Hardware Lane runs between Little Lonsdale and Little Bourke Streets, and is lined with restaurants serving Thai, Mexican, Spanish, Mediterranean and Australian cuisine.
Begin with a pre-dinner cocktail, such as the deliciously refreshing Dubai Tower, at the roof-top bar of Campari House, then walk to the busy end of Hardware Lane where there will be numerous restaurants and live musicians playing easy jazz tunes.
On weekdays, hosts and mangers will try and draw you in to their restaurant by offering specials such as a free entrée or house wine with each main dish ordered. Tempting, but usually the house wine is tasteless and the entrée a little disappointing, and as your drink bill is likely to be higher than your food bill, you're better off choosing a recommended restaurant.
Try the fabulously fresh seafood paella at Max ($28), a kangaroo steak and tasty sweet ciders at Grill Steak Seafood ($25.50), and a mouth-watering sticky date pudding at Vons ($12.50). Most restaurants will happily modify your order to cater for dietary restrictions, and a friendly manager may even exchange your free house wine offer for something of choice for a nominal charge.
Open until around 11pm, be serenaded by the live jazz musicians as you enjoy dinner and drinks in the outdoors. Hardware Lane is a great place to take international guests wanting to taste a kangaroo steak; fantastic for a romantic date; or for a magical dinner for one.
End the evening at the Golden Monkey , where you will be transported to the Orient to sip cocktails ($17-$25) made with the finest ingredients, and freshest seasonal fruits. Open Monday to Saturday til late, time will happily pass by in this exotic lounge bar.
Do you have a favourite restaurant on Hardware Lane? Please share your recommendation by leaving a comment.