Melbourne is a city that prides itself on culture. From concerts to plays, club events and public exhibitions, there's no shortage of entertainment into the very early hours. But when the clock clicks over to a new day, the perfect place for supper and a cocktail can be tricky to find. Rather than heading to a bleak 24-hour pub or a mobbed club, head to one of these boozy yet sophisticated, and altogether glorious late-night spots for an Old Fashioned or a trusty croque-monsieur before heading home.
New Gold Mountain
This Chinese-themed den is another of Melbourne's infamous hidden-in-plain-sight laneway venues. With a red (or green) haze permeating New Gold Mountain, the decor is romantic, a little dangerous and with a distinct old-meets-new vibe. There are lots of alcoves to hide away in (perfect for winding down from a big party) and plenty of adventurous cocktails on offer. Plus, drinks are matched with decadent sweets from LuxBite and a wide choice of mouth-watering cheese.
A relatively new venue, Hardware Street's Nieuw Amsterdam has a cosmopolitan atmosphere that blends international flavors with something very uniquely Melbourne. Head chef Nick Stanton helms the kitchen and is heavily influenced by American food. Snack on BBQ scallops (with mango gazpacho), deli-style sammies, doughnuts, clam chowder and everything between. Until 5AM on weekends the staff at this airy diner-style venue will serve ham hock nuggets and an Old Fashioned to round out your evening.
Le Bon Ton
This 24-hour licensed, Collingwood establishment is built for late-night visits, with its dim lighting, cocktails and suppertime snacks. Chef Jeremy Sutphin (Alabama via Texas) helms the kitchen, offering the perfect late-night fare; from chicken wings to crab cakes to 12-hour slow-cooked pork shoulder. Leveraging their sophisticated version of debauchery, this place even has a dedicated oysters and absinthe dining room. With a southern (specifically New Orleans) influence, Le Bon Ton also offers countless classic cocktails and American brews on tap, and on a warm night the fairy-lit backyard is a hard to beat refuge from Melbourne's pumping nightlife.
No trip to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the city's historical Curtin House, and The Toff is a great (not to mention easy) spot to end up. Split in half, the venue boasts an event space to the right and a bar/restaurant to the left. The main bar has an old fashioned train carriage running down its center which features private booths that can remain open or you're feeling social or close off complete with doors, curtain and buzzer service for unrivaled seclusion. Snack on Issan steak tartare with salted duck egg, pickled chillies and olives, a glass of wine or a Negroni. Open until 5 AM on weekends, The Toff is a cruisey, dark—sometimes hazy—exit from a big night.
The Supper Club
Wrapping up a night at The Supper Club is a genuine Melbourne classic and a must for anybody visiting the city. The unmarked wooden door on Spring Street doesn't hint to the dim, old-world venue inside and it's very easy to miss. Inside, the perfect spot is by the huge round window—overlooking Parliament House—but just about anywhere on a worn-in Chesterfield, snacking on a croque-monsieur is a treat at The Supper Club. Also on offer are cheese boards, Reubens, stunning desserts and a dauntingly extensive and impressive selection of wine. Open until 6AM on weekends, it offers a laid-back version of sophistication often thought to be a thing of the past.
Images courtesy of respective venues
Word of Mouth presents a destination the way we experienced it. Following both trusted tips and our own whims we explore with the goal of finding what's unique to that place. For deeper looks at some of our favorite metropolises, check out our CH City Guides.