There’s a reason why Melbourne is constantly voted one of the world’s most liveable cities. The city’s CBD is a complex labyrinth of colourful laneways hiding all sorts of secrets that even the locals aren’t aware of. From rooftop bars to trendy restaurants, graffiti-splattered laneways and boutique hotels – this city has it all.
Melbourne is all about sharing the love, and what better way to spread a little happiness than with a meal of shared plates at one of the city’s hottest restaurants.
Bomba: Expect unpretentious, yet undeniably delicious, Spanish tapas at Bomba. It may be hard to get a table, but once you do you’re in for shared plates like baked Hervey Bay scallop with fino butter and migas; Pedro Ximenez braised pork jowl with cauliflower, and slow-cooked lamb paella. Plus, if you like living on the edge, the restaurants $49 per head set menu serves up a surprise selection of smaller portions of nine of the menu’s standout dishes.
Plus, Bomba has just opened their must-try Bombo Rooftop Bar, serving up a new terrace, slick interiors, Spanish inspired alcohol selection and the hottest bar snack in town, the bikini.
Tonka: Serving up sizzling hot upmarket Indian cuisine, Tonka takes the essence of Indian food and combines it with that innovative Melbourne twist to make flavoursome and fashionable dishes that are designed to share. Don’t miss the duck korma with spiced quince and rhubarb or the crispy soft shell crab with spicy Jaffna curry.
Chin Chin: A Melbourne CBD institution, opt for the $69.50 ‘Feed Me’ menu at Chin Chin and you won’t be disappointed. What will begin is an almost continuous flow of lip-smacking dishes tailored to your preference. Some memorable plates include the chilli salt chicken wings with bandit sauce and the slow-cooked pulled pork pancakes with slaw and plum sauce.
Skyscrapers galore have taken over Melbourne CBD and that means that there are more rooftops to play and drink on.
Lui Bar: Take the lift all the way to the top of Melbourne’s Rialto Towers and you’ll find a sophisticated 55th-floor bar that overlooks the Yarra River, Southbank and beyond. Expert mixologists create cocktails that you didn’t even know were possible and using scientific gizmos like a rotary evaporator.
Goldilocks: If you go down to the woods tonight you’re sure to be in for…cocktails! The cocktails at Goldilocks are ‘just right’, just like they say in the fairytale that inspired this cute and cosy rooftop bar. Peer down at Swanston Street while enjoying playful drinks until the early hours.
Madame Brussels: Grab some ‘drinkipoos’, as Madame Brussels called them, at this cheeky bar where the staff dress up as tennis players and the guests are treated to jugs of punch, fruity cocktails and light bites.
The Langham: The Langham Melbourne holds an unbeatable location on the banks of the Yarra River. Only a few minutes’ walk from the heart of the city with its hidden laneway bars, popular National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Centre and Federation Square – you can step out of the hotel and into the pulsing streets within minutes.
Ovolo Laneways: Make Ovolo Laneways your base for exploring Melbourne’s urban canvas of over 40 graffiti-splattered laneways where you’ll find colourful artworks, hidden cocktails bars, sultry jazz clubs and stylish restaurants.
The Blackman: Escape down the rabbit hole into the artistic wonderland of Art Series’ unique Melbourne hotel. This one-of-a-kind hotel was inspired by renowned artist Charles Blackman who is famous for his Alice in Wonderland-inspired series of paintings, and The Blackman hotel features 670 digitally reproduced fine art prints by this talented artist.
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins: This five-star getaway will see you staying right in the heart of Melbourne’s premier CBD precinct, Collins Street. Located on the ‘Paris end’ of this prestigious street, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins is just a short walk away from practically everything. From high-end fashion to hatted restaurants, famous theatres to rooftop bars, the best of Melbourne is at your doorstep.
The curiosity to explore Melbourne CBD’s 40-something laneways and arcades is one that even the locals can’t resist. Melbourne has become a huge urban canvas and its laneways are splattered with colourful, intricate and often controversial graffiti artworks that attract visitors (and their cameras) from around the world. Some of the best laneways include AC/DC Lane, Hardware Lane and Hosier Lane.
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