Get cheeseburgers and banana splits at Broadsheet’s old-school diner; head to a hot-chip party, a spaghetti shindig, a Sichuan snack fair and more as part of Melbourne Food & Wine Festival; terrify your mates at a zombie-themed escape room; and shop vintage designer Japanese fashion at a CBD pop-up. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser is checking out this month.

Broadsheet is opening an old-school diner at the Grand Prix. The 1950s-inspired eatery will serve cheeseburgers, chicken-salt chips and hotdogs by Collingwood burger joint Easey’s; Japanese-inspired sashimi salad bowls by Fishbowl; mac’n’cheese pies by Footscray’s Pie Thief; and vegan banana splits by oddball ice-creamery Kenny Lover.

An all-you-can-eat chip party, a Sichuan snack fair, an enormous plant-based dinner party, a family-friendly spaghetti shindig and more are happening this month as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Get booking now.

Elsewhere on the festival front, there’s a day devoted to garlic bread, a weekend-long mussel and jazz party, a two-day meatfest and a pét-nat party on the cards this month.

Jazzing up your home? This new plant shop is bursting with easy-growing greenery, and at this new, tech-driven furniture store you can project mid-century-style pieces onto a virtual version of your home. Easy.

Shane Delia’s new bar has landed in Collingwood. Expect modern takes on traditional Middle Eastern dishes, such as savoury fish crumpets, a borek-doughnut hybrid, lamb shoulder with date-and-lamb-fat sauce, and Turkish Delight Martinis in a room full of playful French-Lebanese art.

Inside an unassuming grey warehouse down a Kensington side street is a new digital universe – a multiplayer VR escape room – where you’ll need to fight zombie people, dogs, bats, rats, gorillas and more to survive.

Abbotsford’s Duke Street is gearing up for a massive block party this month, with Detroit DJ legend Theo Parrish and London-based producer Mella Dee playing, alongside local groovers Mildlife and Melbourne DJ collective Wax’o Paradiso. Plus brews and pizza by Moon Dog, and carbs courtesy of Good Gnocchi.

And dust off your credit cards, as the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival VAMFF returns for its 24th year. There’ll be runways by more than 60 designers, including returning favourites Camilla & Marc, Scanlan Theodore, Romance Was Born and Rachel Gilbert, as well as workshops, events and a digital platform called Shop the Runway that’ll allow you to buy the season’s styles straight from the stage.

On the hyper-local front, the Magic Designer Sale is back, so you can spruce up your spring wardrobe with bargains from some of Melbourne’s favourite labels, such as Kloke, Kuwaii, Dress Up, Livia Arena, FME Apparel and Poms eyewear.

Plus Aoyama Archive – a high-end fashion archive store specialising in vintage pieces from the ’80s to early ’00s – is popping up in the CBD with clothes from Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Junya Watanabe, Prada and more.