Foodies and Cinephiles, unite. The time has come to amp up your dinner-and-a-movie game. The game that has existed for generations, the game that has entertained countless first dates, and while having adjusted to the technology of the 21st century, it’s the game that we will continue to play for decades to come. I mean, Netflix and chill is good, but nothing beats a good ol’ trip to the pictures every now and then.
We’ve checked out the best spots in Melbourne to grab dinner and catch a movie in the same vicinity – all walking distances so you can leave the car where it is, stretch those legs a little and focus on the quality of food and entertainment that awaits you.
Mr Miyagi & The Astor Theatre
99 Chapel St, Windsor / 1 Chapel St, St Kilda
Mr Miyagi, though calling you back to the 80s through its nostalgic décor, this restaurant takes the Japanese cuisine to new, riveting levels. Beyond that, the menu’s diversity is matched by eccentric Japanese-inspired cocktails, and the vibe is so relaxed that kicking back and watching a quality flick seems like the perfect follow-up activity.
The Astor Theatre’s classic, single-screen cinema is a 5 minute walk away, and its stalls and dress circle will take you further back than Mr Miyagi. With majestic gold curtains that cover the screen, blended with state-of-the-art sound systems and digital projectors, this magical combination of places will ace the evening’s goals.
Bang Bang & Classic Cinema
294 Glen Huntly Rd / 9 Gordon St, Elsternwick
A no-less-than dynamic duo. Bang Bang is a funky local gem on Glen Huntly Road open for breakfast, lunch or dinner – but the variety doesn’t end there. With indoor-outdoor seating options, a French Indochine menu and a garden-like atmosphere, Bang Bang hits the spot – in fact, it scores a bullseye.
No more than a three minute walk is the Classic Cinema – set in an 1880s building and specialising in both quality mainstream and Arthouse cinema. Here they believe in the complete cinematic experience – big screens, beautifully appointed seating and a warm, friendly environment. So feast on goodness over at Bang Bang, then head here and let the Classic entertain you… because it most certainly will.
The Resistance Bar and Café & Lido Cinemas
6/672 / 675 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
Nothing says ‘good feed’ like a quality burger and a large glass of beer. The Resistance Bar sits in a little laneway on Glenferrie Road and is home to one of Melbourne’s best signature burgers. It’s the perfect place for a solid feed. And what’s the best thing to do after a feed? Absolutely nothing.
So head on over to one of Hawthorn’s greatest gems, LIDO cinemas, and let the power of foreign, commercial or indie entertainment guide you into the ensuing food coma. Because why wouldn’t you catch a quality film while you digest? Lido’s unique space has lost none of its grandeur since opening in 1912. In fact, with a jazz room and a rooftop bar, this experience only gets better.
Roc’s & Village Cinemas Jam Factory
500 Chapel Street, South Yarra
For those seeking a sophisticated and luxurious escape, Roc’s is the place for you. Located in the heart of South Yarra inside the Jam Factory complex, Roc’s provides its guests with a stylish, New York-style scene, perfectly complimenting the Chapel Street experience. The bar is named after Roc Kirby, founder of Village Roadshow and a pioneer of the Australian Film & Cinema Industry, which brings us next door to the Village Cinemas.
A gold class location with state-of-the-art facilities in a relaxed, cosmopolitan environment, the Jam Factory will indulge all your senses. With Hollywood blockbusters and foreign films playing in a modern and elegant venue, Chapel Street will not disappoint your alcoholic nor your cinematic thirsts.
Mamasita & Kino Cinemas
1/11 / 45 Collins Street, Melbourne
Tacos? Yes. Quesadillas? Yes. Tequila? Yaaas. Welcome to Mamasita – an innovative take on traditional Mexican food that’ll have you feasting endlessly. In the middle of Melbourne City yet a true reflection of Mexico’s best, Mamasita is at once a taco and mezcal bar, as well as a late night diner.
To make matters even better, straight down Collins Street (a one minute walk away) sits The Kino – a seven screen cinema with a superb selection of local and international feature films, documentaries and mainstream films. With a stylish café and bar area, The Kino might just be the cherry on top of your night.
Le Cinque Terre & Palace Cinema
289 / 294 Bay Street, Brighton
Ah, Le Cinque Terre. Home of the golden blend of two beautiful cuisines: Italian and Spanish. This Mediterranean restaurant serves up traditional Spanish tapas and generous hand-made Italian pasta, complimenting them with an impressive list of beverages – so you really can’t go wrong here.
So why not top it off with a (very) short walk to Palace Cinema, and continue the evening’s luxurious experience at this boutique Bay Street cinema. With architecturally-charming cinemas, a fully-licensed bar and plush foyer, Brighton Bay has all you could need to ensure a happy ending to your evening.
So whether you’re looking to impress a date, searching for a bestie activity, or just going solo for the night, with the rise of new restaurants and dining spots, the game has evidently changed. And you gotta be in it to win it, right? So save your weekend with these dynamic duos.
By Vanessa De Lutiis
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