September rolls around again – let’s get ready to party as Spring blooms into town, footy finals dominate our televisions and thoughts turn to balmy barbeque evenings with friends.
Australians know how to party with the best… icy cold brews, a glass of favourite red and dinner out at a local restaurant with someone special, or a group of good mates. Celebrate the change of season in style at some of this country’s best dining destinations to party the night away and set the scene for the rest of your party season.
Salt and pepper calamari with saltbush and smoked garlic aioli at Republica, VIC.
Where to Party in Melbourne:
Party hardy for the AFL Grand Final long weekend at Temperance Hotel on bustling Chapel Street in South Yarra. Combining the warmth of a local pub with the savvy city style Melbourne is renowned for, a stylish interior complements a casual vibe, where crowds of all ages gather for casual drinks and dining in suave surrounds, with an upstairs room for functions and a Booth Bar suitable for smaller gatherings.
Let the celebrations begin with live music and DJs on Thursday, September 26 and Friday, September 27, before the Grand Final on the big screen on Saturday, September 28. Recover on the Sunday after watching your team take home the silverware with an afternoon session of live music – there’s no cover charge, along with beer and drink specials all weekend.
A testament to the cool chic Melbourne lifestyle that is all about keeping it fun, fresh and funky, you know the scene at Republica in St Kilda even if you haven’t been there. Found in the Sea Baths complex overlooking Port Phillip Bay, this venue ticks all the party boxes from people watching to serving great food every night of the week.
Stop in on Fridays for an after-work drink and $3 oysters or the weekly changing burger special, guaranteed to kick start the weekend with a bang; or take a seat and linger for a leisurely dinner of seafood spaghetti with chilli, garlic, basil and tomato. Pizza lovers can pick up a slice topped with potato, rosemary, caramelised onion and fior di latte mozzarella.
Beetroot cured salmon with fried capers, fennel, avocado puree and pomegranate at Corretto Dee Why, NSW.
Sydney Knows How to Party:
During party season head to Corretto Dee Why on The Strand for daily aperitivos like cocktails, wine and share plates. An all-day drinking and dining destination with absolute beachside views, this neighbourhood eatery brings a slice of Europe to Sydney’s northern beaches, embracing aqua tones reminiscent of the surging ocean across the road.
Take a seat at white circular tables or pull up a cane stool at the bar to order an Espresso-tini with vodka, salted caramel, crème de café and espresso toast, while perusing a menu boasting the likes of baked Parmesan scallops with prosciutto, asparagus and crumb. For a memorable main, try a Scotch fillet cooked to your liking, heirloom tomatoes, watercress and fries.
Craft beer and pub food with an Americana twist make Dove & Olive on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills the local hot spot to see and be seen. Step through the door and be enveloped in a warm, rustic vibe with hanging lights, pale wood tables and leather couch seating, opening onto a green courtyard where guests can perch on a stool, ale in hand and catch up with friends.
Loaded fries with pulled smoked beef brisket, gravy, sriracha, liquid cheese and sour cream should get the party started; before larger plates of smoked tomato risotto with spanner crab, bocconcini, micro herbs and vincotto. Wrap your hands around a buttermilk fried chicken burger, with chilli maple glaze, slaw, bacon and blue cheese aioli, on a charcoal bun.
Bae-con and Classex Baby Rey's Burgers.
While listening to tunes pumping from an outdoor speaker, join the queue and lively buzz of chatter of those waiting to grab a selection of taste temptations at Baby Rey’s Burgers on Cadogan Street in Marrickville. This food truck, often found at Stockade Barrel Room, serves up the legendary Fire Dawg hot dog, loaded with bacon, shredded cheese, jalapenos and spicy habanero sauce.
Take the party to the truck and turn up with friends to chow down on the likes of the Cheesegasm burger, with Spanish onions, pickles, cheeseburger sauce, beef patty and double American cheese on a seeded brioche bun; or Donald Truff with truffled infused mayo, caramelised onion, beef patty, Swiss cheese and rocket.
It's Always Party Time in Queensland:
Celebrate party season with a Hop On Brewery Tour of Brisbane and south-east Queensland. Get acquainted with the world of craft beer and experience a flavoursome adventure with tours spanning regions across Brisbane to Raby Bay, around Mount Tamborine and across the Gold Coast to suit the style of your group, for an exciting way to enjoy special occasions, bucks’ parties and birthdays.
Tours run on average around six hours, picking guests up from designated destinations and sometimes direct from homes or hotels. A mix of breweries and microbreweries are visited on each tour, such as Bacchus, Newstead Brewing Co, Green Beacon Brewin Co and Burleigh Brewing Co, with plenty of tastes to enjoy at each destination.
Link arms and start up a party flurry to Zorba the Greek at Xenia Grill on the corner of Marine Parade and McLean Street in Coolangatta. Transporting diners to the Mediterranean, aqua tones and vibrant paintings set a colourful scene for family gatherings or after-work drinks with friends, while a breezy alfresco setting brings the iconic Gold Coast vibe indoors.
Come down on a Sunday afternoon for Cuban-style dance moves sure to get the party mood ignited and groove away with cocktails like a Greek Mojito – Metaxa, Bacardi, mint, sugar and lime – alongside mezze tempters such as char-grilled lamb cutlets and tzatziki; or larger plates of lamb kleftiko, lemon potatoes, kale and parsnip crisps. Those partying in groups or with large appetites may opt for a Xenia grill feast.
Live music, an appetising menu and modern cocktail bar ensure Domani’s Café Restaurant & Bar on Tedder Avenue in Main Beach is much more than just a loved local party hangout. This Gold Coast stalwart combines inviting familiarity with a spacious alfresco area, where you can people watch while sipping on a coconut and chocolate martini cocktail.
Domani’s internationally-inspired menu satisfies appetites of all sizes, with entrees like honey, garlic and ginger glazed pork belly bites served with a petite julienne salad, or delve into slow-cooked beef cheeks, sugar snaps, roasted kipfler potato, shallots, red cabbage relish and juniper infused sherry jus, before heading out for a night of entertainment.
Toasties and gin at Prohibition Liquor Co, SA.
Adelaide Knows How to Party Stylishly:
Whether mesmerised by visiting flamenco dancers or celebrating the Day of the Dead, there is no better place to party in St Morris than Hoosegow Charcoal Restaurant on Magill Road. Indulge in a smoky sensation of tantalising Latin American, Eastern and Asian fusion dishes cooked on crackling Mallee Root charcoal to seal in enticing flavours and textures.
Hoosegow's top dish, the signature chilli chicken served with baby potatoes and jalapeno aioli.
Encompassed in an ambient vibe, dine surrounded by vibrant red, pink and orange hues, dark timbers and colourful artwork, as mesmerising aromas waft from the kitchen, like char-grilled spicy beef koftas and pico de gallo salsa to start. The carnivores within are spoilt for choice with a meat plate of lamb cutlets, pork belly slice, smoked Wagyu beef brisket, chilli chicken, chorizo, papas bravas and aioli.
Celebrating all things gin in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, Prohibition Liquor Co on Gilbert Street serves cocktails and gourmet bar food to those looking for after-work mingling or a weekend party venue. Find the world’s finest botanicals in both domestic and international gins on offer, in rustic surrounds of reclaimed timber, copper and glowing pendent globes.
Perch at the bar and sip a Dirty Tub cocktail with bathtub cut gin, dirty tonic, star anise and cassia bark, while sharing a grazing platter with jamon serrano, sopressa, Barossa smoked leg ham, ciabatta, feta, bocconcini, pesto, Romesco, pickled onions, cornichons, olives, snow pea sprouts and muscatels; or wrap your hands around an Italian toastie with sopressa, provolone, sun-dried tomato and rocket.
Launceston and Hobart are Party Destinations, Trust Us:
An ideal place to unwind on a Friday night, Cataract on Paterson brings a unique and modern dining experience to Launceston’s city fringe. Oozing sophistication via a blend of classic interiors with a modern industrial twist, paired with contemporary cuisine, polished service and quirky charm, Cataract offers a dining experience unlike any other.
For the ultimate interactive experience, try the stone grill where your steak, prawns, scallops or salmon are cooked to your liking on a 400-degree volcanic stone at the table; while a la carte choices may include crispy pork belly tacos, creamy slaw and hoisin dressing. Be enticed by 14-hour slow cooked Tasmanian lamb shoulder, salt-roasted beetroot and carrots, seasonal greens and red wine jus.
Mussels Escabeche with cauliflower cream, paprika and dill at The Black Footed Pig.
Mingle with friends sipping a Forget Me Not Mojito at Hobart tapas bar The Black Footed Pig on Brooke Street. Nestled in the lower level of heritage-listed City Flour Mills in the bustling Salamanca waterfront precinct, this sleek and suave venue combines old and modern with exposed brick walls, glass pendent globes and a mosaic tiled floor.
An ever-evolving menu using fresh, local and ethically sourced produce, plates up mouth-watering morsels like seared yellowfin tuna, Pedro Ximenez, onion and red pepper jam; or honey-roasted quail, bulgur wheat, grapes, almonds and mint verde. For something more substantial, choose Cape Grim hanger steak served medium rare, millet, escalivada, Padron peppers and chimichurri.
Party Hardy in Darwin:
Dazzling water views of the lagoon and harbour encourage unwinding in sophisticated surrounds at Wharf One Food & Wine on Kitchener Drive in Darwin. Treat yourself to an all-encompassing dining experience at this contemporary waterfront establishment, where every table commands a water view and an impressively stocked bar tempts those with a thirst for tantalising beverages.
Specialising in wood grill cooking using the freshest seasonal local produce, expect smaller plates such as beef carpaccio, rocket, shaved Parmesan, crispy capers, truffle aioli and grilled flatbread; or twirl a fork around squid ink spaghetti, with sautéed prawns, squid, chilli and a Parmesan crisp, while slow-cooked NT Brahman beef pot roast, sour cream and crispy potatoes will tempt meat lovers.
600g Stirling Ranges chateaubriand, thick chips, bearnaise and bourguignon mushrooms at The Reveley, WA.
Perth Gets the Party Revellers Going:
Spanning three spacious levels connected by a sweeping spiral staircase, The Reveley on Elizabeth Quay’s Eastern Promenade offers dynamic waterfront wining and dining suitable for any occasion. From a casual ground-floor bistro to the first-level dining room and up to Henry’s Rooftop Bar, The Reveley is a one-stop party shop for Perth locals and visitors to enjoy cocktails and fabulous food.
Go for freshly shucked oysters, Cabernet vinegar and shallot dressing, before pork loin, red cabbage, charred leek and whipped ricotta; while rooftop partygoers lick their fingers over grilled Amelia Park lamb ribs, honey, tahini and dukkah. Salted peanut parfait, chocolate aero and freeze-dried raspberry sounds the ideal indulgence for the sweet tooth.
The epic Growler Share Plate at The Camfield.
Overlook the micro-brewery in action while chilling out in the beer garden at The Camfield on Camfield Drive in Burswood. Offering local partygoers a space like no other on the Burswood Peninsula and only 100 metres from the new Optus Stadium, The Camfield has a spacious industrial-style fit out of high ceilings, exposed metal banisters, polished concrete flooring and casual furniture arrangements.
With several areas to enjoy – including a relaxed beer garden, five separate bars and several dining areas – sip a frothy beer of choice and be tempted by an all-day Mod Oz menu offering tasty options of crispy wood-fired pizza and tapas-style dishes. Wrap your hands around BBQ beef brisket sliders, cheese, spicy slaw and potato crisps; or grab a full rack of mouth-wateringly tender American-style pork ribs.
Xinjiang twice-cooked lamb ribs at Momoda, ACT.
Capital Party Spots in Canberra:
While toe-tapping to a backing track of The Beatles tunes, party with a crowd of suave Kingston locals at Otis Dining Hall on Jardine Street. Offering an ambient escape from the day-to-day, a moody setting fitted out in earthy brown hues, restored timber floorboards and an elegantly decorated ceiling of ceramic roses, illuminated by twinkling chandeliers sets the mood for an evening of indulgence.
Sip a cocktail that’s too good to spill and entice tastebuds with salted wallaby, burnt onion, pickled vine leaf and macadamia; or delve into organic chicken cordon bleu, French brie, Jamon, morels and asparagus. To finish, Otis magnum meringue, lemon curd, sable crumbs and lemon balm is sure to hit the decadent dessert mark.
Meaning ‘kiss kiss’ in Chinese slang, Momoda is an unconventional eating house and bar on Northbourne Avenue in Canberra’s CBD. Serving street food with an unexpected modern twist, Momoda exudes a trendy vibe of red neon lights, high stools and plush carpeting making for a late-night hot spot to join friends for a Silver Dragon tequila cocktail and bite to eat.
Like a cheeky Momoda kiss itself, every mouthful on the menu is created to taste, love and share – such as salmon tartare, charred capsicum, sesame chilli and seaweed cracker; or Grandma’s sticky pork belly, twice-cooked with caramel, lemongrass and chilli. Those with a veggie bent may opt for stir-fried Chinese greens of snake beans, broccoli, garlic, ginger and rice wine, or wok roasted broccolini and wakame butter.
Still looking for a party spot near you? Click here.