The Melbourne International Film Festival is a hectic time of year for film lovers. With so many great films on offer, it’s easy to find yourself running from cinema to cinema just trying to fit them all in. To make the most of your MIFF experience, drag your eyes away from the screen and grab a bite to eat. Trust us, you want to listen to the film not your rumbling stomach.

For a meal that’s ready before you have a chance to fumble for loose change, get a curry don at Don Don. This will work particularly well if you are running late to a session at nearby Hoyts, The Wheeler Centre or Village.

If you are signing up for a 70s screwball or neurotic comedy, go for a Melbourne classic like Pellegrini’s. It’s probably what Jack Nicholson or Woody Allen would do if they were in town.

For Forum or ACMI flicks, stick to Hosier Lane so you don’t miss the start. Try a burger from Hoboken by day, or if it’s dark, tapas at Movida Next Door.

Any group dining before a MIFF flick has to be quick, so head to Chinatown for dumplings at Shanghai Village or hit up those who know what they’re doing and do it fast, like the Waiters Club, for times-how-many spaghetti bolognaise.

If you only have time for takeaway, try to be mindful of what you are eating in the cinema. As a general rule, food should not be heard. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of being that guy. Steer clear of anything wrapped in noisy plastic. Remember, in the dark, no one will be able to appreciate how sorry your face shows that you are. Pick-up a pasty from Phillippa’s on Howey Place or rice-paper rolls from the queen at Misschu.

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If you have left it until show time, never fear, popcorn has earned its right as the number one cinema food for a reason: it’s delicious, it smells like butter and it’s quiet.