Just like any healthy relationship (of which I have zero experience), sometimes you need some spice in your seriously committed foodie life. Scrap the Edison bulbs and industrial warehouses this weekend, we’ve got the best weird and truly wonderful food experiences in Melbourne. You know you want to.
When You Want To Embrace Your Inner Child: House Of Crabs
Fall hook, line, and sinker for this gloriously messy, hands-on (literally) restaurant. Nestled in the underbelly of Melbourne’s much-loved Newmarket Hotel, you can leave all semblance of table manners at House of Crabs. In a cosy half-marine-half-Burlesque space (just go with it), lick, squirt and suck your way through flavour-packed bags of crab. Yes you read that correctly–all crabmeat is served in a mildly unflattering plastic bag. Donning surgeon-style bibs and arming yourself with scissors is non-negotiable.
When You Want Something Exotic: Glamp
As much as we love dilapidated walls and cosy fireplaces, Glamp’s East African-inspired oasis is leaps and bounds ahead of its CBD neighbours. Skulk your way up to the beckoning, red staircase to reveal the vibrant interior bursting with unrestrained colour and safari-themed ornaments. Between beige curtains and neon rugs, order up a cocktail storm with slurpable drinks like the Southern Safari with Zubrowka Vodka, Impala & Peacock Safari Tea Syrup, Lime Juice and Prosecco.
When You Want To Eat On Public Transport: Easey’s
Some might declare it a giant gimmick, and perhaps they’re (at least partially) right. But Easey’s still holds the crown for the coolest burger joint in town, because when you’re sitting in an graffiti-covered tram, delicately placed to overlook all of Collingwood’s grungy glory, there’s really nothing to be upset about. Especially once your burger, dripping with stringy melted cheese and dollops of ketchup, hits the table.
When You Want To Get Your Tiki-Freaky On: LuWOW
LuWOW easily lives up to its namesake, bringing wow factor in the form of jungle greenery, flaming torches and lots, and lots of animal print. Climb into Johnston Street’s LuWOW to escape the metropolitan, featuring tropical tiki cocktails, exotic tapas and one of the best Mai Tai’s in Melbourne. Retro dance parties, karaoke and a giant line-up of live shows are some of the events on offer. There’s only good voodoo here.
When You Want To Skate’n’Eat: Beach Burrito
Get your burritos with a side of skating this weekend. Home to deliciously affordable tacos and crispy onion rings (if you want an actual side), Beach Burrito also houses one of Melbourne’s best retro skatebowls. Mesh wire fences encase this neon-lit skate bowl, with Mexican-lovin’ foodies able to sit right next to all the rolling action. We highly recommend skating well before hitting up Beach Burrito’s jugs of Frozen Margarita and Mojitos.
When You’re Too Lazy To Get Out Of Your PJs: 29th Apartment
When you’re too lazy to go out and drink, head to 29th Apartment. It’s just like your own living room—only in the hipster-centred suburb of Fitzroy. Including all the trimmings, from (admittedly, sometimes fake) bookshelves, floppy beanbags and a table dedicated to Jenga, 29th Apartment is like the bachelor pad you never had. Skip your friend’s poor DIY cocktails—because we all know what happened last time—and order jugs like the Death by Misadventure with Sloe gin, peach, vodka, cranberry and apple.
When You Want To Geek Out: Forgotten Worlds
Because nothing beats vintage video games and your favourite cold one, head to Forgotten Worlds to indulge in all your Street Fighter needs. From a range of rotating beers to food ideal for eating with one hand, this unashamedly geeky Collingwood bar is one of our favourite nerdy things to do in Melbourne.
When You Want A Side of Modern History: Berlin Bar
For a little cheeky light-hearted drink-tory (drink history if you didn’t get that), ring the doorbell at Melbourne’s Berlin Bar. Divided into the historical East and West Berlin, it’s all about luscious, sophisticated theming at this Corrs Lane establishment. Expect a range of appropriately named cocktails like the Angela Merkel (vodka, triple sec, elderflower liqueur and a sugared rim) and Checkpoint Charlie (black pepper infused Martel V.S. Cognac, blackcurrant liqueur, fresh lime, raspberry and cranberry).
Image credit: Simon Shiff for The Urban List