The top things to eat, see and do when attending the Australian Grand Prix
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For the third race of the season we are headed down under to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix. Taking place at Albert Park, the circuit is conveniently located in the center of the city making this Grand Prix one of the most accessible circuits on the tour. If you are headed to the Grand Prix, here are our top suggestions on where to eat, explore and relax when visiting Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
Did you know?
Melbourne is the only city in the world with five sporting facilities of international standard
The Michelin Guide does not review restaurants in Australia, however The Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat Awards are the local equivalent
Vegemite was invented, and is still produced, in Melbourne
Where to Eat
Melbourne is known not only as the food-capital of Australia but also one of the most innovative food-forward cities in the world. The city’s location and vibrant immigrant community have contributed to the melting pot of cuisine that Melbourne has become recognized for. In addition to food, Melbourne is also known for its outstanding coffee culture. With one of the highest ratios of restaurants and cafes to people in the world, here are just a few of our favorite restaurants and cafes to try when you are visiting Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
Melbourne is home to a large Vietnamese population which means banh mi sandwiches are ubiquitous on menus across the city. For the very best banh mi, we recommend checking out Ca Com, an affordable spot run by one of the best chefs in Melbourne. Chef Thi Le, who has won many accolades for her cuisine, and was named top chef of the year in 2022 by Gourmet Traveller. Sandwich fillings such as turmeric chicken and jungle pork are roasted on a wood fire oven which gives the proteins and baguettes a distinctive char. Take your sandwich to go or head out back to their courtyard to enjoy- this is one of the best values in Melbourne. Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch.
Established in 1975, Flower Drum has been serving Melburnians for nearly 50 years. Known for its authentic Cantonese cuisine, diners can expect an elegant evening in a white table cloth setting. With so many amazing dishes to choose from, we suggest deferring to the chef and trying their banquet menu. With dishes such as Jade Tiger abalone with Crystal Noodles and Peking duck you are sure not to be disappointed.
Reservations can be made up to 12 weeks in advance on their website. They are open daily for lunch and dinner (no lunch service on Sunday).
This lively asian fusion restaurant is worth the wait. Chin Chin was founded by famed restaurateur Chris Lucas, whose restaurants have diners lined up across the city. When you arrive at Chin Chin, put your name in with the host and then head downstairs to their sister bar Go Go. Sip on cocktails inspired by South East Asian flavors or try some of their Thai street food inspired bites to tide you over. Once seated for dinner, we suggest opting for the banquet menu to try their signature dishes such as their pork roll ups, green curry and crab fried rice. Open daily, No reservations.
Australians are deeply committed to specialty coffee - while coffeehouses have been popular since the 19th century it was a wave of Italian immigrants who introduced the art of enjoying espresso and the rest is history. Australian coffeehouses took this one step further by sourcing speciality beans, roasting in-house and creating their own signature blends. You cannot go wrong with most independent cafes but here are a few of our suggestions: Code Black Coffee, St. Ali , and Proud Mary.
Where to Unwind
Melbourne may be the capital of sports in Australia, but Melbournians also know how to unwind. Just outside of the city you will find an extensive network of geothermal hot springs. No time for a day trip? Do not worry, there are plenty of spas located in Melbourne's city center that provide services to help you relax and recover after a race weekend. These are our top places to relax when visiting Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
Located just 90 minute drive from the city center, Alba Thermal Springs provides a rejuvenating escape from Melbourne. Set in the picturesque Mornington Peninsula, you can soothe tired muscles and destress in their collection of thermal cool and hot pools. To elevate your experience, book your own private pool or add on a signature spa ritual. Their onsite restaurant is well known for its healthy seasonally driven menu, which means you have no reason to leave. Advance bookings required and can be made on their website.
If you are looking for a bathhouse experience in the city we recommend booking an appointment at Sense of Self, Melbourne’s newest and largest bathhouse and day spa. Inspired by different bathing and wellbeing practices from across the globe, SoS offers traditional methods housed within a contemporary and modern atmosphere. Book yourself a few hours at the bath to cycle through their various pools and hammans or add on a massage to complete your experience. For total peace and relaxation we suggest booking during their weekday ‘quiet mornings’. Booking in advance is required and can be made on their website.
The Australian sun is no joke which is why Aussies are committed to their skincare. While in Melbourne we recommend heading to Skin Day Spa if you are looking to brighten up or refresh your skin. Try one of their signature facials or experience a LED light therapy session. Regardless of what treatment you choose, you will leave with your skin feeling refreshed and glowing. Advance bookings required and can be made on their website.
Where to Explore
As Australia’s second largest city (or first, depending who you ask!), there is no shortage of things to do or places to explore in Melbourne. With some of its most popular attractions dating back to the 19th century, these are our top places to explore when visiting Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix.
A trip to Melbourne is not complete without a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Located in a historic building designed by architect Sir Roy Grounds, the NGV is Australia’s oldest and most visited art museum. The museum is home to over 75,000 works including an expansive collection dedicated to the history and development of Australian, Indigenous and international art, design and architecture. Open daily from 10am-5pm, admission to the collection is free for all visitors; special exhibitions may require a small additional fee.
Melbourne is known as the sporting capital of the world as it is the only city to have five sports facilities that are of an international caliber. Given the city’s commitment to sport you would be amiss to skip the Australian Sports Museum during your visit. Located at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, a destination in its own right, the museum offers an immersive journey through Australia's sporting history, showcasing the achievements and milestones of legendary athletes and iconic teams. To enhance your visit, add on a tour of the MGC grounds. The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm, advance booking is recommended for the MGC grounds tour.
The Queen Victoria Market, established in 1878, has a rich history as a cemetery, livestock market, and wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Today, it stands as one of Melbourne's vibrant community centers, featuring shop at over 600 small businesses for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, local and imported gourmet foods, clothing and souvenirs. As one of the largest markets in the Southern Hemisphere, the bustling market lives up to its hype, making it a must-stop for those seeking a lively and diverse food experience. Open Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday, admission is free and the market offers guided tours for a small fee.
Where to Go Out
Melbourne is well known for its nightlife, from craft cocktail and rooftop bars to underground music venues and 24hr clubs, there is something for everyone. These are some of our favorite places to go out in Melbourne when visiting for the Australian Grand Prix
Voted one of the top 25 bars in the world, Caretaker’s Cottage is a must-stop for any cocktail aficionado. Located in a small cottage that was the former home of the Wesley church caretaker (hence the name), this bar is known for its cozy and unpretentious atmosphere. Enjoy one of their seasonally driven craft cocktails while listening to the vinyl du jour. Open daily, Tuesday to Saturday. Walk-ins only.
The Rooftop at QT Melbourne is a stylish and sophisticated oasis perched high above the city's bustling streets. With panoramic views that stretch across Melbourne's skyline, this rooftop destination offers a luxurious escape in the heart of the city. The ambiance is chic and modern, featuring contemporary design elements and comfortable seating arrangements. Enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and a diverse menu of delectable bites as you take in the elevated and unforgettable views.
Established as one of the city's premier entertainment venues, Chasers has been a pivotal part of Melbourne's club scene for years. Boasting multiple dance floors with diverse music genres, state-of-the-art lighting, and an electric atmosphere, the nightclub caters to a wide range of music preferences. The venue's sleek and modern design, coupled with its commitment to hosting some of the best events in the city, makes it a must-visit for those seeking an exhilarating night out in Melbourne.
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