Festival Dining

We're pleased to partner with a range of bars and restaurants near Festival venues. From a glass of wine and bowl of pasta at The Moat to a delectable dining experience at Hazel and Dessous to a coffee at Liminal, there's something to whet the appetite of many a wordsmith near the festival. 

Festival bars, cafes and dining  

The Moat

Nestled behind State Library Victoria on Little Lonsdale St, The Moat is an intimate haven for the literary-minded. Pop in before, after or between your festival sessions for a coffee, hand-made pasta and focaccia, whole roasted fish or just some olives and a cocktail.  

To celebrate the return of Melbourne Writers Festival, The Moat have concocted an exclusive cocktail just for you – the Limoncello Margarita!

The Mexican classic has been given an Italian makeover. This tart, refreshing blend of Tequila Reposado, limoncello, lemon, lime and agave nectar is the perfect drop to sip as you sit and discuss festival events (and you just might see your favourite authors there!)

The Limoncello Margarita is only available at The Moat from 6–12 May. 

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 4pm to late


164 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

Hazel offers a seasonal Modern Australian menu spotlighting local produce and premium suppliers, with refined takes on classics and special touches like housemade bread and charcuterie. While the food is deeply considered, Hazel is a paired-back eatery where the style of eating is communal, joyous and relaxed.

This Mother's Day, Hazel is offering a special lunch menu to help you celebrate the one you love. 

Show your MWF ticket to the staff at Hazel on Mother's Day to receive a free glass of prosecco (one per person). 

Opening Hours:
Friday 5pm–10pm
Saturday 12pm–3pm; 5pm–10pm
Sunday (Mother's Day): 12pm–3pm


Basement, 164 Flinders Ln, Melbourne 

Dessous is an underground bar with an intimate character and old-world atmosphere. The interior is a warm and moody assembly of low lights, marble, plush velvet and deep greys and greens – a beautiful escape you’ll be in no rush to leave. With food focused on snacking and sharing and an impressive wine list to match, it's a perfect place to pop into between events – or to stay a while afterwards.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday–Thursday 5pm–12am
Saturday 5pm–1am


Liminal Cafe

Ground Level, 161 Collins St, Melbourne

Liminal is a welcoming cafe where you can enjoy simply delicious food and excellent coffee by Square One Coffee Roasters. The spacious cafe sits on the ground floor of the historic T&G Building and offers a number of healthy bowls, some of the city's best toasties and sandwiches, decadent lunch plates as well as home-made desserts. It utilises fresh, local produce; often showcasing ingredients from its very own farm down at Common Ground Project. 

Opening Hours:
Friday 7am–3pm