It’s late. You find yourself stumbling around the CBD trying to find a bite to eat. Maybe you just came from a party where the food wasn’t all the great. Or maybe you just finished a karaoke session and all that Steven Tyler screaming has you starving.
You look at the Golden Arches and the Colonel’s face, but you want something more. All your go-to places are closed and it seems like all hope is lost. You think to yourself: ‘I’ll probably just go home and microwave that pizza.’
But save that cold pizza for the morning – because in this article we are listing the 5 best late night restaurants in Melbourne that will save you from those midnight cravings!
Ichi Ni Nana
127 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
This colorful and unique space covers the different facets of Japanese cuisine – gyoza, tempura, yakitori, sushi, sashimi and don. The venue is separated into four areas, each offering something different and fresh. It is the perfect place to impress guests that you might have over for a private function.
Their venue features range from an intimate dinner booth to a courtyard with a glass ceiling that’s retractable. Whatever it is that your function needs, Ichi Ni Nana will adapt to it.
From the ‘Robatayaki’ (fireside-cooking) section of their menu, they offer the Wagyu Rib – a braised charcoal grilled boneless ribs with sautéed seasonal vegetables and yakiniku sauce. As for their ‘Mains’, they have the Buta Mince Dengaku Don, which is ground pork mince served with chilli eggplant, basil, miso cause, rice and pickles.
They have an extensive list of Japanese spirits including the Nikka Coffey Gin – a gin with silky texture and rich body. It has a delicate balance of various botanicals like Japanese citrus (i.e. yuzu and Japanese san sho pepper)
They even have a ‘Food Stall’ and a ‘Coffee Stop’ for those who are on the go and (regrettably) don’t have time to visit the vibrant space of Ichi Ni Nana. Usual hours for Ichi Ni Nana is 5pm til late.
177/183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
This Greek restaurant has stalactites clawing at its customers from above. The decorative plaster gives the venue a cave-like aesthetic – making it Instagram worthy. They are also open 24/7.
Their traditional Greek menu features the homemade moussaka – a Greek dish of baked layers of potatoes, minced beef and eggplant topped with béchamel cream sauce. Most of the customers seem to visit Stalactites in order to get a taste of their souvlaki – they offer lamb giros, chicken giros as well as mixed.
Since 1978, the Konstandakopoulos family has owned and operated Stalactites. You might think the plastic décor is simply a gimmick that hides a lack of substance, but this restaurant has been a part of Melbourne’s CBD for decades. A gimmicky venue cannot hold out for that long. Stalactites is the real deal and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
55 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
This underground mezcal bar has dim candle lighting – a perfect atmosphere for a late-night escape. The venue is decorated with religious images and posters of Mexican films, adding to the already immersive space of Bodega Underground.
Their traditional Mexican menu has vegan and vegetarian offerings. In terms of tacos, they have the Tacos De Pescado – fried market fish with chipotle mayo, green pea guacamole and cabbage slaw. Not into fish? Then try their Tacos De Camote which is a fried sweet potato with pickled beetroot, vegan jalapeno crema, toasted pietas and coriander.
They have an agave and drinks menu. There is also a daily happy hour that runs from 3pm-6pm – so you might want to return to Bodega at earlier hours just to get in on this deal. They’ll have $8 house wines, $9 Paloma cocktails, $8 tequilas and more! They are open until 3am.
Lona St Kilda
64/66 Acland St, St Kilda
Don’t want to be a ‘Lona’ late at night? Don’t want to head home just yet? Grab some friends and swing by Lona St Kilda! Brighten up your night with the venue’s vibrant atmosphere and live music. During the winter, they offer fireside dining – so you can warm up with your S.O. or your best mates. They even have a newly renovated garden bar.
The tapas menu features their legendary lamb ribs with cumin salt, their phenomenal Portuguese chicken sliders and their fantastic fish tacos. If you would rather sink your teeth in classic ‘Pub Grub’, they also have burgers, nachos, Parma’s, wings and fish & chips. Loads of vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
If you’re not visiting this space during late-as-Batman hours, you can enjoy their ‘Bottomless Brunch’ (10am-3pm) which offers a two-hour free flowing drinks package for $35 per head (Mimosa’s, bubbles, wine and cider). Lona closes at 2am on Thursdays and 12am for all the other days.
The Noble Experiment
284 Smith St, Collingwood
This is another underground bar that is perfect for those midnight excursions. It has a prohibition theme and features old chesterfields. This venue offers a relaxed atmosphere and promises an intimate night with your other half. They have a DJ booth and decks in the downstairs section, booth seating and a long bar.
Their menu features classic bar food like burgers with chips, sirloin steaks and chicken wings. It is a simple selection of foods – but when done well, it is more than enough to satisfy your late-night hunger.
The Noble Experiment also regularly hosts trivia, poker & club events in our hidden underground section. If you love your cue sports, they have a pool table available. Don’t miss out on some happy vibes with The Noble Experiment! Closing hours are 1am Tuesday – Thursday and 3am Friday and Saturday.
By Aldwin Matawaran