Urban List's Top 15 Picks

Crawl 'n' Bite

We all love a pub crawl, but what if someone put together the ultimate food crawl? Well, Crawl and Bite is exactly that – an exploratory journey through some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and bars. At each of the three destinations featured on your crawl, you’ll receive a signature tasting plate with a matching beverage. With 11 themed crawls to choose from, it’s a winner for those looking for a quick snapshot into the thriving Melbourne foodie scene.

City Cellar

The best of Victorian wine will be descending on the banks of the Yarra this March for City Cellar – and it will be a wine-lovers dream! There will be food tastings to accompany the outstanding drops on offer, as well as live music - plus, your ticket includes a free wine glass for tastings.

River Graze

From 4-6 March, the Yarra River will transform into a food and wine lovers playground just in time to kick off the 2016 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Opening Weekend. Wander through the culinary hot-spots, sample the free entertainment, take in the best regional flavours – and make sure you jump on a water ferry to transverse the river, because you’ve got to do it at least once in your lifetime! As part of River Graze, there will even be a pop up seafood festival – definitely one for seafood lovers.

Restaurant Express  

With a selection of restaurants hand picked by the MFWF team, you can’t go wrong during Restaurant Express’ popular lunch specials. For just $40, you can enjoy a two-course express lunch menu and matching beverage designed especially for the Festival – go check out who's on offer!

Acqua Panna Perfect Match

If you’re of the opinion, like we are, that food and wine is your true love, then Acqua Panna’s Perfect Match event is for you. Forget your memories of boring classes at school – this class involves wine, host Matt Skinner, and well-known chefs and winemakers having a good chat over great food. That’s three big ticks in our book!

Gourmet Cinema  

Is there anything better than moonlight cinema and food? Well, how about both of them together? MFWF is bringing you the ultimate night of food and film at Caulfield Racecourse this March. With each themed night being presented by an iconic Melbourne restaurant - such as Epocha presenting 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and Le Bon Ton presenting ‘The Big Lebowski’ – this is set to be one of the not-to-miss events of the festival.

MasterClass sessions

With the MasterClass sessions, you can create your own one-day itinerary by matching a series of amazing food and wine sessions with the world’s most inspiring chefs, over the course of morning tea, a three course lunch, and afternoon tea. That’s a full day of food and wine matching, up close and personal with the stars of cuisine, and we’re totally sold. However, if you feel like attending a shorter single session, tickets are just $29 per person.

The Baconing at The B.EAST

Our favourite Americana joint is all about the juicy bacon, The B.EAST in Brunswick East. There’ll be three courses of bacon-y brilliance including maple bacon doughnuts with free-range pork crackling and bacon and sage stuffed pork belly with bacon bone gravy. Oh my god, too much bacon goodness. Don’t forget the ‘Big Mama Thornton’s’ bacon-infused cocktail, and the old school rock n’ roll DJs all day long. It kicks off on 5 March at 12pm sharp - y’all get ready for the #bacondreamz.

The Tasting Room: Oregon vs Victoria

Two great wine regions, head to head, in the ultimate cool-climate wine stand off! Taste wines from America’s north-west Oregon region, alongside great local producers of Pinot Noir, accompanied by stories of wine-making from both sides of the Pacific. If you love your reds, this is not to be missed.

Latin American Street Food Fiesta

Hello, vego, vegan and gluten-friendly friends! Lady Carolina is hosting the slickest Latin American Street Food Fiesta on 13 March, and ALL foodies are welcome. The legendary El Jefe Paul Wilson will be preparing Cuban, Peruvian and Mexican bites to the soundtrack of Afro-Caribbean beats. Sip on cocktails and craft brews during the day (12pm) or night (6pm) session and celebrate all things Latin American. Tickets are $133, including super sabroso street foods, 4 cocktails, 2 house wines and 2 cervezas 

Festival Opening Party

It’s time to kick of MFWF in style with a menu designed by the festival’s top chefs: You’ll taste delights from Executive chef at Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo Paul Carmichael join Danish chef & wanderer Paul Cunningham, as well as Morgan McGlone of Melbourne's Belle's Hot Chicken, and more - delivering their unique take on comfort food. It’s the best way to get a taste of the delicious ten days ahead.

Flemington Grazing Trail

It’ll make you feel like you’re smack bang in the middle of spring racing season. How lovely! On 12 March, Flemington Racecourse will open its gates to hungry/thirsty Melburnians with a penchant for horse racing. Fancy a tasting from Melbourne’s best wineries, breweries and providores? Well, you’re in the right place. Entry to the event is free with a ‘Super Saturday’ raceday ticket ($25) - we’re in! Bookings are essential.

Regional World’s Longest Lunches

Need an excuse to get out of town? 24 simultaneous long-tabled lunches are happening all across the state on Opening Day of MFWF. Stunning coastlines, sweeping landscapes and nestled valleys are just some of the spectacular locations that will see great chefs create tasty menus using local produce and matched wine. These lunches are definitely worth a look in, Listers.

Fromage a Trois – Cheese & Cider Festival

We welcome Cheese & Cider Festivals into Melbourne with open…mouths. Gimme the Brie! At Werribee Park on 6 March, you will find marquee after marquee of the best local cheese and cider produce waiting patiently for you to arrive. Main Stage music will relax you as you taste a cheese, cleanse your palate with a cider and then try another couple (of hundred) cheeses. Tickets are $35 online and $40 on the day.

Mornington vs. The Yarra

The unskilled wine taster may not be able to taste the difference between sub-regionality, but boy oh boy the savvy producers from the Mornington and Yarra Valley regions sure can. This is precisely why they want you to come along and test out the diversity of chardonnays and pinot noir wine styles they have on offer at Innocent Bystander in Healesville. Running 5-6 March at 12.30pm, the intimate, but casual, lunch will include fabulous wines matched with the delectable Innocent Bystander menu. This package costs $98 and includes lunch with accompanying wine.

Grab your best expandable pants and get amongst it!