It's past 10pm and your tummy is letting out an ominous rumble. Perhaps you've had one too many mint juleps and need to make a pre-emptive attack on that hangover. But where to?
Easy – here are our top picks for late night dining around Melbourne.
Should you be larking around Bar Ampere come the wee hours, you'll be delighted to know their entire menu is available until close, from the tender meatballs, to the porcini cigars, jaffles, or even a charcuterie platter. Don't miss out on their ridiculous list of drinks, either – brandies for dandies, and delicious absinthe for the delightfully deluded.
Bar Ampere | 16 Russell Place in Melbourne
Burgers are the ultimate late night nosh, and what better place to get one than the burger joint next to some of the coolest bars in town? Their whole menu is available until midnight, so if you're in the market for burgers, sangas and salads, you're in luck – but if you're in a rush don't go past the onion rings.
Brother Burger | 413 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
It's hard to find a joint that has a 24/7 licence and isn't flooded with people who smell like kebab and club sweat, so Cafe Romantica is a breath of fresh air. Good Italian food until 2:30am, and they will even deliver a cheese board right to your front door if you can't make it in time.
Cafe Romantica | 52 Lygon Street in Brunswick
You're in the city, it's 4am and you desperately need dumplings. Sustenance solved at China Bar, Chinatown's late night dumpling/noodle den of happiness and perfect perky balls of meat and dough. China Bar is always pumping, and understandably so.
China Bar | 235 Russell Street in Melbourne
Image Credit: China Bar Facebook
Cumulus Up is Andrew McConnell's sexy little wine bar. Here, punters will enjoy some/a lot of their meticulously curated wine list, as well as being able to order a range of culinary delighta. Cheese plates, oysters or chocolate-doused profiteroles, this is late night dining at its most decadent. (Editor's note – try the slightly sweet, slightly savoury ricotta dumplings. Delish!)
Cumulus Up | 45 Flinders Lane in Melbourne
Anything Sydney can do, Melbourne can do better, as they have so proved by playing host to the Malaysian house of deliciousness, Mamak. What better way to celebrate the fact you've made it past pensioner time than with a generous helping of roti bread, peanut sauce, hunks of slow cooked lamb shoulder...and beer.
Mamak | 366 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne
Always sporting a line as long as an anaconda, it's no wonder Mamasita opens its doors until late at night. Skip peak hour dining and get in a lot faster, so you can wash away your day with some tequila, taquitos and some sweet vinyl-licking beats.
Mamasita | 1/11 Collins Street in Melbourne
You and your lover skipped dinner for a better offer? If you're hanging out for an intimate-date-come-late, La Lucciola may be the perfect place for you. With authentic Italian fodder, dim lighting and a homely vibe, La Lucciola is best enjoyed with a BYO pinot shared over a bowl of spag, Lady and the Tramp style.
La Lucciola | 4 / 478 Chapel Street in South Yarra
THE MEATBALL & WINE BAR
Specialty meatballs and a great list of wines that will satisfy those in need of a snack and drink, or a snack and several drinks. Had too much to drink? Do yourself a favour and get a late night meatball slider and watch the stars appear in front of your eyes.
The Meatball & Wine Bar | 135 Flinders Lane in Melbourne & 105 Swan Street in Richmond
Image Credit: The Meatball & Wine Bar Facebook
THE MELBOURNE SUPPER CLUB
Another fancy one for the list, The Melbourne Supper Club is frequented by the boys who made bank, but need a place to unwind. Sink into their dreamy leather couches and sip on something delicious and, should you be puckish, there's a menu that favours oyster lovers as much as it does cheese toastie fans.
The Melbourne Supper Club | 161 Exhibition Street in Melbourne
Danced off your dinner? Refuel at the Asian-inspired tapas booths next to the Toff In Town's d-floor at Choo Choo's. Lock yourself away from the noise and ring the bell for waiter service, where you can sip on bubble cup cocktails and nibble on barbecued prawns and rice paper rolls for the better part of the evening.
Choo Choo's | Level 4, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street in Melbourne
Need a Spanish style supper? There are endless things to look at on their walls, moonlit tapas and fizzy cocktails that are their proclaimed specialty, but you may find yourself waiting on a table – their value is no secret amongst nocturnal Melburnians.
Bar Lourinha | 37 Little Collins Street in Melbourne
Good late night times fuelled with sake and Japanese beer are the calling card of Izakaya Den. With a menu specialising in Jap-tapas, expect to munch on crunchy chicken, seared kingfish and tasty tasty miso until midnight.
Izakaya Den | 114 Russell Street in Melbourne
Who ordered the foot long? You will at Massive Wieners, Prahran's late night hot dog stop. Grab a classic dog and milkshake well into the later hours; now that they've moved into their bigger space, you can sit down and enjoy you feed too! Have a shot at the wiener 5 min challenge if you're feeling super empty in the tank, but don't say we didn't warn you.
Massive Wieners | 226 Chapel Street in Prahran
Image Credit: Massive Wieners Facebook
Boney is reserved for creatures of the darkness and lovers of a good thumping tempo, with live music, early morning close, and a menu that'll keep you sated until you leave. Get a load of their kooky fodder with a jalapeno donut, or perhaps a pork belly sausage, just make sure you can still dance afterwards.
Boney | 68 Little Collins Street in Melbourne
St Kilda's answer for late night noshing is Ichi Ni. Located on the ever-pumping Esplanade, escape the vibe and indulge on some evening style Asian food, and make sure you check out that sushi bar.
Ichi Ni | 12 The Esplanade in St Kilda
Who doesn't want a bit of bread and topping come midnight? Lona Pintxos does it best with their fancy pants pintxos and sprawling bar. Locate yourself below the neon glow of their signage and lose yourself in their dusky deliciousness.
Lona Pintxos | 938 High Street in Armadale
TUL Note: Ella Stening is a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She can be found compensating for her addiction to eating out and drinking lots of wine by writing about it all over the web. Or with her cat, Louis.