Themed restaurants and dinner theatre experiences in Melbourne

Performers dressed as pirates

Nicola Dowse

Posted May 18, 2022


Victoria is packed with fine dining, hatted restaurants, and respected institutions. But sometimes, we all crave something... different. 

They say in hospitality that atmosphere is more important than the meal itself, and when it comes to providing that unique environment, Victoria is brimming with ‘fun-dining’ restaurants.

Here are some of the best themed restaurants that can turn your next dining experience into an immersive event of entertainment and entrées. 


8 themed restaurants to dine at in Melbourne

Witches in Britches

84 Dudley St, Melbourne, 3003

You know you’re in for a good time when the restaurant is housed in a castle. Think of Witches in Britches as a Halloween-themed dinner theatre restaurant where you’ll dine while being entertained by vampires, monsters, and of course, witches.

The performances change regularly (so there’s always a reason to go back) and guests are encouraged to get in the spooky spirit by dressing up in costume as well. The witches are also happy to cater to group celebrations, with special deals available for birthdays, hens and bucks’ parties, and work functions. 

Mjølner

106 Hardware St, Melbourne, 3000

Live out all your Viking fantasies at Mjølner, a restaurant inspired by Norse mythology.

Expect lots of dark, carved wood decor, a meat-heavy menu (with options for vegetarians), and drinks like ‘Heimdallr's Horn’, ‘Odin's Brew’ and ‘Huldra's Charm’ – many of which come served in a horn. Mjølner takes dining seriously, with food just as important as its ornate Nordic design. So even if you decide to come in Viking attire (which is welcomed) expect to eat as well as the gods in Valhalla. 

Queens of the Damned

Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders St, Docklands, 3008

You may have driven past Mission to Seafarers on Wurundjeri Way without even noticing the century-old building. These days the building has been taken over by the Queens of the Damned dinner theatre team, who’ve turned the complex into a pirate-filled nautical escape.

Arrive early for themed cocktails in the courtyard with fire breathing privateers, then enjoy your dinner alongside mermaids in the domed dining hall. Afterwards, bunker down for a swashbuckling cabaret show on the high seas.

This themed dinner experience is strictly for salty seadogs aged 18 and over. 

 

Queens of the Damned is currently offering a pirate-themed dinner theatre experience at Mission to Seafarers.
Mjølner is a Viking-inspired restaurant that offers a premium dining experience - not just a cool decor.
Relive the rock'n'roll 1950s at Soda Rock Diner in South Yarra

Soda Rock Diner

10/500 Chapel St, South Yarra, 3141

A trip to South Yarra is cheaper than a ticket to the United States if you’re hankering for an American diner experience. Soda Rock Diner is styled after the American diner culture of the 1950s, complete with black and white lino flooring, red leather booths and jukeboxes.

Enjoy a burger, loaded hot dog or basket of curly fries alongside a tall thickshake (whipped cream optional). You might even have your meal delivered by a roller-skating waiter!

Fortress

Emporium Melbourne, 23 Caledonian Lane, Melbourne, 3000

You might know Fortress as Melbourne’s massive, two-level gaming complex inside of Emporium. What you might not know is that the space also hosts bars and a dining venues, including The Tavern.

The Tavern is a medieval-styled space serving pub grub fare after a long day of button mashing.

Alongside parmas, pizzas and burgers you can also play board games while eating from the venue’s gaming library. Hang around late and you may just see some tavern wenches and woodland creatures strike up a jig or two – feel free to join in.

 

Enjoy a burger and beers while living out a medieval fantasy at The Tavern, inside Fortress Melbourne.
Expect to be treated rudely - on purpose - at the quirky Karen's Diner experience.
Visit Easey's to enjoy award-winning burgers in a real train carriage on top of a five-storey building.

Karen’s Diner

398-400 Lygon St, Carlton, 3053

The Karen’s Diner website proudly proclaims, “Great Burgers & Rude Service” and that just about sums up this unconventionally themed restaurant. While perplexing to some, the theme is ‘terrible service’, and you can be sure staff will treat you with utter disdain as part of the experience.

If you love being roasted by strangers in public you might get a kick out Karen’s – with additional outposts in Sydney, Brisbane and the UK, there certainly appears to be a demand. Plus, if your name is actually Karen, you can score a free drink (served with a frown).

Panda Hot Pot

100 Victoria Street, Carlton, 3053

The Carlton outpost of the Sichuan-born Panda Hot Pot really goes above and beyond in terms of thematic design, earning it a place on this list. The restaurant has turned the old Dracula’s site into a Wuxia martial arts-inspired venue, the highlight of which is a gargantuan, 1.5 tonne dragon suspended from the ceiling.

The hot pot menu itself is fully customisable (and features more than 100 dishes) and keeps guests entertained with Bian Lian (face changing) performances, traditional Chinese dance, and music by gu zheng and lute players. 

Easey’s

48 Easey Street, Collingwood, 3066

You might have eaten a burger on the train before, but probably not while sitting five storeys in the air. Easey’s has taken three of Melbourne’s old ‘Hitachi’ steel train carriages and turned them into a restaurant championing great burgers and street culture (both the interiors and exteriors of the trains feature street art, which changes regularly).

Dining is a fun, casual affair – come hungry for burgers, with the venue’s Motz Madness burger crowned Australia’s best burger in 2021. Vegan cheese and plant-based patties are available too, and the whole menu is complemented by a respectable beer, wine and cocktail list.

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