For the eighth year running, March into Merivale will bring together the most popular Merivale restaurants in Sydney for five weeks of eating, drinking and parties. The full March into Merivale experience includes a decadent chocolate discussion and tasting with celebrated dessert chef Lorraine Godsmark; a crash-course in making Instagram work for your food; and an insight into the minds of Merivale’s design team and the inspiration behind some of the brand’s most spectacular spaces.

Here’s our pick of the best of the festival.

Try everything
March into Merivale starts on February 10 and involves a little taste of everything to come over the next five weeks. The party will take over the entire ivy complex and its surrounding laneways, with pop-up stalls from Mr. Wong, The Paddington, Coogee Pavilion and the soon-to-be-launched Queen Victoria Enmore, The Newport and Fred’s. There’ll be live music and roving entertainment late into the evening.

Burgers and hip-hop
Every Wednesday night of the festival, Merivale offers a different food showcase. It begins on February 17 with Between Two Buns, a competition that pits the burgers of Merivale’s finest against each other. Guests on the night can try each of the six finalist burgers and vote for their pick. On March 2, Wok On will return with a mix of signature dishes from Ms G.’s, Mr. Wong, Sunee’s Thai Canteen and the soon-to-be-launched Queen Chow, as well as cocktails and old-school hip-hop.

The chef’s night out
Thursday nights will be marked by unique dining experiences. On February 18 it will be Chopsticks & Dope Kicks. Dan Hong will collaborate with Subtype, Sneaker Freaker magazine and Ms. G’s head chef Paul Donnelly for a part-sneaker exhibition, part-curated Asian feast. Hong says you can expect some dishes inspired by the sneaker brands; “New Balance reflects quality and well-made sneakers, so you can expect some really luxurious ingredients in those dishes.” Then on March 10 there’s All Pleasure, No Guilt which may well be the epitome of March Into Merivale’s theme this year. Seven hatted Merivale chefs will combine their talents for one night, for a five-course dinner in the grandiose est. dining room. Hong, who will be cooking on the night, says, “We’re going to make it as grand and luxurious as possible. We’ll have one waiter for every two people, it’s going to be a really special night.”

Mystery Feast
If you’re having trouble choosing where to eat, book a Mystery Feast. You won’t know exactly where you’ll be dining until you’ve booked, but you’ll be treated to a three-course dinner with three glasses of wine at any one of Merivale’s award-winning restaurants, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

March into Merivale runs from February 14 to March 20. For the full list of events head to marchintomerivale.com.au.