Calico’s food + drink guide to Melbourne CBD for busy city workers

CultureMelbourne09 November 2022Chryssie Swarbrick
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Calico’s Food & Drink Guide to Melbourne CBD for Busy City Workers

With our digital agency headquarters being located in the heart of the city, our office is a stone's throw away from some of Melbourne's best eats & drinks. So if you’re looking for the best work-day dining in Melbourne, here's a list of our team's favourites - from Banh Mi to Bistecca, there’s something for the whole team.

Amie Bakery

Shop W1 Southern Cross Lane, 111 Bourke St

Tucked away down Southern Cross Lane, just off Bourke Street, Amie Bakery is our pick for best banh mi in the city. The crispy pork is an obvious classic, but for your meat-free mates, the bean curd is salty, savoury and a surprising new favourite for our team.

Tim Ho Wan

206 Bourke Street

Dumplings, anyone? Tim Ho Wan is a top spot for a taste of Hong Kong in Melbourne. From well-loved dishes like chicken wonton noodles or pork and shrimp dumplings, to more adventurous bites like congee with century egg, this Michelin-starred yum cha is our go to for small team catch ups or a post work feed.


234A Russell St

Later in the work week, if we’ve had a day in the office and are keen to keep the in-person conversation going, we’ll head to Heartbreaker for a knock off. With its American dive-bar vibe, drinks courtesy of the experts from The Everleigh in Fitzroy, a programmable jukebox and pool table, it’s perfect for a bit of team bonding.

Pepe’s Italian + Liquor

275-285 Exhibition St

Due to our hybrid working arrangements, it’s not often that the whole team is in town, but when we are all together, Pepe’s is our pick for big team catch-ups. There’s plenty of space, plenty of charm, and big Italian share plates on offer to keep everyone happy. For a twist on the Aussie pub classic, try the parmigiana pizza, with eggplant crisps, smoked provola and plenty of parmigiano reggiano. Yum.


25 Crossley St

Just a couple of blocks from Parliament station, Becco serves up simple and classic Italian fare, and it’s a good go-to for takeaway that’s a bit more of a treat or a casual dinner. They also have a fantastic produce store open Monday to Saturday, where you can buy fresh bread, fresh or dried pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables and a range of drinks. Picnic, anyone?

Hakata Gensuke Ramen

168 Russell Street

The perpetual line outside betrays the wonder within – Hakata Gensuke is as authentic a Japanese ramen as it gets in Melbourne. Despite the line, service is fast here, so you won’t be waiting long. A quick meal here and guaranteed you’ll be back at your desk by the end of your lunch break.

Crossley St Cantina

30 - 32 Crossley Street

A great dinner in the city option, when you’ve finished up for the day but not quite ready to head home yet. Australian produce is given a Spanish treatment, for share plates and tapas that are perfect for team catch ups. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, polish the night off with the basque burnt cheesecake, with dulce de leche and berry coulis - heavenly. 

Caretaker’s Cottage

139-141 Little Lonsdale St

A new discovery, but a firm favourite. Located in an old brick cottage, walking into Caretaker’s Cottage feels like walking into someone’s living room. It’s tiny, cosy, with great tunes on vinyl and cold cocktails on offer and it’s just taken out a place in the World’s 50 Best Bar long list, which ranks the 100 best drinking spots across the world each year. 

Save our top picks and find them for yourself on our Calico map


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