The loyal locals are the first thing you’ll spot at much-loved Amarillo. On warmer days they plant themselves on the small tables out the front or on the adjacent Hanover Street. And when Melbourne cools down you’ll find more of them inside the warm, wooden-accented wine bar, where chefs turn out Spanish share plates from an open kitchen, and a record player sets the tone with Grace Jones, Arthur Russell and JJ Cale.

The front window is a cosy yet casual date spot with views onto Brunswick Street. Further back, past a long timber bar, banquette seating and tables welcome in larger groups settling in for a share-friendly meal.

Amarillo’s ever-evolving menu takes influence from the Iberian Peninsula with a focus on tapas-style dishes and fresh seafood. Start with oysters shucked to order or sourdough baguette with whipped butter and anchovies. Then move onto bigger plates like octopus on a bed of butter beans, or crumbed lamb cutlets alongside chimichurri. Much of the menu is gluten free, and there are often plant-based options available.

The beer taps highlight local breweries such as Moondog, and the wine list has European heavyweights side by side with small Australian producers. The cocktail list includes favourites such as a Jalapeno Margarita, Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea and forgotten gems such as a Cat’s Pyjamas (gin, Cocchi Americano and grapefruit).

Owners Adam Sime (Longplay), Donough Benson and Daniel Rosette wanted to create something timeless and classic, and they’ve done just that. Longstanding chef Brian Edwards (now-closed East Elevation, Monsieur Truffe) leads the kitchen team.

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Updated: April 16th, 2024

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