Love Your Local | TUL Staff Picks for Dinner & Drinks in Melbourne

By Iro Kotsimbos
28th Aug 2014

We're a pretty lucky bunch here at The Urban List – I mean, wining and dining at the best restaurants in Melbourne really is the best gig on earth. 

While we'll never turn down the opportunity to stake out someplace new, there will always be a spot in our hearts (and stomachs) for our local loves; the restaurants and bars that are a hop, skip and a jump away from our after hours locales and provide the goods time and time again.

If you're stuck for where to head for dinner and drinks this evening, may we be so bold as to suggest one of our local faves? From neighbourhood gems to vibrant bayside bars, these are The Urban List's staff picks for dinner and drinks in Melbourne.

The Smith | Prahran

Iro (Communications Executive)

"Located mere seconds from Chapel Street, The Smith is the perfect spot to stop by for epic share plates and cocktails before a night of dancing. Grab a seat by the bar or a table in the main dining area and get ready to feast on dishes such as soft fajitas with Cuban braised wagyu osso bucco, avocado and sweetcorn salsa, kingfish sashimi with mango puree, coconut and green chili dressing, or crispy pork belly with char siu sauce, spring onions and sesame. Whatever you do, a round of espresso martinis to finish is a MUST! Oh and the Knickerbocker Glory dessert too. One of the best restaurants in Melbourne? Maybe I'm biaised because I live around the corner, but I definitely think so!"

duNord | Melbourne CBD

Eline (Graphic Designer)

"I'm a sucker for Scandinavian design, so when duNORD opened near my apartment I was beside myself…and so began my regular visits! It's not just the uber cool interiors that I'm in love with – the Nordic inspired food and cocktail menu is stellar too. To eat, my picks are the biff lindstrom hamburger with beetroot chips, mackerel with smoked butter, winter cabbage and crisp bread branches, pork and mutton stew with pumpkin puree, and the beetroot and rosehip pannacotta with sour cream sorbet for dessert (trust me, it's AMAZING). duNORD also stock a variety of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian beers – perfect for washing the moreish food down."

The Noble Experiment | Collingwood

Jess (Marketing Manager)

"Collingwood is in no short supply of rad restaurants to wine and dine at, however The Noble Experiment on Smith Street is my local love. The best thing about The Noble Experiment is that it's a one-stop-shop – brilliant for eating, drinking and dancing. Start off at The Noble Experiment's restaurant on the ground floor; if you're there with a group go for one of the Noble Feasts (Greenvale Farm pork shoulder, 3 day whole brisket point, or saltbush red miso lamb shoulder, all slow cooked to perfection) or let the Noble crew do the choosing for you with the Chefs Menu – six courses for $55. From there you can head upstairs to the Prohibition-era bar for a bottle of wine (or two!) or downstairs to the underground bar for cocktails and a whole lotta dancing."

Allium Food & Wine | Malvern

Ella (Communications Executive)

"I've kept Allium Food & Wine secret so far for my own selfish reasons, but really, it's too good not to share. Tucked away on Claremont Avenue in Malvern, Allium plates up amazing Modern Australian food, cheese and wine in a cozy setting that can't be beat. Start with a glass of vino and a nibble on tapas, before moving onto some more serious wining and dining. Allium also has an extensive list of aperitifs, whiskies, cocktails and craft beers, which I highly suggesting consuming alongside one of their famous cheeseboards. Speaking of cheese, Allium hosts a cheese pairing masterclass on the third Wednesday of every month – I highly recommend it!"

Captain Baxter | St Kilda

Pip (Content Manager)

"With its droolworthy menu, bangin' cocktails and beautiful seaside views, Captain Baxteris my go-to for a fun dinner and drinks with friends. There's a big focus on sharing at Captain Baxter, with the dishes split into Snacks, DIY, and Medium sized groups. Be warned, you'll want to order everything…and how could you not when there's glazed beef steamed buns, soft shell tacos and sticky ribs on the menu? And don't even get me started on how much I love the cocktails – the Pornstar Martini and Captain's Margarita are just two of the devilishly good tipples!"


Image Credit: Pinterest

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