What with 2016 coming to a swift end, we’ve been reminiscing about all the good food and drink we’ve stuffed into our bellies in the last 12 months. It was hard to cut it down to just 10, as this year we’ve seen heaps of new venues make a name for themselves in the competitive dining environment that is Melbourne.
However, the hard yards have been paid off with happy tummies and rave reviews. Here is our list of the best new openings of the year.
The Crux and Co
The team at The Crux and Co have caught everyone’s attention lately, with their gorgeous pastries and cakes flooding our Insta feed—not that we’re complaining!
A gorgeous industrial space on Little Bourke has been filled with exciting food and a slick new bar, with Higher Ground open all day and well into the night.
Forget a casual drink at the pub – this Fitzroy bar serves up food that rivals fine dining, along with classic drinks, stellar service, and a sophisticated, classy atmosphere to boot.
Brisket, pulled pork, mac & cheese—you name it, and Fancy Hank’s has got it. With a permanent venue nestled right in the heart of the city, you can feast on the best American barbeque in town, or head upstairs to the Good Heavens rooftop for a drink with a view.
Fish and chips on the beach did you say? The Stokehouse team is back with their newest baby, Paper Fish, which is sure to be a blessing coming into the heatwave of summer. Relax with a granita or have a snack before a swim on the sunny St Kilda shore.
Melbourne’s one and only Mezcaleria has arrived, and we think we’ve been spending almost too much time there. Serving up a spicy and flavoursome alternative to tequila, as well as tacos late into the AM, we’re sure that Bodega Underground will get you in summer vibes well into 2017.
Garden State Hotel
A four-storey mecca, this dining precinct boasts multiple bars, a beer garden, bistros, and events spaces in one brand-spanking new venue. With creative cocktails, bar snacks for days and a shiny Flinders Lane location, there’s not much room to go wrong with this 2016 favourite.
Gravity Floatation Centre
With the stress of Donald Trump, Christmas, and a new Harry Potter film all rolling into one, we needed a way to de-stress this year, and Gravity Floatation Centre was our top pick. Float away your feelings in a relaxing oasis, and let your mind and body go to start fresh in the New Year.
We love our baked goods as much as every other decent human being out there, but Lune really takes the cake this year (pun intended). Pumping out toasty croissants, cruffins, and pastries until they’re sold out, Kate Reid’s creations are only up for sale until they’re all gone—expect long lines with the perfect reward at the end.
With the fine dining scene constantly transforming, Amaru has been heralding creativity and passion in Melbourne’s southeast. Clinton McIver’s project focuses on exhaustive attention to detail in a mouth-watering 13-course degustation, in a relaxed space with only 33 seats. If you’re looking for a bit of indulgence with some damn fine food, then you’ve found the best Melbourne has to offer.
Image credit: The Crux & Co | Griffin Simm