These are Melbourne’s best restaurant openings of 2020. How many have you ticked off?

• Know someone who’s had a hard slog this year? Nominate them to win a boozy, all-inclusive Christmas lunch (worth $700) from Andrew McConnell’s fancy butchery Meatsmith.

• Enter Via Laundry, the “secret” Melbourne restaurant in chef Helly Raichura’s own home, is heading to idyllic out-of-town locations for a series of pop-ups. Snag a spot before they sell out.

• Christmas-ham season – arguably the best part of December – is upon us. Here are 10 of Melbourne’s best to order right now. Happy sandwiching.

This is immersive art hit Rain Room in cake form, courtesy of Black Star Pastry. Look at those droplets.

• Scott Pickett is bringing caviar bumps, top-of-the-range Burgundies and more to a historic CBD building with Chancery Lane, his grand Eurocentric bistro.

Lagoon Dining is back in action – with a few new dishes. Head to Carlton for crisp, beer-battered school prawns; sambal oelek-marinated pippies; and steamed eggplant with chilli-soy bean sauce.

The Di Stasio empire is gaining a pizzeria. Soon, be transported to a Roman piazza in a Melbourne laneway (17th-century stone fountain included).

• Move over Farmers Union. St Ali is now doing iced coffee in carton form.

• Melbourne’s surfable wave park has a new on-site diner in a rustic shack. There’s spanner-crab scramble and Bloody Marys for breakfast; tomato-and-chilli mussels with garlicky Baker Bleu sourdough after midday; and non-alcoholic cocktails and beers pre-surf.

• Pop $65 bottles of Mumm French champagne at this new festive-season pop-up.

• Rock’n’roll icon Cherry Bar has taken over a treasured yet dormant live-music venue. Keep an eye out for Broadsheet’s opening story.

• What’s better than hummus? Free hummus. Here’s how to get it.

A much-loved Melbourne cafe and community hub has closed for good. (And its vintage van is for sale on Gumtree.)

A 38-year-old tofu destination has sadly met the same fate. Its last day of trade is Friday December 4.

• Shop the entire Four Pillars Gin range (including the limited-edition Christmas Gin and the new double-barrelled bottled Negroni) at this new pop-up.

• On four acres of rural farmland – at cafe Common Ground Project’s Saturday Sessions – expect woodfired pizza, loaded cheeseboards, DJ sets and more.

• Stuck for Christmas-present ideas? These bottled Espresso Martinis, Negronis and “Skinny” Margaritas come with customised labels.

• The Dandenongs’ Brick Lane Brewing has dropped three very sessionable new summer sours: passionfruit and guava, mango and lychee, and lime and pineapple.