Last-minute guide to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Pat Nourse
Pat Nourse

Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival celebrates its 30th birthday in 2022 with a bulging menu of events from March 25 to April 9.

Most of the big ticket events (Nigella Lawson, Jowett Yu, Skye Gyngell) sold out almost immediately, but never fear. There are still plenty of fabulous events to check out.

Five of the Best asked MFWF’s creative director Pat Nourse for his last-minute tips for checking out the festival.

“Outside, inside, big or small, meat-based or plant-centric, top-dollar, or free, wild, family-friendly, or both, this festival has a food and drink adventure for everyone,” Pat says.”With Melbourne as the setting, and powered by this city’s passion for hospitality and good times, the sky’s the limit.”

Here are Pat’s tips…

1. Welcome to the Jungle

Australia’s wildest and freshest celebration of plant-based eating and drinking. Lush plantings and florals set the scene for a party that’s 100 per cent animal-free, right down to the drinks. See some of Melbourne’s best restaurants like you’ve never seen them before. Featuring food by Shannon Martinez (pictured), Smith & Daughters, Smith & Deli, Fancy Hank’s, Rumi and Warung Agus.

6pm to 10pm on Friday, 1 April
Tickets cost $80 and can be purchased here.

2. Snacktown

MFWF Snacktown. Picture: Jana Lanhorst

For one weekend, you can find a dozen of the very best snacks all under one roof. What would’ve once required an epic road trip is now a walk in the park – or a stroll through our fair at the Queen Victoria Market. Snacktown is a tribute to the eating culture that makes this city so great. Trip from flavours of Nigeria to Lebanon, Seoul to Shandong, compare in two bites the joys of mackerel dumplings and airy onigiri, or chase your Filipino bagel with an herb-rich dadami from Persia, or damper in the style of the Torres Strait islands.

Free event
11am-8pm on Saturday, 26 March
11am-5pm on Sunday, 27 March

3. Maximum Chips

Maximum chips MFWF

An epic tribute to the majestic fried potato in all its finest forms, Maximum Chips is a Friday night party that’s simply irresistible. With all the chips you can eat – crinkle cut, shoestring, French fry and maybe even the sneaky potato gem. Maximum Chips will also feature the mighty DJ Minx on the decks, a Condiments Crew for all your saucing needs, gravy and salt bae needs.

Friday 25 March, 2022
Tickets to Maximum Chips cost $35 and can be purchased here.

4. The Big Spaghetti

We’re taking pasta back to its street-food origins in a big stand up event that combines the bustle of hawker markets with the family-friendly and community ethos of italian street fairs in a celebration of every strand of spaghetti and every fork or cacio e pepe. Throw in some live music, talks and a demonstration from guest chefs, a that’s Amore cheese playground for the kids and you’ve got a real Italian mambo on your hands. Some of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants will all be there featuring their key pasta dishes – eateries include; Tipo 00, Agostino, Al Dante, Lagotto, Marameo, Mister Bianco, Pastore and That’s Amore. 

Free event on Saturday 2 April & Sunday 3 April

5. New Crush

New Crush will be an immersive and interactive drinks party focusing on five key drinks – wine, spirits, beer, cider and nolo drinks. Held at the Queen Victoria Market on Saturday 9 April New Crush will house over 4000 guests teaching them how to sip and swirl wine, learn about key varietals of Victorian wine, spirits and beer as well as a silent disco to dance off the booze.

Saturday 9 April, 2022
Tickets $40, available here

For more inspiration, head to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.

Pat Nourse is one of Australia’s most respected food journalists. Before joining MFWF, he was managing editor at Gourmet Traveller and has reviewed restaurants for national publications including The Age, Good Food, The Sydney Morning Herald and Time Out, plus international publications such as Travel + Leisure, Afar and Lonely Planet.


Last-minute guide to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival