Treat your taste buds at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
The famous Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is returning to Australia’s cultural capital for its 28th edition as locals and visitors alike gather together to indulge the senses. Spend ten days sipping award-winning wines, sampling traditional dishes steeped in historical significance and being amazed by the most experimental creations pushing the boundaries of gastronomy. But it’s not just about experiencing flavour: it’s about celebrating what food and wine means to the culture of Melbourne, wider Victoria and people around the world. Drop in, spoil yourself and immerse yourself in a community that shares a common love for gastronomy.
What: A festival of events, parties, talks and demonstrations celebrating Melbourne’s diverse and much-loved food and wine scene.
When: Thursday19 March - Sunday 29 March, 2020.
Where: Various locations all over Melbourne, with the Queen Victoria Market in the CBD acting as the main venue.
Who: A host of local and international chefs, writers and restaurateurs including Ignacio Mattos, Josh Niland, Alison Roman, Michael Solomonov, Pamela Clark, Lee Tiernan, Fuchsia Dunlop, Helen Goh, Shannon Martinez, Andrew McConnell and Ben Shewry – plus countless amazing Melburnian growers, producers, winemakers, retailers and foodies.
Why: Dive into gastronomic culture and learn a thing or two about whipping up world-class eats at home and, most importantly, sample award-winning food and wine. Need we say more?
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a massive shindig, which means there is a massive number of events covering every format, cuisine and price tag you can think of. Here’s a run-down of the festival’s feature events:
The Convenient Store: Retail with a twist. Expect shelves stacked with Victorian favourites plus a range of snacks and drinks from around the state that you’ve probably never heard of. There’ll also be fresh and packaged food prepared by top chefs and a brand-new Slurpee flavour, so bring a big bag and an empty stomach.
Take the Cake: Take a tour through the countless wonderful creations featured in over four decades of the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book and prepared by students from the William Angliss Institute. Cupcakes will be on sale, and you can even decorate your own!
Shed X Talks: On the weekends of the festival,Queen Victoria Market hosts a variety of free talks and demonstrations by the best in the business, from local talents to international stars. Go beyond the recipe and gain unique insights into how food shapes the way we think.
The Big Spaghetti: If pasta is one true love, don’t miss this stand-up event featuring an abundance of Italian food and drink in a hawker-style market environment. Matt Preson and Sam Pang will join forces on stage to walk you through their preparation of the ultimate Bolognese sauce. And wine. Lots of wine.
Sichuan Snack Fair: Fuchsia Dunlop touches down in Melbourne to celebrate China’s spiciest regional cuisine along with some of the city’s best restaurants. From food stands to cooking demonstrations to talks, it’s all happening at this free event for food lovers of all ages.
Welcome to the Jungle: Plant-based eating will be the name of the game at Welcome to the Jungle, a party where animal-free ingredients are the hottest guests. Featuring top Melbourne restaurants, this event features food, drinks and live music in a lush garden setting.
MasterQuiz by the Hungry Gentlemen: Food writer Richard Cornish and wine writer Max Allen team up to host a sensory quiz packed with flavour, confusion and laughter. Test your wits and try to navigate your way through a baffling range of mystery bites and beverages for the chance to win $2000 worth of top-shelf fresh produce.
The Mixed Grill: What do you get when you mix top chefs, the best Australian red meat and a collective love of Middle Eastern cuisine and traditions? One hell of a night. Take a seat at one of the communal tables and prepare to dig into some seriously mean dishes, fresh from the grill.
Maximum Chips: All the starch! This Friday night party will be overflowing with every type of sliced and fried potato under the sun in a mouth-watering festival of the humble chip. Add entertainment, plenty of cold drinks and the much-needed Condiments Crew and you have yourself a night to remember.
Attica Presents: Attica chef and restaurateur Ben Shewry takes things a little less literally at this free event at the Queen Victoria Market focused on community, resilience and the future. Hear from a number of special guests and grab lunch afterwards from the Attica team for $30.
The Alison Roman ‘Nothing Fancy’ House Party: If low-key vibes with good food and great company are your bread and butter, let New York’s best-selling author Alison Roman teach you a thing or two about ““unfussy food and the permission to be imperfect, no occasion necessary”. At this stand-up part, Half Acre brings her book to life with all the martinis and snacks you can handle.
Queen Victoria Market is highly accessible by public transport and is within about 20 minutes’ walk of anywhere in the CBD. The venue is bounded by Elizabeth, Victoria, Peel and Franklin Streets.
From Fraser Place Melbourne: Queen Victoria Market is just 10 to 15 minutes from Fraser Place Melbourne by foot, making it easy to get to and from the festival every day. You can cut the journey by hopping on a tram along Victoria or La Trobe Streets for one stop.
From the airport: The SkyBus airport shuttle runs express from Melbourne (Tullamarine) AIrport to Southern Cross train station, from which you can take a 15 to 20 minute walk to QVM or hop on the next train to Flagstaff to halve the journey by foot.
By tram: The number 19, 57, 58 and 59 trams stop right outside the Queen Victoria Market. Each service operates as often as every five minutes during normal hours, so there’s no need to check the timetable in advance.
By train: Flagstaff station is around seven minutes’ walk from QVM north along William Street, while Melbourne Central is a similar distance along Elizabeth street. Since these stations are in the City Loop, almost every service will either stop at one or involve a quick and easy connection.
By car: Limited parking is available on Therry and Victoria Streets near QVM, as well as in the market car park with entrances on Queen and Franklin Streets. We’d advise against driving especially during the busy festival period when parking spaces will be in high demand.
By bike: Bike lanes along Victoria Street and Royal Parade along with free bike parking around the market make this a viable option for those navigating the city on two wheels.