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Underground Eats in Melbourne CBD

Home > Melbourne > Bars | Food and Wine | Nightlife | Restaurants | Lists
by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at!
Published December 9th 2014
It's not uncommon for Melburnians to tell you about all our hidden gems and eateries. Some places you might just walk past without a second glance. I've discovered more of late and it's amazing how many great places you'll find underground.

1. Nieuw Amsterdam: 106-112 Hardware St
One of the newest and top rated places in Melbourne, I almost walked past this place on the familiar Hardware St as the window was so low into the ground.

Nieuw Amsterdam
The unnoticeable entrance

Service was a little curt despite it being quiet with staff quickly murmuring the dish names before rushing off to the next table.

Nieuw Amsterdam
A quiet night

Nieuw Amsterdam
Chicken waffles

They serve interesting meals such as chicken waffles, but a surprisingly artistic and delicious dish was the baked eggplant with tofu and mushroom.

Nieuw Amsterdam
Baked Eggplant

The lamb was perfectly cooked, easy to eat off the bone, and the wedges ensured I was full by the end of the night.

Nieuw Amsterdam
Lamb ribs

The bar surprisingly had more stairs leading to another underground level. Who knew one of the top places in Melbourne was tucked away here!

Nieuw Amsterdam
A honeycomb dessert

2. Meatmaiden: 195 Little Collins St
As its name suggests, this place serves a range of aged meats. It has Gothic undertones with its underground placement and eerie doors welcoming you to a metal staircase leading you into the unknown.

The looming entrance

The lighting is dim with decor such as hanging meat, melancholy roses painted on the walls and giant scales next to a sign saying, "What's carving?"

We went with the banquet option, which was way too much food! Their aged meat and pickled vegetables seem to be an acquired taste, but I particularly enjoyed their tequila mayo fried chicken.

Fried chicken with tequila mayo

Lobster mac and cheese

3. Project 219: 219 Russell St
I always find late night dessert options are limited in Melbourne. Not froyo or ice-cream, but a proper dessert place open late at night! Of course there's a few but there's just not enough.

Project 219
Comfy basement

Fortunately my friend stumbled upon this basement bar, which also happens to serve desserts such as crepes and sticky date pudding.

Project 219
Projecting films

The staff were friendly and down-to-earth, so much that I would love to come back any time. I recently tried the coffee but I think you can find much better in Melbourne.

Project 219
Banana, walnuts, caramel and peanut butter

I'd say to come here for drinks and dessert. The crepes were generous, reasonably priced and had a great variety of flavours. Meanwhile the sticky date pudding is one of the best we've had in a long time.

Project 219
Amazing sticky date

In fact my friends ordered a second one because it was that good. Don't be fooled by the appearance of this place as just a bar - come for the desserts and cool basement atmosphere!

I'm sure I will continue to stumble on more underground gems as there are so many places to eat in Melbourne. What gem have you found underground?
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Why? To find Melbourne's top underground eateries
Where: All over Melbourne CBD
Cost: $6-$50
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