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Where to Go for a Long Lunch in Melbourne When You Want to a Stretch Out a Summer Day

These warmer months are made for taking extended work breaks and soaking up the afternoon sun on a weekend with mates.
By Andrew Zuccala
February 03, 2023
By Andrew Zuccala
February 03, 2023


in partnership with

These warmer months are made for taking extended work breaks and soaking up the afternoon sun on a weekend with mates.

It's hard to beat a long lunch on a hot summer's day. This glorious time of year is made for taking extended work breaks and soaking up the weekend's afternoon sun with mates.

But, not all lunch spots were made equally. So, together with Aperol — the brightly hued liquid behind the reigning champ of spritzes, the long-lunch bev of choice — we've compiled this list of Melbourne's top spots to head to when your lunch has the potential to go on and on.

Some of these haunts come with sun-soaked outdoor spaces and others with plush indoor dining rooms (where the aircon is blasting). But, most importantly, each has a bloody good lunch menu and a great selection of summery cocktails — did someone mention a round of spritzes for the table?

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    This riverside bar, inspired by the beach clubs of St Tropez, has received a major makeover this summer — becoming Casa Aperol. Taking place from Wednesdays to Sundays until April 2, guests will now feel as if they’ve stepped into an orange-hued Italian Riviera scene. It’s the kind of place where you can enjoy a summer-ready cocktail and a food menu crafted by Gradi, before DJs, instrumentalists and vocalists take over at sunset on the weekends. Plus, if you visit and purchase an Aperol Spritz, you will automatically go in the draw to win a skippered boat experience down the Yarra for you and four mates — complete with Aperol Spritz hampers and onboard entertainment.

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    Most nights, Daughter in Law is packed — getting a seat ain’t easy. Which is the reason why we’re such big fans of heading to this beloved modern Indian restaurant at lunchtime. Hide away from the heat by grabbing a table inside where you can sip on spritzes while sampling modern, flavour-packed Indian dishes. And if you have the time, we highly recommend the chef’s selection banquet. At a leisurely pace, eat and drink your way through a seemingly endless amount of food without being weighed down by the stress of having to decide what to order. It’s an ideal way to stretch out a summer day in the city.

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  • 6

    If you’re on the hunt for a glam lunchtime spot — we’re thinking buzzy daytime party vibes — Left Bank Melbourne is perfect. Dress up a little, find a spot by the river and then start your lengthy meal with a platter of fresh oysters and a bottle of bubbles. As the day stretches on, you can opt for a series of small and large plates of modern Australian food as well as some classic pizzas and burgers. Aperol Spritzes are also just $12 each for summer — a deal that’s made for long boozy lunches.

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  • 5

    We’re calling it: you’ll struggle to find a Melbourne lunch spot with a better view. This relaxed fine-dining destination is set right on St Kilda Beach, with the option to sit inside at the restaurant (and marvel at the view through floor-to-ceiling windows) or out on the bar’s deck. Wherever you sit, locally sourced seafood is the name of the game, with the restaurant being somewhat more formal than the bar — simply choose the spot that best suits the vibe you’re after and settle in for an indulgent afternoon spent by the sea.

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  • 4

    This epic barbecue joint is made for any never-ending days of dining that you have a hunch will eventually transform into a big night of drinking and eating. Start off in the large 100-seat dining room, feasting on pulled pork, smoky beef brisket, glazed baby back pork ribs and all the sides your barbecue-loving self could dream of — adding blooming onions, buffalo wings and mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes to the order for more greasy goodness. Following your feast, just take a trip upstairs to the rooftop bar, Good Heavens, and get back into it. Our rec? Watch the sun set over the city with an Aperol Spritz in hand before heading elsewhere for a merry night out on the town.

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  • 3

    Johnny di Francesco’s award-winning food empire has expanded to Mornington, with a two-level restaurant that serves up the renowned pizzas alongside a series of seafood-centric dishes. If you’re looking for a (really) long lunch, start downstairs in the casual wine and snack bar before scaling the stairs to the restaurant — which has its own bar, al fresco terrace and balcony with sea views. Once here, you’re in for all styles of dining and drinking within one stylish, award-winning pizzeria.

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  • 2

    Think of Pepe’s as a glammed-up version of Pellegrini’s — Melbourne’s famous Italian espresso bar and restaurant. Taking its cues from 1930s and 1940s New York City, the lush restaurant marries checkerboard flooring and red leather seating just like Pellegrini’s, but it’s significantly more polished and formal. During the week, suits descend upon the eatery for long business lunches, while weekends see a crowd of Melbourne foodies take over — ordering big plates of pasta, woodfired pizzas and spritzes for days. It’s Italo-American dining at its finest.

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  • 1

    When most people think of Melbourne’s Docklands and South Wharf, they imagine nothing but a concrete jungle by the water. But that’s not fair. The area is home to stacks of culinary and cultural offerings — one of our favourites being The Boatbuilders Yard. Right on the harbour at South Wharf, this local treasure is the place to go if you like your brunch and lunch served with an extraordinary view. It also has a huge drinks list (with $12 Aperol Spritzes available throughout summer), making it just as perfect for after-work bevs as it is for long boozy lunches.

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For more ways to elevate your summer with Aperol, head to the website.

Top image: Stokehouse

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