The race that stops the nation requires good food and alcohol as a minimum in order to celebrate this once a year event on the first Tuesday in November. Music and entertainment are a plus as is a place to put that bet on.
Sydney has many venues with various offerings that take part in this race tradition. Here are some top spots to make it a day to remember:-
Cargo Bar & Lounge, Darling Harbour
Set to open in time for Melbourne Cup after extensive renovations, the Cargo has two options for patrons and it all depends on whether you want more food or more alcohol. Both packages are $125 per person with the downstairs option being a 3 course set menu with Champagne on arrival and the upstairs option being a cocktail party with canapés and a 3 hour beverage package.
Sweepstakes and live coverage of the race are also part of these options as is a DJ popping out the tunes after the race.
Menus and bookings here
King St Wharf, 52-60 The Promenade, Darling Harbour
Tramsheds, Harold Park
Multiple restaurants in this food precinct give you plenty of choice for Melbourne Cup day lunch, including set menus from Middle Eastern Kitchen Bekya
for $60 per person and the sustainable Fish & Co
for $85 per person. Both are based on 2 people attending.
Artisan Lane, the place for pop-ups within this precinct, will see both a pop-up restaurant and a pop-up bar, courtesy of Bodega 1904. A 4 course meal and a glass of Champagne Pol Roger NV on arrival will cost $90 for a single ticket whilst, for a party of 15 or more friends, a Gold VIP section ticket comes in at $100 per person and includes a special roped off area with your very own big screen to watch the race on. The food includes a variety of seafood, such as oysters, kingfish and calamari with accompaniments, along with dessert.
The pop-up bar will serve up cocktails, beer and wine as well as live music and a screening of the race.
Check the website
for further information and bookings.
1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
The Winery, Surry Hills
This laneway bar complete with a Champagne room, rococo chairs, chandeliers and cozy booths is putting on a lavish 4 course lunch that looks delicious. For $135 per person, you get a glass of Mumm Champagne on arrival, an appetizer of pink salmon tartar melon, an entree of slow roasted pork belly and accompaniments, a choice of mains that include Angus beef sirloin and pink snapper fillet with vegetables or salad and a choice of mouth-watering desserts, such as lemon pie double cream and chocolate mud ice cream Frangelico sauce with crushed roasted hazlenuts.
Sweepstakes and prizes are up for grabs as part of the event and amazing cocktails, wines and Champagne specials will have you partying on long after the race with entertainment into the night.
Bookings via the website
or by calling 8322 2007.
From 12.00pm onwards
285A Crown St, Surry Hills
Nola Smokehouse & Bar, Barangaroo
For New Orleans culture and cuisine, try Nola's colourful Southern hospitality with water views over Jones Bay Wharf. Hanging ferns, wicker chairs and white timber panelling add to the atmosphere of this melting pot of multiculturalism with its spirited-driven bar.
Melbourne Cup day sees live music, best dressed prizes and multiple screens to watch the race on whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne Taittinger on arrival and an abundance of canapés over 3.5 hours for $90 per person.
If you can't leave your desk for that long, fear not as there is a cup after party on until closing time.
Bookings via Nola
1fl, Tower 1, 100 Barangaroo Ave, Sydney
The Paragon Hotel, Circular Quay
Park the emails and turn off the computer as a garden party on Melbourne Cup day is what you'll find at this city pub with its rooftop bar and courtyard surrounded by greenery. For $150 per person, enjoy a 4 hour premium beverage package and canapé menu with Veuve Clicquot on arrival.
There will be TAB facilities, sweeps, the live race on large screens, fashion on the fields, best dressed prizes, live entertainment and a special guest host.
Bookings via Moshtix
1 Loftus St, Sydney
Alex & Co, Parramatta
This newly-opened restaurant and bar has a riverside race day
planned with an all-inclusive food and beverage package that will see nobody leaving hungry or thirsty. Indulge in a charcuterie of cheese, meats and breads, along with mini burgers, mini pizza, mini pumpkin risotto, steak and more whilst downing beverages that include wine and beer, Chivas cocktails, Chandon cocktails and Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
It's 4hours of partying for $130 per person with sweepstakes, prizes for best dressed male and female, all day screens, DJ sets and an after party.
Entry is by pre-paid ticket only. Bookings and enquiries can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 9194 4499.
330 Church St, Parramatta
The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
The beautiful floral-inspired event space of the glass Calyx is the setting for a lunch hosted by the Botanic Gardens Restaurant this Melbourne Cup day and you'll feel a world away from the city, in company with the latest exhibition, Pollination.
Vibrant coloured florals, set against the largest living wall in Australia, are the backdrop for your colleagues and friends to enjoy a floral cocktail party. For $98 per person, savour a glass of sparkling on arrival, beautifully styled grazing stations with canapés, charcuterie, cheeses and dessert. There's a lot of choice in the canapés that include pepper seared sirloin, grilled haloumi wrapped in prosciutto and Cumberland pork sausage rolls, to name a few.
Available to purchase from the bar is an extensive list of beverages, including Gin Garden Bombay Sapphire cocktails (sounds exotic).
A DJ will be on hand delivering tunes and the race can be watched live on a big screen.
Tickets and the sample menu can be viewed here
Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney
Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly
For a more relaxed dining experience beachside, head to the east and the Clovelly Hotel
with its huge beer garden, bistro and lounge bar. For $50 per person on cup day, you can enjoy a glass of Chandon or a schooner of Pure Blonde on arrival as well as 15 roaming canapés and a long charcuterie station. Bookings can be made by calling 8569 2500.
Cloey's bistro is also accepting walk-ins on the day with a limited menu and no booking required. Very rare for a day such as Cup day.
All the race day action will be on big screens so you don' miss a second of it.
381 Clovelly Rd, Clovelly
Kensington Street, Chippendale
Take a day's leave and skip work altogether to discover this trendy inner city street and its surrounding laneways. Make it a morning of shopping at the living mall, Central Park, then head to lunch at a chic restaurant and bar, of which there are many.
Kensington Street Social
, within the Old Clare Hotel, has a special 4 course set luncheon to share on Cup day that includes a glass of Champagne Taittinger NV Cuvee , Angassi rock oysters, Alpine salmon, Paroo kangaroo tartar, rump of lamb, dessert and an artisan cheese selection for $120 per person, whilst you watch the races. Bookings are essential at 8277 8533.
3 Kensington St, Chippendale
The Opera Bar, Sydney Opera House
From our iconic bridge, harbour and Opera House to the city skyline, there's lots of views to enjoy at this outdoor bar with 16 large screens that will put you in the forefront of all the Cup action. Sweeps, best dressed prizes and live music all day are in good company with food and beverages galore.
This year the Opera Bar will host a stand-up canapés event for groups of 50 or more whilst walk-ins for smaller groups are allowed but you will need to get in early to get a great spot.
The menus and packages at time of writing were still to be finalised but you can sign up here
to be the first in the know.
Kitchen open 11.30am-midnight
Macquarie St, Sydney
The Deck, Luna Park
With the iconic smiling face of Luna Park and some of Sydney's best waterfront views, it's hard to go past The Deck's dining and stylish luncheon on Melbourne Cup day. For $110 per person, you can settle in with an arrival canapé, a 3 course set menu and a complimentary glass of sparkling. The menu
includes seafood for entree, Waygu beef cheek for main and chocolate petit gateaux for dessert. Furthermore, a carousel ride is included (available from 12-4pm).
Full television coverage of the races will be screened and there will be sweeps and lucky door prizes in addition to best-dressed prizes.
Bookings via email@example.com or by phoning 9033 7670.
Bar opens at 11.30am with entrees served at 12.30pm
1 Olympic Drv, Milsons Point
Braza, Darling Quarter
Close up shop and do your horsin' around Latin American style at this unique and lively restaurant with an authentic Brazilian BBQ. Two packages are available on Cup day – the first is an all you can eat traditional churrasco with a glass of sparkling wine for $58 per person and the second is a canapés function with a standard drinks package for $69 per person (minimum of 20 people). The latter is pre-order only.
A lucky draw of special hampers, live band and happy hour prices complete the picture.
to book or phone 9286 3733.
From 12.00pm onwards
1-25 Harbour St, Sydney
The Star, Pyrmont
Last but certainly not least, The Star's restaurants and bars are hosting spectacular feasts for all you colts and fillies with a best-dressed competition.
If you want to go Japanese then try Sokyo with a special cup dish or for an Italian 4 course menu and entertainment before the race then try Balla. Harvest Buffet is putting on an all-you-can-eat feast that includes a large oyster display whilst cocktail bar Cherry has a 3-hour canapés and beverage package. There's also the 24/7 Sports bar with live entertainment, fashions of The Star, a menu of hot and cold food and an LED screen to catch the race; and the very cool Rock Lily music venue and tequila bar with rock 'n' roll decor and LA-based pop artist/DJ Havana Brown appearing from 8pm.
Visit the website
for full details.
Various times from 11.00am until late
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
This list could go on and on. This is just a mere selection in our hot spot of a city where food, bubbles and chatter will be the order of the day. Good luck with your bets and picking a winner.