With the breeze in your hair, the sun on your back and a cocktail in hand – here are some great places to eat by the water in Melbourne.
Share-style is the way to play at Boatbuilders Yard. From crispy fried cheese curds with ranch sauce, to twice cooked brisket glazed with maple bbq sauce; you’ll never suffer from FOMO again.
Pop into BangPop and you’re guaranteed Thai-inspired hawker meals that pop with spices and aromatics. Each dish is helpfully rated with a spice level out of five for the spice-sensitive, including hearty spicy salads (with ingredients like beef short ribs, not leafy lettuce), stir fried noodles and authentic soups. You can also take a Thai cooking class to see how the magic happens – and bring some home for yourself!
Let Meat Market do the hunting while you enjoy locally sourced, beautifully tender dishes. An airy high ceiling, small outdoor bench-tops and wide windows makes for an exceptional dining venue better than your local market. Charcuterie and natural oysters are a must for starters.
Left Bank Melbourne
Enjoy people-watching and river views at Left Bank Melbourne. Pop in for coffee, chia pudding and super food smoothies during breakfast, or visit in the evening for their crisp artisan base pizzas, delicate pasta dishes or an OTT buttermilk fried chicken burger.
Long Chim Melbourne
One delicious pit stop along Crown’s fleet of flavours is Long Chim , a tasty venture from Thai food guru David Thompson. Think authentic flavours of Bangkok, a super stylish interior and a perfect riverside view.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
An institution on Southbank, Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill has been serving quality North American-inspired dishes made from the best locally sourced produce. Premium beef choices include the 60-month old grass fed rib-eye on the bone, or 9+ marble wagyu. Creamy, balanced pastas are another highlight on the menu, with expertly crafted dishes like the sautéed abalone, king brown mushrooms and bottarga with maltagliati.
Frankie Walter Peta
If you’re looking for a reason to romanticise Melbourne, then look no further than Frankie Walter Peta. This cute little gem on Freshwater Place offers specialty coffee, locally sourced food and a share library where you can drop off old reads and pick up new stories without spending a dime. FWP also offers adorable picnic hampers – complete with blankets, coffee and pastries – for those looking to go on a very Melbourne date.
Expansive outdoor seating along the Yarra makes popping into the Arbory Bar and Eatery the quintessential Melbourne activity. With burgers, cocktails and views across to Southbank, this riverside watering hole is in the perfect location for after work drinks, Sunday afternoon snacks or a quick coffee any day of the week. Or head to Arbory Afloat, the bar’s 500 metres long floating pontoon at Flinders Landing. With a Mediterranean Beach Club vibe, guests can lounge in a day bed or dine in the restaurant. With a capacity for 407 guests and operating seven days a week, it’s undeniably some of the best views of the river.
Sprawling along a scenic stretch of the Yarra, a few steps down from a busy intersection, Riverland Bar is an unexpected escape. A year-round alfresco venue (based out of several old wharf vaults), it’s a Melbourne summer essential on hot afternoons and balmy nights. Grab a snag from the barbie and some beers, or live it up with crab burgers and Champagne.
Riverside grazing doesn’t get any better than at Pilgrim. Alongside the historic vaults at Federation Wharf, soak up the Yarra view with a local craft gin cocktail and a peanut butter pretzel, then move on to a seasonal share plate as the sun sets.
Surrounded by water on all fronts, Ponyfish Island is a unique sanctuary for those wanting a break from the bustling city. Found under the Southbank Pedestrian Bridge this island getaway offers delicious food and fancy cocktails. All to be imbued with water lapping just beneath your feet.
A middle-eastern haven, Mama Rumaan caters for a range of dietary needs. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly dishes are scattered throughout the decadent menu. Think marinated lamb tekka and fragrant masgouf with fish fillets, coriander, garlic, tomato, capsicum, fresh chilli and saffron rice.
Spanish tapas abounds at Bar Nacional. Housed in a jaw-dropping interior featuring a geometric bar, industrial beaming and long, shared-style bar tables, Bar Nacional boasts a breakfast, business lunch and tapas menu. They’ve got all your meals sorted.
It’s only a short stroll along New Quay promenade until you arrive at Cargo Restaurant and Bar. This versatile modern eatery has you set for indulgence with mac and cheese, beef burgers and dessert calzones. Or, if you’re going for a light meal, they have zesty grilled chicken tortillas and a full range of delicious salads.