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What Are Melbourne Common Late Night Food?

It’s late, too late, and maybe you’ve been up partying all night, or you’re just one of those night owls that prefer the nighttime. Luckily you’re in Melbourne, our very own city that never sleeps and can take advantage of the many restaurants and late-night haunts that are keeping the party going when the clock strikes 12 and serving food till the break of dawn. 

It’s never too late here to grab a burger, grab a steak or a tasty parma, so check out the best late-night eats Melbourne has to offer.

Our fair city wears the mantle of ‘Late Night Champion’ with pride. Nowhere else in the country can party at all hours and then go out for a civilised meal into the bargain. These are the best late-night eats to keep the pep in your party step for nights when you need to soak up some of those high spirits, or maybe you’re just not ready for the night to be over.

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Melbourne Common Late Night Food

It's not always easy to find something to eat in the wee hours of the morning in Melbourne after a night out on the town. But if you know where to look, you can find a wide variety of eateries that stay open until dawn and serve hot, comforting meals to partygoers who haven't yet had their fill of partying.

Food tastes different after midnight, and your brain knows it as well as your stomach. In most cases, that approach is excellent. So, after a few wines on the weekend, your sense of taste (and appreciation) may change. You could be happily making your way up Swanston Street to catch a tram home, and then suddenly you'd get a hankering for noodles.

Or, say, you're in dire need of pizza and find yourself suddenly unable to move in the middle of Lygon Street. Don't waste time (and likely effort) searching fruitlessly through Google Maps; instead, save this page for future reference. We understand that you need something salty to eat late at night, so we offer the best late-night food in Melbourne.

Dragon Hotpot

Arguably the overlord of malatang in Melbourne, Dragon Hot Pot has franchised aggressively over the past year and changed, with six stores open between Box Hill and the city. All of its locations close late, but the snug Russell Street outpost is open 24/7, with lines out the door a common sight during conventional dinner hours. 

A vast selection of ingredients, slick branding and Mandopop hits mean Dragon Hot Pot is busy around the clock, but its powerful beef soups, a drawcard for some, will not be for everyone. It’s also one of the more expensive options for a one-person hotpot – bring a friend and share if you’re feeling the pinch.

Butchers Diner

There is a gap of 24 hours between events. Con Christopoulos keeps his new CBD business open for an unprecedented twenty-four hours, seven days a week. It's a good enough excuse to eat steak for breakfast or order takeout after midnight. Now you can add Butchers Diner to the list of late-night hotspots in Melbourne's central business district.

Previously working at the City Wine Shop, the European, Kirk's, and the French Saloon, this member of the European Group is now in charge of Butchers Diner, where he and his team specialise in all things meat-related.

The menu may seem predatory at first because of its emphasis on meat, but it's actually quite reasonable. When you walk in, your eyes will be drawn to a cabinet that takes up the entire back wall and is stocked with various types of hanging meats. I'm afraid it's standard fare for the rest of the restaurants, but the diner's selection stands out as appealing in its own right.

The menu has a decidedly European slant, but it also reflects influences from the United States, Japan, and China. Burgers made from the day's cuts start at $9.50, and there's also Japanese fried chicken with sesame paste and Kewpie mayo and pickled daikon for $12.

Offal skewers (serves 2) are $7.50 and can be chewy, bouncy, or ironic (and are served medium-rare to medium, depending on the cut), and you can also get a soft, spiced house-made blood sausage and curried egg bap (serves 2) for $10.

There is also a daily one-plate special, which might include anything from crispy skin confit duck with pickled vegetables and a sweet chilli jam to Carolina-style barbeque pork with'slaw and cornbread. Everything here can be enjoyed on its own, but for the best experience, we recommend bringing a group of friends and ordering from all over the globe.

However, meat-free highlights are interspersed throughout. For $6, you can get a traditional grilled cheese toastie, for $10, you can get falafel on a daily salad, for $8, you can get wood-fired seasonal vegetables, for $10, you can get a crispy tofu noodle salad, and for $10, you can get an American-style vegan hash that you can customise with a variety of toppings.

Even if none of those options appeal to you, a new vegan vending machine stocked with coconut yoghurt, salads, energy bars with superfoods, cold-pressed juices, and raw chocolate is available around the clock and for less than ten dollars. When you first heard about this 24-hour diner, I bet you didn't expect that.

All orders must be placed at the counter and paid for in cash (an ATM has been installed right outside the entrance, just in case). The food is delivered on plastic or stainless steel trays. It's not the best spot for a business lunch because using your hands to eat is highly encouraged.

Take note, office workers: every donation is a deduction from your total. Alcohol is offered in the form of carefully curated craft beer tinnies ($8.50–$12.50) and premium half-bottle wines ($18–$60). The prices are more reasonable than smashable, so if it's rent week you probably shouldn't go there to pound back a few after a show. However, if you're in need of a pick-me-up, a serve of filter coffee will set you back $2.50.

Even though it's one of Melbourne's first 24-hour food shrines, it still experiences the same crush of customers during prime mealtimes as any other restaurant. Despite what the name might imply, this is most definitely not a carnivore-only establishment; in fact, the menu is diverse and the prices are fair for all.

Bodega Underground

If you're craving Mexican food in the wee hours of the morning while in Melbourne, look no further than this cosy little restaurant hidden away under the city. As its name implies, Bodega Underground is located below ground.

Octopus tacos, sweet and spicy pork carnitas, prawn ceviche, totopos with guacamole, and some of the best-fried chicken in Melbourne are just a few of the authentic Mexican dishes available here. What's more, there are seventy different mezcals and twenty different tequilas lining the walls.

If you go down to the basement, you'll find posters from the heydey of Mexican cinema, complete with tits, 'taches, and Tecate. Tables and stools resemble those found in a cantina rather than a standard bar, with the best seats available at the bar itself. The music is always fast, so you'll feel like you're always falling behind if you decide to order a round of shots there.

Creative uses of tequila and mezcal are at the heart of the cocktail culture. In particular, the fact that the kitchen stays open until 3 in the morning is a huge plus for us. So, tacos are a big part of the food offering. Battered fish, pork, grilled octopus, fried potato, and fried or battered mushrooms go well with corn tortillas.

Two tacos are served per order, and they can be customised with the restaurant's signature chipotle mayo, crema, pepitas, guacamole, or any of a number of other toppings. It's not just mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for the vegetarians and vegans among us.

Chapelle’s

Chapelle’s serves breakfast, including the fluffiest pancakes known to man, depending on what end of the morning you’re at. But if you’re still looking for that evening (or early morning) steak, then this is also the perfect spot for a late-night bite to eat. 

You can get carbonara, lasagne, roasted pumpkin risotto plus pizzas, steak sandwiches, chilli tiger prawns, salads, nachos and more. It’s fully licensed also with a nice wine list and classic cocktails.

The Toff in Town

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The Toff in Town bar and kitchen serves bar food and dinner up until 3 am weekdays and 5 am on weekends, so it’s the perfect option if you’re looking for tasty late-night eats in Melbourne. 

Here you’ll find Asian and western-inspired dishes like pulled pork with buffalo mozzarella, pepper snapped with green mango salad and Peking duck with snow peas. Not only that but there’s also live music and entertainment throughout the week and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.

Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant

It’s been a while. Maybe 35 years. Maybe 36. Maybe more. The exact figure is lost to the mists of time. When it comes to putting a date on Supper Inn, let’s say it threw open its doors around the time when Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister, which means it’s reached the restaurant year equivalent of the Qing dynasty.

There’s something to be said for constancy in the restaurant world. Of course, these days, they arrive in a flash of social media glory and disappear almost as quickly, but Supper Inn will broach little in the way of social media. 

It doesn’t go in for such newfangled things, and anyway, the décor and lighting aren’t exactly social media-friendly. So instead, it built its reputation the old-fashioned way with just plain straight-up excellent Cantonese food with a 2.30 am closing time that means it’s a magnet for the city’s hospo crowd looking for a post-work feed that won’t break the bank.

The menu is long. As in really, really long, but anyone who’s been a couple of times will know which dishes to beeline for. 

Congee with chicken, flecked with ginger. The Pacific oysters in an aromatic soy-stock lake. A whole steamed flounder and sizzling chilli quail. The hotpot with pork and oil-soaked, garlicky eggplant with salted fish used like seasoning, and the roasted suckling pig with the sweetest meat and skin like chewy, salty toffee.

That it’s all delivered with service that ranges from smiley to hostage situation, in surroundings that fondly channel the days when timber panelling was de rigueur – well, that makes it even more memorable and deserving of its Celestial Avenue address. Thanks for all the good times, Supper Inn. Don’t ever change.

Bar Ampere

This quirky little bar is a hidden gem in the CBD and the perfect spot for some late-night food and drinks. Bar Ampere’s Parisian-Esque ambience and impressive range of European aperitifs, absinthe and imported wines and beers all add to its charm. 

As for food, you can pick up some gourmet burgers like the ampere burger, a beef patty in a yogurt bun oven roasted with gruyere and spicy tomato relish, or grab some bar snacks with your drinks like prosciutto croquettes, charcuterie or a delicious cheese platter.

Named after a visionary Frenchman, Andre-Marie Ampere, Bar Ampere is said to honour ‘those who dreamt unshackled by the binds of their time’... this is a place to come if you need a late-night feed with a taste of cool! As you can imagine being inspired by a French visionary, the vibe is distinctly Parisian, with a 1930s revolutionary feel.

An outdoor seating area provides space to watch the world go by, and if you’re looking for something more secluded, then head to ‘the swamp room’ where you’ll find a dimly lit bar that feels somewhat like a speakeasy. Perfect for late-night jaunts.

Bar Romantica

Romance isn’t dead, and neither is Romantica. Café Romantica, the legendary 24-hour pizza parlour-slash-dive-bar that closed after 30 years to much sadness, has been reborn as an inviting late-night wine bar and restaurant. Gone are the unforgiving fluorescent lights, laminate tables and $5 homebrews, supplanted by candles, deep crimson booths and $28 bottles of sour ale.

The pool table has been allowed to stay, as have the terrazzo floors, cleverly recontextualised to feel retro-European chic under a new curved oak bar, art deco lights and bentwood chairs. But, more importantly, the pizza oven has also been granted amnesty, now producing Neapolitan-style slices with puffy crusts and floppy centres. 

The ‘Pizza Romantica’, a homage to the bar’s predecessor, keeps things simple and tasty with passata, thick slices of fior di latte and fresh basil. Amp it up with optional nduja, less for the salami itself than for the trickles of spicy orange oil percolating into each slice. 

Don’t bother with being virtuous – a side of beets are uninspiring with ricotta and wilted mustard leaf. Still, hope is restored in heartbreakingly crunchy potatoes, parboiled and fried to the fourth dimension. They’re perfect even before dipping in lush garlic mayo, giving you a run for its money in the condiment Olympics.

With wines, they’re doing the cool, young, inner burbs thing with their small makers, skin contacts, and sulphur frees. No gripes when that means a perky Little Reddie Refosco was rebuffing the variety’s heavy, tannin-rich reputation, or a sparkling Nebbiolo somehow cramming acidity, fruit and bubbles into featherlight juice. These are easy wins for the pét-nat evangelists. Still, old-school drinkers might find their boundaries more uncomfortably stretched by the mineral whack of an Arfion five grape, skin-contact orange or on beers like a smoked porter that tastes sincerely of burning leather boots.

However, if there’s one thing worth spending nig for, it’s their stock of New South Wales brewery Wildflower’s sour and wild ales. Fermented with yeast and bacteria foraged from flora, they’ve become a hit amongst industry brewers and are a rare appearance in bars. 

You might cringe at shelling out $30 for a bottle of beer, but their sourness and complexity allow them to be appreciated with the pacing of good wine. A bracingly tart yet toasty and sweet amber ale, for example, calls more for sipping and a food pairing than smashing.

The low lights, deep space and long hours lend Romantica starkly different characters over a single evening. As a result, it can feel a little hollow before twilight, even bleak in the corners where the day’s late rays don’t reach. 

However, after night falls and the hours become indiscernible, time in those plush booths stretches or stands still, for when pizzas and tartare are still being released around you, it’s easy not to forget it’s 3.30 am. Like its predecessor, they’re giving Brunswick East’s young and restless a place to eat, drink and socialise until the early morning, and for that, we remain hopeless Romantica fans.

Ferdydurke

When on the hunt for a tasty late-night bite, you can’t go past Ferdydurke. Set in a lofty New York-style space and with a nice glowing fireplace, you can find a comfy spot to stop and try the Smoky Chipotle BBQ Wings with Blue Cheese Ranch. 

The comprehensive list of classic cocktails and imported beers also make it a perfect stop for a nightcap in Melbourne. Not only that, you’ll find local and international DJs, plus art exhibitions every Sunday to keep you entertained.

Lucky Coq

Sister to Bimbo Deluxe, Lucky Coq offers the ultimate Sunday pick me up, cheap, greasy pizza. It’s the place to hang out when you’ve got a hangover but still want to be social. It’s dark and dimly lit, a cavernous hidey hole to get over the night before. 

Upstairs it’s a whole other story, the nightclub vibes are strong, and there’s even a dancefloor if you feel a little boogie coming on.

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Bar Margaux

Nobody would be shocked to hear that the cocktails at Bar Margaux are good. The CBD basement bar has excellent DNA, with a lineage that includes trophy-laden cocktail saloon the Everleigh and dive bar-Esque Heartbreaker. The booze quality is equal to the late-night debauchery. 

What is perhaps more surprising is that the cocktails at Michael and Zara Madrusan’s third bar are only one part of a very smart equation that, in true Melbourne style, thoroughly and successfully blurs the lines between bar and restaurant.

A Melbourne takes on a New York version of a Parisian cafe, Bar Margaux ticks all the right design tropes – chequerboard floor, shiny white subway tiles, booths, wired glass dividers, golden back bar lighting – and deftly assembles them so that the space sidesteps cliché and becomes a right place, right time very much. 

The tending bar in New York was well spent, given how intrinsically he understands the kind of spaces a late-night joint like this needs – privacy in shadowy booths down one end, room for display around the bar.

There’s also been serious thought put into the food. Like the fit-out, the menu is a roll call of classics, offering the kind of French bistro dishes you’d expect in a place that looks like this. What you might not expect in a watering hole where the kitchen’s open until 3 am (and beyond on weekends) is that you’re going to get such a good French onion soup or credible steak fries or such a ridiculously rich lobster Croque monsieur.

But it’s not all about the late night. ‘Golden Hour’ specials (between 4 and 6 pm, and then again between midnight and close), when you get a glass of burgundy and a burger or Champagne and oysters for less, ensure not only a Mad Men-era mood but also a flow of traffic through the place that keeps the pace and energy churning.

Cocktails are made with the precision we take for granted in a Madrusan joint. The classics and their friends are well represented – Brandy Alexander, Black Velvet, Gimlet – and Margaux has also joined the burgeoning small cocktail trend with its “snack-sized” three-gulp cocktails, perfect for when you’re pretending to keep it nice.

Melbourne’s late-night scene keeps getting better, and it’s places like Bar Margaux that are making it so by keeping the quality high, whether it’s 4 pm or 4 am. We’re glad it’s joined the party.

Melbourne Supper Club

Through a dark wooden door and up a flight of stairs, Melbourne Supper Club is one of the city’s prized late-night venues. People don’t just come here for the luxury environs of a long room lavishly decorated with leather and velvet; they also come to be tempted by a mammoth and classy wine list, classic cocktails and super-sexy bar food.

 And ever since the rooftop terrace bar, Siglo, opened in April, it’s become the perfect place to be waited on while soaking up an almost-here summer breeze and views of Spring Street.

Gimlet at Cavendish House

Andrew McConnell, a chef and restaurateur, has opened a new restaurant, Gimlet at Cavendish House (Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc., Supernormal). Enjoy the elegant decor of the bar and restaurant, which is modelled after European establishments.

This hidden gem, however, becomes visible to the cognisant after dark. Anchovy toast with Café de Paris butter, gnocco fritto with bresaola and parmesan, pasta trottole with king prawns and pipis, or the Cavendish classic cheeseburger with special sauce and pickle are just some of the dishes that will be presented to you on the supper menu.

FAQs About Melbourne Late Night Food

Night markets highlight food trucks, local artisanal crafts, and fashion, although each market has a slightly different vibe. Check out these memorable night markets throughout the city of Melbourne, and map out which one to hit upon your adventures there. So have a drink, do a little shopping, and be outdoors.

Late-night [24 hours] Melbourne food... In Melbourne Tonight, a guide to Melbourne after dark... * Open daily, 24 hours. Butchers diner offers takeaway food 24/7. You can also dine in at the communal table. The menu includes rolls, burgers, grills, roasts, sweets and daily specials.

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