Have you ever had one of those scenarios in which catching up with a few friends for dinner and drinks spirals into 20 hungry people fighting for a place at the table? We know that sometimes the best-laid plans to keep things small and simple sadly can’t stay that way, so we’ve scoured Melbourne’s best restaurants for groups for your next large gathering. Whether you want your own private room for you and yours or a place that provides banquets big enough for all of your extended family, try these top spots for a group dinner in Melbourne.
After temporarily closing its doors in 2018, it was a great time to be alive when Pope Joan announced its new permanent CBD location. They’re plating up breakfast, lunch and dinner options, of course including their award-winning sandwiches. From 4pm ‘til late, you can treat yourself to their $65 feed me menu which includes a selection of the restaurant’s best eats.
Nestled amongst the food-spoilt Windsor end of Chapel Street, Tokyo Tina neatly combines kitsch and cute with cool and funky. At Tokyo Tina modern Japanese is on the menu in the form of delicious dishes best shared. Not sure about what you should be ordering? Let the chefs take care of you and op for the “All In” menu for $62 per person, including dessert.
La Svolta’s menu is inspired by many different areas of Italy, rather than focusing on one region’s cuisine, meaning their menu is the epitome of extensive. Ranging from antipasto to main meals as well as pizzas, there’s stacks of combinations to create a meal for sharing.
The suspended terracotta pots that hang from the Gazi roof may be the first thing that comes to mind before you’ve dined in, but afterwards the only thing that’ll be on your mind? Souvas. At Gazi they’re all about serving up authentic Greek ‘street food’ which is perfect for sharing. Think dips with pita, meze, souvas and more. Of course, you can also go down the set menu route.
Red Spice Road
Hit up Red Spice Road for a unique Asian dining experience, featuring long, communal-style tables and oriental vibes. Definitely check out their tasting menu options for groups of 12 or more adults. Choose from either the $79 or $99 per person selections which includes appetisers, salads and more substantial dishes to share.
There’s plenty happening around Meyers Place which absolutely includes San Telmo. It’s the kind of place that will immediately transport you to the backstreets of Buenos Aires, where the stylish interior is Argentinian Bodega meets modern Melbourne style. Of course the food and wine is the real attraction at San Telmo, with food options designed for sharing, with steak taking centre stage. Their $70 set menu is available for groups of two people or more. Pro-tip: opt for an outdoor table for peak Melbourne laneway vibes.
Simultaneously looking for a solid group feed and a Middle Eastern flavour hit? Look no further than East Brunswick institution, Rumi. There are two options for banquets here and any group larger than eight people must order the banquet. There’s a $55 per person option as well as a $60 per person option. They are renowned for their epic banquets. Think Persian meatballs, BBQ Barramundi and all of the spices.
Supernormal Canteen finds its focus around pan-Asian share plates and kooky little oddities. It’s a more laid-back dining experience in comparison to its CBD-counterpart with a menu packed with new items as well as Supernormal favourites. Think fish-shaped taiyaki pancakes, stuffed with ice-cream and custard, mussels and clams, doused in XO sauce, typhoon-style school prawns, covered in crispy batter debris and more.
The Standard Hotel
Looking for a spacious beer garden to enjoy a meal and a bev (or two)? Considering its location is surrounded by residential space rather than being on the main drag of Brunswick Street, this ever-busy pub is surprisingly relaxing. The Standard Hotel also offers some of the best pub food in Melbourne—think steak sandwiches, deluxe parmas, garlic bread and more.
With her traditional Vietnamese food mixed with modern quirk, Hanoi Hannah needs no introduction. She’s slowly but surely taken over Melbourne and now boasts three locations across Melbourne in Windsor, Richmond and Elsternwick. Each restaurant menu differs, each offering a selection of dishes to share. Think prawn spring rolls, steamed chilli pork buns, grilled chicken ribs and more. For a set menu, check out the Elsternwick location’s “All In” menu for $52 per person.
Since opening in 2006, The Gem has solidified itself as one of Collingwood’s best local spots. They’ve got four dining rooms and an upstairs bar, allowing them to cater for a cheeky bartop snack or dining bookings of up to 30 people. Their menu rightfully named “Limp Brisket” has loads to choose from, including a low and slow pit smoked combo for $28 on Wednesday nights, which includes half a pound of pit-smoked meat and two small sides.
JAMU is single-handedly making Bridge Road great again. The restaurant is sleek, but architecture porn isn’t the main reason to check out JAMU. The main reason is the food. Our recommendation? Getting around their weekend bottomless brunches which include drinks like boozy bubble teas and mimosas to pair with all you can eat chicken ribs, bao and dumplings. You’re welcome.
HuTong Dumpling Bar
While there are plenty of cheap and cheerful BYO options available for big groups up and down Chinatown, HuTong Dumpling Bar is your one-stop shop. Whether you’re keen to split a Peking duck or wanting to fill a table full of dumplings, HuTong is fully equipped for all of your epic feasting sessions.
Since 1999, David’s has been slinging some of Melbourne’s best dumplings while simultaneously encouraging all the sharing and all the slurping. Inspired by countryside Shanghai, David's offers traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. For an authentic family-style dining experience, make sure you check out their two banquet menus which includes $55 (minimum four people) and $65 (minimum six people) per person options.
Without a doubt one of Melbourne’s best Mexican restaurants, Mamasita has three decadent banquet courses to choose from. Ranging from $52, $67 and $78 per head, with alcohol to match, Mamasita poses itself as being able to offer you one of the best banquets you’ll ever have. They’ve got a mixture between single dishes like chargrilled corn off the cob and share family-style mains.
If you have a mate who needs a laid-back beer garden with good vibes, you send them to Dr Morse. Why? Because whether you’re after an afternoon vino or a craft beer, this laid-back beer garden will have you well occupied for multiple hours, any day of the week. They’ve got a menu loaded with bar snacks and heartier options from the charcoal grill. You can also go for the $40 per person option for an essential full-on feed.
Bringing Bavarian food to South Wharf, Munich Brauhaus all the qualities we know and love from a classic German beer hall. There are four set menus, (each including haus-made pretzels with butter) available for group bookings. You can also order from their massive A la Carte menu which includes platters, a selection of schnitzel and sausage options and more.
One of Chapel Street, South Yarra’s most Instagram-able locations, Abacus Bar & Kitchen ticks all the boxes with its Insta-worthy décor. And that’s only the beginning. They’ve got day and night menus, as well as a dining option that’ll set you back $65, a small price to pay for one of the best farm-to-fork dining experiences in Melbourne.
Rupert On Rupert is known by the locals as the beer-pumping botanical gardens of the area and it's absolutely one of Collingwood’s most unique bar spaces, too. Think warehouse space with a vaulted, light-filled atrium decked out in industrial-mod finishings. As well as a fully-loaded drinks menu, there’s plenty of food options perfect for sharing. Check out their sharing plates offering which includes dishes like truffled ricotta gnocchi, grilled squid and more.
With 23 pizza options to choose from, with ten of those being vegan, it looks like all signs point to having a table full of pizzas at Pizza E Birra. Every week from Monday to Thursday, they host $45 bottomless pizza nights, with unlimited tap beer and wine. Is this real life?
Want to try all the spots in this article but can already hear your wallet screaming? That’s what Urban Feast is for; if you see an icon next to a restaurant’s name, then you can get $25 off your bill. Learn more about Urban Feast here.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis