What's On

Ace Your Eats At This Year’s Australian Open: The Food And Drink Pop-Ups You Can’t Miss

By Claudia Goundar

It's the earmarked sports event of the summer, the Aus Open is the iconic stretch of January where Melbourne suddenly transforms into tennis-arm-chair experts. 

While tennis rightfully claims centre stage, the culinary scene competes with the action on the court, boasting some of Australia’s most revered restaurants and bars. Returning favourites will once again tantalise taste buds while a new wave of exciting newcomers make their debut. Here's a sneak peek into the diverse line-up of food and drink offerings that you don’t want to miss at the Australian Open 2024:

Brunetti Classico

Serving up Italian classics since 1985, Brunetti is a welcome addition to the Aus Open’s culinary lineup. They’ve concocted a new dessert in honour of the tennis, fittingly in the shape of a tennis ball. The dessert consists of a flourless pistachio sponge base topped with a lemon cheesecake mousse and a gooey strawberry centre.

Bar Atrium

Image credit: AO | Supplied

Nestled amid stunning vistas of the Yarra River and the city skyline, Bar Atrium stands out as one of the most picturesque destinations in the precinct. Open to the public for the entire duration of the event, the esteemed establishment is offering a three-course menu featuring Lebanese-inspired mezze dishes by Melbourne chef Tom Sarafian, complemented by a curated drinks menu by The Everleigh. The ‘After Eight’ experience is set to be the highlight, inviting patrons to savour a selection of enticing bar snacks with signature cocktails amid the sunset.

Maha Restaurant Superbox

Indulge in opulent dining at Rod Laver Arena in the  Maha Restaurant Superbox and Nick and Nora’s, both sophisticated options among the AO culinary offerings. Thoughtfully crafted by esteemed Melbourne chef Shane Delia, the Maha experience boasts a distinctive grazing-style menu—showcasing flavours of the Middle East, premium beverages and an exclusive vantage point for prime tennis viewing. This superbox experience will undoubtedly elevate your tennis experience to new heights.

Light Years

AO | Supplied

In a thrilling Melbourne first, the renowned Asian bar and diner originating in NSW,  Light Years is poised to leave an indelible mark at the Grand Slam Oval. With all Light Year menus under the culinary guidance of executive chef Robbie Oijvall—known for his vibrant and bold flavours—the menu packs some punchy flavours. You can expect to get your hands on the highly-coveted bao buns among other modern Asian-inspired snacks. This is undoubtedly a top priority on your AO food checklist. 

Peach Melbourne 

Following a triumphant debut in 2023, Peach Melbourne,  AO’s signature dessert haven, is making a highly anticipated return. Inspired by the classic dessert peach melba, this dessert destination recreates the refreshing combination of peach, raspberry and velvety vanilla soft serve. It is undoubtedly poised to become a favoured choice for patrons looking to beat the summer heat and indulge in a sweet treat.

Morning Market

Image credit: AO | Supplied

Marking another inaugural appearance in the Grand Slam Oval, Andrew McConnells’s gourmet grocery store, Morning Market is making its way to the AO precinct. This Gertrude street favourite is serving up the essentials— high-quality coffee, gourmet sandwiches and bakery delights. There may even be some crowd-favourite sangas like the tuna melt and the ham and cheese toastie on the menu.


One of Carlton’s most famous pizza joints, D.O.C, will be a sight for sore eyes after a long day watching tennis. Expect pizza to be served Al Taglio, aka by the slice, with San Daniele, Margherita and Soppressa as some of the options. 


This Melbourne institution has proven it isn’t just for those late nights in the city. Another year of tennis and souvlakis is on the agenda, and we can’t say we’re not pleased about it. 


Image credit: AO | Supplied

Salamatea, a social enterprise cafe and restaurant situated in Melbourne’s west, is a newcomer in the AO culinary scene, however, is by no means set to disappoint with its distinctive and flavoursome offerings. The Persian gem is bringing its highly sought-after fresh falafel wrap, featuring vegetarian fried chickpea falafel with silky hummus, homemade mayo and salad encased in a wrap. 

Cambio de Tercio

Arguably one of London’s most famous Spanish restaurants, and one that’s familiar with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Carlos Alcaraz, Cambio de Tercio will be bringing some much-needed and world-lauded tapas to the AO.

King & Godfree

In the aptly named Lygon Street Italian at Garden Square,  European charm will reign supreme, showcasing some of Melbourne’s most celebrated Italian dining establishments, including King & Godfree. Harnessing the flair of Italian delis, markets and bakeries, the Carlton locale is offering some mean polpette panini (meatballs) generously coated in a rich Napoli tomato sauce, complimented by smoky scamorza cheese, all encased in a traditional panino.


Image credit: AO | Supplied

Returning once again as a fan favourite, Stokehouse is offering an elevated premium dining experience alongside Rockpool Bar & Grill and Penfolds Restaurant. Located in The Glasshouse, just moments away from the tennis antics, indulge in executive chef Jason Staudt’s meticulously curated three-course menu, impeccably paired with a range of premium wines. 

Daughter in Law

Within the Fusion Feast line-up, located in the Eastern Lounge at the John Cain Arena, you’ll find Jessi Singh’s Daughter in Law. Cherished for its authentically crafted, made-with-love Indian dishes, Daughter in Law’s AO menu showcases its fan-favourite tandoori chicken with buttered corn masala and confit shallot, peas and paneer—a substantial and comforting feed for a long day at the courts.

AO Courtside Bar

An exciting addition to the Australian Open drink scene is the AO Courtside Bar—a two-story structure offering an unprecedented view of the court and accommodating over 400 fans. Anticipated to be the ‘party court,’ drinks and music take the forefront of the tennis experience. Featuring DJs and live entertainment, fans can enjoy the action on Court six while enjoying the tunes and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink options.

Hitting Melbourne for the AO this January? Check out everywhere to eat, stay and play while you're here

Main image credit: AO | Supplied

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.