Where to celebrate on New Year’s Day

Published on 9 December 2020

Photo: Bamboo House is one of 20 venues open on New Year's Day in Melbourne

Start as you mean to go on, the saying goes. All the more reason to make sure your 2021 is full of good times, great eating and your favourite people by getting things off on the right foot with a booking at one of these restaurants on 1 January. Some are open for brunch, others know that your day could start late and are offering all-day menus. It’s your new year: step into it your way.

Bamboo House

One of Melbourne’s premier Chinatown addresses is open and offering Peking duck, crayfish with long-life egg noodles and more to ensure your first dinner of the year is a memorable one.

Tickets are $149 for seven courses; drinks charged on consumption. Buy now

Bar Lourinhã

The wine bar is leaning into its Portuguese side, offering a brunch inspired by Lisbon, featuring bifanas, grilled sardines and Padrón peppers, and Portuguese custard tarts.

Tickets are $70 for four courses and one drink. Buy now.


Soak up the views at Berth with a daytime fiesta to celebrate the start of 2021. The star of the show, apart from you of course, is unlimited paella. Drinks are available for purchase.

Tickets are $35 for paella. Buy now.

Botanical Hotel

Goodbye 2020, hello good times at Botanical. The day-time celebrations on 1 January are centred around the barbecue, with Milawa chicken, O’Connor porterhouse and more hitting the grill. Grainshaker Bloody Marys are also on offer.

Tickets are $75 for eight dishes and one cocktail. Buy now.


Nestled by the water in Docklands, Cargo is the place to be when you want to start your year right. Come for the bottomless paella, stay for the party vibes.

Tickets are $35 for paella. Buy now.

Cumulus Inc.

It’s open! And with a relaxed all-day à la carte menu of oysters, tuna tartare, rolled spatchcock and more, available from midday all the way through to the evening.

No set ticket price; à la carte menu. Book now through the restaurant.


From spanner to blue swimmer, stir-fried to steamed, crab is the star of the celebrations at this new Flinders Lane wine bar, open from midday until late on New Year’s Day.

Tickets are $120 for four courses and a glass of Champagne. Buy now.


The team is serving a French-Moroccan twist on the barbie all afternoon, along with free-flowing rosé, sparkling and beer, plus tunes by La Nuit Blanche.

Tickets are $115.90 for three courses and drinks. Buy now.


Get all your Fonda favourites from 11am right through the afternoon and night, from the char-grilled corn to quesadillas and jugs of Margaritas.

Tickets are $50 for five dishes and a house Margarita jug to share. Buy now.

Gimlet at Cavendish House

Be one of the first guests of 2021 at Andrew McConnell’s latest restaurant, the gorgeous Gimlet. You can choose your own adventure on New Year’s Day, with an à la carte offering both inside and out.

No set ticket price; à la carte menu. Book now through the restaurant.


It’s retro all the way at Hazel, with a menu of party classics such as prawn cocktails, prosciutto with melon and bombe Alaska.

Tickets are $120 for four courses and a glass of Champagne. Buy now.


Keep it simple at Hihou with hot dogs and cold drinks, delivered with that attention to detail you know and love. Available all afternoon and evening.

Tickets are $25 for a Hihou Dog and a drink. Buy now.


Salt-and-pepper scallops, chilli wontons, beef with black pepper and deep-fried banana with ice-cream: if that’s not a formula for starting your year right, we don’t know what is.

Tickets are $68 for nine dishes and a glass of wine. Buy now.

Izakaya Den

Izakaya Den is morphing into Izakaya 2029, with a new chef and menu. Be one of the first to try it in 2021 by booking your New Year’s Day ticket.

Tickets are $50 for four dishes and a drink. Buy now.

Lee Ho Fook

There are worse ways to spend New Year’s Day than a half-hour of power at Lee Ho Fook. You book a 30-minute time slot and sit down for Champagne and Lee Ho Fook’s all-time favourite dish, the crisp eggplant, then you’re on your way to your next adventure of 2021.

Tickets are $40 for a portion of eggplant and a glass of Champagne. Buy now.

The Meatball & Wine Bar

Roll into 2021 with an evening feast at this Flinders Lane favourite featuring antipasto, pork and veal meatballs and tiramisù.

Tickets are $65 for four courses or $110 for four courses and matched wines. Buy now.

Rice Paper Scissors

Go big with Rice Paper Scissors and enjoy one of its famed banquets, crisscrossing South-east Asia’s most delicious cuisines. Every ticket includes two hours of drinks and there’s a vegan banquet so you can invite the whole squad.

Tickets are $100 for eight courses and drinks. Buy now.


Feel the burn and clear out the cobwebs with five courses of chilli-spiked cooking at RuYi. Ceviche, duck bao and eye-fillet all get the spicy treatment – it’s a meal that’s sure to wake you up.

Tickets are $55 for five courses or $100 for five courses and four paired wines. Buy now.

Shark Fin Inn

Shark Fin Inn is a Chinatown landmark for a reason. Make it the backdrop for your New Year’s Eve brunch, late lunch or early dinner, and settle in for stuffed crab claws, king prawn and macadamia bird’s nest, crisp custard egg buns and more.

Tickets are $49 for seven courses or $75 for seven courses and wine. Buy now.


Supernormal is treating New Year’s Day the right way, with an easy all-day affair. Order à la carte from a menu of the restaurant’s best-loved dishes, from duck bao to Sichuan chicken noodle salad, complemented by yakitori-inspired snacks.

No set ticket price; à la carte menu. Book now through the restaurant.