There’s never been a better time to keep it local and explore the diverse offerings of the west.
Discover the fast-evolving food scene, where an impressive selection of delicious multicultural cuisines sit alongside an increasing number of hip new venues. Feel like you are a million miles away from the city as you wander through one of the expansive parklands, or turn your visit into a mini staycation with an overnight stay at one of the new accommodation offerings.
NEW RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS AND BARS
A tasty selection of new food and wine offerings continue to open throughout Melbourne’s west, adding to the already impressive and ever-growing collection of dining and drinking venues. The biggest of the new offerings (at a whopping 10,000sqm) is Grazeland in Spotswood. Open every weekend, this culinary and entertainment precinct is home to 50 permanent vendors, putting Melbourne’s west firmly on the foodie map.
Here’s a small taste of other venues that have recently opened (or are soon to open) in the west;
Teddy Picker, Werribee
A new addition to Werribee’s Watton Street, Teddy Picker serves up delicious wood fired pizza and seasonal Australian inspired dishes paired with all your favourite cocktails. Situated on the banks of the Werribee River, the venue offers riverside dining in their large outdoor space. Shop 5, 116 Watton Street, Werribee
Corked Wine Bar, Werribee
Corked Wine Bar is a sophisticated new offering along Watton Street in Werribee, which opened on 8 May. Half the fun is finding the venue, which is accessed via a secret door that looks like a wine cabinet. Once inside, diners can take their pick from a selection of carefully curated local and international drops, best accompanied by an antipasto or charcuterie board. These can be enjoyed beside the cosy fireplace overlooking the Werribee River. Shop 9, 116 Watton Street, Werribee
Bobby Dre’s, Werribee
Bobby Dre’s has landed in Watton Street, Werribee (with another existing location in Newtown, Geelong). Open since March this year, Bobby Dre’s is inspired by owner Luis Oliva’s Mexican and Californian family ties and his desire to give Melburnian’s the authentic style tacos he grew up eating. For something different, try the burger or taco high tea or feast on the bottomless Mexican lunch. 54 Watton Street, Werribee
Bar Thyme, Footscray
One of the newest additions to the Footscray food scene (open in late-February), Bar Thyme is a relaxed bistro and bar, that’s all about fun wines, cold beers, good tunes and delicious eats. Enjoy fare from the innovative menu designed by head chef Tommy Hope, before washing it down with an organic wine or refreshing cocktail. 227 Barkly Street, Footscray
Bar Joliet, Altona
Created by two locals, Bar Joliet has quickly established itself as a firm favourite with Altona residents since opening in March. Inside you’ll find cosy couches and booths, or head outside to the sunny courtyard. Cocktails are the order of the day, with a regularly changing cocktail menu. 10 Harrington Square, Altona
Aintree Food & Wine Co., Aintree
Set to open mid-way through the year, Aintree Food & Wine Co. is a restaurant, wine bar and providore. A casual yet sophisticated eatery and public bar, housed in a stylish architecturally designed space, here the mission is simple – to share expertly selected wines matched with equally delicious food in a welcoming and elegant environment. Located within Woodlea Town Centre, just off the Western Highway before you get to Melton. 2 Lim Way, Aintree
Rosa Mexicano. Williamstown
Bright and colourful Rosa Mexicano has arrived on Nelson Place in Williamstown. This popular Mexican restaurant (with existing locations in South Melbourne and Burwood) serves up delicious Mexican street food in a fun and vibrant setting. 187 Nelson Place, Williamstown
This fun and laidback taqueria is set to open shop in Seddon tomorrow (12 May). Here the ethos is to create artisanal and authentic Mexican food and drinks, paired with amazing service. Expect plenty of tasty tacos, antojitos and shared plates. 82 Charles Street, Seddon
Turn your visit to Melbourne’s west into a mini staycation with these new accommodation offerings.
Russo Estate – Luxury Domes, Diggers Rest
Enjoy luxury accommodation at one of Melbourne’s closest wineries, Russo Estate. Located only 30 minutes from the centre of the city, yet surrounded by countryside, Russo Estate now offers nine luxury domes, including two which boast spa baths and a retractable roof (perfect for star gazing). Available for adults only with a maximum of two guests per dome, they offer the ideal romantic escape. Complete your overnight stay with lunch or dinner at the onsite restaurant or with a wine tasting at the cellar door. 760 Holden Road, Diggers Rest
Set to open this month, Punthill’s latest apartment hotel offers 80 state-of-the-art studio, one and two bedroom fully self-catering apartments, ideal for short or long-term stays. With lakeside views and the convenience of nearby shops, cafes and restaurants, Punthill Caroline Springs is located an easy half hour’s drive west of the Melbourne CBD. The property features on-site parking, meeting and events facilities, working space in the lobby, pantry shop, laundry facilities and gym. The spacious apartments include cooking facilities, balconies, desks and WIFI access. 1-7 Caroline Springs Boulevard, Caroline Springs
Due to open in early July, the Holiday Inn Werribee will feature 150 modern and stylish rooms, along with 491sqm of versatile meeting spaces. The onsite restaurant, Rosana Bistro & Bar, will offer all day dining with a modern Australian cuisine, while the hotel’s open lobby provides flexible spaces for guests to unwind and socialize, along with an E-Bar giving guests free access to computers, power points and wireless printing. Conveniently located in the heart of Werribee, the hotel offers easy access to the area’s many local attractions, including the Werribee Park Precinct and the burgeoning foodie hub of Watton Street. 22 Synnot Street, Werribee
ATTRACTIONS IN MELBOURNE’S WEST
In addition to the many new offerings, there are plenty of reasons to visit Melbourne’s west year-round, with more than enough attractions to fill a day or two or even longer. With restrictions easing many of the attractions are back up and running at full capacity (with strict Covid-safe plans in place).
Here’s what’s new:
Epic Arena, Newport
Epic Arena provides augmented reality and golf simulator entertainment. Strap on a VR headset and try one of the many games – stand 80 stories above ground and walk the plank; discover a world where robots have replaced humans; or test your rhythm as you slash your own handcrafted music with a saber. Alternatively, fine tune your golf skills on one of the 150,000 golf courses available to choose from. Located in Newport, Epic Arena opened in late-March 2021. 433 Melbourne Road, Newport
Dinosaur Park, Truganina
Located within the shadows of and inspired by nearby extinct volcano, Mt Atkinson, the new Dinosaur Park in Truganina is Melbourne’s largest dinosaur inspired playground. Little kids will love the double-slide tower, twin flying foxes, the giant climbable dinosaur head and dinosaur footprints. Older visitors can make use of the communal barbeques and cycling and walking trails. Altezze Drive in Grandview Estate, Truganina
Mini Maddern, pop-up playground, Footscray
Mini Maddern is a free pop-up playground within Maddern Square, Footscray, that invites children to engage with and shape their city. Open for 12 weeks from late-March to late-June, the space has been designed by local architect firm Public Realm Lab. A series of fun sessions will run throughout the 12 weeks, led by Victoria University’s Early Childhood students and staff, and will encourage children and families to engage with the space and craft, build and experiment with loose parts. 2 Chambers Street, Footscray
EssencebbqLAB, Barbeque Masterclass, Werribee
Learn how to cook the perfect BBQ with a Cordon Bleu trained chef at essencebbqLAB. On this complete BBQ experience, participants are guided through a 5-hour, 10-course masterclass that takes them on a delicious culinary journey from intensely hot direct grilling to low and slow and even desserts, learning the science that goes into creating these delicious foods. Participants are expertly guided by Bart Beek who trained at the famous Cordon Bleu school in Paris and who held the position of Executive Chef for Everdure by Heston Blumenthal. The Masterclass takes place on every Saturday between 12pm-5pm, get in early as tickets sell out well in advance. Fillipin Court, Werribee
Other must visit attractions in Melbourne’s west include:
iFly Melbourne, Essendon Fields – experience the thrill of free-fall skydiving in an indoor skydiving simulator;
Scienceworks, Spotswood – the go-to Melbourne destination for curious minds of all ages. Right now you can discover how a robot is built with their brand new experience (opened April 2021) – Born or Built? Our Robotic Future;
Dingo Discovery Sanctuary & Research Centre, Toolern Vale – cuddle adorable dingo pups and learn about the conservation efforts being made to preserve one of Australia’s iconic wild animals.
Urbn Surf, Tullamarine – Australia’s first surf park;
Werribee Open Range Zoo – experience an African adventure, just 30 minutes from the heart of the city;
Werribee Park & Mansion – history and heritage combine at this Roman Renaissance Revival style mansion and expansive surrounding gardens;
Brimbank Park, Keilor East – home to a network of walking trails and plenty of native wildlife, along with an expansive play space for the kids;