It happens to the best of us. You’re out with friends and the night moves on. You head out to a show or catch some live music and start to feel hunger pangs. Luckily, in Melbourne, there’s always somewhere you can go to ease your cravings.
One of the most popular restaurants with hospitality types who’ve finished a late shift is Supper Inn [15 Celestial Avenue] in the heart of Chinatown. Well after midnight you’ll find students, bar-hoppers and theatregoers crammed around the tightly packed tables. The restaurant is certainly nothing to look at, but the barbecued suckling pig, XO pippies and bowls of congee are great at any time of day. It stays open till 2.30am.
More Asian flavours are on offer at Choo Choo’s [Level 2, 252 Swanston Street], part of the Toff in Town. If you can, get one of the booths inside the faux train carriage – they’re private, sexy and great if you’re on a date. Order a classic cocktail then settle in for some excellent Thai food, like betel leaf salad with salmon and roasted duck and coconut salad. It’s open till 3am during the week and 5am on weekends.
Don’t be put off by the late-night revellers lining up for souvlakis at the take-away counter. Not only is it open 24 hours a day, but Stalactites [177–183 Lonsdale Street] offers huge servings of Greek dips, homemade moussaka, lamb skewers, salad and chips. With its cave-like interior, it’s also one of the most recognisable restaurants in Melbourne.
It’s not often you can get fine dining after midnight, but the Oyster Bar & Grill at The Atlantic [8 Whiteman Street, Southbank] in the Crown Complex, inspired by the oyster bar at New York’s Grand Central Station, is open till 1am. Indulge in a seafood platter or snack on tempura soft shell crab, fish and prawn spring rolls and clam chowder.
If you’re set on American fare in the middle of the night, Le Bon Ton [51 Gipps Street, Collingwood] is worth the taxi ride. On Friday and Saturday nights, the kitchen sends out brisket sandwiches, fried chicken, chilli cheese fries and banana cream pie until 5am. The interior, inspired by a New Orleans saloon and absinthe bar, is just the sort of place you could settle in for a few more hours, too.