Stroll through Hawthorn East by day, and your eyes are bound to meet rambling historic Victorian mansions, green hills, beautiful public parks and the sparkling water of the Yarra on one of the suburb’s boundaries. The suburb is one of Melbourne’s most precious gems, if not for its impressive food culture, but also for its diverse population. Easily accessible by tram, as well as Hawthorn East train station, the suburb is a favourite amongst locals as well as other Melbournians who are curiously drawn to its charm.
By night, most streets in Hawthorn East are surprisingly quiet, until you hit the areas around Glenferrie Road, Riversdale Road and Camberwell Junction. That’s where you’ll find most of the suburb’s action, including some of the best restaurants on Hawthorn East’s hit list.
Make no mistake, historically, Hawthorn and Hawthorn East has always been a great spot for dining, eating and drinking. But due to its thriving student population, thanks in part to Swinburne University, the area is constantly reinventing itself. In its current form, it’s very much alive, buzzing, and brimming with plenty of things to do. It’s one of the cooler parts of Melbourne, and it’s not hard to see why.
Are you looking to have the perfect night out in Hawthorn East? Check out our recommendations for a fail-proof plan of action below.
Have a cheeky cocktail at Tootsies Laneway
Before any night out, you should head to Tootsies Laneway bar for a tipple. No matter what your tastes are, there’s an extensive cocktail list and a selection of craft beers and spirits on offer. This little bar, wedged down a quintessential Melbourne laneway, is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink.
Head to Meat & Wine Co. in Hawthorn East for a decadent dinner
Whether you’re on an intimate date or out with your friends or family, the Meat & Wine Co. in Hawthorn East is just a skip and a jump from Tootsies Laneway. Really, it’s about a four minute walk.
Set within a beautiful heritage listed bank site, the Meat & WIne Co. is not only an example of modern and innovative design, but also offers some of the most beautiful food on offer. From seafood, through to a range of steak, pork belly, ribs and even burgers, the menu has something for everyone.
The food is delicious, the wine is just right, and the open kitchen adds the right touch of ambience to make your dinner even more special.
Go to the Lido Cinema to catch a film
Rain, hail or shine, you can head to Lido Cinema to catch the latest foreign, commercial and indie films. If it’s a warm night, why not book some tickets to one of the Lido’s famous rooftop cinema sessions? If it’s a bit chilly or you’d rather be indoors, there are now eight indoor cinemas for you to enjoy.
The Lido also boasts a jazz room and a beautiful foyer space with original terrazzo tiles.
Finally, head to Vaporetto for dessert
To top off your night, head to Hawthorn East Venetian eatery, Vaporetto, to rub shoulders with the locals. Choose from a classic Tiramisu, a pink grapefruit tart, a selection of cheeses and more. Wash it all down with a liqueur, a martini, dessert wine or sgropresso.