Where do DJs eat late at night?

Emerging producer Sophie McAlister takes her through her favourite food spots.

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Out of all of Australia’s cities, Melbourne stays up the latest. At any odd hour you’ll find a juicy burger with fries and sides, buttermilk chicken and mozzarella sticks, and spicy curries and rice dishes. Even the city’s most highly regarded ramen spot opens their doors all morning long. This is a luxury for all, but somewhat of a necessity for Melbourne’s DJs, who work all through the night, and often into the morning light – and of course, need something to eat after they’ve clocked off. This week, I spoke to Sophie McAlister – Melbourne’s sweetest selector – who is quickly jumping on lineups all over the country – who shared her expert spots to dine at in the early AM hours after she’s wrapped up a gig.
Often you’ll catch McAlister at Butchers Diner – the burger baby of Siglo, City Wine Shop and The European – that’s open 24 hours. Located at the top end of Bourke Street, you’ll find the eatery by its sleek sliding doors, or vegan vending machine out front (a major talking point when it first opened). McAlister’s top pick for when she rolls in after a night of gifting tunes to the crowds of Melbourne? A classic cheese burger with chips and pickled vegetables. Find Butchers Diner at 10 Bourke Street, CBD, open 24 hours, seven days a week.
After her weekly Thursday night gig at Whiteheart Bar, tucked snugly at the end of Whiteheart Lane, McAlister visits Shujinko Ramen on her trek back to her home hood in the West. Here, she treats herself to a traditional eat, indulging in their signature, original ramen. Gyoza and edamame warm the table while she chats amongst the friends she’s enjoyed the evening with, or, if she’s dining alone, she simply takes a moment to appreciate the peace after a successful night selecting. Find Shujinko Ramen at 225 Russell Street, CBD, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When McAlister visits her DJ fam (namely Jimi Dawg) over at The Toff each week, she sets up for the night with the venue’s Thai offerings. It’s often hard to find gems of comfort within a venue as enormous and busy as The Toff, but McAlister kindly shares how she crafts such a moment. It involves a spicy curry, a cocktail, and contently enjoying the sounds of her music family. For your reference, McAlister often orders the tofu and mushroom ball green curry, alongside an espresso martini. The Toff serves until 3am weekdays and 5am on  weekends. Find them at 2f/252 Swanston Street, CBD.