Things to Do

To do in Melbourne 

Melbourne has a vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene, including numerous games themed places to gather.

A favourite gathering place of the DiGRA 2017 organising committee is Bar SK:

Please see the link below for the rest of the Urban List top five games themed spots:

The National Gallery of Victoria is a beautifully curated, world renowned gallery.  Australian art can be seen at the NGV Federation Square Ian Potter location.

Other galleries available here:

A list of the many other attractions in Melbourne can be seen here:


If you’re from overseas, you’ll want to order a Flat White at some stage while you’re here. It’s a Melbourne staple now famous around the world. Starbucks don’t really exist in Melbourne because of our strong, local, and hard-to-defeat coffee culture.

All coffee prices are for a Flat White – it’s usually a little cheaper for a black coffee (espresso, short black), and usually a little pricier if you need soy or almond milk or a large size.

Oscar Mike

Price: $3.90
Hours: 7am-5pm

For our money, Oscar Mike does the best take-away coffee near Swinburne. Be prepared to wait during peak times.


Price: $4.00
Hours: 8am-4pm

Axil have held the Australasian Coffee Championships on site for several years. They also do sit down brunch-style food.

The Green at St. Columbs

Price: $3.70
Hours: 8am-3pm

Take a Swinburne staff member along for a discount on coffee. Quiet, with good brunch-style food options too. 

Eat-in Restaurants


Cuisine: Mexican
Hours: 12:00-late (lunch and dinner)
Price: $15-$20

Just across the road from Swinburne, Fonda offers sit-down Mexican food. Vegetarian and allergy friendly, some vegan options.

Crabapple Kitchen

Cuisine: Brunch
Hours: 7am-5pm
Price: $20-$25

Pricey but quality brunch-style food. Caters to all dietary requirements and allergies.

The Green at St. Columbs

Cuisine: Brunch
Hours: 8am-3pm
Price: $15-$20

Quiet but quality brunch-style food and gourmet sandwiches. Vegetarian usually okay, others patchy depending on the changeable menu.

Zen Japanese

Cuisine: Japanese
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Price: $10-$15 lunch, $15-30 dinner

Well-reviewed sit-down Japanese restaurant is pricey for dinner, but does a cheap lunch special. Vegetarian options available. 

Siam Lemongrass:

Cuisine: Thai
Hours: 11am-9pm
Price: $15

Cheap and cheerful sit-down Thai food at the back of the upmarket Lido Cinema complex. Caters to vegetarians better than the menu suggests (ask).

Ajisen Ramen:

Cuisine: Japanese
Hours: 11:30am-9:00pm
Price: $10-$15

One of a chain of Japanese restaurants. Vegetarian and gluten-free friendly

Bewon Kimchi:

Cuisine: Korean
Hours: 10:30am-9:00pm
Price: $10-$15

Cheap and cheerful Korean (leaning towards Japanese). Get a lunch box for the best value, though the bibimbap isn’t bad either.

Viet Star

Cuisine: Vietnamese
Hours: 11am-10pm
Price: $15-$20

For Melbourne’s best Vietnamese, catch a tram down to Victoria Street, Richmond, but Viet Star is not a bad local option. Vegetarian options, though you’ll be jealous of the (meat only) Pho.

Fast/take-away food

Ya Souv

Cuisine: Greek street food (casual tables also available)
Hours: 10:30am-9:30pm
Price: $15

Slightly pricey for a souvlaki or falafel with chips. If it’s the end of the night you’ll want to go around the corner to the late-night Souvlaki place near the station for a cheap and alcohol-suppressing souvlaki or Halal Snack Pack. Falafels for vegetarians. 

Continental Deli

Cuisine: Lunch rolls
Hours: 8am-7pm, but if you’re after lunch get there before 1pm to be sure
Price: $5-$9

This unassuming Deli is popular among students for offering cheap baguettes with delicious deli fillings, including olives, brie, prosciutto, and roasted eggplant. Walk up to the counter and fill out your order form before paying. Vegetarian and vegan friendly. 

Yo Chi

Cuisine: Yoghurt
Hours: 12pm-11pm
Price: $7-$15

Yoghurt with toppings priced by weight means you can either get a healthy and sustaining snack of plain yoghurt with fruit and nuts, or something dire with chocolate and toppings of chocolate with chocolate sauce. 

Guzman Y Gomez

Cuisine: Mexican
Hours: 10am-10pm
Price: $10-$15

Chain Mexican street food that is noticeably cheaper than the Mexican sit-down place literally across the road. Most staff speak Spanish, there’s takeaway coriander (that’s cilantro for Americans) onions, and chipotle. Vegetarian friendly. 


Cuisine: Burgers and fries
Hours: 11am-10pm
Price: $15

Chain of burger joints with all burgers named after Cosby Show characters (they refuse to rename the Bill after recent events, FYI). Tasty and fatty, good spicy options.


Cuisine: Fish and Chips
Hours: 11:30am-9:30pm
Price: $10-$15

‘British style’ fish and chips, though you’re still gonna find more quinoa salads than Deep Fried Mars Bars, you’re in Melbourne now chaps. Gluten-free friendly. Vegetarians need not go unless you’re happy not asking what the chips are fried in.

Spud Bar

Cuisine: Potatoes
Hours: 11am-9:30pm
Price: $12

If you like potatoes, a place that serves exclusively potatoes should serve your potato needs effectively. Potatoes come with an array of toppings, from traditional with sour cream and cheese and corn, to Mexican, and Thai (?), and bunch of stuff we haven’t tried. Potatoes also come in the ‘sweet’ variety. Vegetarian and vegan friendly.


All prices are for an average pint. In Victoria, we have a ‘pot’ (small) and ‘pint’ (large). If you order a schooner or a half pint or anything else the bartender likely won’t know what you’re talking about. All bars will also stock beers in bottles, wine, spirits, and a selection of non-alcoholic drinks. Also, Americans: you don’t need to tip your bartender here.

Beer Deluxe

Hours: 11am-1am
Price: $10-15

If you’re missing that beer from back home, Beer Deluxe probably has a beer from your home town that you’ve never heard of. Ask before ordering something for best results. Good bar food available.

Glenferrie Hotel

Hours: 11:30am-midnight
Price: $10

Large, traditional pub with a happy hour from 5-7. Pub food (parmas, steaks, burgers) also available.


Hours: “Really late”
Price: $10

If this was during semester, you’d be crowded out by students looking for cheap beer and food, but happily, DiGRA is outside of semester. Burgers (including a vegetarian option) are $12 and good, especially after a pint.

The Kilburn

Hours: 4pm-late
Price: $10 (Hawthorn Pale on tap is a good local beer, surprisingly cheap)

Classy bar on the corner of Glenferrie and Burwood roads. Do a good line in boilermakers (matched beer and whisky). Finger food and pizzas available. Mostly booths and standing room.