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Suburb Spy: The must-visit spots in Malvern and Malvern East

Tucked between Glen Iris and Caulfield, you’ll find the charming and sophisticated Malvern and Malvern East. Only 8 and 12 kilometres southeast of Melbourne’s heartbeat, respectively, these sister suburbs are beloved by locals and visitors for leisure and living. From the lush parks and gardens to the thriving café and bar scene, join us as we unveil the best places to savour, unwind and connect.


The essential eateries

Want to dine like the locals? Then don’t skip these iconic Malvern and Malvern East spots for guaranteed good times and great wines


A Malvern favourite, Clubhouse is a golf-themed café that radiates good vibes.

Light-filled to the brim, stylish but cosy, it’s the spot for a casual meet-up with your nearest and dearest – and a lively event with the whole crew.

Coming here for breakfast? Solid choice! For the sweet tooths out there, don’t look past the signature Clubhouse Hotcakes. Topped with mascarpone, yuzu curd, macadamia and white chocolate crumb, and mango and passionfruit syrup… it’s an immediate yes.

In the afternoon, indulge in their Barja Bowl or Smoked Duck Roll – and enjoy the refreshing craft beers on tap. Seriously, this place is a hole-in-one.




On the corner of Glenferrie and Wattletree Road, local rooftop wine bar Harvie is elevated, sophisticated – and the answer to all your planning problems.

Your turn to organise date night? Harvie. Need a bougie lunch spot to catch up with the girls? Harvie. A perfectly Instagrammable spot to show off your social life? Harvie.

The chic, contemporary ambience will impress your guests – and the food, your palate. The drinks list is extensive (so we don’t blame you if you take your time choosing!) and changes to match the weather.

Sharing is caring – and Harvie knows it. So go for the classic bar snacks like the Wasabi Macadamias. Or get share plates for the entire table, like the Chorizo Croquettes or the Pumpkin, Feta & Rosemary Arancini.

And if you need any more convincing that the views are just as tasteful as the menu – the Harvie website updates you with the sunset time each day. So you can optimise your trip to enjoy the perfect golden hour!



Essie Wine

A true hidden gem, Essie Wine is a cosy wine bar that promises an intimate escape from the everyday.

It showcases a diverse range of wines, both old- and new-world, with an emphasis on independent producers.

And while enjoying your drinks and deli snacks, you can soak up the sun in the beer garden out back. And if there’s no sun to be found? Cosy up next to the fireplace inside, wine in hand.

Whether you're a novice sommelier or a connoisseur with discerning tastes, Essie Wine offers an educational journey guided by passionate staff. Private wine tastings for up to 20 guests start at $65pp. (Or book an at-home tasting from $75pp!)



Millstone Patisserie

Dreaming of a getaway? Aren’t we all. So, if you want to feel like you’ve been whisked away to Paris (even for a few hours), Millstone Patisserie is the place for you.

Created and run by French-trained chef Alice Wright, Millstone is a haven of French-style feasting. Their cakes, canapes and pastries (both savoury and sweet) are second to none, with a menu that dances between innovative dishes and classic comforts.

Millstone’s entrancing cake cabinet makes it almost too hard to decide what to order. So, here are a few recommendations from us to get you started: the lemon drizzle and the orange almond cakes. And, of course, the fresh croissants. But you’ll need to get in quick; they sell out daily!




Speaking of holidays… Italy, anyone? Bustling Italian eatery – and Malvern institution – Sugo brings you authentic, vibrant and flavour-packed food. It’s a celebration of all things pasta, pizza and amore.

Kid-friendly and date-night approved (hey, it’s up to you!), Sugo welcomes everyone and anyone with open arms. It’s the Italian way, after all.

Step through the doors, and you're instantly embraced by the aroma of simmering sauces and freshly baked dough. 

Patrons rave about the gnocchi, in particular. Pumpkin gnocchi… ricotta gnocchi… gorgonzola-bacon gnocchi… pan-fried gnocchi and pesto. Deliziosa!

But whether it's the rich, hearty ragu or the perfectly charred crust of their wood-fired pizzas, Sugo serves up comfort in every bite.



For epic entertainment

A whole lot of family-friendly fun awaits in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest shopping centre. And yes, we’re talking about Chadstone.

The Social Quarter, Chadstone

Having just celebrated its first birthday, Chadstone’s Social Quarter has cemented itself as, truly, an ‘all-seasons playground’.

From Asian fusion eateries and arcade game classics to breweries and bowling – we won’t blame you for feeling a tad overwhelmed by how much this multi-level precinct has to offer. But don’t worry – we’re here to guide you and your friends through. That’s right, you and your pals. Because the Social Quarter isn’t designed to be done solo. After all, it’s in the name!

Fuel up on contemporary European classic food at Cityfields, enjoying the rooftop garden or the terrace dining room with stunning views of Melbourne’s skyline. Bonus points if you go on a Tuesday for the steak specials!

Then, put your problem-solving skills to work in Hijinx Hotel, an interactive game experience with 10 different challenge rooms. Or hit up Holey Moley for some mini-golf.

Finish off with some creamy gelato from Piccolina Gelateria and you have had yourself a perfect night out!



Legoland Discovery Centre, Chadstone

Calling all Lego enthusiasts – and those who just want to indulge their inner child!

Legoland Discovery Centre offers attractions and entertainment for children aged 3-15. (Adults 16+ must be accompanied by a child). It’s a fun-filled, family-friendly fantasy land.

We’re talking themed rides, play areas and interactive building zones.

But for the adults without kiddos: don’t worry, they’ve got you covered, too. Legoland hosts monthly Adult Nights where you can enjoy the rides, watch a 4D movie, explore the mini Lego recreations of iconic Melbourne landmarks – or simply build, build, build! There are prizes to be won, too!

Stop by the Lego retail store afterwards to stock up on your favourite toys and merchandise. Really, this place has got all the building blocks for an awesome adventure.



Stonnington Toy Library

Stonnington Toy Library is serious. Serious about play, that is.

With over 4000 toys, puzzles and games on offer, you can drop in to let your child pick the new toys they want – and return the ones they just borrowed.

But joining as a member means you also join a community. Since it’s member-run, families who join also do their part to volunteer at the library and give back.

Everyone wins: the kids are always entertained with new toy options, parents spend less on buying toys that will be discarded in a few weeks, fewer toys end up in landfills – and you get to contribute to a valuable community cause!

They even go above and beyond – recommending toys to suit your child’s age, stage of development and interests.

With annual memberships starting at just $100, it’s truly a no-brainer.



For relaxation and rejuvenation

After all that running around and excitement, you’re probably looking for somewhere to unwind. And here are Malvern and Malvern East’s best places to do so.

Holism Retreat, Chadstone

Nestled safely within the opulent Hotel Chadstone, Holism Retreat offers a haven of tranquillity with meticulously crafted facial, massage and wellness treatment packages.

Their facial rituals – especially the Wellness Warrior – will have you glowing from the inside out.

If you’d rather go big than go home (and trust us, you won’t want to go home from Holism) – book the Santosha Body Treatment.

Indulge in the ancient tradition of body brushing to detox your system and encourage lymphatic flow. Then decompress with a coconut oil back and neck massage, finishing with a nourishing body mask.

Stress? Don’t know her!



Central Park

New York City, look out!

Malvern East’s 19 acres of serene parkland are putting up a decent fight for the best Central Park.

Winding pathways shaded by majestic trees, fun-filled playgrounds, private picnic places. Central Park has it all. What’s more? It transforms with the seasons. With vibrant blooms in spring and fiery foliage in autumn, Central Park has some truly picturesque backdrops – all year round.

This expansive green oasis is as much a sanctuary as it is a bustling hive of community activity, with regular concerts, sporting events – and always plenty of precious pups out for their daily sniff!




Want the lowdown on more of southeast Melbourne’s finest suburbs? Look out for the Suburb Spy stories on The Peer Blog