20 ace restaurants and bars within 20 minutes' walk of the Australian Open

Elektra Dining Room is a glamorous resto bar just minutes from the action.
Elektra Dining Room is a glamorous resto bar just minutes from the action.  Photo: Eddie Jim

The best thing about Melbourne's truly world-class sporting precinct? It's city-side location. From budget to blow-out, here are 20 great eating and drinking spots all within a 20 minute walk of the Australian Open, taking place at Melbourne Park (and taking over the city) from January 20 - February 2.

Elektra Dining Room

The Good Food review says: "Drink-friendly dishes built around carbs, big flavours and luxurious fats."
Why it's ace: The restaurant/sexy bar hybrid, formerly known as the Press Club, is still a super glam room, but less fine dining-y (and pricey) than it used to be. Enjoy dishes from an ever-changing small but perfectly formed menu prepared with Federer-esque levels of elegance by chef Reuben Davis.
Good for: A classy cocktail and bite close to all the action.
Time, please: 16 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
72 Flinders Street, 03 9677 9677, elektradiningroom.com.au

Watch the chefs in action at Kisume's sushi bar.

Watch the chefs in action at Kisume's sushi bar. Photo: Scott McNaughton

Kisume

The Good Food Guide says: "Contemporary take on Japanese with a generous side of gloss and glamour"
Why it's ace: A multi-level house of fun and food with a banging disco soundtrack, a rocking drinks list and superior sushi. The Japanese sibling of the perenially popular Chin Chin is always a good (and tasty) time. Hit up the Bento Box lunch special, available every day from 12-2:30pm.
Time, please: 20 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
175 Flinders Lane, 03 9677 9677, kisume.com.au

Di Stasio Citta is an upmarket spot to linger over lunch.

Di Stasio Citta is an upmarket spot to linger over lunch. Photo: Eddie Jim

Di Stasio Citta

​The Good Food Guide says: "Italian comfort, contemporary arts, zero compromises"
Why it's ace: One of Melbourne's most legendary restaurateurs, Ronnie di Stasio, has opened a two-hatted Italian restaurant up the tennis end of the city since last year's Australian Open. How convenient! Now we've got a special place to spend a long lazy afternoon, or evening, between sessions, twirling pasta, talking tennis (and everything else besides) over a quality wine or three.
Good for: An unhurried rendezvous with someone you want to impress.
Time, please: 20 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
45 Spring Street, 03 9070 1177, distasio.com.au/citta
 

Uncle Collins street is a buzzy Vietnamese gem.

Uncle Collins street is a buzzy Vietnamese gem. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Uncle Collins St

The Good Food Guide says: "Vietnamese flavours dialled up to a crowd-pleasing 11."
Why it's ace: In a city spoilt for mod Asian food choice, favourite Uncle is among the most underrated best. From bahn mi sliders to construct-your-own bao buns (and lots more zingy options in between), this fun, buzzy beauty rolls all day from lunch to dinner, perfect for re-fuelling between tennis sessions.
Good for: Groups of pals wanting good food and good times.
Time, please: 20 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
Level 1, 15 Collins Street, 03 9654 0829, unclerestaurants.com.au

Sink into a banquette, or nab a prized seat at the bar at Bar Lourinha.

Sink into a banquette, or nab a prized seat at the bar at Bar Lourinha.

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Bar Lourinha

​The Good Food Guide says: "A cornerstone of Euro-centric dining in Melbourne."
Why it's ace: There's few more classic Melbourne spots than propped up at the bar at one-hatted favourite Bar Lourinha. Come alone or with a mate and snack on some of the best European-style bar snacks in town.
Good for: Solo diners or a small group looking for a quintessential Melbourne drinking and dining experience.
Time please: 20 minute brisk walk to Melbourne Park.
37 Little Collins Street, 03 9663 7890, barlourinha.com.au

Eazy Peazy Japanese restaurant in Richmond. 6 August 2019. The Age Epicure. Photo: Eddie Jim. Chicken thigh and leek skewers.

A sticky situation: Eazy Peazy specialises in food on sticks. Photo: Eddie Jim

​Eazy Peazy

Good Food says: "Hot things on sticks are Melbourne's current hot thing."
Why it's ace: If you're going to or from the tennis from the Richmond end, this new yakitori joint (aka things on sticks) is a fun place to to grab a bite on the way. There's more to the menu than sticks too, including karaage chicken, gyoza and a decent drinks list that will please most palettes, and budgets.
Good for: Groups of friends who like to stick together during the tennis.
Time please: 16 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
108 Swan Street, Richmond, 03 9965 1977, eazypeazymelb.com

Lucy Liu

The Good Food Guide 2019 says: "High-spirited, high-turnover, high-end laneway pan-Asian canteen."
Why it's ace: Red neon-lit laneway fave Lucy Liu is always a good time - the perfect spot to put you in the mood and leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed for the big day/night you're about to have or are on your way home from. Modern Asian dishes zing with flavour - the kind of dishes professional tennis players love too (hint). Don't miss the soft-shelled crab 'Jianbing' pancake roll. Online bookable and open late.
Good for: Star spotters and share plates with mates.
Time, please: 14 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
23 Oliver Lane, 03 9639 5777, lucylius.com.au

Gazi dishes and Four Pillars gin based drinks to be served up during the 2020 Australian Open.Â

Gazi dishes and Four Pillars gin based drinks to be served up during the 2020 Australian Open. Photo: Supplied

Gazi

The Good Food review says: "This new-school Greek restaurant undeniably nails the zeitgeist."
Why it's ace: Take your mates, or take yourself, for a slap up feast at this always-buzzing and fun spot in prime location, looking out to the tennis, the MCG and beyond. For a quick, affordable pre-match meal with a mate, two souvas, a salad and THOSE feta chips will more than do the trick. Or go all out and get the dips, saganaki, prawns and more - crowd-pleasers all. Throughout the Open, Four Pillars Gin will be taking over the bar, slinging four special "Grand Slams" cocktails and four "Summer Serve" cocktails. Online bookable and open late.
Good for: Great food in an atmosphere that's fast, fun and always action-packed.
Time, please: 11 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 03 9207 7444, gazirestaurant.com.au

Snacks at Supernormal Canteen.

Snacks at Supernormal Canteen. Photo: Nikki To

Supernormal

The Good Food Guide says: "Clanging canteen with banging mod-Asian food".
Why it's ace: The popular pan-Asian canteen is in permanent hyperdrive, delivering dishes like the tonkatsu sandwich, the legendary lobster roll and ramen that many food-loving locals rate highly on their most-loved Melbourne dish list. Online bookable and open late.
Good for: A quintessential Melbourne dining experience - or take away and bring it to the tennis.
Time, please: 15 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, supernormal.net.au

There'll be cocktails by the pool and tennis on the big at Arbory Afloat,

There'll be cocktails by the pool and tennis on the big at Arbory Afloat, Photo: Simon Shiff

​Arbory Bar and Eatery and Arbory Afloat

The Good Food review says: "The party of the summer."
Why it's ace: Super central - it literally couldn't be closer to Flinders Street station. It's also scenic, relaxed and the food and drink are bang on. Arbory Bar and Eatery also spans the entire length of a train platform, so it's usually possible to find somewhere to perch, watch the world (and the boats) go by. Or board the always-pumping Arbory Afloat and bob gently, watching live tennis on the big screen while sipping and snacking on pizza or seafood platters. There's even a pool to plunge into you if you feel the need to literally chill. Online bookable and open late.
Good for: Al fresco eats and drinks on and by the river. Tennis watching on the big screen.
Time, please: Five minute walk to the Birrarung Marr entrance of the Australian Open.
Flinders Walk, Melbourne, 03 8648 7644, arboryafloat.com.au

Vamos! Spanish drinks and tapas at Bar Tini on Hosier Lane.

Vamos! Spanish drinks and tapas at Bar Tini on Hosier Lane. Photo: Eddie Jim

Bar Tini

The Good Food Guide says: "MoVida's bodega packs luxe fish, loads of sherry and good times."
Why it's ace: The newest addition to MoVida's Spanish eating/drinking dynasty is a relaxed, good time bar that happens to serve fabulous tapas too. It's the perfect spot to watch tourists jostle for the perfect selfie spot along street-art mecca Hosier Lane. Or to dissect everyone's favourite Spaniard, Rafa Nadal's, form throughout the tournament. Closed Sundays.
Good for: Rioja and roll - and pork and cheese molette sandwiches - until 3am most nights.
Time, please: 15 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, 03 9663 3038, bartini.com.au

Taxi Kitchen

The Good Food Guide says: "Casual calm in the middle of Federation Square."
Why it's ace: Fed Square will be abuzz with fans flocking to the tennis and live screens showing it. Rise above it (literally) with a refined yet fun dining experience at Asian-influenced Taxi. Enjoy 270 degree views of the sun setting over the Yarra, all just a couple of minutes stroll from the Australian Open entrance.
Good for: Smart dining in the middle of the Fed Square action.
Time, please: Five minute river-side walk to the Birrarung Entrance of the Australian Open.
Level 1, Transport Hotel, corner Swanston street and Flinders street, 03 9654 8808, taxikitchen.com.au

Pisco sours and ceviche at Pastuso.

Pisco sours and ceviche at Pastuso. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Pastuso

The Good Food Guide says: "Rambunctious, charcoal-fuelled fun"
Why it's ace: The mod-Peruvian grill-house, tucked away in always-rocking AC/DC Lane, is always busy - with good reason. Graze on fresh ceviche or feast on charcoal-fired meats. Bookable online.
Good for: Group catch ups, street art instagrammers.
Time, please: 14 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
19 AC/DC Lane, 03 9662 4556, pastuso.com.au

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Madras duck breast with curd, broad beans and figs 

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Tonka

The Good Food Guide says: "Classical Indian dishes reinvented with verve."
Why it's ace: Tucked down Duckboard Place alley, a long bar leads to a stylish dining room, equally populated by suits, ripped jeans - and during January - sports wear. The food is excellent - fine Indian cuisine cleverly punctuated by European ingredients, from the elegant to the hearty. Bookings strongly advised - and can be made via their website.
Good for: Impressing your friends from out of town.
Time, please: 14 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne, 03 9650 3155, tonkarestaurant.com.au

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dinner time #fondamexican

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Fonda Mexican

The Good Food review says: "Judging by the effort required to secure a seat, it's not just locals who are fond of Fonda."
Why it's ace: It's fast, good fun at this colourful city branch of the popular Mexican chain. Tuck into bursting burritos, quesadillas, grilled corn and nachos washed down with refreshing cocktails and mocktails. Order and pay at the counter helps avoid split bill awkwardness. No bookings, but they seat you pretty quickly.
Good for: Vegetarians and vegans and fast but healthy and filling food.
Time, please: 13 minutes walk to Melbourne Park
31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, fondamexican.com.au

The always-cool Coda.

The always-cool Coda.

Coda

The Good Food Guide says: "A spicy, sexy underground stayer."
Why it's ace: Lights are low and the good times flow at this effortlessly cool basement gem. Work your way through boldly flavoured share-friendly dishes, spanning cuisines from south-east Asia to Europe, and all prepared with care and flair. Bookable online.
Good for: A hot date before or after the night session.
Time, please: 13 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
141 Flinders Lane, codarestaurant.com.au

Inside modern Chinese restaurant Lee Ho Fook.

Inside modern Chinese restaurant Lee Ho Fook. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Lee Ho Fook​

The Good Food Guide says: "Modern Chinese-Australian in an oh-so-Melbourne setting."
Why it's ace: Another off-Flinders laneway gem, Lee Ho Fook takes Chinese food to the next level in an historic building with bags of charm. The neon-lit Good Times bar downstairs is a great little bar for a pre or post dinner tipple, too. Bookable online.
Good for: Chinese cuisine a cut above the (still great) dumpling dens you'll find a couple more blocks away in Chinatown.
Time, please: 14 minute walk to Melbourne Park.
11-15 Duckboard Place, Melbourne, leehofook.com.au

Chin Chin

The Good Food Guide says: "Party on at this high-vibe house of fun."
Why it's ace: Once you get through the queue at this perenially popular no-bookings Asian eatery (tip: go as early or late as you dare), the good times flow hard and fast. Share dishes such as kingfish sashimi, pulled pork roll-ups and jungle curry zing, loud music sings, and the wait can sting, but the pain is eased considerably with a drink in its basement bar, GoGo.
Good for: Friends from out of town. They'll love it.
Time, please: 14 minute walk to Melbourne Park. (Queue, much longer.)
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, chinchinrestaurant.com.au

Dining at the Duke Rooftop bar.

Dining at the Duke Rooftop bar. Photo: Brook James

The Duke Rooftop

Good Food said: "A smart pub in a city centre not overly abundant with them."
Why it's ace: Location, location, location. Melbourne's oldest pub, the Duke of Wellington, is also the closest to the sports precinct. In 2018 it opened up its rooftop - a slick, spacious space with Insta-dreamy views of the Forum theatre, among others. The food is of the smart pub grub variety - good enough for Nick Kyrgios who has been known to grab brekkie there through the tournament. As a pre-Open catch up spot, or watering hole to watch it on the big screen, it's unbeatable.
Good for: Watching the tennis over a burger and beer with friends.
Time, please: 10 minute walk from Melbourne Park.
146 Flinders Street, Melbourne, dukeofwellington.com.au

* Walk times according to Google maps