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Bar Lourinha

Packed to the brim, this little gem offers a trip to Spain sans the passport.
By Amy Collins
April 01, 2023
By Amy Collins
April 01, 2023

With people queuing for a table at 7pm on a Wednesday night, you can tell there's got to be something damn good about Bar Lourinha in Melbourne's CBD. Upon closer inspection, it is a combination of the three all-important aspects of any great venue: food, wine and service. It also helps that it feels like a tiny slice of Spain right here in Melbourne.

The wine list is heavily focused on European offerings; Spain, France and Italy are the main contenders here. But most of the wines are sold by the bottle, so either come with a mate who shares your taste in wine or come a lone and prepare to leave a little tipsy.

And the food? Tapas style. Start the evening with a salted cod croqueta sitting on a bed of aioli and a few bites of the wagyu cruda, which is like an even boojier version of your usual steak tartare.

bar lourinha melbourne bar restaurant

Jo Gamvros

You can take your time here, ordering as you go. The staff will talk you through the specials, perhaps a plate of pardon peppers, a paella of mussels, prawns chicken and chorizo, or oysters served natural with a squeeze of lemon. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the menu, they might even share the secret that most dishes can be ordered in half serves.

Bar Lourinha's larger dishes are well balanced between red meats, seafood and vege options. The spiced chickpeas and spinach sautéed in slices of garlic and herbs is a flavorsome and strong vegetarian dish, while the slow-cooked veal with walnut sauce is a rich and indulgent option. If you're looking for some seafood, the grilled northern king prawns with chilli salt are served whole and are succulent and tender while the yellow tail king fish 'pancetta' with lemon oil is light and fresh.

You might finish the evening with a plate of Toggenburger Nidel and muscatels or in true Spanish style go for the churros with dulce de leche.

Bar Lourinha will no doubt be busy, but thankfully, these guys now take bookings (this was not originally the case). That means you won't have to line up — just be sure to plan ahead or you will be standing out in the cold while waiting for a table to open up.

bar lourinha melbourne bar restaurant

Jo Gavros


Appears in:

The Best Bars in Melbourne for 2023

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