Planned a night out at The Comedy Festival this year? Then you already have the best ticket in town. Not only does it entitle you to big laughs at a show, it also equals food and drink deals at some of Melbourne’s foodie hotspots. We hate the thought of you paying retail for food, so we’ve pulled together everywhere worth flashing your ticket this year. Just to clarify, we said ticket. Please don’t flash anything else.
Who said you had to travel far for a taste of epic Asian food? Melbourne has everything you could ask for, including modern Burmese cuisine at the aptly named Burma Lane. All you have to do is show them your MICF ticket, spend an easy $20 and you’ll score a complimentary glass of beer or wine for your meal. Standouts on the menu are the duck, shitake and water chestnut doughnuts for starters. Followed by pork belly with black pepper caramel and green mango salad. The desserts are ace too, so spending $20 any time of night shouldn’t be too difficult.
Red Spice Road
This place is all about South East Asian feasting with heavy Thai influences. They’ve got the same deal as their sister restaurant, Burma Lane. Show your ticket for a complimentary glass of beer or wine when you spend just $20 at Red Spice Road. With a menu boasting soft shell crab curry in spicy coconut broth and noodles, we think we’re up to the challenge.
Some nights call for a great steak, and when the craving hits, Meatmaiden is where you need to go. Their menu has every cut of beef you could want, from rib eye, flank and fillet to rump and sirloin. More than a one-hit wonder, this restaurant nails all forms of protein with pork belly, fish and chicken also on the menu. Personally, we’re drooling over the Lobster mac and cheese – creamy, indulgent and fat free on Fridays, right? Take your ticket along and pick up a complimentary comedy cocktail and an amuse bouche with your meal.
Get everything you need in one place this year as Belleville plays host to comedy shows and dining specials. There’s nothing like big belly laughs to work up a hunger. Enjoy their special Up Late menu between 10pm-1am on Thursday to Saturday evenings. All their best dishes are on offer like Karaage popcorn chicken with Tonkatsu aioli and the Belleville poutine smothered in hot, salty gravy.
When you’ve booked in an early show, it sometimes feels your night has peaked too soon. Enter Campari House to carry on the party with four levels of drinking and dining at your disposal. Start or finish your night with a great deal at the Level 1 restaurant. Serving up Italian fare such as pizza, pasta and Arancini, you can get a whole 20% off your bill by presenting your comedy ticket. If you only have the stomach for a few snacks, try the Salumi board with cured meats, pickled vegetables and olives. The cheeseboard is another great choice for sharing and goes perfectly with an after the show wine.
Garden State Hotel
Book yourself a spot in the Garden Grill and check out the Laugh in the Garden menu for a great deal that’s no joke. This one comes with a few T&C’s but it’s definitely worth the effort. Between 5-7pm on Sunday through Thursday nights you can get a 2-course meal and matched glass of wine for just $39. The location rocks too: Garden State Hotel is easy walking distance from the Forum Theatre and Fed Square, where you can catch the Festival’s biggest acts.
Polepole and Glamp Cocktail Bar
One of the best things about The Comedy Festival is how you can swing a whole night for relatively little cash. If you’re keen to keep the price tag of your evening low then you need to have Polepole and Glamp on your radar. Take your ticket along for a drink after the show at either level of the Little Collins venue and enjoy an African beer or glass of wine with some Gato Pima bites – fried split pea and chilli fritters with yoghurt. The grand cost? Just a tenner.
What could be better than a top pub meal followed by a comedy show? Keep thinking, we’ll wait. Nothing. The answer is nothing. Don’t just settle for any old pub this year, go to the king of them all by visiting Melbourne’s oldest licensed pub, The Duke. Let them have a peek at your ticket and they’ll give you 20% off your bill. It’s right opposite the Forum Theatre and Fed Square’s within easy walking distance, making it one of the most convenient venues in this list.
We’re going to put you in a bit of a pickle now. Upstairs from The Duke is the newly opened Dutchess restaurant who are keen to snag some Comedy Fest diners with a great deal. They’re tempting you with a 2-course menu for only $40 if you show them your ticket. There is a way to cram both venues into the one night. Dutchess is the perfect spot for a drink after the show with their 11th Hour special – all cocktails are $11 between 11pm-1am.
This New York style late night bar and eatery has the no-frills offer you’ve been waiting for. At Nieuw Amsterdam, being the proud owner of a Comedy Festival ticket entitles you to a burger, beer and bourbon shot all for just $20. That’s right, one crisp note will buy you a whole meal. They’ll be running the special 5pm-2am every evening of the festival.
Want to catch the best laughs at the festival? Check out our gig guide for all the info.
Image credit: Dutchess