Melbourne restaurants serve cheap burgers, duck deals and other culinary specialties every day of the week
If you’re not in Europe to escape the cold, you can enjoy the glow of a restaurant bargain instead. Melbourne’s restaurants and pubs are heading into the notoriously quiet winter months with all sorts of food and drink promotions.
Monday might be pasta night, Tuesday brings deals on schnitzels, and the bargains continue through Sunday, if you know where to look.
The Seddon Superchido restaurant serves a wider Mexican menu than many in town. But on Wednesdays, people come for tacos. Two tortillas loaded with pork, beer barramundi or grilled vegetables are available for $10; the desserts are the same price.
While initially a night out for locals, the restaurant now attracts travelers from all over Melbourne for the business.
“That’s equivalent to the foot traffic we get on a Friday,” says Beatrice Pineda, director of marketing.
Pineda says business is steady throughout the week, but the Wednesday special provides a midweek boost. “It eases the pressure on Friday and Saturday night trading.”
While Wednesday diners mostly stick to the discounted menu items, they often spend more on drinks.
Superchido, like other sites, has been offering these deals since the start of the year and says it hasn’t noticed any change in their popularity in recent months, despite four consecutive interest rate hikes and soaring costs for essentials. like fuel.
Promotions like these could help fuel continued growth in restaurant and takeout transactions, which grew 8.6% in the June quarter according to the latest ABS data.
Ripponlea Food and Wine noticed that the Friday and Saturday trade continues to be strong with people ordering lots of cocktails. But on Wednesdays and Thursdays, dinner spending per person is half of what it is on weekends.
A long pasta and wine night for $40 every Wednesday helps keep the tables full.
“In the middle of the week, you have to exploit value for money. Diners aren’t necessarily looking to spend $100 per person,” says director Lisa Slaughter.
Dining deals often become more common in the winter, as venues compete with the allure of staying indoors.
Throughout August, restaurant booking platform The Fork has been running deals where venues offer set menus at $99, $79, or $49. In Victoria, 49 restaurants are participating, including big names like Turkish restaurant Tulum and Taxi Kitchen in Federation Square.
“It’s a great way for sites to acquire new customers,” says marketing manager James Walmsley. “We know it’s expensive for establishments to do their own marketing…but the most expensive thing for a restaurant is an empty table.”
As interest rate decisions catch up with consumers, some say they are starting to cut discretionary spending or plan to do so in the future. A third of people surveyed in July by restaurant booking platform SevenRooms said dining out would be the number one budget item they would cut.
That could mean more bargains are on the table for savvy diners in the coming months, even if warmer weather arrives.
Where to find dining deals every day of the week in Melbourne
Inexpensive drinks and snacks or $40 dinner, Henry Sugar
Monday night is legendary here for inventive snacks (starting at $7), $10 negronis and $50 carafes of wine that can start your week off right. Alternatively, do the two course dinner for $40. 296-298 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, henrysugar.com.au
$80 “Beggar’s Banquet”, Bar Margaux
That’s what they call this spread of oysters, steak tartare, fries and two glasses of Taittinger champagne. Meet early (5pm-7pm) or late (10am-midnight) in this basement bar, Wednesday to Saturday, to get down to business in style. Basement, 111 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, barmargaux.com.au
$10 tacos and desserts, Superchido
Get two tacos for $10, with three different toppings offered: al pastor (pork), pescado (breaded fish), or rajas (burnt pepper). Pair it with a $10 dessert: churros or a chocolate cake with layers of sponge and custard. There’s also a happy hour before the food specials kick off. 82 Charles Street, Seddon, superchido.com.au
$12 Burgers at Burger Shurger
Normally costing between $19 and $13.50, the toppings on these loaded burgers have Indian flavor: think butter chicken, fried chili paneer and potato tikka. It’s a fun mash-up that gets even better with a discount (also available on Wednesdays). Locations in Elsternwick and Williamstown, burgershurger.com.au
Two-for-one drinks at Ripponlea Food and Wine
Move the home office to this bayside location to make the most of its 3-5 p.m. happy hour. Pay half for some Asahis or Matilda Bay Original Ales or try a draft wine, including King Valley pinot grigio. 15 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, ripponleafoodandwine.com.au
Half Price BBQ at Welcome To Brunswick
What’s normally a $19 plate of smoked meat (or vegetables, if that’s your preference) is yours for less than a dozen on Saturday afternoons (noon to 4 p.m.). Choose your hero, add toppings like mac and cheese, and take him home with fluffy bread, pickles, or croquettes. 1 Frith Street, Brunswick, welcomeaubrunswick.com.au
$65 for three classes at Epocha
They call it a Sunday roast, but lunch here on Sunday is so much more. Start with shared dishes, perhaps whipped ricotta with bread, before moving on to swordfish with tangerine and sorrel. Then it’s the roast of the week with assorted sides and duck fat potatoes. Dessert is also included, so you’ll ride home. 49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, epocha.com.au
DURING THE WEEK
$20 Specials at Paradise Valley Hotel
There are four ways to dine for $20, starting with steak on Monday. Fans of burgers, Parma and curry are also served throughout the week, then on Sunday, a special rotisserie at market price. 249 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Clematis, paradisevalleyhotel.com
Kids eat free at Brunetti Classico
Monday through Thursday, pizza margherita, gnocchi, and other pizza and pasta for kids are free, provided an adult orders a main meal. Does having dinner at home mean the kids will want even more gelato afterwards? You bet. 380 Lygon Street, Carlton, brunetticlassico.com.au
$25 katsu sando and beer at Robata
Spongy white bread, crispy panko breaded chicken and Kewpie whips: this is how a sanga is made. With edamame as a snack and a refreshing asahi, it’s a midday dish that might make you skip dinner. Talk about budget-friendly. 2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, robata.com.au
$60 prix fixe lunch and wine at Philippe’s
Connoisseurs sniff the lunch offering at this French CBD favorite. From Tuesday to Friday, two courses – onion soup and duck confit, perhaps – plus a carafe of wine, are available to you for almost half the normal bill. Basement, 115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne, philipperestaurant.com.au
Kids eat free at Orrong Hotel
Make dinnertime easy (and cheap!) at this refurbished south side pub, where kids 12 and under eat on site. Options include chicken cutlets, spaghetti with Napoli sauce and more. The offer is available from Monday to Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 709 High Street, Armadale, orronghotel.com