Melbourne Festival: feasts of Melbourne

Melbourne Festival has teamed up with some of the city’s best eateries to keep Festival-goers fully satisfied with delicious food and drinks.

I was lucky enough to be invited to sample some of the Festival Feasts’ finest fare, and let me tell you, it had me smiling from start to finish (when I didn’t have my mouth full). Festival-goers are in for a treat.

All within walking distance to Festival venues, each dining experience has a special offer available for ticket holders during the Melbourne Festival period.

Mesa Verde – Level 6, 252 Swanston St

First stop – this Mexican-inspired restaurant with a saloon-style bar. I was blown away by the salty-rimmed signature margaritas and the delicious tacos. Bear in mind the sprawling tequila list for a kickstart to the night, or a fun place to end it.

Melbourne Festival offer: Buy any cocktail from the Mesa Verde menu and receive a free cocktail of choice from the $10 SHOPPE menu.

La Vita Buona City Square, 44-86 Swanston St

This cute little independent wine bar is located right in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and with its delicious antipasto offerings, it’s a fabulous stop-off point between shows. I sampled the cucina’s more-ish bruschetta of prosciutto, semi-dried tomatoes and blue cheese mousse, matched with a negroni (also dangerously more-ish).

Melbourne Festival offer: Complimentary glass of wine with a main meal purchased over the value of $25, from 4pm.

Pastuso 19 ACDC Lane

This modern Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar has some of the best pisco sours around. And while you’re there, don’t go past the delectable swordfish anticuchos, nestled on a bed of veg (yes, greenery, so it’s totally fine to indulge in an extra cocktail or two).

Melbourne Festival offer: Chef’s platter set menu with a complimentary pot of KIRIN for $49.

Arbory 1 Flinders Walk

New on the scene, this popular outdoor venue, build on the old Sandringham train line at Flinders St station, and overlooking the Yarra River, is perfectly located right in the hub of all the activity. And with espresso martinis to die (or stay awake for hours) for, it’s well worth a visit.

Melbourne Festival offer: For $18, get Chef Nick Bennett’s specially created softshell crab burger plus a glass of selected wine or beer.

Sake – Hamer Hall

It’s got a big reputation, as THE most-loved and celebrated Melbourne Japanese Restaurant. We got to sample some of its simply awesome contemporary sushi, as well as a selection of seafood dishes. Light and easy, it’s perfect pre-show fodder.

Melbourne Festival offer: Show your festival ticket and receive a complimentary matched sake taster when you dine on the pre-theatre menu.

State of Grace – 477 Collins Street

The evening ended with a walk to the New York end of Collins St, where we were met with a revolving bookshelf, a State of Grace signature cocktail and little sweet treats that included sticky caramel slices and homemade Lamingtons. The perfect end to a taste-bud tickling journey through this wonderful city.

Melbourne Festival offer: Complimentary dessert or choice of a signature cocktail with any main meal or grill purchase.

The Melbourne Festival runs 8-25 October. Make sure to check out our guide and our reviews, and book yourself in for a wonderful evening.

– Claire
Claire Henderson is a passionate lover of food, fashion, and all things fun and fabulous.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of TS Publicity.