Lots of people I know consider a good night out as heading to their favourite club at 10pm, standing around drinking overpriced cocktails while surrounded by sweaty people they don’t like until the club closes at 5am. Personally, I believe Melbourne has a lot more to offer and since we aren’t really allowed to leave the house right now, reflecting on all the fun I used to have has become my favourite pastime and I thought I would use it to give you all some hot tips on what to do when lockdown ends!
Places to eat: To me, the perfect night out must start with good food.
Ichi Ni Nana: Ichi Ni Nana is a beautiful Japanese Izakaya on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy that is perfect for either an intimate dinner or a group setting. They have a large menu that includes a variety of Japanese dishes such as edamame, massive sushi and sashimi plates as well as gyoza and donburi. Not only is the food incredible, their beverage list consists of Japanese inspired cocktails, sakes and whiskies. You can currently order online for delivery!
Shanghai Dumpling House: On a budget? No worries. Sitting in Melbourne’s China town is this budget friendly gem. Shanghai Dumpling House is a BYO Chinese restaurant with the fastest service I have ever witnessed. Considering how cheap and fast it all was, I wasn’t expecting too high a standard on the food front, although it turned out I was pleasantly surprised. As we were in a group of seven, we ordered an abundance of dishes from the menu and every single thing they brought out was delicious. I couldn’t recommend Shanghai Dumpling House enough. Also, another hot tip, pretend it’s your birthday and the entire restaurant will sing to you.
Touche Hombre: I’ve found that in the city, Mexican food is either going to be cheap but yummy take out like Zambreros or expensive and healthy like Fonda. I think Touche Hombre is a good mix between the two, however it does lean slightly more in the direction of Fonda. They have a good selection of tacos and other Mexican dishes, incredible guacamole, an extensive drinks menu and great vibes.
The Cornish Arms: This one is situated slightly out of the CBD but is worth the travel, especially if you’re seeking some top quality vegan dishes, as they have such an amazing and creative range of options. The Cornish Arms is a pub style restaurant so you will be paying pub like prices but I promise it’ll be worth every cent. Enjoy your meal inside by the fireplace, out in the beer garden or on their newly added rooftop section, you really can’t go wrong here!
Order online for delivery during iso
Things to do: Second step to a perfect night out, a fun activity!
Strike Bowling: When I was a kid, bowling was a pretty rare and exciting family activity but honestly, it’s even better as an adult, after a few drinks. The bowling part is just the beginning too, at Strike you can also do escape rooms and laser tag. They serve the most amazing long island iced teas at the bar and the dance floor at their Melbourne Central location is always playing the best tunes if you feel like having a boogie! Not to mention the fact that Long island ice teas are $10 on a Tuesday!
Karaoke: Every time I invite someone to karaoke their immediate reaction is “Nooo I can’t sing” but that’s the whole point of karaoke, nobody goes there to sing well, we go there to sing loudly and terribly. My favourite place to sing is KBOX on La Trobe street, you pay by the hour for a private room and purchase drinks as you go. They have such a big selection of songs from the classics, to K-pop, to the entire Disney soundtrack. As soon as lockdown is over, I’ll be heading to karaoke to sing my go to song “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House.
B. Lucky & Sons or Archie Brothers: There is nothing I love more than an arcade so when I found out there were arcades that served alcohol, I almost cried happy tears. Imagine being surrounded by drunk adults playing skee ball and dance dance revolution, it doesn’t get much better than that! B. Lucky is located in Melbourne Central, Archie Brothers is located in Docklands, they are both partner venues and are very similar so it just depends on which location is more convenient!
Escape Rooms: One of my all time favourite activities involves gathering a group of my closest friends, having someone lock us all in a room together alone and then screaming instructions at each other in order to escape from said room. I’ve done a few of these as Strike and Trapt but there are quite a lot of places in Melbourne. Just search them up and choose the one that best aligns with your skill level or interests. You can choose from themes like Alice in Wonderland, The Paranormal, Artificial Intelligence and many more!
Places to drink: Finally, if you’re not ready to go home, here are some of my favourite bars.
Workshop: Workshop is a funky venue located on Elizabeth Street, if you get there early, I recommend snatching yourself a seat in their cute outside decking area. They have a strong focus on art here so there is always something interesting to see such as live bands or emerging & established DJ’s, they even offer artists a free space to exhibit their artwork!
Peaches: Not only is Peaches incredibly aesthetically pleasing, it is also such a fun venue where time flies, with hours feeling like minutes, as you get lost in another time. The inside interior matches the name with a beautiful peachy theme, they also have a rooftop bar which is perfect for those warmer days. Another thing that impressed me about Peaches is that their food is actually… good? I never expect decent food at a bar but they are doing it right!
Section 8: Section 8 is hard to put into words, it is loud, there is often nowhere to sit and the drinks are pretty expensive but for some reason, you just want to be there. Probably due to the way it perfectly encapsulates the Melbourne style; laneways, creative decoration, and cool atmosphere. The bar is open air, they serve you drinks from a shipping container, the bathroom walls are decorated with funny comics and the live DJ is always playing the best tunes! It is especially good if you’re hanging out with someone you don’t really want to talk to because it’s almost impossible to hear anything once you’re in.
Lala Land: Lala Land is my most visited bar in Melbourne, for two very specific reasons. One, they make amazing vodka pineapples & Two, the bar tender once played Blackpink for me and it was incredible. Something else I love about Lala Land is that you can actually hear your friends speak, the music is at a delightful volume and there is always such good vibes.
Once restrictions lift, I’ll be headed straight to Shanghai Dumpling House to eat their entire menu, Karaoke at KBOX for beers and terrible singing, then off to Workshop to drink cocktail jugs and bust some moves on the dance floor. What mixture of the places mentioned would be your perfect night?