Things To Do

What To Eat, Drink And Do In St Kilda This Summer

By Bridget O'Donohue
8th Feb 2024

A magnificent jumble of backpackers, bohemians, young professionals and holiday-makers, St Kilda's network of beachside streets is a one-stop-shop for making the most of hot summer days and balmy nights in Melbourne.

With its proximity to the CBD, salty sea breeze and patchwork of cafes, bars, restaurants, nightlife and sandy beaches, it's the premier spot to flock to when temperatures rocket. To bring you the best of St Kilda, we’ve teamed up with Jim Beam so you can make the most of summer and craft your ultimate coastal hit list with your crew.

Eat

Chicha Cevicheria And Bar

Chibcha Cevicheria & Bar InteriorsImage Credit: Chicha Cevicheria And Bar | Instagram

Chicha’s Peruvian, fish-focused menu and signature pisco sours lend themselves perfectly to baking summer nights on Fitzroy Street. Their menu is entirely pescatarian, with freshly shucked oysters, market fish cooked in citrusy tiger’s milk, and seafood grilled hibachi-style. Guests can dine al-fresco under large umbrellas on the footpath, or pull up a seat at the opulent gold and marble bar inside. 

Northern Soul

Northern Soul is a local takeaway joint serving up classic British and Irish-style fish and chips on Inkerman Street. The neon lights, swirling roof pattern and chic wood-panelled bar will get you through the door, and the ripper menu of piping hot chip butties, battered fish and curry sauce will keep you coming back again for more. 

Radio Mexico

Radio Mexico Exterior Street DiningImage Credit: Radio Mexico | Instagram

Just off St Kilda Beach, you can roll up straight from the sand and into Radio Mexico's open-air dining space. With a menu packed with fresh and vibrant flavours, dig into white-corn tacos piled high with succulent scallops and habanero cream, or pork crackling with pineapple—or go halves in a bowl stacked with crunchy, jalapeno-spiked nachos. They, of course, offer up a stellar drinks list—complete with a round of Jim Beam and Cokes for you and your crew.

I Carusi II

Decked out with crisp white tablecloths, candlelit tables, slow-proved pizzas and attentive floor staff, i Carusi II effortlessly nails the neighbourhood Italian joint. Nabbing a corner on the quieter end of Barkly Street, their menu covers all the wood-fired pizza hits, plus a rotation of house specials like prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, figs and honey. Accompanied by a few bottles of good Italian wine, it’s the only way to soak up traditional Neapolitan dining. 

The Lion And Wombat

The Lion And Wombat Public BarImage Credit: The Lion and Wombat | Instagram

A British-inspired pub hidden away from the summer crowds, the Lion and Wombat serves up pub counter classics from a quiet corner on Grey Street. Their small but gutsy menu boasts rockling fish finger sandwiches, scotch fillet with hot chippies and horseradish, and a regular Sunday roast complete with Yorkshire pud. The breezy beer garden out back and the house draught brewed with Stomping Ground make it a shoo-in for lazy arvos in the sun. 

Ichi Ni Izakaya

Spanning multiple levels of indoor-outdoor dining with a menu brimming with Japanese share plates, Ichi Ni Izakaya is a summer dining gem. Enjoy platters of steaming gyoza, crunchy tempura and fresh sashimi over breathtaking views of St Kilda Bay, washed down with a banging bevie.

Stokehouse

Stokehouse Restaurant With Views Of St Kilda BeachImage Credit: Stokehouse | Instagram

One of Melbourne’s top restaurants, Stokehouse is a cherished fine diner that effortlessly weaves its waterfront location into the decor and ingredients list. Their bright, airy space overlooks Port Phillip Bay through soaring windows, and boasts a carefully curated, seafood-centric menu and award-winning wine list. 

Galleon Cafe

This casual brekkie spot is a St Kilda favourite for a reason. A cheerfully chaotic space brimming with formica tables, leather booths and busy waiters, their hefty menu features all of the best Melbourne breakfast classics, plated up on thick pide and toasted bagels. Servings are generous everything's homemade—plus their drunken sailor’s big brekky piled high with bacon, eggs, mushies and spinach will cure even the worst of hangovers. 

Rufio

A Latin-fusion restaurant hidden away on a sunny rooftop above the chaos of Carlisle Street, Rufio offers a fully gluten-free menu served alongsidea a long list of ice-cold bevies. The younger brother of Elwood’s Repeat Offender, expect a similarly elite tapas selection with standouts like the smoked eggplant arepas and chargrilled octopus with pickled fennel and sea greens. 

Fitzrovia

A much-loved cafe overlooking Albert Park, Fitzrovia offers up understated all-day dining in chic modern surroundings. Their playful take on culinary classics echoes the tradition of long lunches in London’s Soho—with dishes like rolled spring lamb shoulder with confit tomato and scrambled eggs spiked with tamarind and kaffir lime. The speciality coffee comes from St Ali, and can be sipped alongside Pimms, champagne, summery spritzes and bloody marys. 

Drink

Republica



Sprawling with white umbrellas and wicker chairs that overlook Port Phillip Bay, Republica's beach club aesthetic was designed for kicking back with ice-cold drinks in the sun. Skirting the foreshore of St Kilda Beach, choose from an extensive drinks menu and order up an ice-cold Jim Beam for you and your mates to beat the heat. 

Hotel Esplanade

Hotel Esplanade Terrace BarImage Credit: Hotel Esplanade | Instagram

As much as a part of St Kilda’s Esplanade as the backpackers that flock there every summer, the Espy is a winner for sun-soaked pub seshes, late-night boogies and Sunday arvo hangs. Home to 12 bars across five jam-packed levels, sip on luxe cocktails with views overlooking St Kilda Pier, grab a pre-gig Jim Beam for you and your mates in the lively basement, or share a crisp bottle of wine and fresh seafood on the sprawling terrace. 

The Prince

Offering five unique venues within its recently revamped art-deco walls, The Prince is the epitome of prohibition-era elegance. The Little Prince Wine serves excellent sips and spirits paired with cheese and charcuterie from a cosy basement, while the Prince Public Bar nails the more casual pub set-up. Shady red umbrellas and long wooden tables spill out onto the bustle of Acland Street, where guests can park up and make an afternoon of it with a cocktail or pint in hand.  

The Walrus

A fresh addition to Inkerman Street, the innocuous shopfront of The Walrus reveals a cosy vinyl-spinning bar against a backdrop of mustard yellow and green pub tiles. Promising an approachable wine list that leans towards the white and sparkling varieties, they offer a rotation of 20 wines by the glass, along with cocktails and freshly shucked oysters. 

Chronicles Bar

Chronicles BarImage Credit: Chronicles Bar | Instagram

A neighbourhood gem on Fitzroy Street, Chronicles Bar pours a regularly rotating lineup of independent craft beers, natural wines, and creative cocktails. The exposed brick walls, warm timber accents and shelves stacked with mismatched spirits give the space an ambient, welcoming feel, where you can park up to the bar for hours and bask in the afternoon sunshine. 

Things To Do 

Palais Theatre

Palais theatre st kildaImage Credit: Palais Theatre | Palais Theatre Website

Just shy of a century old, the historic Palais Theatre has hosted some of the world’s biggest music acts during its tenure on the St Kilda foreshore. They’ve released a stacked summer lineup spanning music, theatre, comedy and opera, which you can enjoy while seated within the grand—and air-conditioned—halls of this historic picture palace. 

St Kilda Twilight Market

An eclectic array of market stalls touting vintage wares, home-made goods, street food and knick-knacks will be taking over the O’Donnell Gardens every Thursday night this summer. Head along for a browse in the balmy evening sea breeze—set against the twinkling backdrop of Luna Park. 

St Kilda Festival

St Kilda Festival StageImage Credit: St Kilda Festival | Instagram

Synonymous with Melbourne summers, St Kilda Festival spans the middle weekend in February and takes over the entire foreshore with live music and plenty of fun in the sun. This year the epic lineup will fall on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February, promising a stacked lineup of fresh discoveries and Australian music favourites. 

St Kilda Beach

St Kilda is Melbourne's seaside playground. Not only is it a stone's throw from the CBD, but it's also a calm spot to hit the water's edge no matter what time of day it is. If you've spent a morning of exploring or a busy day in the city, throw down a towel with your mates and while the afternoon away before gearing up for a fun night out. 

Lawn Bowls

Take your place on the historic green for a couple of rounds of barefoot bowls at the St Kilda Sports Club. The combination of minimal movement, BBQ facilities, shady outdoor seating and frothy jugs adds up to the perfect summer afternoon activity. 

After more? Check out the full list of St Kilda's best restaurants

This summer, Jim Beam is bringing the coastline to your coaster, popping up on the beachside with gigs, good times and community events in partnership with Surfing Australia. Check out more of Jim Beam events and summer happenings here

Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with Jim Beam. Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.

Main image credit: Visit Melbourne 

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