Mondays have a reputation for being thin on the dining-out options, and with good reason: it’s generally considered the hospo worker’s Sunday, a tools-down day of rest and relaxation.

This has a tendency to put would-be diners off leaving the house to eat on Mondays, which in turn encourages restaurateurs to close on Mondays, and so it goes. But know this: while a good whack of Melbourne’s restaurants take a break from their regular trade, there are many more that are wide open for the dinnering and who would appreciate your custom on the least busy day of the week; here’s 100 of them to get you started. 

Firstly, where are you trying to eat? CBD? Nice. Might I interest you in a booking at such Andrew McConnell hits as Cumulus Inc, Supernormal, Gimlet or Apollo Inn? Fancy a hulking steak? Trot down to Rockpool. An Argentine steak? Your table at San Telmo is ready. Or is it more of a fancy modern Middle Eastern-type of night? Maha could have a spot for you – as might Nomad. If you’ve got a craving for Chinese food, might we suggest a little Cantonese finesse at Flower Drum? A more modern Chinese elegance at Lee Ho Fook, even? Ooh, how about a proper Peking duck at Old Beijing? Or is it a hot and numbing Sichuanese throwdown at Chef David you crave? A visit to Shaanxi’s hottest noodle-whackers Biang! Biang!, perhaps? You can’t go wrong with a mackerel dumpling at Shandong Mama, unless you’re after Sichuan barbecue, in which case try Rising Embers. Or Shanghai Street for xiao long bao. Or Seafood Street for, uh, seafood!

Thai. It rules, it’s having a deliciously regional moment on Bourke Street, and it’s yours for the Monday dinnering at Soi 38, at Thai Tide, at Nana Thai, at Thai Baan, at Thong Thai. You’ve got Dodee Paidang in several locations, and if you want it all with moody lights and slick furnishings you’ve got Longrain. Feeling Korean? Go some excellent Korean barbecue at Mansae, or push the boat out and go large at new Korean fine diner, Doju. 

A Malaysian noodle moment at Lim Kopi, Lulu’s Char Koay Teow and Jojo Little Kitchen is always a good shout, as is a little roti action at Roti Hut or Mamak. Looking for something more broadly South-East Asian? The time-honoured likes of Chin Chin or Sunda? Or the stunner of a fine diner that is Aru? If it’s milimetre-perfect Japanese knifework, try Kisume or Ishizuka. If it’s dependable pho in a vibey room, go Mekong. If it’s fancy French-Vietnamese, head to Coda. All open on Mondays.

If it’s Italian, we can’t help you. Oh, actually, how about Tipo 00, Rosa’s Canteen, Il Bácaro, Di Stasio Citta, Grossi Florentino, Pellegrini’s, The Hardware Club, Rosetta, or Marameo? Or Osteria Ilaria? Cecconi’s? Fancy-and French-wise, Scott Pickett’s Chancery Lane is go on a Monday, and so is Bistro Guillaume.  And if it’s… oh, you want to dine northside? Very well.

Correct me if I’m wrong here but it feels like people in the north like wine bars. If that’s you, you’ll be pleased to learn that Marion is open on a Monday. The ever-excellent Carlton Wine Room is open on a Monday, too. Henry Sugar? Open. The Ruso-Georgian masterpiece that is Gray and Gray? Open. The Greek pride of Thornbury known as Capers? Open. The dough nerds at Fitzroy North’s Pizzeria Magma? Open. Chef Zach Furst and the wonders he cooks at Bar Liberty? Open. Gerald’s Bar, a faultless wine bar by any measure – also open. 

For all things Sicilian you have Bar Idda in Brunswick East. Try 1800 Lasagne in Thornbury or Al Dente and the entire suburb of Carlton for pasta. If you’re bulking, Brunswick’s Lebanese heavyweight Tiba’s has the Monday gains, while Good Days is the plug for luxury pho. Need tacos? Go directly to Taquito. You’ve also got six million good food-serving pubs to choose from, Royal Oak Hotel, Builders Arms, Fitzroy Town Hall and the Marquis of Lorne among them. What are we at? Seventy-ish? Right – southside, then?

Monday dinner with an ocean view is at St Kilda’s Stokehouse. Cheaper Monday dinner with an ocean view (from the level below) is at St Kilda’s Stokehouse Pasta & Bar. Italian St Kilda institution Cicciolina is also yours for the booking on Monday. South Yarra’s Bar Carolina is open for your classiness on a Monday, and France-Soir is open for your all-out pleasure. L’Hôtel Gitan in Prahran, too – also Frederic in Richmond. Phenomenal Sichuanese food is yours at Sichuan Legacy in Malvern, and you can always count on a bowl of Gansu province’s world-conquering noodle soup, lamian, at the South Yarra outpost of Master Lanzhou on a Monday. Freddy’s is open for banging pizza and limoncello in Windsor, also, and when southern barbecue counts, Big Boy BBQ will heed your Monday call.

Shall we push further south? Clayton’s Showtime BBQ and Dumpling will show you a good northeastern Chinese time on a Monday and its dedicated steak sandwich restaurant, For Heaven’s Steaks, will too. Springvale Yum cha powerhouse Gold Leaf Restaurant is open Mondays for Cantonese dinners, and the flavour-packed My Cambodia, just down the road, is perfect for a Monday lok lak. Chef Tan in Burwood holds it down for Wuhan with excellent Monday-night noodles.    

Would you like Japanese dinner on a stick? Eazy Peazy in Richmond is open on Mondays. Would you like northeast Chinese dinner on a stick? Oriental Impressions makes incredible chuan’r. Would you like French dinner on a bread? Tartine, also in Richmond, is the spot. Thai-wise you have Jinda Thai and Thai Station and Tom Toon – they’re all on Victoria Street, a street mostly known for Vietnamese food, most of which is open on a Monday. For pho, I Love Pho. For bun cha, Co Thu Quan

Going west? Flemington yong tofu specialist M Yong Tofu is open and fabulous. Sunshine’s Vietnamese winner Xuan Banh Cuon, also. Elsewhere in Sunshine, the frankincense burns true on Mondays at Gojo Ethiopian Cafe & Restaurant, and the manti flow freely at Afghan Star. In Footscray, you have the likes of Issan Thai Street Food scratching the regional Thai itch, Roti Road allaying the Malaysian cravings, and the mighty Hao Phong for a Vietnamese-Chinese one-two punch. And when north Indian curry calls, it’s Kesari in Deer Park.

One hundred reasons to open the door, exit the house and get dining. TGIM.

By Frank Sweet