6 Reasons We’re Loving South Wharf

By Clare Acheson
11th Jun 2015

south wharf restaurants
south wharf restaurants

Recently, we’ve been discovering our newfound love of South Wharf Promenade and, more to the point, its bounty of food and drink venues. Japanese! Thai! Bavarian! Modern Australian! And all housed within a handful of incredible refitted cargo sheds that are over 130 years old, who would have thought. That’s right, people. You can keep your far-flung foraging eateries and your back-alley BBQ joints, because some of the best restaurants in Melbourne can be found right on the CBD riverbank.

Keen to know what’s got us so excited? Here are six South Wharf restaurants and bars we’re loving right now.


Thai restaurant BangPop delivers delicious authentic Thai cuisine in its bright and playful venue. The coloured bicycles lined up outside bring a little of Bangkok’s backstreets to South Wharf. On a sunny day, BangPop’s a great choice for lunch or dinner on the riverbank, where you can dine in the cute riverside garden area. During the cooler months, cosy up in the playful pop-inspired interior, full of Thai oddities. Either way, make sure you’re chowing down on some of their tasty fare, washed down with a Beer Lao!

Why we’re loving it?

The drunken prawns and the jungle curry…Mouth-wateringly delicious with just enough Thai spice to keep your tastebuds intact!


There is nothing we love more than great Japanese food—sashimi, nori salads, veggie-stuffed maki…We’re seconds away from grabbing our chopsticks and making a booking at riverside izakaya Akachochin just thinking about it! The South Wharf restaurant boasts some of the best Japanese food in Melbourne, thanks to head chef Kengo Hiromatsu, who previously oversaw the kitchen at Nobu. Add this Melbourne Japanese restaurant to your must-do list, stat.

Why we’re loving it?

The six-course tasting menu with paired sakes—a truly luxurious Japanese food experience that’s perfect for dates, birthdays and celebrations.

The General Assembly

If you’re bringing a crowd down to South Wharf for some epic drinking and dining action, look no further than The General Assembly—a cavernous venue complete with 49 beer taps, pouring 14 brands including the full Matilda Bay craft beer range and 3 independent craft beers on rotation. The interior is decked out like an old-school ale house (thanks to Six Degrees Architects) and the drinks menu delivers some top-notch brews to match. We can’t get enough of the Hopkin’s River and Ranger’s Valley beef too, which comes charcoal-grilled to perfection on the kitchen’s giant Josper grill. Pure, unadulterated meaty heaven.

Why we’re loving it?

The beef and beer combo. Seriously, that grill is like the Rolls Royce of kitchen equipment—pair it with the Cascade First Harvest that’s currently on tap and we have ourselves a winner!

Bohemian Bar & Restaurant

Step into Spain, folks! Bohemian Bar & Restaurant genuinely feels like stepping into a rustic Spanish eatery, complete with paella and Tempranillo to match. You’ll also be able to nibble on the house-made chorizo and wrap your lips around manchego and baked apple with tomato marmalade—one of the tastiest morsels we’ve had in a loooong while.

Why we’re loving it?

The Flamenco nights—live Flamenco dancing, sangria, tapas and more at this South Wharf event which always books out! Find out about the next one here.

Meat Market

Meat Market takes traditional Aussie barbeque fare and turns it up to eleven. The South Wharf restaurant’s stunning open kitchen means you can get up close to the culinary action before enjoying some of the best steak in Melbourne, and the riverside seating makes it the perfect spot for some al fresco dining. A top Melbourne restaurant for carnivores, especially if you’re in the mood for dry-aged beef, which in my case is all the time. 

Why we’re loving it?

The $20 lunch menu. We can never decide between the beef and rosemary sausages on parsnip mash with onion gravy, or the epic steak frites, both of which come with a drink. Thank YOU, Meat Market!

Munich Brauhaus

Ah, Munich Brauhaus. Where beers are biers and uber-weiners are, um, huge sausages. With room for a massive NINE HUNDRED revellers, this incredible German-style beer hall serves traditional Bavarian food—think pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts complete with sauerkraut, and spicy frankfurters—as well as some tasty non-Germanic additions (four cheese mac’n’cheese, oh yessss). A stellar South Wharf bar for catching up with mates over a few steins of beer.

Why we’re loving it?

The atmosphere here is always one of good times and no regrets. It kinda has to be if you’re drinking beer in litre quantities.

What are you doing still reading this?! Get discovering South Wharf’s great restaurants and drinking holes, pronto!

Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by DFO South Wharf and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: The General Assembly, BangPop, Akachochin, Munich Brauhaus, Meat Market, Bohemian Bar & Restaurant, all Nick West for The Urban List

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