From beachside bars to riverside restaurants, soak in the sights at one of Melbourne’s best foodie experiences!

Whether along the famous Yarra River or the pleasant pier of Docklands, Melbourne’s waterfront bars and restaurants are the perfect place to chill out after a long day.

The only thing better than gorgeous views is of course the accompaniment of great friends, mouth-watering food and succulent drinks. Since Melbourne is swimming in waterfront bars and restaurants, there’s plenty to choose from. But what are the best?

Let this list be your guide to the best waterfront bars and restaurants in Melbourne of 2024!

<strong>Arbory Bar and Restaurant</strong>
Photographed by dykimkor. Image via Shutterstock.

Arbory Bar and Restaurant

Sandwiched between Melbourne’s famous Flinders Street Station and the Yarra River, Arbory Bar and Restaurant is one of the best waterfront bars and restaurants in Melbourne. The chill atmosphere blends well with the hustle and bustle of the arts district of the city. Featuring a great selection of Australian wines that matches well with Arbory’s snack selection, Arbory Bar and Restaurant should be your go-to in between visits at the NGV and ACMI.

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1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne, VIC 3000
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True to its name, Berth restaurant and bar has prime real estate overseeing the Yarra River. Right on the Docklands pier, Berth pairs chic modernist interior, fine dining and an astounding waterfront view into an unforgettable outing. Up the stairs you’ll find a functions space that can’t easily be matched by anywhere else in Melbourne, with gorgeous panoramic views of the CBD and the flowing Yarra River. Open for lunch and dinner, every day of the week, means there’s plenty of opportunity to experience one of the best one of the best waterfront restaurants in Melbourne.

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45 Newquay Promenade, Docklands, VIC 3008
<strong>Boatbuilders Yard</strong>
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Boatbuilders Yard

A waterfront beauty, the Boatbuilders Yard in Melbourne’s South Wharf has become an iconic blend of past and present. True to its name, the award-winning waterfront bar and restaurant in Melbourne is swimming in nautical references – with literally boats docked outside – adding a modern twist to the Maritime precinct of yesteryear. With a delicious Southern American and Mediterranean style menu, the outside deck is the perfect place to hang out with some friends, drinking and eating away while the sun slowly set on the Yarra.

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23 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, VIC 3006
<strong>La Camera</strong>
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La Camera

When your life gets overwhelming, sometimes you just need a quiet place to get away and relax for the evening. La Camera offers just that, a quiet and intimate slice of Italy along the Yarra River in Southbank. A short walk from Crown Casino and the MCG, La Camera standouts from the rest thanks to its private dining booths and city-facing balcony making it a great place to enjoy their renowned selection of Australian wines and mouth-watering traditional Italian cuisine.

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MR2/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank, VIC 3006
<strong>Pontoon St Kilda</strong>
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Pontoon St Kilda

Those in St Kilda Beach, enjoying the sun and looking for a refreshing beverage, should look no further than Pontoon St Kilda. The two-story seaside delight leads right up from the ever-popular St Kilda Beach, making a convenient outpost from the sun and sand. With a seafood focused menu, take a bite from their fresh Mediterranean menu filled with locally-sourced treats and plenty of pizza options. Of course, we can’t forget the large bar, with a casual vibe reminiscent of a trip to Bali.

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30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, VIC 3182
<strong>Ponyfish Island</strong>
Photographed by trabantos. Image via Shutterstock.

Ponyfish Island

While there’s plenty of bars and restaurants that let you view the Yarra, few put you on the river itself. Ponyfish Island is everything people love about Melbourne. Walking under the Evan Walker pedestrian bridge will let you to Ponyfish Island – a hidden bar floating on the Yarra River and brimming with funky decor and an overall chill atmosphere. Known for their delectable cocktails and tasty pizza, this is the perfect place to just chill out with a small group of friends on a night out. With no bookings and limited space, make sure to get there early to enjoy the sunset at this special waterfront bar on the Yarra River Melbourne.

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Evan Walker Bridge, Southbank, VIC 3006
<strong>Riverland Bar</strong>
Photographed by Robert Blackburn. Image via Visit Victoria.

Riverland Bar

The original waterfront bar and restaurant in Melbourne, the Riverland Bar, has become an icon since it first sailed open in 2006. An urban beer garden like no other, the Riverland Bar offers a range of Australian wines and classic cocktails wrapped in the cosy atmosphere of the Federation Wharf vaults. Situation just below Federation Square, this hidden gem will have you seated right next to the flowing Yarra. Open Wednesday through to Sunday, make sure to head on down to Riverland Bar for the perfect after-work drink destination.

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Federation Wharf Vaults, 1-9 under Princes Bridge, Melbourne, VIC 3000
<strong>Waterfront Southgate</strong>
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Waterfront Southgate

For those wanting to embrace all that waterfront dining has to offer, look no further than Waterfront Southgate. The folks at Waterfront pride themselves on being one of the best grill and seafood bars, with some of the freshest fish across Australia. The chefs are committed serving you right from the sea to your plate, making daily market visits to source the best that local producers have to offer. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Flinders Street Station and the river promenade from the al fresco dining area though make sure to book ahead!

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20/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank, VIC 3006
<strong>The Wharf Hotel</strong>
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The Wharf Hotel

With the re-development of Docklands, there are a ton of great choices to eat and drink along the historic harbour – though some stand out from the rest. One such venue is the Wharf Hotel on the banks of the Yarra River, giving patrons a fantastic view of the nearby pier and the illuminated Melbourne skyline. The Wharf Hotel feels like a blend between a friendly local pub and a calming waterfront venue, with an interior that incorporates features of the old wharf into its modern layout. So for those looking for a waterfront restaurant in Docklands, look no further than The Wharf Hotel.

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18/38 Siddeley St, Docklands, VIC 3005
<strong>Yarra Botanica</strong>
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Yarra Botanica

Meet one of the best bars on the Yarra River Melbourne! Yarra Botanica, a two-level floating bar and eatery off Southbank, hosts a down-to-earth atmosphere perfect for taking in the breathtaking view of Melbourne. Working with Parks Victoria, Yarra Botanica has already become a beacon for sustainable restaurants, championing local produce and ingredients with a seasonal menu. Enjoy tasty treats and sourdough pizzas, classic beers and scrumptious cocktails, all mindful of the local natural environment. Never has a drink been this green!

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Southbank Promenade, Southbank, VIC 3006

For the best foodie experiences in Melbourne, check out our list of the 10 Most Quirky and Unique Dining Experiences in Melbourne. And if you need a drink, these 10 Rooftop Bars in Melbourne will have exactly what you need.

Feature image: Photographed by Olga Kashubin. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on April 29 2022. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on March 08 2024.