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Do Melbourne Have Waterfront Restaurants?

You may be wondering if Melbourne has any waterfront restaurants. The answer is a resounding yes – in fact, the city is home to some of the best seafood eateries in the country. 

Whether you're looking for a casual spot to enjoy a few drinks and nibbles by the river or something more formal with exquisite views of the water, Melbourne has got you covered. Please keep reading for our recommendations on the best waterfront restaurants in town.

Melbourne has a wealth of waterfront restaurants, each unique charm and appeal. With stunning views of the river and city skyline, these restaurants are perfect for special occasions or a romantic evening out. Here is our guide to some of the best waterfront restaurants in Melbourne.

waterfront restaurants

15 Waterfront Restaurants in Melbourne

Is there anything better than brews with a view? Perhaps a sophisticated sunset dinner with a city skyline backdrop? Here are some of Melbourne’s best places to eat and drink by the waterside.

Meat Market Modern Grill Restaurants

Dedicated to the flavours of an open flame grill, Meat Market is the ideal spot to sample the best meats Southern Australia has to offer.

Meat Market offers pasture and grain-fed beef from some of Australia’s best ethical producers, as well as chicken, seafood and lamb, all locally sourced from Victorian and Australian suppliers.

The open kitchen means guests can get up close to the culinary action before enjoying some of the best steaks in Melbourne served in a casual but professional way by our friendly staff and outstanding waterfront Melbourne CBD views.

The Common Man Waterfront Dining

The Common Man Bar and Restaurant, located on the banks of the Yarra River in South Wharf, matches river views with a convenient city location.

Whether you sit down with a latte to enjoy the free wi-fi or are part of a large group, you still get the same service.

We're here to provide quality, affordable food and drink all day and night, with a menu that reflects the diverse flavours and influences that have shaped Melbourne.

There’s a dedicated breakfast menu seven days per week, happy hour and meal specials such as burgers, pizza & hot wings.

The Common Man Lawn, a large astroturfed garden area outside the Common Man overlooking the river, is perfect for large pop-up style events for up to 450 people. Currently an Amalfi Coast-inspired coastal pop-up complete with frozen cocktails, cold beer and food specials. 

The Common Lawn can easily be transformed into an underground outdoor function space by adding a marquee and pop-up bar to service end of year functions and events.

LIVE sport on FOXTEL, Happy Hour daily from 3:30-6:30, Workers lunch mains + drink for $19 Monday to Friday plus much more!

Republica Beachfront Restaurants

Republica has long been synonymous with Melbourne and its urban St Kilda beach life. Stepping into this lush oasis, you could be transported to Venice beach or that gorgeous Spanish coastal plaza you’ve been dreaming of.

Featuring a glorious open-air courtyard, alfresco beachside dining, large open-plan interior, and outdoor live music stage, Republica is the place to live and breathe the St Kilda lifestyle.

Ideally located within the iconic St Kilda Sea Baths, this family-run beachside venue reflects a love of casual, beachy St Kilda fun and hospitality.

The Republica beach bar and restaurant flow seamlessly upstairs to its brother venue, Captain Baxter. This famed cocktail bar boasts one of Melbourne’s most spectacular rooftop views and is a St Kilda favourite. At Captain Baxter, sunsets and spicy margaritas are best enjoyed on the beachfront facing balcony bungalows.

Republica first-timers, take note; this is not your usual run-of-the-mill St Kilda pub. Here, you will find local seasonal produce and modern techniques paying homage to classic seaside dishes. 

Delight yourself with freshly shucked oysters, house-made sourdough pizzas and local cheeses. 

Sip on ice cold tank beer, tropical-inspired St Kilda cocktails and Aussie wines.

The vibe? It couldn’t be more quintessentially “St Kilda, Melbourne ''. This is a happening beach bar with the bay providing an amazing backdrop in both summer & winter. Embrace the laidback charm that the waiters imbue and bask in the sandy, sun-kissed joy or mystical winter weather on offer.

Hotel Esplanade Top St Kilda Restaurants

Your favourite band in The Gershwin Room, pre-gig beers in the Star Wars bar, stumbling in from the seaside… everyone has a story to tell about The Espy. 140 years of stories and secrets are hidden in its walls, from budding romances to celebrations, breakups and makeups. If the walls could talk, they’d tell some unbelievable tales.

A home for many years to Melbourne’s colourful characters, from members of the arts community to musicians looking for their first big break and the philanthropist Alfred Felton, who lived and died in The Espy.

Since reopening its doors in 2018, every square centimetre of The Espy is now open for your enjoyment, including the fifth level, which has never before been open to the public.

The Main Bar serves up your favourite pub classics, stone-baked pizzas, burgers and a collection of seaside snacks. At the heart of the venue is the Espy Kitchen, casual dining space in the pub’s old loading bay. Upstairs, the fast-paced, flavour-filled Cantonese restaurant Mya Tiger serves inspired cocktails, dumplings, Peking Duck and epic sunsets.

The reimagined Hotel Esplanade is full of music, arts, cocktails, fun and laughter. To put it simply, there is no pub like it.

BearBrass Modern Restaurants

bearbrass modern restaurants

Open 11 am till late Monday to Friday & 9 am till late Saturday & Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome if we have room.

Offering a relaxed, friendly environment on the banks of the Yarra River overlooking our beautiful city of Melbourne, BearBrass is the perfect location for casual Southbank drinks and dining.

With a wide selection of dishes, from small bites and delicious pizzas to classic breakfasts and mouth-watering mains, BearBrass is a great spot for a meal or drinks with friends. 

You will be impressed with the extensive beer, spirit and wine menu, featuring some delicious in-house cocktail creations and the classics.

Hophaus Modern Restaurants

As far as Southbank restaurants go, Hophaus provides a truly unique experience.

With an expansive art deco-inspired dining hall, including our glazed polychrome brick centrepiece bier bar with 30 draught beer taps and an open rotisserie-fired kitchen, you will quickly agree that Hophaus delivers on its mission to make you and your belly happy with its delicious German & European inspired menu, and warm, contemporary surrounds.

This, plus the ideal location on Southbank with stunning views over the Yarra River and Melbourne City skyline from our weather-proof terrace, makes Hophaus the perfect venue for all occasions, including casual after-work drinks, corporate functions, birthday celebrations, weddings, and dining occasions.

Ludlow Modern Riverside Restaurants

Ludlow Bar & Dining Room, a popular Southbank restaurant on the edge of the Yarra River, is a uniquely Melbourne drinking and dining destination featuring a riverside barbecue, bar, cocktail lounge, and dining room.

The contemporary design incorporates raw steel & stone, natural materials and recycled timber, brilliantly conceived to create a warm, inviting & humble ambience.

The General Assembly South Wharf Eateries

Experience the essence of Melbourne without navigating your way through confusing back streets and alleyways. And if Melbourne’s weather is living up to its reputation, fear not, because 

The General Assembly caters to four seasons in a day. #HowDoYouMelbourne

Peruse the delicious menu, which offers Melbourne’s latest food trends, including the famous eggplant chips with blue cheese or a perfectly cooked steak from the Josper oven.  

Sample a huge range of classic and unique cocktails or a cold beer from their 49 taps. The Carlton Draught is delivered fresh and unpasteurised every Thursday and stored in their beloved copper tanks, so you know it’s fresh!

Listen to local acoustics every Friday, Saturday and Sunday while enjoying this Riverside terrace and don’t leave until you’ve checked out the street art installations, which mirror Melbourne’s hidden laneways.

The General Assembly is located next to DFO and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, so there’s always something to do in the South Wharf Precinct.

The Boatbuilders Yard Riverside Restaurants

Nestled beside Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, DFO and the Polly Woodside sailing ship is a riverside highlight of the Melbourne drinking and dining scene.

Take a walk around this expansive Yarra River venue, and you’ll be delighted to find multiple zones for chilling out, including a Bocce sandpit and custom-built Corona garden.

Spend the day here on a deck chair with your favourite holiday read, or make it a fun date night by the water. Either way, it’s the perfect place to kick back with a cold beer or cocktail and soak in the holiday vibes. With a mega screen and beer garden, this is THE place to watch major sporting events, and you’ll likely find The Boatbuilders Yard celebrating public holidays in style.

The food offering kicks off for breakfast with top-notch coffee and a tasty menu that not only looks good but will certainly start your day right...put them on your Melbourne must-try brunch list. The venue then moves into lunch and dinner and has become quite famous in the area for their halloumi fries and boaties sundae, plus a seasonal menu with South American influences.

Pop in for a drink after work, mid-week breakfast meeting, power lunch, drinks with mates or date night.

Pilgrim Top Riverside Restaurants

One of Melbourne’s hidden gems tucked away below Federation Square. Pilgrim is an intimate waterfront venue that proudly engages an all-Australian menu. With locally sourced produce and passionate staff that enjoy talking about it, Pilgrim is the Aussie experience that’s fancier than a meat pie but relaxed enough that you can pop in wearing your flip flops. 

It’s the perfect balance of being unpretentious while offering a quality seasonal menu and extensive beverage list of wine, beer and spirits.

Sitting proudly on the banks of the Yarra River, enjoy a $5 Happy Hour drink 4:30-6:30 pm Sunday to Thursday. Choose from beer, wine or bubbles, which are, of course, all Australian brands.

They have a free stand-up comedy program that runs once a month which is always a full house and a barrel of laughs. Or grab a $35 ticket to one of our Talk & Taste sessions which gets you up close and personal with Aussie liquor producers, a generous tasting of their range and canapés from Pilgrim’s chefs.

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Riverland Bar Waterfront Bar & Dining

Riverland Bar is the original waterfront icon in Melbourne, where you can escape the daily grind in the urban beer garden hideaway. This iconic venue is situated on the banks of the Yarra River in the historic Federation Wharf vaults, just below Federation Square and a stone’s throw from Flinders Station.

The year-round outdoor venue is the ideal spot for beers and bites while soaking up the summer sun or basking under the heaters and warming up with a winter cocktail in the cooler months.

Their menu offers a range of starters and shares, burgers, salads and delicious classics like fish and chips, cheese plates and S'mores. Always fresh and always seasonal!

They also have Chinese menus on request.

Soho Waterfront Italian Restaurants

Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, Soho is an everyday escape to enjoy all day long and well into the night.

With an extensive menu, they celebrate the warmth of authentic Italian cuisine – with a contemporary twist, of course.

From your table, you can watch our chefs prepare a selection of Piccoli Appetiti to share, or perhaps you’ll indulge with one of our traditional Pizza.

As you indulge in authentic cuisine, you will enjoy the ambience and the live music every weekend.

The Barre Top CBD Restaurants

The Barre is a sleek space underneath the Spire at Arts Centre Melbourne. Offering a touch of luxury, a hint of showmanship and a lively pre-and post-show buzz that takes the bar and eatery from early evening to late night, with panache.

With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, the modern Australian menu offers small and larger dishes to be shared and enjoyed with friends. 

Choose from a well-considered wine list with an emphasis on local wineries, an exciting range of craft beers and ciders, along with a careful selection of cocktails and small-batch Australian gins and single malt whiskies from Australia and New Zealand.

Clare Cousins Architects have created a welcoming space with a blend of contemporary aesthetics and sculptural silhouettes. With a nod to Arts Centre Melbourne history, timber floorboards salvaged from the Hamer Hall redevelopment have been recycled into parquetry throughout the main bar.

From a pre-show sparkling with a share plate, a meal with a fine wine or a mellow late-night drink, you’re invited to join us at The Barre.

BangPop Riverside Restaurant

Look no further for delicious Thai hawker food - BangPop has got you covered. Delighting Melbournians with amazing taste sensations, we offer many succulent Thai dishes, all made with seasonal ingredients sourced locally or straight from Thailand.

BangPop takes its inspiration from the hawker market stands in Bangkok. They recreate the energy, excitement and delicious foods you can find in these places. If you’ve yet to make the trip, let BangPop give you a preview! Please sit back, relax, and let us tantalise your taste buds as you enjoy great food and company.

When you dine at BangPop, you can expect the highest quality food, ensuring the very best Thai Flavours. Think street food classics but also designed to share. Long share tables are perfect for bringing a group of friends, or just a loved one to feast on Pad Thai, Son-in-law silken egg tofu, Whole Barramundi, Khao Soi Curry Noodles, Vegan Larb, Banana Blossom Salad and Mango Sticky Rice dessert.

Take a seat right on the promenade, on the enclosed terrace and take in the beautiful views of the Yarra River or sit inside the converted shipping shed, which is now their restaurant. Head Chef, Piyakun, hosts Thai Cooking Classes of classic dishes. Check the website for more info.

Most of the menu is Coeliac and Gluten Free friendly. There are options for vegan and vegetarian dishes, and the team can cater to some dietary requirements. Just ask them!

Mama Rumaan Top Middle Eastern Restaurants

Meet Mama Rumaan, a fierce Arabic mama who has taken up residence on Central Pier in Melbourne’s Docklands. Disrupting the tranquil, waterfront suburb, Mama Rumaan has rebelled against the norm by creating her Middle-Eastern style canteen.

Mama Rumaan’s style borrows from the old and the new. When it comes to her recipes, she kicks it old school. Every one of Mama Rumaan’s dishes reflects the culinary traditions of her mama and her mama’s mama. Designed to share with family and friends, her menu is bursting with bold and authentic flavours, her methods passed down through generations and perfected over lifetimes.

Mama Rumaan’s place is warm and inviting – a comfortable, modern space set against Melbourne’s waterfront that instantly makes her guests feel at home. Enjoy an aromatic atmosphere in the Dining Room, or couple this with picturesque water and city views, and you have one of the most sought after locations the Docklands has to offer.

Middle Eastern street food with a side of mischief – the Mama Rumaan special. Mama knows best. And Mama says it’s time to eat.

An Atlantic Group venue.

FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants

Food & Drink

There are over 80 restaurants and eateries from which to choose in the V&A Waterfront.

Operating Hours

Minimum trading hours will be 09h00 to 17h00 at Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre. The Watershed will remain closed during Level 3 of the lockdown.

The Waterfront was named after the Alfred Basin and the Victoria Basin. The first basin was named after Prince Alfred, and the second after his mother. The V&A Waterfront is part of the renowned Cape Town Big 6.

The V&A Waterfront is the oldest working harbour in South Africa, and its 123 hectares are used for far more than just commercial fishing. This harbour caters to a wide range of vessels and yachts. Famous people like Elton John, David Beckham and Madonna have bought a property in this beautiful area.

The V&A Waterfront is one of Africa's most visited destinations, with almost 24 million visitors annually. It is situated in the oldest working harbour in the southern hemisphere, with the iconic Table Mountain as its backdrop and extensive views of the ocean, city bowl and mountain peaks.

Conclusion

Whether you're a tourist or a local, Melbourne has no shortage of waterfront restaurants to choose from. From modern Australian cuisine to Italian and seafood, there's something for everyone. 

And what could be better than enjoying your meal while taking in Melbourne's beautiful skyline? Here are some of our favourites.

Resources:

Melbourne Waterfront Restaurants

The best waterfront restaurants in Melbourne

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