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Yarra Botanica

The Yarra River's permanent two-storey pontoon bar and eatery is celebrating local produce, native ingredients and an all-Victorian drinks offering.
By Libby Curran
May 04, 2022
By Libby Curran
May 04, 2022

The city has scored itself a bumper new year-round floating bar, with Yarra Botanica making its permanent home atop the Yarra River beside Sandridge Bridge.

The brainchild of Australian Venue Co (Fargo & Co, State of Grace, Kewpie, The Smith), the two-storey pontoon bar and eatery is much more than just a pretty face and multimillion-dollar drinking destination. Yarra Botanica has made it a mission to champion Victorian produce and booze, its entire drinks list sourced from within the state and a good 90 percent of the food menu following suit.

The bar boasts space for almost 700 across two open levels, decked out with planter boxes, herb gardens and climbing vines amongst the oversized umbrellas and lattice pergolas.

That bountiful locally-focused drinks offering boasts plenty of exciting sips no matter your booze preference. A 12-strong tap list runs from Stomping Ground's Big Sky park ale ($11.50–15) to the Hawkers I Go Sour ($10.50–14), while Moon Dog and Wolf of the Willows headline the seltzer selection.

A carefully curated vino lineup tours the state's leading wine regions, while botanically-charged cocktails and spritzes hero native ingredients, as well as makers like Grainshaker and Brogan's Way. Try a ginger and mango spritz made with lemon myrtle ($18 glass, $54 carafe), or opt for a wattleseed-infused espresso martini ($23).

The matching menu is primed for snacking and sharing, starring smalls like crispy mushrooms with koji mayo ($17), savoury doughnuts stuffed with rainbow trout and caviar ($9), and a pork terrine with wattle crackers ($22). Sourdough pizzas ($24–29) showcase local ingredients like Murray cod belly and Warrigal greens pesto and there's a trio of loaded grazing boards to order by the metre ($55–69).

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