While there’s heaps of amazing restaurants in Melbourne to be found down inner city alleyways, sometimes nothing beats open space, fresh air, and a stunning view across the bay. Looking for a bay-side espresso, or maybe a mellow glass of wine as you watch the sunset? Here are eight cracking bay venues that we’ve been loving this year.
One of the best traditional Italian restaurants in Melbourne, La Svolta serves up incredible pizzas, delicious antipasti and some of the best freshly made pasta you’ll find in our beautiful city. The atmosphere is relaxed, making it a great pick for a bay-side date or a full family outing, and with a BYO wine policy to boot, it’s our go-to for low-key bay-side dining that delivers on the flavour factor.
Ebenezer Coffee & Wine Bar
When we first discovered Ebenezer Coffee & Wine Bar, we couldn’t believe that we were in Black Rock and not sitting down to brunch in one of Melbourne’s top inner city hot spots! The corner venue combines the best elements of a café, wine bar and eatery, all under one roof. With a Cuban pulled pork sandwich that’s to die for, a hand-picked wine list that you simply won’t find anywhere else, and a stunning sunset viewpoint, this is one bay-side venue we’ve been back to, time and time again. To experience an amazing night where the venue really showcases its wares, register you details to be first to be invited to one of the monthly Speciality Wine Maker Dinner Series, were you get to meet and eat with the industry's top makers and doers. For more info, get in touch here.
The Little Ox
Housed in a converted milk bar, The Little Ox is one of Brighton’s cutest cafes that makes a great port of call for coffee and a snack or a full mealtime feed. Run by four long-time friends, the venue has an inviting, homely vibe, complete with home-baked goods and an open kitchen. Wondering what you should be eating? The slow-braised meat dishes are always on point, but look out for tasty seasonal specials as the kitchen team are always on the hunt for the best local ingredients.
Our new favorite city-side bay venue, Café Lafayette, is a wonderful eatery for those who want a great view of the water but don’t fancy the drive down the ‘ninch. Situated at Port Melbourne, the café’s modern interior and tasty menu—think brunch favourites including avo on toast, granola and eggs Benedict, plus Asian classics such as duck pancakes and twice-cooked pork belly—makes for a mouth-watering café that won’t leave you going hungry.
Brighton School House
While not, strictly speaking, right on the bay front, Brighton School House is definitely one of the best cafes in Melbourne that’s a little further towards the ocean than most. The large café has quickly established itself as one of the tastiest all-rounders in Brighton. Serving incredible milk shakes, St Ali coffee, mueslis, salads, pancakes, and just about every other brunch dish under the sun, it also acts as a bottle shop, providing to-go beverages for locals. One of the best bay-side venues for groups, whether you’re in for a health kick, or reaching for the full fried breakfast.
The Food Smith
Cold-pressed juices, fruit muffins, epic eggs and more await at Hampton café and food store The Food Smith, which sits on Hampton Street, a stone’s throw from the coast. While we love eating in at this awesome café, we love dropping by to pick up supplies for a bay-side road trip even more. A great hub of foodie finds where you’re always guaranteed to come away with a new discovery.
Brighton Soul Espresso
Brighton Soul Espresso does exactly what it says on the tin: Rich, tasty coffee, superb café food and a healthy dose of soul from a warm, friendly team. The simple, fresh brunch fare, bare red brick interior and unpretentious vibe makes for a wonderful venue that’s perfect for picking up a bite to eat or a coffee to go. A must for any Melbourne coffee lover.
Previously a brewery, True South is a cracking Argentinian restaurant situated on the south-side of Black Rock, which still serves some tasty beers under the True South name. With a focus on traditional food, full of rich flavours and South American spices, the extensive menu features everything from scallop ceviche to pickled ox tongue, as well as some incredible desserts. Churros AND a bay-side view?! Yup, it’s pretty much heaven here.
Looking for more out-of-town ideas? Check out our round-up of 6 Out-Of-Town Escapes You’ll Love.
Image credit: Ebenezer Coffee & Wine Bar by Simon Shiff for The Urban List