Cantonese pub

Where to have the best long lunches in Melbourne

There is no such thing as a long lunch. In a world where we’re used to inhaling a sandwich in front of our computers, it’s a treat to share a meal throughout an afternoon. Enjoy a few starters, an Aperol Spritz, a few main courses and an entire evening to spare. As we get together with friends and family, here are some of the best places in Melbourne to have those unhurried lunches.

Farmer daughters
Farmer’s Daughters is Chef Alejandro Saravia’s three-story tribute to Gippsland produce. The CBD space has a headlining restaurant and rooftop bar, but for lunch you’ll want to grab a seat in the downstairs grocery store. The casual restaurant has plenty of Gippsland cheese and drinks to grab on the way out, but the restaurant menu is where you should be aiming. Opt for the chef’s menu and sample some of the grocery store’s most popular dishes, including dried whiting from the lakes entrance with candied lemon, rump of lamb with broccoli cream and a dessert of cream of broccoli. honey from the Tambo valley, bee pollen, cider caramel and shortbread.

Hanks fancy
The American-style barbecue is known to be in no rush – just ask for the 2pm smoked beef brisket – so you’ll want to take your time here as well. During the day, you can grab a platter for lunch, complete with a sandwich (the aforementioned beef brisket, pulled pork, or pulled mushrooms), fries, coleslaw, and a drink. Otherwise, really take your time and share one of the all-in-one barbecue dishes. The Super Premium Platter includes Breast, Pulled Pork, Fried Chicken, Coleslaw, Devil’s Eggs, Aperol Spritz and more. Once you’ve finished having lunch, head over to [Good Heavens] ( upstairs for a cocktail and fresh air.

Builders Arms Hotel
Sunny pub breakfasts are no better than at Builders Arms on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. Andrew McConnell’s pub menu has had a few appearances in its day (most recently the Chinese restaurant [Ricky and Pinky] ( But these days the focus is on pub food to impress your friends. The cheeseburger (a simple, low-key affair) is a true classic, while the fish pie, with its combo of rockling, smoked trout, shrimp and sorrel, is worth a visit on its own. To take it slowly and steadily, go for the set menu. It starts with oysters and whipped cod roe and only stops when the trifle comes to an end.

Magic Mountain Show
Magic Mountain Saloon hosts the kind of long lunch that could easily turn into a big night out (when the DJs come out). The neon-lit, three-level venue on Little Collins Street offers Thai cuisine spanning everything from sharing-focused small bites to whole chickens on the barbecue. Take a yellow curry with braised lamb shanks, whole fried barramundi, or Magic Mountain chicken (which also comes in half) and load it on the sides, or stick to small bites and graze. For the undecided, there’s a filling menu or, on Saturdays, a two-hour bottomless brunch filled with dumplings, bao, spritz, and Bloody Mary.

The spy
The refreshed Esplanade Hotel overlooking Port Philip Bay in St Kilda has 12 bars and two restaurants (plus food in the main bar). It is therefore not excluded to say that your long lunch could turn into a weekend of exploration. Meet at Mya Tiger, the Cantonese restaurant at Espy, and let yourself be guided by the banquet menu. The food just keeps on arriving, with raw trevally and yuzu, lamb spring rolls, and megaphone chili Wagyu beef among the selection. If you’re more in the mood for gourmet fare, the Espy Kitchen has options like Moreton Bay Insect Roll, Beef Tartare, and a massive 750g T-bone steak to keep you occupied.

The European is located at the upper end of Spring Street (near the opulent Windsor Hotel and retains the charm of old Melbourne. After the lockdown, the menu is shared with neighbors at the City Wine Shop, with a classic menu of Bistro style There’s the bone marrow of St John (with the obligatory crusty bread), the pepper steak (a 250g porterhouse with a green pepper sauce) and the roasted whole market fish. Start with the caviar , however, to really make an exceptional lunch worth looking into.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Aperol. With 100,000 Aperol Spritz up for grabs this summer to celebrate being together again, find out how to claim yours.