Melbourne’s Summer Pop-ups

Five of the best places to treat yourself to some great food and drinks this holiday season. By Lisa Smyth.

If you don’t practice a little bit of mindfulness now is the time to start – summer in Melbourne can be a fleeting experience so you need to live in the moment. No wonder then that pop-ups are so popular this time of year. Like the warm weather and long days, these fun foodie experiences will be gone sooner than any of us would like.


Popstic ice-cream creations (pictured left) are so achingly pretty it is hard to imagine eating one. Which is lucky, because that momentary pause gives you just enough time to take a snap of these Instagram cult favourites. From its super cute cart at Fed Square take your pick from sprinkle ice-cream tacos, blackberry and elderflower icy poles and sweet chocolate bento boxes. A perfectly refreshing sugar fix on a sunny city day.


Our beloved Yarra River doesn’t have the same international clout as some other bodies of water (harbours aren’t that great, really), but the team at Arbory Bar & Eatery manages to make the best of it with Arbory Afloat. Infused with all the trappings of a Mediterranean beach club, guests here can recline on striped day beds and sip cocktails while dining on a menu of Italian share plates inspired by the rugged Cinque Terre coastline. This year special attention has been given to oyster sourcing. Remember: slurp, don’t chew!


Twelve years ago, Michael, a Frenchman, and Patrizia, an Aussie, met and fell in love. So now we all get to eat traditional Parisian crepes and waffles in the heart of Melbourne. OK, so there were a few more steps involved in creating the ever-popular La Petite Crêperie. “We visited a few creperies in France, but converting an unused news cylinder into the city’s smallest crêperie felt quirky and innovative enough for Melbourne,” explains Patrizia of their Swanston Street kiosk. The duo’s fourth outlet is a vintage French caravan called Lucile that will pop-up in QV Square until the end of 2019. “At QV, customers can make up their own flavour combinations,” says Patrizia. “Mix our famous salted caramel with strawberries, Nutella or ice-cream, for instance. It’s a great summer treat.”


When it opened earlier this year to shouts of “finally!”, HWKR became our very own rotating hawker-style Asian food centre right next to Melbourne Central. “We knew we wanted to do something exciting and different in the retail space of EQ Tower,” explains Simone Gervasi, development manager at ICD Property. “Melbourne is the foodie capital of Australia and we knew the pop-up trend was becoming more popular.” The centre has been home to restaurants testing new concepts (Rice Paper Sister’s Southeast Asian-inspired KHAO), MasterChef contestants testing their chops (this year’s champion, Sashi Cheliah, was recently in residence) and overseas brands sussing out Melbourne’s credentials. This month, four completely new tenants have moved in, including Kung Fu Burgers, Modern Eatery, Ms Kim and Junior Tan.


There’s no need to shed any tears this summer because the musical Evita, and an accompanying Argentinian pop-up beer garden, called Stomping Ground La Boca, have arrived at Arts Centre Melbourne. The San Telmo crew will be serving up empanadas of the beef and cheese variety, as well as traditional street food such as choripàn, a chorizo roll with chimichurri, alongside locally crafted brews from Collingwood’s Stomping Ground in the centre’s forecourt. You can sweat off the dulce de leche ice-cream with free tango lessons.

Photography: Adrian Lander

Styling: Karen Evans