Eight Of The Best Themed Restaurants in Melbourne
Looking for a dining experience a little left of centre? Look no more! Melbourne has them in spades.
Fun decor, cute menus, traditional dishes from around the world and awesome atmospheres abound in these unique eateries. Have a burger from a train carriage five storeys up, dine with Denis the Menace or eat lamb gyros in a subterranean cave. Never will you have a boring meal at one of the best themed testaurants in Melbourne!
1. Panda Hot Pot, Carlton
China's famous Panda Hot Pot is known for its authentic Sichuan cuisine and has now brought the exclusive, authentic dining experience to downtown Melbourne. From the detailed facade of the two-story building to the elaborate traditional decor and nightly performances from music performances to family-friendly Panda Shows, the venue has been transformed to showcase not just the region's spectacular food, but the also it's vibrant culture. The tradition of cooking hotpot at your table DIY-style is also a fun novelty.
Inspired by Wuxia - China's cult martial arts heroes - and adorned with trademark red lanterns, hand-crafted Chinese style interiors and a striking steel dragon watching over the grand staircase, Panda HotPot will make you feel like you've been transported to ancient China.
Where: 100 Victoria St, Carlton
When: Lunch 11.30am – 2pm and Dinner 5pm – 11pm
2. Soda Rock Diner
Bringing Happy Days to the iconic Jam Factory, Soda Rock Diner boasts a classic menu of popular American favourites including the best milkshakes in town! The themed diner has vintage booths, roller-skating waiters and waitresses, pinball machines, a jukebox at every booth and an Elvis statue for some Jailhouse Rock selfies. They also host special live events like the 50s & '60s Rock 'N' Roll Show and the Elvis Tribute.
In true American style, there is a humungous menu to sink your teeth into, packed with burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and combos. If you're bored with your average french fries, here you'll find them curly, waffled, chilli, cheesy and smiley versions, plus there's Tater Tots and Onion Rings. The collection of sweet treats like Cookies Shakes and Spiders and classic desserts including Cherry Pie, American Brownie, Banana Split and Hot Fudge Sundaes, will transport you to star-spangled food heaven!
Bookings are strongly recommended due to dine-in restrictions, especially on Friday and Saturday nights which get booked out early!
Where: 177/183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
When: Sunday to Thursday 11:30am — 9:15pm and Friday & Saturday 11:30am — 10:00pm
3. Denis the Menace Cafe, Cremorne
I know, not your usual theme, but it's a theme that works! Denis the Menace cafe in Cremorne is a whole lot of fun.
The huge, light-filled open warehouse is home to food with a sustainability focus and an in-joke filled menu that you can't help but giggle at. Why not try the Avo, We've Met Before, Oh Shit-ake, Wild Child or Running Late Roti. The kids' menu options include eggs, muesli, toastie cheese, and chips.
Where: 106-108 Chestnut St, Cremorne
When: Monday - Friday: 7am - 3pm and Weekends: 8am - 3pm
4. Stalactites Greek Restaurant, CBD
If you've ever walked past Stalactites in the city, you absolutely couldn't miss it. One of Melbourne's longest-established and well-known Greek restaurants, Stalactites stands out with its bright friendly vibe and its famous stalactite-covered ceiling visible from the street.
Go old-school traditional with your eats and grab souvlaki (lamb, chicken or mixed), or vegetarian souvlaki with a bunch of mouthwatering toppings to customise your meal. They also do excellent platters, dips, seafood, a grill section, breakfasts, desserts, and homeland favourites like cabbage rolls, gemista, moussaka and homemade beef konkinisto, with most of those options available kid-sized from the children's menu.
Where: 177/183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
When: Sunday to Thursday 11am – midnight and Friday and Saturday 10am – 2am
5. Easey's, Collingwood
"Burgers and beers served five stories up in a rooftop train carriage overlooking Melbourne City. Beat that." That's what they say and they deliver!
At Easey's, the best of Melbourne's art, music, transport, people, food and drinks combine on the top of the End to End building on Easey St, Collingwood. The views from this unusual eatery are phenomenal, and the food is large and excellent.
Indulge in one of the burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, chips, tater tots, dim sims, chicken wings and doughnuts before coming back down to earth.
Where: 48 Easey St, Collingwood
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11am – 9pm and Friday and Saturday 11am – 10pm
6. Munich Brauhaus, South Wharf
Guten Tag! It's all German all the time at Munich Brauhaus in on the South Wharf. Paying homage to all things pork in their menu, you'll feel like you stepped right into a Bavarian bier hall without ever leaving Melbourne.
The food features pretzels and pickles aplenty, as well as wiener, pork knuckle, schnitzel, steak, burgers and desserts alongside an extensive beer menu and excellent kids choices like mac and cheese balls, schnitzel, frankfurter, fries and gelato.
Where: 45 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
When: Wednesday to Sunday 12pm - late
7. Rice Queen, Fitzroy
When you want good Asian food and plenty of it in funky-coloured surrounds, stepping into kitschy Rice Queen. It is like stepping into another world with their brightly-lit paper lanterns and furious fuchsia blossoms offset by the outrageously blue bricks.
The menu is designed for sharing, so dishes are small, but they are delicious and there is a huge range of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Try the baby banh mi, san choy bao, grilled king oyster mushrooms with eggplant puree, their ultra-famous KFC (Korean Fried Chicken, or spring for the cauliflower vegetarian version), steamed dumplings, DIY Korean tacos, veggie curry, or their salad or noodle dishes. You will absolutely not leave here hungry!
If you're looking for something to do after dinner, why not hit their karaoke room? It seats 15 at the back of the diner and is available in 90-minute slots.
Where: 389-391 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
When: Wednesday to Friday 5pm – late and Saturday & Sunday 112pm – late
8. Truck Stop Deluxe
Eat a burger in an indoor truck? Yes, please! Truck Stop Deluxe in Werribee is a west-coast-inspired truck-stop diner serving up fabulous burgers alongside signature spiked shakes, cocktails and desserts.
Their burgers are served on lightly toasted brioche buns and any one of them are available as a vegetarian (they sub a chickpea patty). If you feel like something different, they also do fried chicken in 3, 6 or 9 packs, as well as mac and cheese croquettes, onion rings, popcorn chicken, and four types of fries including sweet potato, and cheese and bacon waffle fries.
If you've still got room after that, check out the dessert menu - perhaps they can tempt you with a Wizz Fizz ice cream, ice cream doughnut sandwich or Nutella waffle stack? Honk, honk!
Where: 98 Watton St, Werribee
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11.30am - 9.30pm
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