Good Food Guide 2022: 10 of Victoria's best outdoor eating spots

Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a Turquoise Coast (Turkish Riviera theme).
Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a Turquoise Coast (Turkish Riviera theme).  Photo: Parker Blain

Pontoon

The Stokehouse Precinct's beachfront bar and eatery delivers the same jaw-dropping views as its upstairs sibling but in a more casual setting. With your toes in the sand, snack on freshly shucked oysters or fried school prawns over glasses of rosé. While Pontoon peaks in the summer months, fire pits make outdoor dining an option here year round. 

30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda pontoonstkildabeach.com.au

Pontoon pn St Kilda beach.

Pontoon on St Kilda beach. Photo: Supplied

Golda

With retractable awnings, heating and permanent roofing, the terrace at Israeli restaurant Golda is a great all-weather, all-seasons option for al fresco dining. Decked out in lots of greenery, it's a lovely, relaxed spot for a multi-course dinner or a lazy Sunday lunch of housemade laffa bread, green falafel with tahini and sumac onions and chicken shawarma with lots of pickles.  

162 Commercial Rd, Prahran goldarestaurant.com.au

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Johnny's Green Room

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Featuring superb views of Lygon Street and the city skyline, and with Aperol Spritz on tap, the rooftop terrace at Carlton's iconic King & Godfree is easily one of Melbourne's most on-trend outdoor dining experiences. Aside from pizzas, which do the heavy lifting, food is limited to a couple of burgers, sides and snacks like olives, calamari fritti and mozzarella croquettes. 

Level 2/293-297 Lygon St, Carlton johnnysgreenroom.com

Johnny's Green Room, on the rooftop of King and Godfree in Carlton.

Johnny's Green Room, on the rooftop of King and Godfree in Carlton. Photo: Anne Moffat

Welcome to Brunswick

This open-air garden bar and brewpub by the Welcome to Thornbury crew operates a similar model to its northern neighbour – rotating food trucks, the likes of which include Mr Burger, Belle's Hot Chicken and Brunswick Mess Hall, provide the grub, plus there are a range of 4 Pines beers to drink which have been brewed on site. It's dog friendly, too. 

1 Frith St, Brunswick welcometobrunswick.com.au

Welcome to Brunswick.

Welcome to Brunswick. Photo: Eugene Hyland

Union House Hotel

If you need proof that great rooftops are found outside of Melbourne's CBD, look to Union House Hotel. Soak up stunning views of Richmond over the pub's famous rockling burger and a few pints, or reserve a spot on the roof for steak night washed down with a bottle of something skin-contacty from the eclectic wine list. 

270 Swan Street, Richmond unionhouse.com.au

Pepe's Italian & Liquor

If you're looking for outdoor dining with a theme, look no further than Pepe's Italian. Last summer, the team transformed the large, sunny front courtyard into an Italian piazza complete with a Spritz station where friends gathered over pizza and Peronis. In the winter months, it became an Italian ski resort called Pepe's Chalet, complete with a custom-built sleigh, snow machine and hot toddies. 

275-285 Exhibition St, Melbourne pepesitalian.com.au

Arbory Afloat

Every October for the past six years, the barge parked next to Australia's longest (also entirely outdoor) bar, Arbory, springs to life for the summer. And it's always a good time. This summer Arbory Afloat has a fresh new look inspired by the Turkey's Turquoise Coast. Look forward to  a menu of updated Turkish classics - think imam bayildi (stuffed eggplants) with herb and burghul pilaf and raki-cured kingfish. Soak up the sights and sounds of an Aegean resort, with thatched roofing, olive trees transplanted from Swan Hill, Missoni-inspired upholstery, cabanas and a swimming pool on the upper deck of the bar. Good times. 

2 Flinders Walk, Melbourne  arboryafloat.com.au 

Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a Turquoise Coast (Turkish Riviera theme). Part of a Good Food story on best spots to dine outdoors in summer.
Credit: Parker Blain (except for kebab shot)
For Good Food, 9 November, 2021

Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a Turquoise Coast (Turkish Riviera) theme. Photo: Parker Blain

Land of Plenty

On a rooftop perched above busy Carlisle Street, Land of Plenty is an all-Aussie affair. Decked out in timber high-top benches, and with a painting of the bar's mascot on one wall, this bar and diner serves refined Aussie barbecue and booze to match. Think steak cooked over Redgum, and cocktails made with native quandong syrup and local gin. 

Level 2/188 Carlisle St, St Kilda thelandofplenty.com.au

The Park Werribee

There are several outdoor areas at the Park Werribee. If you're looking to dine on the pub's classic fare – think burgers, beef ribs and parmas – the beer garden, complete with lounges, tables and a weather-proof retractable roof is your best option. If you're just looking to drink, Frank's Garden – the large kerbside space with umbrellas – is perfect for a Sunday session. 

12 Watton St, Werribee theparkwerribee.com.au
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Portsea Hotel

With sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, the Portsea Hotel certainly is one of the most picturesque spots for outdoor dining. Settle in over wood-fired pizzas, pub classics like chicken parmigiana, or platters of seafood, all made from produce sourced as locally as possible. The region is well-represented in the wine list, too. Digest with a long, leisurely walk along the beach. 

3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea, portseahotel.com.au

Seaside views at the Portsea Hotel

Seaside views at the Portsea Hotel Photo: Supplied by Portsea Hotel