We all know one of Melbourne‘s many drawcards is the huge selection of bars, restaurants, accessible fresh food and coffee to choose from on any given day or night.
New eateries continue to pop up left right and center, offering dining experiences and a creative spin on your everyday dishes.
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Whether it be searching for the best breakfast in Melbourne CBD, the best dumplings in Melbourne, or the top St Kilda restaurants, how to know where to choose your next meal out on the town?
Here are some starting options below, of some of the best eats in Melbourne.
An ideal list if you’re looking for the best Japanese restaurant in Melbourne or the best burger in Melbourne.
These are only the tip of the iceberg for groups and all ages in the Melbourne CBD or inner city suburbs.
We had dinner here as a group of 4 in early 2020 and weren’t disappointed. The banquet of selected modern Italian dishes were impressive and the service was friendly and fast, even though the place was pumping on a Saturday night.
Entering the restaurant, the light and engaging atmosphere and welcome service set this restaurant above some of the more pretentious high end eats in Melbourne. Bookings are recommended on Friday and Saturdays.
19. Grossi Florentino
One of Melbourne’s iconic restaurants, near the centre of Melbourne CBD, Florentino opened in 1928. In 1999 the Grossi family took over and the restaurant became Grossi Florentino.
Situated at the top end of Bourke street, this restaurant includes an iconic Mural room, The ‘Mural Room’ features large murals 4 artists depicting paintings of Florence, Italy.
The carefully selected menu, including sides from $10 up to mains from $40, are on the expensive side but the atmosphere and food are well worth the experience.
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18. Chin Chin
Chin Chin is the kind of place that has a reputation for incredible food, one of the most popular places to eat in Melbourne and difficult to book a table.
Bookings from 10 to 14 guests are available with allocated seating times:
LUNCH: 12.00PM (OUT BY 2.15PM) or 2.30PM (OUT BY 5.30PM)
DINNER: 6.00PM (OUT BY 8.15PM) or FROM 8.30PM ONWARDS.
Note: Groups of less than 10 guests are welcome on a walk in basis.
As there are often long lines curving out the door and down the street, it is best to pick your times to try your luck. Early in the week is best. Another option is to have a drink at the connected Go Go bar and order some starters.
Menu items include, but are not limited to:
Stir fried rice and rice noodle dishes
Chilli Coconut Prawns
Stir Fired Greens
17. Hawker Hall
Situated on Chapel street, Windsor, the Singapore and Malaysian inspired food hall, is part of the LUCAS restaurants owned by Chris Lucas, along with Chin Chin, Baby, Kisume, Kong and Go Go Bar.
Our particular choice is Hawker Hall which takes bookings, but even without a booking you’re also able to rock up at an earlyish hour and grab a table. Friendly service and in a semi casual atmosphere here, the food is incredible and the beers on tap are chosen to the bar staffs personal taste.
When looking for a Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, look no further than Misuzu’s in Albert Park.
Japanese cuisine with a lunch take out bar, in Albert Park, Inner Melbourne Bayside.
Personal picks are the Agadashi Tofu, Tuna Croquettes, Crumbed fish and the Okonomiyaki (Vegetable pancake) with tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
Misuzus consistently serve high quality food at reasonable prices with a friendly and high level of service, making this restaurant of the the best places to eat in Melbourne, south of the river.
15. Mr Miyagi
Modern Japanese food, cocktails, Saki and whiskeys located in Chapel street, Windsor. Mr Miyagi take bookings of 6 or more people. It is also possible to turn up and reserve a at table if busy, while popping to a nearby bar for a drink.
The exceptional and interesting modern style food here and friendly service, are perfect for date night or groups.
This contemporary Asian restaurant is set in a laneway in Melbourne CBD. Meals are plant based, raw, gluten free as well as fresh seafood. Supernormal has exceptional service, even in very busy times.
Their website says “Influenced by the cuisine and restaurants of Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong” and “The menu has been designed to offer a seasonal and approachable selection for all appetites.”
13. Max On Hardware
This modern Australian restaurant in Hardware Lane is touted as one the best Italian food in the area and the reasonable prices and delicious dishes won’t disappoint.
The service is fast and friendly, Italian style, and seated outside in Hardware Lane you could be mistaken and be in Italy.
The perfect Italian and modern CBD option, with bookings recommended on weekend evenings.
12. Red Pepper
One of our top 3 Indian restaurants in Melbourne CBD, is Red Pepper.
Located at the ‘top end’ of Bourke street in Melbourne CBD, we stumbled upon this delicious Indian restaurant. Small and cosy, friendly and high quality service, this restaurant has become a staple on our list of delicious Indian dinner spots to revisit.
11. Osteria Ilaria
Modern Italian restaurant situated in Little Bourke street, Melbourne CBD.
Osteria Ilaria has a rustic Italian feel, with menu items such as baby red snapper, spanner crab, smoked trout roe or paccheri pasta and crystal bay prawns.
Osteria Ilaria is a high end Italian restaurant recommended for its exquisite and creative flair.
10. Van Mai
A definite add if you are searching for the best dumplings in Melbourne.
You could trall the length of Victoria street, Richmond and not know where to begin within the extensive amount of Asian restaurants. One of the best Vietnamese restaurants we’ve been to on Victoria street, Richmond, is Van Mai.
Their website states:
“Grilled meats, spring rolls & soups dished out in a modest Vietnamese eatery with colorful art”
Known for their lovely service and fresh food, this popular restaurant os clean and in a central location in the long line of Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants and groceries on this strip in Richmond.
Menu includes but not limited to:
Rice paper rolls
Sizzling Beef and Chicken
Bean curd dishes
9. Shop Ramen
“Cosy, informal eatery specializing in Japanese noodle soups with a variety of meats & veggies”
Located in the inner north in Fitzroy, on Smith street near the corner of Johnson street is the popular Shop Ramen. The simple menu of noodle ramen soups, all at reasonable prices are aired with a fun drinks menu including sake, ciders and local beer and wine. This is the perfect place for a healthy and delicious feed. Service is friendly and fast.
8. Northcote Social Club
The best pub meal my partner and I have come across in inner Melbourne, and should be added to the top lists of restaurants in Northcote for the food alone.
The Northcote Social club is our local, in High street Northcote, north of Melbourne CBD. A live music venue for touring bands, the covered deck out the back of the pub has a separate bar and friendly service.
If you’re looking for the best burger in Melbourne, the Northcote Social Club will have you sorted.
All the usual pub meals are here, parmigianas, pies, chips, salad and specials. All food comes fast and is of the highest quality and size at a very reasonable price. Get in early in summer or on weekends.
Word of mouth spread pretty fast when Cookie began, when diners began to experience the delicious food options at this Thai eating house and beer hall, along with signature cocktails.
Located on the centre of Melbourne, the menu boasts everything from but not limited to:
Shrimp rice croquettes
Ginger & crispy fish
Bamboo & dried shrimp dumplings,
Chilli soy 16 tapioca dumplings,
Chicken & kaffir lime fritters with cucumber & chilli
One not to skip past if you’re visiting the Melbourne CBD. Best times are weekdays day and evening. Note the adjoing bar becomes extremely busy on weekends.
6. Melissa Cakes
Melissa Cakes has the best takeaway Spanikopita (Spinach and cheese pie). An authentic Greek franchise in Melbourne, no fuss bakery with hot homemade pizza slices and spanakopita. Dash in to pick up a fresh slice with a takeaway coffee on a weekday between errands and you won’t be disappointed.
5. Tao Dumplings
Another to try if searching for the best dumplings in Melbourne!
Tao Dumplings is located south, east and north of the city, in Camberwell, South Yarra and Northcote.
A dumpling house with all the extras, located conveniently near the Rivoli cinemas in Camberwell, for a bite to eat before or after a film.
Friendly service, and a menu comprising high quality delicious Chinese cuisines at very competitive price. Exceptional service, clean restaurants.
Menu includes but not limited to:
San Choy Bow
Salt and Pepper Squid
Stir Fried Beef
Variety of Rice and Noodle dishes
Located in Lygon street Carlton, Tiamo is known as Lygon streets original, authentic Italian restaurant. A casual dining experience for groups or people on the go.
Some faves are the mushroom filled pasta or the ham and cheese pizza.
If Tiamo is busy, you’re able to leave your number at the desk and they’ll call you whenever they have a table available for you. The food quality is consistent, with fast service and generous portions.
3. The Corner Hotel
The Corner is another iconic pub serving delicious and very decent sized pub meals in Richmond. Dining is upstairs from the Corner Hotel band room, an outdoor/indoor deck consisting of 2 main bars with dining service in each section.
A popular best burger in Melbourne spot, ideal for a meal pre concert or sporting event in the area, before a gig downstairs, or a Sunday drink at this the semi rooftop bar.
The pub style menu includes but not limited to:
Pie of the day
Fish and chips
Range of burgers Dessert menu and tea and coffee
Locally known as one of the best St Kilda restaurants, Cicciolina is a popular Italian restaurant in the area.
The website states: “Food prices range from $5.00 to $45.00. Vegetarian and basic gluten free options available”.
Cicciolina began in 1993 and is a local staple of the St Kilda area. Authentic Italian cuisine and a simple approach right on Acland street.
There is also a small back bar where you’re able to order from a select menu and drinks. A top option if you’re waiting for a table in the restaurant. Cicciolina take bookings for lunch and early evening. After 6:30 there are no bookings, only a table if you’re lucky and it’s not too busy.
One of the more incredible wine lists of Melbourne, Cicciolina boast more than 250 local and international wines to choose from.
Cicciolina is one of the best St Kilda restaurants, and worth the trip bayside to experience.
1. Pizza Meine Liebe
A legendary pizza restaurant in the centre of Northcote, Melbourne.
A relaxed atmosphere, serving wine in coffee glasses and delicious pizzas on thin bases. Friendly with a neighborhood style service.
Pizza’s range from any of the below:
STRAIGHT UP: TOMATO RED ONION CAPERS OREGANO GARLIC
THREE CHEEZE: TOMATO GRUYERE BUFFALO MOZZARELLA GORGONZOLA
RING OF FIRE: TOMATO BUFFALO MOZZARELLA CHILLI OIL OREGANO RED PEPPERS GREEN
CHILLIES CHILLI SALT
JETT: TARTUFATA MOZZARELLA POTATO ROCKET TRUFFLE OIL
ZAP: TOMATO STRACCHINO ZUCCHINI PUMPKIN CHILLI
GREENPEACE: MOZZARELLA TALLEGIO SILVERBEET BROCCOLI PARMESAN LEMON
MADAME PIPI: MOZZARELLA PUMPKIN PORCINI PINENUTS ROCKET FETA
SUPER HOT: TOMATO PROVOLONE HOT SOPRESSA PRAWNS CHILLI GARLIC
QLDer: TOMATO MOZZARELLA SPECK PINEAPPLE
Small sized pizzas from $12 and $24 for a large.
These are some faves as well as some local popular places for a meal, to definitely add to your list when discovering Melbourne restaurants. Please take note of website details and booking requirements, as these tend to change over time.