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Announcing Concrete Playground's Best of 2016 Melbourne Nominees

Honouring the very best arrivals on Melbourne's scene this year — vote for your favourite now.
By Shannon Connellan
December 08, 2016
By Shannon Connellan
December 08, 2016

It goes without saying, Melbourne's characteristically buzzing cultural ecosystem has thrived this year, with the city's most innovative, forward-thinking residents taking bold risks in their field. Our bars are more groundbreaking and imaginative, our events more unique and immersive, and our restaurants more inventive and experimental. With new openings left, right and centre, Melbourne is more vibrant, playful and fun than it ever has been.

At Concrete Playground we encourage exploration and showcase innovation in our city every day, so we thought it fitting to reward those most talented whippersnappers pushing Melbourne to be a better, braver city. And so, we are very pleased to announce Concrete Playground's Best of 2016 Awards.

Melbourne's newest restaurants have defied traditional fine dining, turning small dinner clubs into full-blown establishments, reexamining degustation formats and prolifically pedestalling barbecue. Cafes continue to redefine our coffee breaks, building neighbourhood day-to-night warehouse spaces, championing local producers and making an art of vegan nosh. Our bars that have been upping the city's already renowned libation reputation, with countless interpretations of the age-old wine bar. Our new (or renewed) pubs that have the biggest hurdle to face — history. Pub renovations in 2016 moved into more contemporary, fine dining-focused territory with some of the city's best design teams at hand. Melbourne's new event producers that have found new ways to celebrate city life, reinvigorating dwindling or hidden spaces, and creating dedicated festivals from unexpected (and highly niche) themes.

This year, we will be awarding a People's Choice and Overall award in each of the following five categories:

  • Best New Bar
  • Best New Restaurant
  • Best New Cafe
  • Best New Pub
  • Best New Event

These 30 outstanding Melbourne (or Melbourne-based) ventures have been handpicked by Concrete Playground for their combination of originality, innovation, creativity, approachability and sustainability. We straight-up love them.


Cast your People's Choice votes below by 5pm on Wednesday, December 14 (you can only vote once per category, so make those votes count). People's Choice and Overall winners in each category will be announced on Thursday, December 15 at 3pm. Please note that your vote is recorded as soon as you make your selection in each category, but that you can edit your votes right up until when voting closes. If you have any questions or feedback, hit us up at [email protected]

Published on December 08, 2016 by Shannon Connellan


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