The Arcadia Hotel on the corner of Toorak and Punt Roads
Located on the corner of Toorak and Punt Roads, the Arcadia Hotel is the last stop on South Yarra's Toorak Road dining strip and probably the cheapest.
Entering the main bar during the day sort of feels like walking into a cave due to the lack of windows and therefore natural lighting. There is a decent sized dining area with more tables and chairs scattered throughout the area. The main bar is pretty low on character and is more suited for hanging out than eating- lots of big TV screens perfect for watching sport, pool tables and comfy lounge-like chillaxing seats.
The Arcadia's rooftop is the place to go for a real dining experience. Recently weather proofed, the rooftop terrace is best experienced on a lazy summer day but heating and a new retractable roof means it's still a much better option during winter than the cave downstairs.
The Arcadia's rooftop terrace
There is a good variety of $5 pizzas with a decent selection of vegetarian options. The Mexican style pizza with its corn chip, guacamole and sour cream topping is my favourite and surprisingly filling for a $5 pizza. I've tried most of the others and they're all pretty tasty, nothing spectacular obviously, they are only $5 after all. The bases are a bit on the hard side but the toppings are fresh and service is generally fairly quick. Topping portions were originally quite generous, but I've noticed a definite reduction over the past year or so bringing The Arcadia's pizzas more in line with other $5 offerings. For those who want to splash out, the Hotel also offers an assortment of $7 pizzas with flavours like Meatlovers and Caesar.
Other than the budget pizzas, The Arcadia's menu also features a number of cheap mid-week specials. My friend, the chicken parmigiana enthusiast, raves about the Tuesday $12 Parma with a mind-blowing 6 different toppings to choose from. There is also $12 steaks on Wednesday and the very good value $10 burger and chips deal on Thursday which includes a free pot of draught. Again, not the most amazing meals but good for the price and can't argue with the portion sizes.
Generally if you're looking for cheap eats and entertainment, The Arcadia Hotel with its budget pizza, Monday night trivia and frequent live music is a pretty good choice.