Festival of food at this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival

29 October 2023 Written by VRC

Looking for some tips on the best places to eat while you’re enjoying the Melbourne Cup Carnival? With plenty of options across the course to suit everyone’s tastes, we’ve put together a list of what’s not to be missed for your day of food, drink and world class racing.

From the fun of the general public areas to the buzz of the corporate hospitality, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the week-long carnival.


On The Hill adjacent to the train station sits The Park: a kaleidoscope of fun, fashion, entertainment and, of course, food. The program features live music, food trucks and the glitz and glamour of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field.

With local and international headline music acts, The Park Live Stage is a place to fling your fascinator and let down your hair while grazing on food from some of Melbourne’s finest pop-up options.

Ging Thai, fresh and colourful authentic Thai food with a hint of modernity that puts other pop-ups to shame.

Petisco is a bright and bold Brazilian option for those craving a variety of small dishes that dazzle the palate.

If buffalo wings, pulled pork and loaded fries are more your speed, head to The Ranch — another flavour-packed hotspot within the din of dining tunes that envelope The Park.

The Park Beer Garden, featuring a super screen with all the racing action, the Furphy Beer Truck and Smirnoff Soda Bar means no one’s going thirsty. And, if the mood takes you, bartenders are mixing Mr Black espresso martinis all day. The Pony Bar and The Stables will be welcoming those looking for some refreshing cocktails and unique photo opportunities.

The Coffee Mill, Speedy Gonzales and Twistto round out the offerings, ensuring The Park is a must visit this Cup Week. Entry is free for everyone!



Follow the sun to ground level for delicious eats on The Club Lawn, located on the east end of the famous Flemington Front Lawn.

Here you can delight in modern Italian fare from Melbourne institution 400 Gradi for traditional pizzas or, if a playful spin on Japanese food takes your fancy, Chapel Street favourite Mr Miyagi will sate your hunger with innovative fusion dishes.

For a casual introduction, try Meat Frankie for burgers, hot dogs and fries American diner style; or EBBY, where street food classics (think gourmet loaded chips and bacon and egg rolls) are brought to life with sumptuous local produce.

All racegoers can enjoy a visit to the Club Lawn and fine feasts, if you want to upgrade your race day experience, you can book a reserved table for six.


If you’re one who needs to feel the thumping of hooves through your chest and hear the snorts of wild equine racing past at breakneck speed, then The Elms is where you’ll get your fix.

Here a taste of Grazeland on the west end of the Flemington Front Lawn will perpetuate the thrill of The Elms where trackside tastings of bratwursts and bretzels at Bratboy meet Louisiana-style fried, crispy and tender chicken at New Orleans Chicken.

Baos, BBQ Pork buns and Salt & Pepper chicken ribs from Katsu King round out the eclectic selection.


Bet your bottom dollar that the food in The Betting Ring will not welch on selection and taste, from food trucks to street food, here is where things get real.

At OG Burgers, you’ll find burgers done the American way with an Aussie touch of beetroot or feta. Hankering to go Greek? Head to Yamas, for tasty Greek chicken and lamb souvas, salads and chips.


Newcomer to the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year, Palooza, is a ticketed festival-style music extravaganza promising big acts from morning ‘til sundown over four exciting days.

Located in a separate enclosure in the north east section in The Nursery, this legendary festival in the making will include acts like Jax Jones (UK), Topic (GER), Sneaky Sound System, Touch Sensitive, Tonite Only, Groove City, Crooked Colours (DJ Set), Late Nite Tuff Guy, Melanie C (DJ Set) and many more.

Festival tickets are only $85 with access to food trucks from Nomi Katsu, Taco Truck and Beatbox Kitchen and everything in between, pop-up bars and an indoor/outdoor built stage. Upgrade your experience with a VIP ticket which is all inclusive of food and drinks for the day!


The Birdcage will be a place of “Unbridled” joy this Melbourne Cup Carnival as the world’s most lavish temporary facility for corporate guests and VRC Members starts to come to life at Flemington Racecourse.

Anchored by the VRC’s own enhanced Bird Bath Bar, the crowd-favourite returns with a new modernist look including a boutique food and beverage outlet, along with ample unreserved seating, live entertainment and much more.

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone will bring his exceptional culinary expertise and creative flair to the Melbourne Cup Carnival Birdcage Enclosure for the first time this year.

VRC members and guests will be able to exclusively experience Stone’s fine dining, Michelin-starred Los Angeles restaurant Gwen in the Birdcage. Featuring an elegant menu, showcasing the best Victorian produce and premium beverages,

Curtis Stone Events will also deliver Lucky’s, a new corporate hospitality experience in the Birdcage for up to 300 guests each day. Lucky’s will pay homage to racings traditions, with delicious all-day canapes paired with beverages from VRC partners, including Penfolds, G.H. Mumm and Furphy.

The Big Group will create the culinary experience in the VRC’s Bird Bath Bar, fully inclusive private marquees for corporate guests playfully titled Bridled and Unbridled and partner marquees including Lexus, G.H. Mumm, Tabcorp, Penfolds and News Corp.

Food & Desire will curate the menu for Schweppes as well as in the fully inclusive private marquee Cavesson, and will work hand in hand with Furphy to curate an exceptional marquee experience for their guests.


Long known as the jewel in the crown of The Club Stand, there’s no dining experience quite like The Byerley. Members can indulge in an unparalleled six-course degustation experience curated by head chef Guillaume Brahimi.

The Dining Room allows Members to relax amidst heritage and tradition, while race after race will keep them glued to the action in between the stellar seasonal multi-course menu.

Delight in a day of delicious food and thrilling racing in the Straight Six. Over Cup Week, Straight Six is a pre-paid retail venue where members and their guests will receive a $150 retail food and beverage credit to use on the day.

Members will enjoy the visual feast on offer featuring a bounty of flavour, full of colour and freshness, located in The Atrium. New in 2023 is a specially curated three-course dining and beverage package, plus afternoon tea.

Those looking for a more casual option need to look no further than The Rails Promenade. Part of The Birdcage experience, this trackside favourite is the perfect spot to see each and every race, up close, all day. Best of all, The Rails Promenade sites come fully furnished, so all you have to do is plan the menu! Or Members can choose a car site in The Nursery and create their very own BYO or catered experience, inclusive of comprehensive racing coverage, betting facilities, live entertainment, and easy access to all amenities.

Discover all the options of offer for VRC Members.


Corporate groups and guests can enjoy exceptional eats and experiences at the Riverside Bar and Bistro, Makybe Diva Marquee, The Rose Room, The Panoramic and The Elms Trackside — all proudly presented by the Atlantic Group, the talented team behind some of the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s most innovative menus each year. Tickets and hospitality packages are available here.

As you can see, Flemington is getting all dressed up and ready for a week of history-making racing, fabulous food, fashion, and entertainment. Get your ticket today!