Melbourne’s largest outdoor floating bar and restaurant Arbory Afloat has returned to the heart of Melbourne on the Yarra River for its 5th consecutive year. This year Afloat is re-imagined with a laidback and chic aesthetic, drawing inspiration from Australia’s own backyard: The Australian Beach House. Championing the very best Australia has to offer when it comes to food, Executive Chef Nick Bennett has designed a menu of classic and contemporary coastal dishes, taking cues from the Mediterranean with locally sourced produce and ingredients. Enjoy the summer-ready drinks list in this vibrant inner-city oasis as Melbourne’s skyline shines through. 1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 9614 0023.
Celebrate with ST. ALi this summer as they bring Amalfi to South Melbourne with ST. ALi’s summer outdoor dining festival including ST. ALi NIGHTS. Introducing the Italian Artisans in Residence program, enjoy a classic menu of Italian favourites from Tony Nicolini (DOC), pasta chef Andrea Vignali, who will be serving up a selection of his homemade classics, as well as pasta from local heroes EAT Pasta, and smashing cocktails by Orlando Marzo, winner of the World’s Best Bartender Award 2018. Expect there to be a selection of traditional woodfire pizza plus classic Italian favourites including Vignali’s world-famous homemade tortellini cacio e pepe. 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne, VIC, 3205, 03 9696 2990.
From the team behind South Melbourne’s Half Acre and caterer’s food&desire, Lakeside at Carousel has taken over the iconic Carousel building at Albert Park Lake and Pelican Lawn. Grab a COVID-19 safe picnic spot on the grass with optional hire furniture and enjoy delicious and freshly prepared food and drinks. Options are plentiful ranging from meze platters, salad bowls, charcuterie, and cheese boards. Open daily over summer, it’s the ideal spot for after-work drinks, mid-week family dinners, celebrations, and catching up with friends. Make sure to keep an eye out for key events on the calendar including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to celebrate with loved ones and for tennis lovers, there will be screenings of The Australian Open. 22 Aughtie Dr, Albert Park, Melbourne, VIC, 3205.
The Commons at Ormond Collective, originally known as the Belgium Beer Garden, is Melbourne’s newest beautiful garden café and wine bar. With easy take away grab and go from The Conservatory, long lazy rose and summer spritz filled lunches in the Garden Cafe, or an easy meal in the Green Shed Beer Bar, the Commons is a site for every man, woman, and their dog with puppy parking, day beds and a full menu for pooches on offer. The menu is full of delicious simple food made from seasonal products and local suppliers. Think Spring salads with seared salmon, perfect burgers and fries, Harry’s Bar toasted finger sandwiches and Italian strawberry love cakes for the sweet tooths. 557 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC, 3004.
Andrew McConnell’s Marion has set up alfresco dining spanning its shopfront and new grocer, Morning Market, located just a few doors up on Gertrude Street. The menu is seasonal and generous, catering to every appetite. Anyone that can’t decide what to order, fear not, dishes are designed for flexible dining, with smaller morsels or larger items to share. An extensive wine list ensures there is an exquisite wine to satisfy any tastebud. Open Wednesday – Sunday from midday until late, online bookings are recommended ahead of time to avoid disappointment. 53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.
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