The City of Melbourne and Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) have announced an ambitious plan for an open-air New Year’s Eve celebration, which they say will be “unlike anything Melbourne has seen before”.

Inspired by the festive scenes you might see in a European plaza, the New Year Street Feasts program will feature 50 bars and eateries, with dining tables set up outside on the streets of the CBD. There’ll be 11 dining hubs in total, stretching from the Paris end of Little Collins Street to Hardware Lane and beyond.

Because of Covid restrictions, the usual fireworks display has been cancelled this year, so New Year Street Feasts offers an different way to celebrate. Thanks to the extra outdoor seating, groups of friends can dine together and venues can bump up their patronage for the night. Music and other entertainment will complement the dining program.

“Melburnians are passionate food-lovers,” said Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food & Wine Victoria (the organisation behind MFWF), in a statement. “We’re very much looking forward to working with the city’s talented operators to create extraordinary dining experiences befitting New Year’s Eve and celebrating one of the world’s great dining destinations – Melbourne.”

The full list of dining precincts and participating venues – as well as travel and booking information – will be revealed soon.

Bookings for New Year Street Feasts will open on November 23. Check the MFWF website for more information.