Melbourne Restaurants

Melbourne has fabulous food, and is known in some circles as Australia's food capital. The restaurants themselves are often exceptionally stylish and elegant—or totally edgy and funky in their own individual way. Some are even deliberately grungy. The dining scene is a vast array of cuisines and experiences that's constantly evolving. The swankiest (and most expensive) restaurants all have five- to eight-course degustation menus (with the opportunity to wine-match each course), but newer restaurants are opting for tapas-style or grazing plates. Flexibility is the new word in dining—restaurants are often also funky bars and vice versa.

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  • 1. Añada

    $$ | Fitzroy

    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...Read More

  • 2. Brunetti

    $$ | Carlton

    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...Read More

  • 3. Café di Stasio

    $$$$ | St. Kilda

    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...Read More

  • 4. Donovan's

    $$$ | St. Kilda

    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...Read More

  • 5. Farmer’s Daughters

    $$$$ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 6. Florentino

    $$$$ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 7. Flower Drum

    $$$ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 8. Higher Ground

    $ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 9. HuTong Dumpling Bar

    $$ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 10. Rockpool Bar & Grill

    $$$$ | City Center

    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...Read More

  • 11. ShanDong MaMa Mini

    $ | City Center

    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,...Read More

  • 12. 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,...Read More

  • 13. Abla's

    $$ | 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...Read More

  • 14. Becco

    $$$ | 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,...Read More

  • 15. 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...Read More

  • 16. 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...Read More

  • 17. 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...Read More

  • 18. 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...Read More

  • 19. 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...Read More

  • 20. 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...Read More

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