Where to Eat and Drink on a Monday Night

Updated February 14th, 2017


On most nights of the week, Melbourne’s restaurants are flooded with diners. On Mondays, however, many of them shut for a well-earned rest.

Thankfully, there's still a collection of restaurants where chefs don their whites and throw open their doors to ensure we don't go hungry. Bless them.

  • A neon-lit Thai joint serving fun, modern twists on the country’s cuisine. Whether you’re here for bottomless brunch or a late-night snack, there are plenty of versatile spaces to drink and dine in. The mezzanine hosts DJs most nights of the week.

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  • After all these years, moody Tipo 00 still attracts queues of people hoping for a taste of its simple yet meticulously assembled pastas. A couple of secondi and dolci also grace the menu, alongside salumi best enjoyed at the marble bar, spritz in hand. Make sure you arrive early – very early – if you don’t have a booking.

  • A gastro pub with fine-dining flair by the family Reymond.

  • You might have seen the crimson Peking ducks hanging in the window. This affordable, bustling Cantonese barbeque and seafood restaurant is a Victoria Street institution. Rotating specials are handwritten on the wall, but don’t go past the Peking duck pancakes and char siew (barbeque pork).

  • The menu here isn't especially authentic – e.g. fried chicken ribs with chipotle mayo – but it's not thoughtless fusion, either. Visit for creative spins on quesadillas, "tlayudas" (Mexican pizza, in effect) and achiote chicken.

  • Authentic, slow-cooked American barbeque.

  • Earthy African food in Kensington.

  • A cheery Malaysian-Chinese eatery along the Barkly Street strip.

  • Enjoy Japanese-inspired food at this moodily lit diner, from the team behind Saigon Sally and Hanoi Hannah. The stars here are crisped-up sticky eggplant, karaage chicken, miso-baked cauliflower and tender duck breast in brothy udon.

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  • An old-world Polish vodka bar and restaurant.

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  • Pizza Meine Liebe (German for "pizza my love") rode in with a new wave of produce-driven pizza joints – and it’s still around for a reason. Come for thin, slightly chewy bases topped with clever combos, woodfired to perfection.

  • “A touch of innovation without being scary or confronting” is how owner-chef Scott Pickett describes the menu here, and he’s bang-on.

  • There are over 80 sakes at this slick Japanese bar and eatery, which is housed in a former bank. Unlike many izakaya – which can get quite dark – Kumo's space is light, open and airy.

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  • From the outside, Northern Git might look like your average corner restaurant. But inside, it has all the offerings of a classic British pub. The Yorkshire-born owner-chef turns out pub classics like pork crackling, bubble and squeak, pies with mushy peas and gravy, and hearty Sunday roasts.

  • Open since 1986, France Soir is one of Melbourne’s pre-eminent restaurants – attracting the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger. Find classic French staples from steak tartare to margret de canard (duck breast) for mains, to crème brûlée for dessert.

  • A true community pub, the Plough eschews the upmarket polish of many inner-city boozers in favour of family-friendly charm. Parents and young kids are as much the demo as your typical drinkers. Those giving it a nudge can choose to snooze in the fine accommodation upstairs.

  • A small-scale Ethiopian restaurant with tradition securely at its heart.

  • A haven for Melbournian chilli lovers.

  • Enjoy elevated Shanghainese fare and sharp cocktails at this intimate, buzzing restaurant right off Chapel Street. Go for the memorable set menu, which might include Peking duck pancakes, chicken ribs with spicy mayo and white chocolate dumplings to finish it all off.

  • A Naples inspired Italian restaurant with some of the best pizza in town.

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  • Half restaurant, half bar and always a party. Owner Bruno Carreto was born in Mexico and did a stint in a taqueria there before opening Los Hermanos. As you'd expect, the tacos and gorditas are the real deal. Don't forget to choose a tequila or mezcal from the blackboard.

  • A heady mix of spices at this Malaysian laksa joint in Flemington.

  • White-jacketed waiters delivering discreet, attentive service and a consistently excellent menu have made Rinaldo Di Stasio's intimate dining room a pilgrimage for lovers of fine Italian food. The seasonal set menu is an excellent way to dive in.

  • A modern interpretation of an Old English-style pub, with hearty food and 45 beer taps.

  • A versatile, multi-leveled bar and a dining space.

  • Cheap, cheerful and unexpectedly good suburban pizza.

  • The name says it all at this cosy, no-fuss Vietnamese diner. Here, they serve up some of the best pho on a street brimming with options. All the classic elements – tender meat, layered broth and fresh garnishes – keep the fans coming back for more. Their diner in the CBD is also worth your time.

  • A go-to for home-style Thai fare since 1996. Bring your crew and order familiar plates of pad see ew, Thai green curry and roti. Or beeline to the Isan section of the menu for dishes like larb and crying tiger (slow-cooked and grilled beef). Plus, family-recipe ice tea, chrysanthemum tea and coconut juice.

  • A loyal clientele and a satisfying pan-Asian menu have kept this vego institution humming for more than 30 years. Go for the signature satay skewers, nyonya curry and laksa. Kylie Minogue and the late David Bowie have been fans of this spot for a reason.

  • Cookie combines rowdy European beer hall with standout Thai food that beckons to be shared. It’s fun, versatile and subtly influential, preceding similar restaurants like Chin Chin. Bring a crew, order the banquet and plan to drink.

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  • The restaurant responsible for igniting Melbourne's love for modern Spanish food.

  • There were Mexican restaurants before Mamasita, but it was the first one to bring a faithful representation to Melbourne. The “hot babe” has been around since 2010, but its grilled corn and flavoursome tacos still attract queues.

  • Its revered xiao long bao has drawn crowds since it opened in 2008. Other favourites include spicy wonton and pan-fried dumplings. A reliable classic for no-fuss, high quality dumplings.

  • Authentic Napoli pizza in Docklands from the pizzaioli behind 400 Gradi.

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  • Henry Sugar is the kind of wine bar every neighbourhood should have. It’s intimate yet communal; sophisticated yet relaxed. The mix of contemporary Australian fare, sharp cocktails and easy-drinking natural wines are a sure-fire bet your first time here won’t be the last.

  • It’s tricky to pin down Coda’s flavour-punching dishes. Modern Asian? Euro-Vietnamese fusion? Pop in pre-theatre for some scallops and a glass of wine, or do your next special occasion here. Coda is supremely versatile, and one of Melbourne’s best.

  • Andrew McConnell's all-day eating house combines the star chef's typically excellent food with smart interior design. While it's not his most famous venue these days, the polished service, considered wine list and inventive dishes at Cumulus Inc. are still worthy of celebration after all these years.