Latin American-style restaurant Rufio is a gluten-free, vegan-friendly eatery serving up smoky South American staples and plenty of tequila-leaning cocktails. The minimalist dining space has an added rooftop, making it ideal for whiling away an afternoon with a Marg in hand.

Climbing the stairs from Carlisle Street, the first thing you see is the glow of the large, well-appointed bar; it’s stocked with more than 50 different tequilas and mezcals, plus plenty of rum. And there are around six variations on the Margarita at any one time – including a classic, a spicy, a hibiscus version and, of course, a frozen Margs.

The open grill dominates the kitchen, from which burning chunks of wood and charcoal might bring a smokiness to the likes of bite-sized arepas and slow-cooked chargrilled octopus. Despite Rufio’s Latin influence, there are no tacos here. Instead, you’ll find around three kinds of tostada, which might include braised beef cheek, lobster with coriander, and wild mushroom with Congo potato. Also find croquetas, empanadas, and pumpkin-and-corn tamales.

The decor is pared-back, with two-tone grey walls, lots of greenery and buffalo leather banquettes. The murals throughout the venue are the work of street artist Buff Diss, including the incredible golden geometric fault line piece at the entrance. The space has seating for more than 100 people across the main dining room and out on the rooftop, and a laidback house-lounge soundtrack to tie it all together.

Contact Details

Phone: (03) 7003 4393


Updated: October 2nd, 2023

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