The Christmas season is coming up and after a lengthy lockdown, nothing beats a good celebration. If you're after a secluded spot to catch up with your friends, family or workmates, a private dining spot is for you. Think VIP treatment and your own classy space without the hassle of random strangers dropping in.
Lucky for you, if you're after a long-awaited Christmas catch-up—we have gathered some of Melbourne’s best private dining spots.
Sophia At The Prahran Arcade
For a classy and elegant dining space that will take you back in time, Sophia, perched above JB HI-FI on Chapel Street is the holy grail of private dining spaces. For years there was much speculation in Melbourne as to what the space held, and now you can experience it for yourself; the renovated space features ornate façades, chandeliers and arched windows. The rooms can host an array of events for up to 280 people; they have two spots to choose from depending on your needs. For a large Christmas venue in Melbourne, this one is a winner. Book here.
Tokyo Private (Tina)
Home to exquisite Japanese-style dishes, Melbourne’s favourite Tokyo Tina is showing off their new private dining room; Tokyo Private. The space has a luxe 1970s feel and has been fashioned in the style of an ultra-boujee Japanese train carriage. The warm environment fits up to 28 guests and highlights Tokyo Tina’s seasonal and delicious menu. The best bit is the event package includes karaoke so after a few rounds of sake you can really get stuck in.
Book in here.
Situated on the Yarra River, Arbory Afloat has grown to become a Melbourne summer favourite. Not only is the spot slinging cocktails and pizzas to the public, but you can also hire the space for private events. It’s a pretty ideal location and they can cater for 30-1000 people. This year’s theme is all about the Turkish coast, so if you wanna enjoy an inner-city oasis, this is your spot. Book in here.
Pilgrim Bar is a CBD private dining space that is filled with good vibes. Their outdoor venue spots are perfect for sipping on a cocktail with the sun out. Their menu includes Aussie bites like sausage rolls and prawn toast with a truffle aioli—something sure to satisfy every punter. They also have a jam-packed drinks menu, with cocktails, wine, and beer options for everyone.
Book in here.
A quaint favourite, Neighbourhood Wine is the perfect private dining space. They have four rooms in total, with two designated private spaces and the others up for hire if you are having a larger party. As the name suggests, wine is their thing with a seriously extensive list of different drops from across the globe. In terms of food, their motto is simple with seasonal dishes that pair perfectly with a couple of vinos and their Euro-inspired dishes. Book in here.
Riverland Urban Beer Garden
Riverland is one of Melbourne’s best Christmas event spots, due to its waterfront location on the brink of the Yarra in the CBD. They have a range of event packages, to suit either a swanky corporate work Christmas party or your annual family gathering. They have three spaces to choose from as well, so options are in your favour. To secure your spot click here.
The Toff In Town
Climb up the iconic Curtin House stairwell and make your way to level two, aka The Toff. The clustered booths with red-checkered tablecloths are the perfect space to lock in for some end of the year festivities. The space is perfect for smaller sit-downs, but also great to linger over cocktails if you want a bigger party. They’re a live music venue too, so they can cater to a huge range of party options for you. Book in here.
Marquis Of Lorne
The Fitzroy space features a main dining room, private dining room and rooftop for all your event needs. Think pub-style food but with a modern Aussie twist, so dishes include items like potato cakes with chilli salt or spiced duck cigars. While those are a couple of their canape style bites, Marquis Of Lorne also offer a full sit-down menu for more formal events and a spanking range of beers on tap. Book in here.
If you’ve ever been to Chin Chin you probably already know that the space is huge. So it makes sense that they have a massive array of event spaces and dining rooms to suit all ranges of party sizes. Their event dishes include Chin Chin classics, but they also offer a twist on the traditional dining experience with banquet and function menus. Book in here.
Hawker Hall has a vibrant ambience. The space is filled with neon signs and chefs cooking up street-food style dishes true to an authentic Hawker market; you’ll find plenty of Malaysian, Thai and Indian-inspired cuisine. For larger parties, this is the venue for you, they have options for a sit-down full banquet feast or more of a cocktail style event with smaller plates and drinks. Either way, both options show off a rich variety of some of the top Asian-fusion food in Melbourne. Book in here.
Johnny’s Green Room
Johnny’s Green Room’s rooftop has an incredibly fun ambience and also includes seriously impressive 360-degree views over Carlton and the city. Mirroring an ambience similar to an Italian rooftop terrazzo—you can host your next event at their dedicated function space. Think good times, great tunes and an exquisite combination of Negronis, Bellinis and antipasti, and a range of top-tier pizza. Buona. Book in here.
Set within the CBD’s Cavendish House, Gimlet has a nostalgic and glamorous space for your Christmas party needs. Fitting up to 12 people, the private dining room serves up European flavours with Andrew McConnell’s signature modern Australian twist. They’ve also got some masterfully created cocktails, so be sure to try their signature ‘Cavendish House Martini’ with gin, vermouth, citrus bitters and olives its got real yesteryear glamour. Book in here.
Flinders Lane favourite, Cumulus Inc is offering private dining in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. They have a few unique spaces including their upstairs area, wine room or spot in the Arc One Gallery—which houses works from over 20 contemporary Australian-based artists. Each designated space features the high-level culinary offering of the Andrew McConnell dynasty; so you can expect favourites like the slow-cooked lamb shoulder as well as a fantastic range of imported and local wines. Book here.
If you haven’t tried their Salmon Nori taco or Matcha Gnocchi, you’ve gotta make a run to Mr Miyagi. Luckily, their event menu consists of those items along with other goodies—and a 2.5-hour beverage package. The upstairs private space has an energetic vibe and is perfect for between 10-32 people. Book here.
The relatively new Brunswick Street Osteria has four different spaces, with a range of indoor and outdoor settings that are perfect for big or small groups. Their menu includes Italian classics beef carpaccio, to rigatoni with duck and porcini mushroom ragu, as well as a stack of pizza options. Their selection of wines and cocktails is pretty extensive too—give their Moreish Spritz with Montenegro, grapefruit, rhubarb bitters, and Prosecco a try. Book in here.
If you are after Mediterranean flavours and food cooked from the heart, Bar Lourinha offers a great private dining spot in Melbourne. Their intimate space is perfect for between 40 to 60 people and the menu features Tapas made seasonal produce and a range of cocktails and wine. The atmosphere is crisp and classy, much like their dishes like Kingfish with pancetta and lemon oil. If you want to add a little spice to your party, they throw in a live Latino performance to provide your crew with the full experience. Book in here.
Builders Arms Hotel
Builders Arms Hotel is renowned for its simple, seasonal and contemporary menu which you can enjoy in one of their private dining spaces. Whether you opt for a cocktail or sit-down event, they’re flexible to different party sizes and occasions. Both rooms showcase elements from the original hotel and have been restored to emphasise their character while you enjoy their food and drink. Think pub-style vibes with a boujee twist. Book here.
Filled with eclectic art and decor, Little Andorra offers two private dining rooms that are perfect for small groups under ten. The intimate dining experience features high-quality ingredients that are inspired by head chef, Mertcan Dogusgen’s Turkish culture. Using locally-sourced produce, Mertcan’s dishes honour traditional cooking but with an inventive twist including their famed Kangaroo Kebap. Book here.
The Prince Hotel
The Prince Hotel doesn’t fall short when it comes to event spaces. With five different rooms that you can hire, they can cater to capacities of 10 to over 200. The St Kilda institution also offers a fantastic range of pub-classics to Modern contemporary cuisine and beverage options that will make your event pop. Book here.
Poodle Bar & Bistro
Poodle is a bistro-style bar that has one of the best event locations in Melbourne’s north. They have a seated event space that’s hidden away from the hum of the main bar, making it perfect for more intimate events. They also have an upstairs lounge and courtyard area if you are looking for something a little bigger. Their event packs include a variety of smaller Euro-inspired plates and drinks, so all your guests are sure to have a good time. Book here.
For one of the best private dining experiences in Melbourne’s CBD, Kisume offers an event space that can fit 44 people. The seated dining spot is tailored to your needs and features Kisume’s masterfully curated menu features their top-grade sushi and sashimi—Also, side note—they are home to Australia’s largest collection of Chablis (French white-wine) so that is always a fun add on to your Christmas dinner. Book in here.
Scott Pickett’s Matilda offers two different private dining rooms. Depending on your party size they can offer seated lunches or stand-up cocktail functions. Both options include a variety of their tasty dishes that showcase cooking over an open fire and hot coals like their saltbush lamb ribs with toasted crumb and Harissa. There are also lots of drink packages to choose from, so you can test out some of their delicious wines or cocktails. Book in here.
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Image credit: (Sophia) Jake Roden