10 great lunch picks for under $30 at 80 Collins

Published on 18 May 2021

Photo: Farmer's Daughters (credit: Kate Shanasy)

The office lunch is back. But if the salad you packed four hours ago isn’t sparking joy (or indeed if it sparked so much joy you ate it for morning tea), there are plenty of exciting new lunch options to try in the CBD.

The exciting new 80 Collins precinct has a heap of new cafes, restaurants and eateries to save you from last night’s leftovers. From bites you can grab in between meetings to long, boozy lunches, here are 10 great lunch picks at 80 Collins to make your midday meal a winner.

A produce-driven pie at Farmer's Daughters
Chef Alejandro Saravia is flying the flag for Gippsland’s best producers at Farmer's Daughters. The breezy ground-floor deli's menu changes to reflect the seasons, and our pick right now is a warming Eaglehawk Creek pork and leek pie.

Or head upstairs for rooftop drinks and snacks
For a leisurely lunch, hit the third floor of Farmer’s Daughters and order a Campfire Old Fashioned with “a touch of fruit and a hint of smoke”, to go with a selection of bar snacks, including a terrine with black-garlic chutney, house-cured Gippsland meats, fries with dill aïoli, and Corner Inlet whiting with nettle pesto.


A nutritious bowl-and-snack combo at Bowls Baby
Choose from one of nine salad-based bowls – including the Hot Chick with lemon pepper chicken, brown rice, wombok, corn, hot sauce and jalapeño lime dressing – paired with a drink, sweet-potato chips or edamame for $20. All bowls are gluten free, and with many dairy free and vegan options, Bowls Baby is a great pick if you’re lunching in a group with dietary preferences.


Cheesy melts at People’s Coffee
Pull up a chair at this sleek cafe and order one of the three melts on the menu. There’s a chilli chicken, tuna with spring onion or a reuben with Russian dressing for $9.50 each. There’s excellent Five Senses coffee, alongside matcha, chai and coconut turmeric drinks.


La Madonna's pasta power lunch
Next Hotel’s third-floor restaurant is open from breakfast through to dinner, with two lunch-only options on the menu. Will it be cavatelli with king prawns and a glass of Victorian riesling, or pappardelle with beef ragù and a greco from Heathcote? The choice is yours with La Madonna’s $30 pasta and wine offering.

A chicken roll with a kick from Ingresso
Just downstairs from La Madonna is its tiny grab-and-go outpost on Little Collins Street. There are house-made cakes, pastries and sandwiches, but the most popular pick is the $14 Rooster Roll. Taking inspiration from Hainanese chicken, a hot dog bun is filled with poached chicken, cucumber, hot sauce and chilli. Slide into a booth or get it to go with a Cartel Coffee brew.


Levelled-up brunch classics at Maverick
Something sweet? Maverick’s all-day menu features a waffle with strawberries, double cream and pure maple. For a savoury option, there’s a steak sandwich with cos, tomato, cheddar, onion jam and barbecue sauce. Pair that with a single-origin brew from Axil roastery, or maybe a gin and soda.


Melted cheese on charceuterie at Handpicked Wines
A cellar door might not be the first place you consider for a weekday lunch, but what if it involved hot cheese straight from the wheel? From Sunday through to Thursday, Handpicked Wines serves melted Raclette with jamón serrano, potatoes, confit oyster mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, cornichons and rocket – all for $24.


Upstate’s stacked (and affordable) sandwiches
For a coffee and lunch to go, Upstate’s hole-in-the-wall coffee shop has a variety of sandwiches and wraps that are all around the $10 mark. Go for the lamb börek, a fillo pastry stuffed with spiced lamb, minted yoghurt dip and green salad.


Feeling fancy? An afternoon at Nick & Nora’s
If you’re looking for a luxe late lunch, this is it. The opulent cocktail and Champagne bar opens from 3pm on Fridays, with the menu consisting mostly of snacks and canapés. Sink into a booth and choose seven canapés for $27, or a spiced confit duck with garlic yoghurt ($22) for something more substantial.


This article is presented in partnership with 80 Collins.

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