I reckon I’d pay well over a hundred bucks for a pint at a pub with a friend right about now. Hell, I’d pay that much for a schooner with an acquaintance.

I miss draught beer, crowding around a gas heater, and only realising how bad I am at pool after I’ve challenged a stranger.

Most of all though, I miss parmas.

Never miss a Melbourne moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


Like the rest of the hospitality industry, Melbourne’s pubs are reeling from the effects of the coronavirus lockdown. Many have closed. Some are leaning hard on bottle-shop trade, others have set up makeshift grocery stores. But a few kitchens are still running, pumping out pub classics to take away. And a lot of our favourites are cooking our favourite: the parma.

While a takeaway parma isn’t quite the same as the pub experience, there are some itches only a good old chook disc can scratch. Here are our picks.

The Cheeky Pint, Footscray
This one’s a behemoth: an enormous slab of chook that probably would’ve bullied the other parmas at school. It’s more expensive than the average parmigiana, but it’s commensurate with the size. It’s also moist, which is essential if you’re ploughing through a brick of white meat. It comes with wedges, a nice change from hot chips (which would look like real wimps next to this parma).

How much: $26
How to get it: order to pick-up (only available Thursday through Sunday).


The Empress, Fitzroy North
The Empress is well-known for its parma, which is fancier than many others in the genre. The breadcrumbs are panko, prosciutto stands in for ham, and there are roast potatoes instead of chips on the side. Make a real night of it and order a mixed pack of craft beers to go with it (for something different, there’s also a longneck of Aperol Spritz).

How much: $24.50 (delivery is $5)
How to get it: order delivery and pick-up here.


The Palace Hotel, South Melbourne
This is a parma for purists. Classic, everything as it should be, complete with side salad (the same goes for the eggplant version). If you’re homesick for pubs, this parma will make you feel the most nostalgic – the straightforward ham, cheese and tomato sauce combo has withstood the test of time for good reason).

How much: $22 (delivery is $5)
How to get it: order delivery and pick-up here (minimum order for delivery is $30, so it’s best to add a couple of drinks to your order). Delivering to Port Melbourne, Albert Park and South Melbourne.


The Grace Darling, Collingwood
Here’s another card-carrying member of the fancy parma club. That’s thanks to the raclette, which has a bit more character than the mozzarella-type cheeses that usually bedeck the breast. At $18 it’s also pretty good value, and the vegan eggplant version is also worth trying.

How much: $18 (delivery starts from $2.99)
How to get it: order pick-up by calling (03) 9416 0055, or order delivery here.


The Great Northern Hotel, Carlton North
Nothing can replicate the splendour of the Great Northern’s beer garden on a sunny day (assuming you can get a table, that is) – but getting this parma delivered and eating it in your backyard comes close. It’s on the smaller side, but that’s reflected in the $15 price tag on Mondays. Plus the chips are steak-cut, a nice middle ground between shoestring and wedge.

How much: $20, or $15 on Monday nights (delivery is $5 and only available within a two kilometre radius, with a bit of leeway)
How to get it: order online here.