MELBOURNE IS RENOWNED for many things, like its culture, its sport, its fashion and its dining institutions. Sure, the city can be a little gloomy during the chilly season, unlike its neighbours over in Sydney. But when the sun finally decides to rear its head, there’s no better place to be than one of Melbourne’s great outdoor dining spots.
Below, you’ll find a curated list of the best al fresco dining destinations you’re likely to find the team at Esquire over the warmer months. From CBD hotspots to local favourites, there’s a rooftop or floating raft to suit every taste in Melbourne right now.
2/161 Spring St, Melbourne
One of the best rooftop destinations in Melbourne, many frequent Siglo for its remarkable European flair. Go for the exceptional cocktails, premium spirits, well measured lists of international reds and whites and its solid cigar offerings, which include Cuban heavyweights like Cohiba, Partagas and Upmann.
Di Stasio Pizzeria
224 Faraday St, Carlton
When dining at Di Stasio Pizzeria in Carlton, you might very well feel like you’re doing so in Rome. This stunning Italian pizzeria restaurant with its lush courtyard and design-centric fitout, is the latest addition to Ronnie Di Stasio’s offerings, which pay homage to traditional, homemade Italian dishes that you might find at Nonna’s. Hot tip: the Carbonara might be the best in town!
2, Flinders Walk, Melbourne
An afternoon at the Arbory Afloat is a summer’s afternoon well spent. Marvel at the spectacular Melbourne CBD surroundings as you float on the Yarra with a glass of your favourite bev in hand. This summer, the theme of Afloat is ‘Mexico’, so you can expect margaritas and tacos to be served all afternoon long.
447 Church St, Richmond
A Richmond staple that nails the classic pub eats & drinks, but with an added X-factor: a brand new rooftop. Centrally located, Harlow is a go-to for rooftop bottomless events, after footy drinks or just general catch ups with those nearest and dearest on the weekend.
43 Royal Parade, Parkville
Located in the heart of Parkville, Naughtons has been standing for over 150 years. With a focus on seasonal, sustainable and satisfying food with an extensive drinks list, this is a locals favourite any time of year—but especially during the warmer months, when outdoor dining is guaranteed.
Marion Wine Bar
53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Another local favourite, you’ll find Marion to be buzzing every night of the week—but especially during the summer. With arguably the best wine list in Fitzroy, Marion—which is owned by celebrated chef and restauranteur Andrew McConnell—also boasts an impressive food menu designed to share. Book in advance, as reservations can be hard to come by!
The Prince Hotel
2 Acland St, St Kilda
A stalwart, iconic piece of Melbourne that has been around since the 1800s when the property was a humble guest house, today, The Prince Hotel is somewhat of a “jack of all trades,” evolving as one of the true hospitality highlights of this city. No visit to The Prince Hotel is the same, whether you’re having a mini staycation in one of its designer rooms, having a meal at the award-winning Prince Dining Room, or perhaps picking up a bottle of your favourite red from Little Prince Wine bar after work. Of course, the Prince Deck is equally iconic, and a great spot to perch oneself on a hot summer’s day.