41 Best Restaurants in Melbourne, Victoria

A1 Bakery

$ | Brunswick Fodor's choice

For the freshest rounds of Lebanese bread, go to the source of the best khobz (bread) in the city: A1 Bakery has been running the ovens here since 1992. Sit in for Lebanese pizzas and kibbe (deep-fried lamb mince in cracked wheat) or order a platter of dips and kofta and a falafel wrap to go. Don't forget the baklava.


$$ | Fitzroy Fodor's choice

A chalkboard on the exposed brick wall lists eight dry and six sweet sherries to start (or finish), and there are Spanish and Portuguese wines to accompany your selection of tapas and raciones (larger shared plates). Seated at a table or on a stool at the bar, begin with anchovy tapa, and go on to the authentic paella. Just leave room for dessert; the churros and chocolate are sinful. If you really can't decide, a dessert tasting plate for two absolves you of making a decision.

197 Gertrude St., Melbourne, VIC, 3065, Australia
Known For
  • obscure meats
  • aged jamon
  • Andalucian fare
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays


$$ | Carlton Fodor's choice

First opened in 1974, this iconic Romanesque bakery has moved around Carlton on several occasions, and the masses have followed. Its biggest undertaking is in the heart of Lygon Street and still filled with perfect biscotti, mouthwatering cakes, and great service. In addition to an expanded lunch menu, a wood-fire oven—specially imported from Italy—makes pizzas, and you can finish it all off with a perfect espresso or a thick European-style hot chocolate with a cornetto con crema (custard-filled croissant). Enjoy the same tempting delights at the beautiful, birdcage-like café in Flinders Lane, and at little outposts in the Myer department store in Bourke Street and Melbourne Airport (T4).

Recommended Fodor's Video

Café di Stasio

$$$$ | St. Kilda Fodor's choice

This upscale bistro treads a very fine line between mannered elegance and decadence. A sleek marble bar and modishly ravaged walls contribute to the sense that you've stepped into a scene from La Dolce Vita. Happily, the restaurant is as serious about its food as its sense of style. Crisply roasted duck is now a local legend, and the pasta is always al dente. A seasonal lunch special (pasta with wine and coffee) for A$40 is a great value if you're nearby. For an informal drink before your meal, an adjoining bar has local wines and a light menu of the same high standards for those who failed to get a booking.


$$$ | St. Kilda Fodor's choice

Grab a window table at this very popular bay-side restaurant (housed in the former 1920s bathing pavilion), and enjoy wide-open views of St. Kilda beach and its passing parade of in-line skaters, skateboarders, dog walkers, and ice-cream lickers. Start with the day's oysters, move to the fish and meats cooked superbly over charcoal, and slow it down over wine and cheese at this long-standing St. Kilda icon. Owners Kevin and Gail Donovan are such natural hosts you may feel like bunking down on the plush cushions near the cozy fireplace.

Farmer’s Daughters

$$$$ | City Center Fodor's choice

You’ll find your place in one of the three levels at Farmer’s Daughters, in the fine-dining restaurant, in the deli, or up on the rooftop---its focus is the produce drawn from the rich farmlands of Gippsland, a region the size of Switzerland, to Melbourne’s east. Share small plates in the deli or opt for the chef’s selection (A$70), choose the Gippsland Getaway set menu in the restaurant (A$110), or take a cocktail made with locally sourced spirits up on the roof, for a true farm-to-plate experience. Its pantry serves coffee from 7:30 am on weekdays.


$$$$ | City Center Fodor's choice

Since 1928, dining at Florentino has meant experiencing the pinnacle of Melbourne hospitality. After taking a seat in the famous mural room, with its huge chandeliers, wooden panels, and Florentine murals, you can sample dishes like suckling pig, and spanner crab risotto. The three-course menu is A$150 while the five-course Gran Tour menu costs A$180. Downstairs, the Grill focuses on wood-fired dishes including pici (pasta) with wild boar ragu or grass-fed steaks, while in the Cellar Bar, you can start your day with Italian pastries and espresso on the outside tables from 8 am, or finish the night with a glass of wine and pasta of the day.

Flower Drum

$$$ | City Center Fodor's choice

Superb Cantonese cuisine is the hallmark of one of Australia's truly great Chinese restaurants, which is still receiving awards after opening in 1975. The restrained elegance of the design, deftness of the service, and intelligence of the wine list puts most other restaurants to shame. Those in the know don't order from the menu at all but simply ask the waiter to bring the specials, which often changes between lunch and dinner with the arrival of produce fresh from suppliers.

Higher Ground

$ | City Center Fodor's choice

Serving restaurant meals at breakfast and brunch, Higher Ground leads the pack for early morning dining. Grab a well-crafted pour-over and pastries, or linger over eggs paired with cauliflower, market fish, or the best ricotta hotcakes in town. The dinner service takes it up a notch with 12-hour lamb and a drinks menu that featuring Australian craft beers and wines. With its vast ceilings and raw brick walls, the decor is pure industrial chic. Avoid the busy peak periods.

HuTong Dumpling Bar

$$ | City Center Fodor's choice

The name means "alleyway" and in a sea of dumpling houses in Melbourne, down this little alleyway, you'll find the best of them all. The boiled pork dumplings are popular (A$14.20 for 12), though the panfried variations of pork, chicken, prawn, and chives hold up well, too. The staff is highly trained, and if the space on the ground floor is too snug, ask to go upstairs where there's room to breathe. Bookings are essential, but if you're feeling lucky, arrive at 11:30 am on the dot to try for a table—there will probably be a line of hopefuls already.

I Love Pho

$ | Richmond Fodor's choice

Tucking into a steaming bowl of pho (traditional noodle soup) at this Victoria Street restaurant is like channeling the backstreets of Hanoi and Saigon. Each order comes with a piled plate of Vietnamese mint, bean shoots, and lemon wedges, and there are bottles of chili paste and fish sauce on every mock-marble plastic table. Vegetarian pho is also available. This restaurant is crowded with Vietnamese and other pho lovers on weekends, so you often have to line up on the footpath, but turnover is fast so it's never long before you are seated and eating some of Melbourne's best—and cheapest—food. I Love Pho also has an outlet at the Melbourne Emporium food hall in the city center.

Lune Croissanterie

$ | Fitzroy Fodor's choice

Locals and tourists alike can be found queueing outside Lune each morning for the city's most beloved pastries including what some say are the world's best croissants, which take three days to create. Not afraid to experiment, seasonal flavors may include pumpkin pie or Persian love cake. Inside a Brutalist concrete warehouse, croissants and cruffins fly out of the oven and into the hands of eager customers until there are none left. The pastries are best consumed with Lune's excellent coffee. A city outpost is located at 161 Collins Street.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

$$$$ | City Center Fodor's choice

Taking his inspiration from the steak houses of North America, Rockpool is prolific Australian chef Neil Perry's flagship brand. Start with the whole grilled king prawns and move onto a range of beef cuts---which have been aged and butchered in-house---from the wood-fire grill. Expect deeply knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions on dry aging, wagyu grades or why they serve antibiotic-free beef. One of the city's best-kept secrets is the spectacular wagyu burger on the bar menu (A$19). Pair with one of Rockpool's excellent wines by the glass for the perfect lunch-on-the-go. The grill and bar menu are closed Mon. and Tues. but the bar is open daily.

ShanDong MaMa Mini

$ | City Center Fodor's choice

At one of a series of hole-in-the-wall diners in busy Centre Place, pull up a stool and load your little table with stewed pork-belly buns, made from a family recipe employing 10 different spices. The little diner and its mother restaurant, in the Midcity Centre arcade, are also justly famed for their dumplings filled with a fine mackerel-and-coriander mousse. Wash it all down with an Australian craft beer. The queues move quickly, and it's worth the wait.

400 Gradi

$ | Brunswick East

This is the place for authentic Italian pizza: chef Johnny Di Francesco trained in Naples to make pizza to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana rules, and has consistently won titles of world's best margherita, and also best pizzeria in Oceania. Besides pizza, the restaurant serves excellent pasta and other Italian dishes in a buzzing section of Lygon Street. There are also iterations in Essendon, Southbank, Mornington and the Yarra Valley and an aptly titled gelato spinoff, Zero Gradi, in Brunswick. 


$$ | Carlton

Matriarch Abla Amad has been re-creating the much-loved family recipes from her homeland of Lebanon since 1979. This intimate restaurant resembles a lounge room of a family house, which with Abla walking around talking to diners, adds to the feeling of being looked after. Bookings are recommended and you can BYO wine.

109 Elgin St., Melbourne, VIC, 3053, Australia
Known For
  • family owned
  • chicken and rice
  • homemade baklava
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch


$ | Fitzroy

Food lovers in the know are often found loitering at this tiny, bustling café. Try the excellent pastries, fresh-baked breads, or more substantial offerings like the Russian borscht (beetroot and cabbage soup) or menemen—scrambled eggs with chili, mint, tomato, and a sprinkling of feta cheese. It's an all-day brunch-style café, and there are often lines, so be prepared to wait for a table.

358 Brunswick St., Melbourne, VIC, 3065, Australia
Known For
  • incredible sandwiches
  • freshly baked bread
  • bustling atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No dinner


$$$ | City Center

Every city center needs a place like this, with a drop-in bar and lively dining room. At lunchtime no-time-to-dawdle business types tuck into Italian classics, while those with a sweet tooth will go weak at the knees over a decadent tiramisu. Things get a little moodier at night, when a Campari and soda at the bar is an almost compulsory precursor to dinner. Self-caterers should peruse its beautiful little produce store, next door.

11–25 Crossley St., Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Known For
  • great service
  • gnocchi osso buco
  • macchiato cocktail
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Sat., Reservations essential

Big Esso by Mabu Mabu

$$ | City Center

This all-day bar and kitchen brings Indigenous food and culture to the center of the city. First Nations chef Nornie Bero draws on her upbringing in the Torres Strait Islands to create a menu loaded with uniquely Australian herbs, spices, and teas. Seeking to use sustainable and social enterprise suppliers, try the house damper and wattleseed coffee, and get adventurous if you find emu fillets or pickled watermelon salad on the menu.

Caffe e Cucina

$$ | South Yarra

If you're looking for a quintessential Italian dining experience in a place where it's easy to imagine yourself back in the old country, this is it. Fashionable, look-at-me types flock here for coffee and pastries downstairs, or more-leisurely meals upstairs in the warm, woody dining room. Try the melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi, or calamari Sant' Andrea (lightly floured and shallow fried).

Charcoal Lane

$$ | Fitzroy

Charcoal Lane is a social enterprise restaurant providing vulnerable young people with an opportunity to transform their lives by gaining a traineeship in the restaurant business. The inventive menu includes many Australian bushland ingredients, and the dishes have an Aboriginal influence. Named after a song by acclaimed Aboriginal singer/songwriter Archie Roach, it is housed in the former health service community center, dubbed Charcoal Lane by the many Aboriginal people, who for decades would drop in and swap stories and wisdom. They might include starters of roasted emu fillet or a wild food tasting plate of native produce. Mains include wallaby wrapped in Parma ham and pumpkin and wattleseed gnocchi. Desserts also have a "bush tucker" influence.

136 Gertrude St., Melbourne, VIC, 3065, Australia
Known For
  • <PRO>feel-good dining</PRO>
  • <PRO>native meats</PRO>
  • <PRO>chic decor</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Credit cards accepted

Chin Chin

$$ | City Center

Shared plates of Southeast Asian dishes form the basis of Chin Chin's popular menu. Modeled on hawker-style dining, come for early or late for lunch or dinner to avoid the rush. Otherwise, kill your wait time over a cocktail at the Go Go Bar downstairs---DJs set the tone late into the night Wednesday to Sunday.

125 Flinders La., Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Known For
  • kingfish sashimi
  • Feed Me menu
  • sophisticated curries
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted

D.O.C. Pizza & Mozzarella Bar

$$ | Carlton

A major player in Melbourne's pizza wars, D.O.C. has perfected the art of using fresh, simple ingredients to create something special. The real treat lies in the pizza of the day. One with Ubriaco Amarone cheese, Romana artichokes, smoked toasted almonds, radicchio, and shaved Parmesan might be on offer, or perhaps another with Petrilli passata, garlic, artisan stracciatella, Cantabrico anchovies, and basil (around A$25). Whatever is in season or comes in, they will use. A chocolate pizza is at the ready for those with a sweet tooth. They also have a delicatessen around the corner (330 Lygon Street), which could be a good option for a packed lunch, and there's other locations in Southbank and the picturesque seaside town of Mornington.

Dog's Bar

$$ | St. Kilda

With its blazing fires, artfully smoky walls, and striking, art deco–ish wrought-iron ceiling lights, this three-decade-old restaurant has a lived-in, neighborly look. The food is good, its Australian wine is taken very seriously, and the kitchen is open until late each night.

54 Acland St., Melbourne, VIC, 3182, Australia
Known For
  • <PRO>live music</PRO>
  • <PRO>shared plates</PRO>
  • <PRO>local favorite</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted


$$$ | City Center

Chef Teage Ezard's adventurous—and often exhilarating—take on fusion pushes the boundaries between Eastern and Western flavors. As with all upscale restaurants these days, there's an eight-course tasting menu (A$185 per person, vegetarian and vegan options available) featuring mouthwatering steamed scallop dumplings with aged hon mirin dressing. On weekdays an à la carte option is offered, but on weekends the choice is between either the tasting menu or the fixed-price three-course menu.

187 Flinders La., Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Known For
  • <PRO>inspired seafood</PRO>
  • <PRO>Ezard 45 weekday lunch set menu (A$45)</PRO>
  • <PRO>indulgent dessert</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat., Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential


$$ | St. Kilda

With a philosophy of celebrating local produce, Fitzrovia is known for fresh flavors with a European twist. The building, one of Melbourne's historical mansions overlooking Albert Park, is suitably grand while the food is hearty and sophisticated. Upmarket all-day dining and friendly service give the café a welcoming attitude, and a brunch cocktail is always worth consideration.


$$$ | City Center

Touted as the city's best Japanese restaurant, Hanabishi sits in slightly seedy King Street, an area known for its bars, club venues, and occasionally unsavory clientele. With wooden floors, blue walls, and traditional ceramic serving trays, Hanabishi is the playground of Osakan chef Akio Soga, whose seasonal menu includes such gems as abalone sashimi and aburi salmon. There are long lists of hot and chilled sake and wines, ranging from reasonable to pricey.

187 King St., Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
Known For
  • <PRO>bento boxes</PRO>
  • <PRO>vegetarian menu</PRO>
  • <PRO>Wagyu beef</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat., Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential

Hellenic Republic

$$ | Brunswick East

Owned by well-known TV chef George Calombaris, Hellenic Republic pays homage to Calombaris's Greek heritage, creating a lively taverna type setting with a focus on communal food. We suggest the Masa Menu (A$55), which consists of numerous courses including meat from the omnipresent spit, whose mouthwatering scent envelopes the room upon entering. Naturally the friendly staff will try to entice you into having a sip of ouzo, and since everyone else seems to be doing it, we suggest you do, too. There are also Hellenic Republic locations in Williamstown, Brighton, and Kew.

434 Lygon St., Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Known For
  • <PRO>slow-roasted meat</PRO>
  • <PRO>incredible spanakopita</PRO>
  • <PRO>friendly service</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon.–Thurs.


$ | City Center

Designed to showcase the building's warehouse origins, Krimper's design is rough-hewn but warm. Hidden away among former motorcycle repair shops and a burgeoning dining laneway, Krimper serves innovative food, excellent coffee, and hot chocolate from local company, Mork. Breakfast includes Australian classic Avo on Toast, you'll find barramundi fillets and an Aus-Asian fusion in its ribs, burgers and green bowls on the lunch menu.


$$ | Fitzroy

A local favorite, this stellar Italian bistro emphasizes flavor over starchy linen and stuffy attitude. Delicious wood-fired pizzas, that some insist are the best in the city, put this suburban gem on the map (thankfully, it's only a short walk from the city). On the specials board, lamb rump is scented with garlic and parsley and slow-roasted to impossible tenderness, and the service is as upbeat as the wine list.The Ladro family also includes Ladro TAP, an environmentally sustainable Italian eatery in Greville Street, Prahran. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.

224 Gertrude St., Melbourne, VIC, 3065, Australia
Known For
  • sustainability initiatives
  • puttanesca pizza
  • cannoli specials
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential