Best places to eat and drink: November


Whether you’re after a relaxed drink with friends or a more sophisticated dining experience, the North West City has something for everyone to enjoy.

Manzé – Mauritian restaurant and wine bar

Recently included in Gourmet Traveller’s top 25 restaurants in Victoria, as well as retaining their Chef's Hat for the second year in The Age Good Food Guide’s 2024 awards, Manzé is an exciting and unique venue that celebrates authentic Mauritian food and natural wine.

Chef and co-owner, Nagesh Seethiah, brings his knowledge of Mauritian flavours to the Errol St strip, championing sustainability and seasonality in their food, as well as representing female producers and family-run wineries.

Snacks such as Portarlington mussel with spring garlic chutney on Bread Club baguette, followed by larger bowls of ginger broth, seasonal greens, and rice, are ingredient-driven and often full of spice.

Pair your meal with a glass of something orange and fun, recommended by staff.

Try their $75 set menu from Wednesday to Saturday, or swing by on a Tuesday night for a Chez Manzé pop-up and $30 meals.


Benchwarmer – neighbourhood bar and bottle shop

Specialising in craft beer and izakaya (Japanese, bar-style drinks, and snacks), Benchwarmer is a fun and friendly destination to meet friends for an after-work drink, or to soak up the sun either street-side, or out the back in their beer garden.

You won’t find any big-name beers here. Benchwarmer regularly rotates a unique range of craft beers on tap, from New Zealand pilsner to a crème brulee sour.

While you’re sipping away, head chef Keng-Hao Chiu is busy cooking mouth-watering snacks such as chicken karaage with yuzu mayo.

For those who aren't as keen on a pint, Benchwarmer also offers a diverse list of wines by the glass.

Ask about one of their tasting paddles if you can’t decide which tap to go for or grab a couple tinnies to take home with you.


Hello José – Taqueria and bar

Hello José serves up some of the best Mexican-inspired food and drink in the area, from tacos and tostadas, to margaritas and Mezcal.

It’s vibrant and relaxed interior extends into a backyard beer garden, furnished with milk crate seating and colourful umbrellas.

For larger groups, Hello José offers boozy brunch sessions on the weekend, which includes two hours of bottomless beer, bubbles, and sangria.

For a mid-week fiesta, enjoy $14 margaritas on Wednesdays – their orange and passionfruit is a local favourite.

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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