20 cents off your daily java!

Ponyfish Island

Surrounded by water on all sides, Ponyfish Island is a sanctuary away from the bustling city. Found under the Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, this island getaway offers delicious food and fancy cocktails. All to be enjoyed with water lapping beneath your feet.

A bar lit up under a bridge on the water

Ponyfish Island

Berth

There’s nothing like dinner with a view to celebrate a special occasion. Berth offers panoramic city and waterfront views, without the eye-watering price tag (most dishes are under $30). That calls for a glass of sparkling wine while enjoying morsels from the Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Renzo’s

Renzo’s Bar Cafe is a Melbourne unicorn – great food, gorgeous views and an entire kid’s menu under $13. Mini munches on offer include chicken croquettes, pizza, pasta, and ice cream. Happy hour from 4pm to 6pm means mum and dad can enjoy a well-earned spritz or negroni for $7. Finally a benefit to eating out early!

Cargo

It’s only a short stroll along New Quay promenade until you arrive at Cargo Restaurant and Bar. This versatile eatery has you set with pizzas, fried cauliflower, and affogatos.

A balcony restaurant with a river view

Cargo