As a big city, Melbourne has an abundance of options to choose from when it comes to eating out. We made the most of our time there and visited as many bars, restaurants and clubs as we could afford on our backpackers budget.
The Fitz, was our first eating out experience, a cafe with an outdoor seating area situated in the (suburb / district) of Fitzroy. Being on a main road, it was fairly noisy outside, but the cafe itself was pleasant enough and we all enjoyed the meals we ordered. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either.
Milk the Cow is a fromagerie restaurant in St Kilda, with another premises located in Carlton. It’s a cheese lovers heaven, offering cheese boards, melted cheeses such as camembert or fondue and various drink pairings to compliment. The staff were highly knowledgable about the produce they were selling and all of us accepted recommendations from our waitress. Food and drinks was served quickly and well presented. I can’t say enough good things about this place, if you love cheese it’s an absolute must to visit!
Matcha Mylkbar was another establishment we visited in St Kilda. Unfortunately, on the other end of the scale our experience in here was pretty appalling. I was really upset by this, as I’d taken Emma and Adam here as a surprise, due to the fun looking menu and Emma’s interest in vegan foods. The service from staff we experienced really put a dampener on the day and ruined the cafe for us, despite the food being fairly nice. Read more about my rant on Tripadvisor.
Chin Chin is a thai restaurant located in the CBD of Melbourne. We met up with some friends from our time travelling the east coast and went here for dinner on one of their suggestions. On arrival, there was a fairly queue going out the door. We had no idea how long it would take, but as we were still waiting on some of the group to arrive we joined the queue anyway. After waiting around 20 minutes to get to the front, we were informed by the hostess that for a group of 5 it would be an hour and a half wait. They took down our phone number, and told us they’d call when a table became available. It was Tuesday 20th of December, so perhaps it was so busy due to it being so close to Christmas, or perhaps this is normal for that restaurant – I couldn’t say.
My personal preference at that point would have just been to try somewhere else, but everyone else seemed happy to wait so we went for a few drinks instead and returned almost two hours later for our meal. Once seated, the service was incredibly fast and we were served our food in no time at all. All the meals were highly rated in terms of taste, I personally just feel it wasn’t worth the two hour wait.
For some casual afternoon drinks, we tried a couple of places around the city. Firstly, Rooftop Bar, a bar located right in the CBD. Again, right before Christmas on a warm summers day, this place was absolutely packed. However, we were fairly lucky in that we nabbed ourselves a table reasonably quickly, and enjoyed a few drinks in the sun on a nice rooftop decking. A great place to go for a catchup with friends on a sunny day.
Mountain Goat Brewery was another we visited, and it was the best of the lot. Both a bar and a brewery, this cool warehouse venue in Richmond is a really unique place to go for a couple of pints. They run regular tours around the brewery itself and tell you all about the brewing process. Even if you miss the tour, you can see all the equipment from the bar area. The bar itself offers a large range of their own craft beers, and a tasting paddle for those who can’t decide. Definitely somewhere I’d recommend visiting.
Section 8, also located in the CBD is a great little venue. Covered in graffiti and with a really cool vibe, this is a great place to go from afternoon right through to late night. We visited twice, for a chilled afternoon pint and for an evening of partying and dancing and both times were great. Highly recommend this bar and we all plan to go back again!
Finally, its time to touch more on nightlife. Many of these listed below could be visited as bars for casual drinks as well I’m sure, but our only experiences of them are of late nights out.
Fathers office is a bar located in the CBD, just a short walk from Section 8. It was fully of cheesy tunes and a big change of scenery from the cool vibes bar of Section 8. However, it had an outdoor drinking area and drinks were cheap, so a good place to head out if on a budget.
Evelyn Hotel in Fitzroy is a bottle shop / bar combo. We were amazed by this when we heard of it and insisted Iona take us! If you head into the bottle shop half, you can choose your drink from the store and they pass it through to the bar for you to drink in there. A wonderful concept and a very easily place to drink far too much!
Another two we visited in Fitzroy was Black Pearl Bar and Glamorama. Black Pearl Bar was just a nice enough bar, nothing to write home about really. As for Glamorama,I can’t comment much on as I don’t remember a whole lot of it, but I think it’s a decent nightclub!
Finally, we visited Revolver, possibly Melbourne’s most infamous nightclub. It’s open from 5pm Saturday until 9am on Monday, as well as most nights through the week until the early hours of the morning. It’s where people go to party hard, and you’ll hear stories from people around Melbourne about how much of an ‘experience’ it is and how you have to go visit at least once! Most people head in after visiting another club beforehand, but we were skint and wanted free entry so turned up pretty early as far as Revolver goes at around 11pm. Many of the sections were closed at that time, but we watched it gradually fill up until the whole place was packed and great music was playing in various rooms.