Where to eat and drink before a theatre show in Melbourne

Person using chopsticks to pick up a dumpling

RACV Staff

Posted January 30, 2023

Don’t let the tummy grumbles get the better of you at one of Melbourne’s great theatres – here’s where to eat and drink before (and after) seeing a theatre show in the cultural capital of Australia.  

Theatre shows in Melbourne are something special – the glitz, glamour, singing, and dancing – and it's shaping up to be a magnificent year for theatre and stage lovers alike. Couple that with enjoying some of the best dining options available anywhere in the world, and you’re in for a night to remember.  

Whether your night involves seeing the jukebox musical, & Juliet (a modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet), cult favourite Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the spectacular Mary Poppins, or Moulin Rouge! The Musical, there are many amazing Melbourne restaurants, including some alfresco rooftop restaurants, ready and waiting to satisfy the palate.  

If you love a night out at the theatre, RACV Members can enjoy a whole new suite of benefits, with exclusive offers to access a range of theatre experiences and events in Melbourne’s famed East End.

Become a RACV Club Member, and you'll also have somewhere special to wine and dine before the show, including the family friendly Bistro and atmospheric Wine Bar, which serves quirky cocktails and unique share plates.

Where to eat and drink near Melbourne’s famous theatres

Regent Theatre

Eat: The Regent Theatre sits on the Paris end of Collins Street, and its luxurious location is matched by the theatre’s generous leather seats, original chandeliers, and lavish touches of gold. 

The location of the Regent Theatre is also perfect for trying some of Melbourne’s world-class restaurants in nearby Flinders Lane, such as Coda, Supernormal Cecconi’s and Chin Chin. 

Collins Street itself has some tantalising options if you prefer not to walk too far, including Yakimono which combines traditional and modern Japanese cooking techniques, or some of the city’s best Mexican food at Mamasita. 

Another option is nearby Chinatown, one of Melbourne’s famous cultural dining hubs, while Sojourn is great for theatre groups with a focus on Victorian produce.

Drink: The options are endless when it comes to finding a great cocktail for a pre- or post-show tipple, with so many great bars at your fingertips. 

Explore the CBD and check out Bourke Street Green or Golden Monkey, which are great for groups. Or if you’re after some more theatrics, head to Bar Margaux for some classic cocktails.  

Alternatively, if you’re keen to try somewhere different, there are some great new bars in Melbourne ready to be discovered.  


Yakimono restaurant

It's hard to miss Yakimono on Little Collins Street. Image: Supplied 


Princess Theatre

Eat: Dating all the way back to 1854, the Princess Theatre is full of old-world charm with loads of restaurants within walking distance, such as Melbourne institution Grossi Florentino, Thai food at Longrain, Asian fusion at Ho Chi Mama, or Argentine cuisine at San Telmo.  

There are also a few casual dining options if you’re wanting to relax a bit, including American-style barbeque at Fancy Hank’s, traditional and hearty Melbourne pubs like the Elephant & Wheelbarrow or the Crafty Squire, or alternatively, the chance to get your dumpling fix at nearby Chinatown.  

Drink: Thanks to the stellar location of the Princess Theatre, there’s a plethora of bars in every direction. Head to Flinders Lane and check out Garden State Hotel with four levels of garden oasis, or dial up the glam at Nick & Nora’s on Collins Street for a dirty martini and some opulence.  

You can also try Byrdi, a cocktail bar listed at number 30 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, where the ingredients for cocktails are prepared months in advance. You can even pick up some pre-prepared bottled cocktails to make home. 

Melbourne Comedy Theatre

Eat: Built in 1928, there’s a lot of European influence at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre, so it makes sense to indulge in some of the city’s European fare.  

Try Culumus Up in Flinders Lane, with its high ceilings, open kitchen and up-market European menu. Or check out The French Brasserie on Malthouse Lane, a bit of a hidden gem known for serving French classics like escargot, niçoise salads and boeuf tartare.

Drink: If you’re looking for a great glass of wine, the City Wine Shop on Spring Street is a short walk from Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre and is a cosy and intimate space with floor-to-ceiling walls of wines.  

If cocktails are more your thing, there are plenty of sweet and sour options like the Sour Madame at Bourke Street Green, or the Aperol Sour at Bar Bambi.  

Fable, sitting high on level 13 of the Greek Community Building on Lonsdale Street, is a must-try for inventive cocktails and lovers of the quintessential Melbourne rooftop experience. Try the Birth of Venus cocktail made with Lillet blanc vermouth, Fiorente elderflower, Fable salted apple shrub, fresh citrus, and campo viejo cavat.  


Sojourn internal view

Sojourn is a vibrant modern Australian restaurant close to a number of theatres.


Palais Theatre

Eat: The Palais is one of St Kilda’s oldest and most grand theatres, and luckily there are some equally grand options like Donovans, a real St Kilda gem known as the ‘House on the Beach’. You’ll feast on Mediterranean style food in total comfort, and it’s just a short stroll to a show afterwards.  

Stokehouse is equally as tasty and a bit fancier, serving up oysters, spanner crab, caviar and premium seafood platters.  

Also close to the Palais Theatre, is Luna’s Food & Wine Bar on St Kila Esplanade, chic Italian at Rococo, or Sister of the Soul for vegetarian, both on famed Acland Street.  

Drink: Vineyard on Acland Street is open until the wee hours, while Lona, also on Acland Street, is a must for wine lovers. If you’re after a more casual pub vibe, St Kilda is bursting with options – try Pontoon, Jimmy O’Neil’s Whiskey & Alehouse or Dogs Bar. 

Forum Theatre

Eat: Right in the heart of Flinders Street, the Forum Theatre is perfectly located to try any of the city’s amazing restaurants and bars.  

Flinders Lane is at your fingertips with so many options. If you’re after some hearty Italian, Meatball and Wine Bar offers every combination of pasta and sauce you could want.  

You could also head to Federation Square and try Taxi Kitchen for some modern and sleek Asian fusion. MoVida is another great choice, perfectly located next door to the Forum Theatre, so there’s no need to factor in travel time.  

Drink: Why not keep the theatre vibes going and head to Eau De Vie, where theatrics play a part in making most of the cocktail list. Trinket is another option close by on Flinders Lane, where there is a secret bar within the premises that’s full of fantasy and luxury. 

If you feel like walking a bit further and desire an alfresco vibe, check out The Arbory, Riverland and Pony Fish Island.


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