Restaurants

Take Your Sweet Time At 15 Of Melbourne’s Best Long Lunches

By Claudia Trotter
8th Dec 2021

 

Is there anything more fabulous than a long lunch? When you’ve got good food, great company and the whole afternoon to knock yourself into a food coma, the world is your oyster. And with a suite of new venues adding long lunches to their menus, now’s the time to start sampling where to head for midday drinks. Here are 15 of our favourite Melbourne restaurants to hit up for a long lunch this Summer.

Supernormal

CBD

If you are yet to dine at Flinders Lane's Asian masterpiece, you need to get down to it—of course, we're talking about Supernormal. AKA, Andrew McConnell's crown jewel and home to the most famous lobster roll in Melbourne. The Supernormal menu is changing all the time, but it's always designed to be shared, so grab a couple of mates and try a serve of duck bao, sweet chilli Korean rice cakes, Hunan-style beef tartare, some beef tartare, and whatever else you can squeeze in.

Prince Alfred Hotel

Richmond

With the weather now warming up, why not book a table and soak up the atmosphere at PA’s by enjoying a lazy feast in the legendary outdoor courtyard in the heart of Richmond. They’ve mastered a perfect balance between classic pub meals like chicken parma with more modern Aussie dishes such as the cauliflower and onion bhaji and pulled pork croquettes. For lunch with your girlfriends, we recommend a jug of the strawberry and peach spritz, accompanied by a charcuterie board, for just $49, available every day of the week. 

San Telmo

CBD

When the craving for Argentine food strikes, Melbournians head to San Telmo. Accept no substitutes. We’re talking empanadas, chorizos, fish, pollo, and of course, countless big hunks of meat. Lamb rump, flank steak, ribs, eye fillet—you name it, they’ve got it and it’s cooked damn well (or medium-rare, if that’s how you prefer). A lovely mid-week date option.

Skinny Dog Hotel

Kew

It’s hardly slim pickings at Skinny Dog Hotel. From cold beers to crisp ciders, you’ll need something to sip on when you’re chowing through the Famous Skinny Dog Parma—a 450-gram schnitzel with slow roast Napoli, Virginia ham, chef’s secret cheese blend, special salted beer battered fries and salad. Finger-lickingly messy pizza and loaded herby pan-roasted chats make for one heck of a day out.

Mamma’s Boy Trattoria

Brunswick

We’ve got two words for you: bottomless gnocchi. Need we say more? This humble, traditional Italian restaurant lies in the trendy laneways of Brunswick and is churning out some irresistible dishes, with tonnes of specials to get your hands (and your stomach) on. We’re talking mushroom and mozzarella arancini, steaming bowls of linguine marinara, and the most delicious lasagne to ever grace your tastebuds. Mamma’s Boy has got it all, so you won’t want to miss what’s next. 

Arbory Afloat 

CBD

Melbourne’s favourite river restaurant and bar has hit the Yarra early for its sixth consecutive season this year and we are urging you to try it. The 2021 design takes inspiration from Turkey’s Turquoise coast, with a laid back, chic aesthetic that will have you drooling for an overseas vacay. Book a booth at Arbory and spend the afternoon gorging on delicious Turkish flatbread, beef köfter, and grilled summer gyros, all with a cocktail in hand. 

Lucy Liu 

CBD

You’ve probably seen it all over Instagram- the classic red-lit alleyway with a large neon sign saying ‘Lucy Liu’ on the back wall, inviting you into a dimly lit and funky warehouse serving up some mouth-watering plates. Lucy offers sample menus of 5 and 7 plates, so you can sample a bit of everything (and stuff yourself to the brim). We recommend the caramelised tofu betel leaf for a truly delectable treat.  

Firebird

Windosr

Step inside the fiery, grill-driven Vietnamese eatery that is Firebird and prepare your tastebuds for the meal of a lifetime. Head Chef Steven Ngo takes it full-flame ahead, with a menu featuring an array of small dishes, noodles and feasts, straight from the fire. At Firebird, there’s a little something for everyone, from charred cabbage to extra rich grilled lamb rib curry. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, sign up for the four-course chef's selection for $58 a head, or a vegan version for just $48. We love a little inclusivity. 

Pepe’s Italian and Diner

CBD

Nestled beside the great trunk tree lies Pepe’s Italian and Liquor, an old school diner with its own Melbourne flair. Guests can sit outside on wooden tables with red and white striped umbrellas and fairy lights spanning the space while chowing down on delicious Italian fare and American diner classics. Our personal fave? There’s no passing up the meatball pizza—the perfect lunch to satisfy all those carby cravings. 

Mukka

Fitzroy

If share-style Indian cuisine doesn’t scream long lunch, we don’t know how to help you. Start with modern classics at Mukka including light, pancake-like Dosas made from rice and lentils. Served with curried potatoes, sambar dal and coconut chutney, it’s a vibrant, flavour-bursting start to your lazy lunch. Slow-cooked goat curry and the ever-popular, creamy butter chicken will thrust the loudest tables into silence. 

Tokyo Tina

Windsor

The third alliterative foodie sibling to join Hanoi Hannah and Saigon Sally (RIP), Tokyo Tina is an absolute must for mouth watering Japanese and Vietnmaese cuisine in one of Windsor’s ‘it’ restaurant venues. The fit-out of Tokyo Tina is half the charm—the walls are classic Windsor scuffle, with exposed timber beams and inky Tokyo illustrations covering the remaining space. The other half comes from their incredible menu, which features the likes of crispy avocado bao, rainbow rice bowls, and much, much more. 

Feast of Merit

Richmond

Fancy a trip to the Middle East? Try your hand at Feast of Merit for authentic flavours without the exxy flight overseas. Cocktails, beers and a generous range of wines (any lover of red would be pleased) complement the restaurant’s traditional menu and modern setting. We rate the Ocean Road duck and lamb shoulder for a meal that is truly out of this world. Top it all off with barrel aged cream cheese and poached berries and you’ve got a new local haunt guaranteed to keep that stomach satisfied. 

B.EAST

CBD

B.East is back, baby, and coming in hot with some absolute steals for your next long lunch. From 12.00pm Saturdays, or 2.00pm Sundays, you can score unlimited Southern-fried wings, poutine, tater tots and fries for just $45pp. And that’s not to mention the incredible bevvies on offer to seal the deal (as if they hadn’t already). Of course, you'll absolutely need to book ahead, so make sure you score yourself a spot by checking out the details here.

Mesa Verde

CBD

One of our long-time lunch go-tos, Mesa Verde is a laid back Mexican outfit tucked away on level 6 of the iconic curtain house. The stunning venue is all about presentation, so be prepared to snap a pic of your meal before digging in. Highlights of the menu include an incredible portobello quesadilla, intriguing-yet-delicious grilled peaches, and hands-down our fave chorizo in the entire city. Don’t forget to order a side of guac (like you would) for the ultimate Mexican eating experience. 

Provincial Rooftop

FITZROY

Enjoy a classy garden party courtesy of the stunning Provincial Rooftop. Inspired by the lush rooftop gardens New York is known for, the venue offers sweeping panoramic views alongside top-notch cocktails, and a mouth-watering menu, to boot. Be warned—the bites on offer are hearty, so don’t get carried away ordering too much. Or do, and make that long lunch even longer by sticking around until tea time. 

Looking for more inspired eats to tick off your Melbourne bucket list? Check out our top picks for the city’s most anticipated restaurant openings for 2021, and beyond.

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