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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Fitzrovia

    $$ | 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...Read More

  • 12. 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...Read More

  • 13. Ladro

    $$ | 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...Read More

  • 14. Lona Misa

    $$ | South Yarra

    Vegan and vegetarian fare is the focus of this restaurant, set in the new Ovolo South Yarra hotel. With a strong Latin American vibe, choose...Read More

  • 15. Richmond Hill Café and Larder

    $$ | Richmond

    Opened by iconic Australian cook Stephanie Alexander, this bright and buzzy café–cum–produce store is a local mainstay. The bistro fare brims with wonderful flavors, from...Read More

  • 16. Seamstress Restaurant & Bar

    $$ | City Center

    This bar-restaurant occupies a heritage-listed four-story building that has housed an undergarment manufacturer, a 1900s sweatshop, a brothel, and even a Buddhist temple (but not...Read More

  • 17. The Commoner

    $$ | Fitzroy

    The street-facing dining room here is packed with young couples enjoying some of the town's best and most eclectic U.K.-inspired food. The menu features "small...Read More

  • 18. The Town Hall Hotel

    $$ | Fitzroy

    Considered one of the city's best gastropubs, the husband and wife team of Michelle and Harry Lilai offer a refined taste of Italy within a...Read More

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