Is there a special occasion coming up where you'd like to celebrate with a nice meal at a restaurant, but you feel like it's lacking that certain something? If you're looking for someplace to eat on the go, Melbourne has a wide variety of interesting food trucks to choose from.
Take your pick from a tram, train, plane, or boat and chow down in style. Don't sit on the fence about going on one of these exciting vacations any longer.
It's common knowledge that Melbourne is famous for its warm welcome. People may not always be receptive to our tendency to run with unusual ideas or themes, but we enjoy the challenge.
The outcomes can be anywhere from tacky to terrific, but if it's something a little out there you're after, Melbourne has it. Here are some of the most unique places in Melbourne to eat, drink, and play.
The Unique Food Experience In Melbourne
There is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from in Melbourne, and some of them are quite unusual. From tramcars to suspended tables to underwater events and theatrical dinners, these are Melbourne's most out-of-the-ordinary dining opportunities.
Puffing Billy Steam And Cuisine Train
The Puffing Billy heritage railway travels the Dandenong Ranges through fern gullies and mountain ash forests and accords some spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. The train crosses historic timber trestle bridges and stops at heritage stations.
Hop onboard your first-class dining carriage for a relaxing meal as your train rocks and rolls along the rails. Luncheon trips offer a choice between a three-course meal or a Natter Platter. In addition, a selection of local Yarra Valley wines is available for purchase.
The train stops at Lakeside Station, where diners will be able to disembark and enjoy a walk around Emerald Lake Park or take a look at the miniature railway before the return journey.
In addition to the daily lunchtime trips, Puffing Billy also offers occasional Steam and Cuisine After Dark dining experiences.
Colonial Tram Car Restaurant
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is not one tram but is the world’s first fleet of travelling tramcar restaurants, a fitting tribute to a city renowned for its trams. Coloured with a distinctive burgundy inside and out, they are hard to miss.
You will feel like royalty in the beautiful colonial style surroundings, seated at tables set with pristine white table cloths, on seats with studded velvet upholstery, looking out windows furnished with elegant burgundy drapes.
To step in these trams is to step back in time, but don’t worry, despite their meticulous attention to period décor, the trams are air-conditioned and stabilised for a comfortable ride.
A set menu with quality seasonal foods is complemented with a selection of Australian wines. Click here to view the menus and meal options. The tram runs for luncheon, early dinner and late dinner.
Silver Clipper Dinner Flight
The Silver Clipper Dinner Flights are unlike the generally reviled in-flight meal. Guests will be welcomed with champagne and canapés at Essendon Airport before boarding the DC-3 Gooney Bird, where they will be served a gourmet hamper meal and wine curated by the award-winning AAG Services of Melbourne. After your 70-minute flight, relax in the lounge with some coffee, port, and high-quality chocolate.
From a hair-raising ride in a state-of-the-art jet trainer to a calm flight in a DC-3 airliner from the Golden Age of Aviation, we have it all. Traveling in style was once as important in aviation as getting to your destination, and these activities aim to transport you back to that era.
The jet trainer and the decommissioned US Navy Harvard can give you a taste of what it's like to fly a military plane. If you're interested in these thrilling activities, I highly recommend watching Warbirds.
We offer a variety of flight packages for corporate events and entertainment. The most well-liked activity is the DC-3 Cocktail Party Flights around Melbourne.
Clumsy and awkward on the ground, the Gooney Bird is a large seabird native to some islands in the Pacific Ocean. During World War II, the DC-3 gained the nickname "The Gooney Bird" for having the same quirks.
Bring out your inner science nerd and visit one of Melbourne’s very first laneway bars. The dim lighting, black and white tiles, and shelves crammed with beakers and test tubes would normally create a stark atmosphere, but once you sit yourself down in a cosy corner, you’ll find The Croft to be quite an intimate setting.
Although The Croft is no longer the secret Melbourne hideaway it once was, it has gained institution status due to its commitment to the theme and creative cocktails. If themed bars are your thing, don’t hesitate to wander upstairs to their second-floor gymnasium-style space, complete with a turf bar and bleachers for seating.
Gooney Bird – Silver Clipper Dinner Flights
Step back to the golden era of aviation on this 1945 DC3, more commonly known as the Gooney Bird. DC3’s are claimed to be the most reliable aircraft ever built. Before becoming a leisure aircraft, this robust propeller-driven plane served the RAAF until the late 1980s.
Sip pre-flight champagne and nibble on canapes in the flight lounge, where your pilot will give you a run-down of the evening. Your dinner flight departs Essendon and flies over Westgate Bridge, Point Cook, Corio Bay, the Bellarine Peninsula, Queenscliff, Portsea, Ricketts Point and the CBD.
Enjoy a catered meal complemented with a selection of wines on this 70-minute flight. After your meal, take a seat in the plane’s flight lounge or accept the captain’s invitation to peep inside the cockpit. After landing, retire to the lounge, where you will be treated to tea, coffee, port and a selection of chocolates. Upgrade your evening with the jump seat experience and join the captain in the cockpit for take-off or landing.
Burgers? On a tram? In the sky? Yep, it can only be Easey’s. When this café/burger joint/sky-high bar first opened earlier this year, it generated some serious hype, and we’re happy to report that Easey’s is still exceeding expectations in every way.
The graffiti-covered Hitachi 153Ms are conducive to a fun and raucous atmosphere when filled to the brim. In short, their burgers are killer, and if you’re hungry, don’t hesitate to smash the Melbourne Madness, filled with a double beef patty, triple American cheddar, bacon, potato cake, dim sim (yes, really), jalapenos, pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard.
Accompany that with some bourbon and five-cheese macaroni, or a doughnut filled with milkshake-flavour inspired custard, and you’re set.
Easey’s is an American Burger joint and bar located on a rooftop in Collingwood where you can dine within graffiti-covered Hitachi M-class train carriages.
The train schedule menu offers burgers, hotdogs, barbecue wings, milkshake-flavoured doughnuts and super cheesy macaroni cheese – and the best part is that you can climb on board and enjoy the view for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
LuWow is the best Tiki bar in Melbourne, and you can always count on having a good time there. Get to LuWow as soon as possible if you're into the idea of hanging out in a place where you can buy Hawaiian shirts, drink frozen margaritas, and listen to live music.
The majority of their drinks, including several variations on the Zombie and the classic Dark and Stormy, are rum-based. The King Mai Tai, which is served in a LuWow Tiki mug that you get to take home, is our top pick.
They even have go-go dancers to spice up the party if a few of these aren't enough to get you out on the D-floor. If you like tropical drinks and laid-back atmospheres, you should check out Aloha Sailor, which is located just below The Noble Experiment.
Spirit of Melbourne River Cruise
Enjoy a meal on the Yarra River while floating along the Spirit of Melbourne. The windows on the Spirit of Melbourne go all the way to the ceiling on both levels of the boat. The restaurant's tables and amenities are standard for establishments of similar calibre.
Take in the city's best architecture, lush greenery, and sparkling lights as you spend quality time together in Melbourne. Sunday buffet lunch or dinner cruises are available on the Melbourne River with Melbourne River Cruises.
Those who have had the good fortune to visit Germany's capital city know all about its rich history, thriving artistic culture, and "poor but sexy" reputation.
So, naturally, we had to bring a little bit of that to Melbourne's Berlin Bar. This bar features a distinct Communist East and Capitalist West section. If you're in the mood for a dive bar, head East, while if you want something a little fancier, head West. Beer is a must at any German-themed bar, and the establishment offers bottled imports from Germany. The drinks menu takes its cues from this legendary European metropolis, and one that will keep you going until the wee hours is Das Berghain, which combines vodka, gin, Red Bull, cherry tomato, lemon, and pepper.
The Colonial Tram Car Restaurant
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is an elegant dining experience unique to Melbourne. Behold the sights as you comfortably cruise around the city while enjoying a seasonal menu and quality Australian wines from the all-inclusive bar.
Choose between the luncheon four-course meal, early dinner three-course meal and late dinner five-course meal as well as pre-theatre dining.
When greeted by the bar staff at Madame Brussels, you would be forgiven for thinking it was time to dust off those tennis whites and start working on your backhand.
The garden party theme is alive and well all year round, with outdoor furniture decorating both the open rooftop and indoor areas of the establishment.
Even in winter, the experience is nothing short of delightful when you’re covered in blankets under heat lanterns. Still, nothing can beat a sunny afternoon sharing a cocktail jug amongst friends. Try the Prussian Iced Tea with Tequila, ripe peaches, lemon, mint steeped in Earl Grey, and topped with lemonade and soda.
Dinner In The Sky
Dinner in the Sky is the world’s most unique dining experience. Dinner in the Sky specialises in creating bespoke event experiences on a global scale.
Hoisted 50 metres into the air, Dinner in the Sky is the most suspenseful gourmet experience in the world. The dangling dinner table seats 22 people along with the chef, sommelier and waiting team, who stand in the centre, ensuring your experience is of the highest quality.
Dinner in the Sky hosts events and can also be booked for private parties.
Lentil As Anything
Established in 2000, Lentil as Anything is unlike any other restaurant in that there are no fixed prices. Instead, the customer determines how much to pay. The vegetarian restaurant has a strong sense of community and values social inclusion above all else.
From Mexican-spiced polenta to Sri Lankan uttapam savoury pancakes, the dishes are made with a generous dose of love from donated produce. Lentil, as anything, is now located in St Kilda, Abbotsford, Footscray and Thornbury.
This bar is a recreation of the ApartmentApartment of St Kilda artist and prostitute Kitashe, who was fascinated by New York City and mysteriously went missing in the 1980s. Filled with eccentricities and oil paintings, 29th ApartmentApartment is unusual beyond the fact you feel like you’ve gatecrashed a peculiar house party.
To continue the Manhattan influence, they serve New York-style pizza, and menu offerings are playfully named after the Big Apple’s main attractions.
For something on the sweeter side, try a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup martini with a splash of vodka, amaretto, and chocolate syrup thrown in for good measure. Did we mention they have a Giant Jenga set to play with? We can’t decide if we’re having a night in or a night out.
Melbourne is going a little gaga for gaming as an option for evening entertainment, and hey, who are we to snub such a fun trend? So take a trip down memory lane at Bartronica with classics such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Streetfighter 2 and GTI Club, without a single X-Box insight.
The drinks list continues on in the same 80s vein, so be sure to try the DeLorean for a fresh take on the mojito, or get a gin and tonic with Tetris-shaped ice cubes. Then, just when you thought drinking couldn’t get any more amusing, they go and make ice cubes cooler than ice cold. Of course, if you are a gaming nerd at heart, you could also get into other arcade theme bars such as Pixel Alley and Forgotten Worlds.
Puffing Billy Railway
Experience the Puffing Billy Railway in style on board the daily Steam and Cuisine Luncheon. The fascinating three-hour journey has you seated within the heritage dining carriages and features a three-course meal or “natter platter” and local Yarra Valley wines.
Along the way, you’ll see the iconic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge, and you’re even invited to disembark and explore the picturesque Emerald Lake before relaxing with dessert and a cuppa as you return to Belgrave station.
Take an exotic trip to a bedouin tent at the Glamp cocktail bar, hidden above street level in Melbourne’s CBD. Run by the same team behind African BBQ and bar PolePole, the safari-inspired space comes complete with Ethiopian coffee espresso martinis, an African twist on the Mai Tai and cosy camp-feel decor.
Don, your brightest African print, grab your safari hat and get ready for some delicious drinks and snacks.
Witches In Britches
What weird and wacky list would be complete without at least one theatre restaurant mentioned? So your night begins as you walk through the tunnel of terror to the mysterious witches’ castle, where you will watch the show, enjoy a three-course meal, and dance the night away in the dungeon pit disco.
Witches in Britches is currently running their charming comedy ‘Vanity Lair’ featuring witches searching for eternal youth to the soundtrack of pop songs from the 80s to today.
If theatre restaurants are a guilty pleasure of yours, Dracula’s might also be worth a visit; they are currently running a 70s-inspired vampire performance that you can sink your teeth into.
Secret Foodies is a surprise dining experience for those with a taste for adventure. Our unique events are designed to suit people who love great food, meet new people and discover new places.
If you love spontaneity and great food, then purchase a ticket to Secret Foodies. The surprise culinary event takes place in a mystery location only disclosed via text on the day of the event.
Launched in 2010, Secret Dinner hosts themed events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. From warehouses to restaurants, rooftops and laneways, you never know where you’ll be sent or what cuisine you’ll have the pleasure of tasting.
Titanic Theatre Restaurant
Dine at a restaurant where your evening will mirror the Titanic's maiden voyage. Experience first-class comfort or head down to steerage for a more relaxed evening of Irish camaraderie, depending on your budget.
Everyone on board the ship of dreams will be served a full three-course meal before it goes down. There are roaming performers and special effects to keep you entertained all the way across the Atlantic in Titanic.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
If you're looking for a unique venue for your next corporate event or private party, look no further than SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. The extraordinary Oceanarium, with a capacity of 2.2 million litres, and the Coral Atoll, with a capacity of 650 for cocktail functions, are just two of the available event spaces.
Every event, no matter how grand or small, receives the same attentive care; the staff can even assist in planning an underwater proposal if desired.
FAQs About Unique Food In Melbourne
Melbourne is home to an incredible array of restaurants, including quite a few quirky dining experiences that are anything but typical.
These are the most unusual foodie experiences in Melbourne, from tramcars to suspended tables, underwater events, and theatrical dinners. The Colonial TramCar Restaurant
Melbourne is home to an incredible array of restaurants, including quite a few quirky dining experiences that are anything but typical. These are Melbourne’s most unusual foodie experiences, from tramcars to suspended tables, underwater events, and theatrical dinners.
If you’re looking for unique experiences, amazing food and weird things to do in Melbourne, you’ve come to the right place. Not many cities cater to artists, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, hipsters, sports fanatics and culture hunters, but quirky Melbourne has it all!