When you want to get a feel for the restaurant scene in Melbourne, there's no better place to do so than the city's original suburbs. You can find anything from upbeat Japanese restaurants to upscale wine bars in this area, or in the neighbouring Collingwood district. So, we've compiled a list of our favourite places to enjoy a long, leisurely meal.
Fitzroy is one of Australia's hippest neighbourhoods, and it's only a tram ride away from Melbourne's central business district. This means that some of the best bars and restaurants in Melbourne can be found there. Learn about the top 10 dining options in Fitzroy by reading on.
Food Places In Fitzroy Melbourne
It’s almost unfair that one suburb can have as many culinary options as Fitzroy does. The previously working-class inner-city suburb has blossomed through the renaissance of Melbourne’s cultural boom and is now home to some of the highest-rated diners in the entire city.
From Les Champs Élysées in Paris to Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street, Madame Sousou offers classic French cooking in a classic European setting. You will transport yourself to the city of love when you walk into this traditional and elegant homage to la cuisine française.
If you’re itching for a good confit de canard after your most recent trip to France, look no further than Madame Sousou. Here they provide brilliant French food, with the formidable Australian attention to good service.
Address: Madame Sousou, 231 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC, Australia
Simon's Peking Duck Chinese Restaurant
Simon's Peking Duck Chinese Restaurant on Smith Street in Fitzroy is a popular destination for foodies in search of an exquisite example of one of the Chinese culinary arts.
Peking duck dishes at this busy, bright corner restaurant are prepared at least a day in advance to achieve tender meat and crispy skin. The restaurant's simple décor features polished wood floors, white tablecloths, and red accents.
While the passing of co-owner and creator Simon Lay in 2018 was a blow, the restaurant's menu continues to honour his memory with offerings like duck and pancakes, stir-fried bean shoots and duck meat, and duck bone soup with bean curd. Maybe you're interested in trying sizzling Mongolian beef or Royal Peking chilli fish served with rice and steamed vegetables.
Address: 197 Smith Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew
It’s a match made in heaven: Australian craft beers with specially crafted, artisan burgers. Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew have just that. Arguably Melbourne’s best burger bar, Brother Burger, provides a juicy and delicious burger experience using only the best Australian 100 per cent wagyu beef.
They also use other unusual, palate-stimulating ingredients, coupled, of course, with Australian craft beer or cider. Don’t worry if you’re not of the meat-eating persuasion. Brother Burger offers delicious vegetarian options as well.
Address:413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC, 3065, Australia
Cutler & Co.
A dynamic establishment by critically acclaimed Australian chef Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co. serves a stunning variety of dishes exhibiting unusual and intriguing produce.
Located in an old metal works factory, this award-winning restaurant balances complex, sensational ingredients and simple contemporary cuisine. Cutler & Co. is an exciting culinary experience. It is a truly important establishment in Australia’s fine-dining sector.
Address:55, 57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia
Taking up residency in Hotel Fitzroy, Cappo Sociale has taken over level one of the building with a 150-seat dining room, lounge, bar, private dining room and open-air terrace.
The kitchen is headed by Executive Chef —with experience in Michelin restaurants and various venues across Australia and overseas behind him, and he’s created a menu with everyone’s favourite homemade Italian classics with a modern twist. The menu is full of super tempting offerings, from homemade pasta and traditional pizzas to a Salumi bar and indulgent dessert list. It may be, but it's a big contender for the best restaurant in Fitzroy.
Address:1/127 Brunswick Street Fitzroy 3065
Embark on a familiar journey reimagined at Babylonia on Smith Street in Fitzroy. Discover an oasis in a sea of city living and pause to rejuvenate and refresh at this unique dining destination, where three separate areas create space for guests to relax and unwind, free from the pace of modern life as vibrant colours and luscious foliage provide a welcome reprieve from the concrete desert of city living, rich and fresh flavours of sweet and spice dance on the palate, from a menu featuring a fusion of contemporary Middle Eastern and classic European dishes.
Perhaps choose to share a mixed grill platter of chicken and lamb shish skewers, lamb kofta, salad and rice, or delve into mains like pan-seared salmon fillet, served with mushroom sauce, Dutch carrots, broccolini and roast potatoes.
Address:129 Smith Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
RST Seafood Restaurant
Classic and unpretentious, RST Seafood Restaurant has a simple premise: old-school seafood. There’s something especially comforting about such a laid-back perspective on food, something this restaurant has mastered.
Without the complexity often seen in many contemporary establishments, RST strips it all back to what’s important: good, well-cooked, tasty seafood. RST welcomes seafood lovers of all ages in this relaxed and classic tavern.
Address:5 Rae Street, Fitzroy North, Victoria, 3068, Australia
Naked for Satan
Doubling as one of Fitzroy’s most popular bars, as well as one of the best restaurants in the suburb, Naked for Satan is a superb spot to eat or drink. Its intriguing decor matches the hipster feel for which Fitzroy is famous. On the bottom floor, you will find their revered vodka bar with a line-up of vodka from all around the world, as well as their own infused products made in-house.
This is accompanied by typical Basque finger food called pintxos (pronounced ‘pinchos’). Upstairs is Naked in the Sky, Naked for Satan’s restaurant, where you can catch one of the best views of the Melbourne city skyline.
Address:285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia
Smith & Daughters
As an excellent choice for vegetarians and omnivores alike, Smith & Daughters offer an all-vegan menu that is sure to please. In addition, you can find some delicious and charming vegetarian South American specialities in this lively Fitzroy pub with cramped communal seating arrangements.
If you’re afraid you’ll get to the end of your meal and wish that you had some meat on your plate, you need not worry. Smith & Daughters will leave you inspired and wanting more.
Address:175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia
The Rainbow Hotel
In the style of an old English pub, The Rainbow Hotel is proud to hold the title of Melbourne’s oldest pub. You will struggle to leave hungry or dissatisfied by serving only the hardiest and chunkiest of pub food.
The Rainbow Hotel manages to balance a sordid local pub full of footy fanatics and a traditional English-style restaurant. It pours several different artisan beers alongside their comforting pub food from the tap.
Address:27 Saint David Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia
Smith & Deli
Designed to focus on the needs of the Fitzroy neighbourhood, Smith & Deli on Moor Street is the place to go for plant-based cuisine. Housed in a historic brick factory, a stone’s throw from big sister restaurant Smith & Daughters, this delicatessen offers takeaway fare, provisions, fresh produce and home-cooked meals to hungry Melburnians.
Stop by for breakfast and pick up a croissanwich with ham, cheese, tomato and mustard, or grilled cheese toastie with ham and truffle oil. At the same time, later diners can wrap their hands around a Foghorn Legless sandwich – chicken schnitzel, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ranch. Finally, those who can take a punch may opt for the Rocky – Philly steak, grilled onions and peppers, mozzarella and cheddar – before grabbing some delicious provisions to take home for later.
Address:111 Moor Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
Part neighbourhood wine bar, part fine diner, Marion is all the things that we’ve come to love from Andrew McConnell’s restaurants. The next-door neighbour to Cutler & Co, Marion has a much more accessible and laid back feel to it.
The menu is meant for sharing and consists of a range of small and large plates, kick-off with some Blackmore wagyu bresaola, then dive into some mussels with Nduja with fried bread, lovage, and aioli. In terms of wine, you’re spoilt for choice; the team on the floor are incredibly knowledgeable and will help you select a winner from the 20-plus page wine list that features bottles from across the world's top wine regions as well as quality Australian drops.
Address:51-53 Gertrude Street Fitzroy, 3065 VIC
This cozy little spot offers simple and relaxed Japanese and Taiwanese culinary delights with decor that takes you back to traditional eastern Asia with a contemporary twist. Peko Peko is located on Smith Street, a street full of many different little spots to eat frequented by students from the nearby university.
This is a refreshing location if you’re looking for something affordable, quick and delicious.
Address:199 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC, Australia
Combining the elegance of an old-world café with the casual nature of a neighbourhood eatery, Bon Ap on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is committed to the pleasure of good food.
This petit French bistro is a light-filled space for a morning croissant, a long lunch, dinner, or even a late-night digestif in the elegant surrounds of a heritage building. So settle in with a glass of your favourite vino and peruse an authentic menu with entrées like classic escargots a la Bourguignonne – snails baked in garlic butter – or freshly shucked oysters; before saying merci to mains like hand-cut steak tartare, condiments, salad and toast.
Don’t go past French favourite coq au vin, chicken leg marinated and braised in red wine, mushrooms, lardons and potatoes; or mussels, cream, cider and French fries.
Address:193 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya
There's always something new to try at Ichi thanks to the restaurant's extensive menu of traditional and regional Japanese fare. The diner on Brunswick Street has a seriously impressive and varied interior, with a greenhouse-like back section and thin wall printed on the inside.
From perfectly grilled Yakitori and sashimi to colourful and plentiful gyoza and more, the menu has everything you could want.
Address:2&3/127 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Victoria 3065
Poodle Bar & Bistro
Poodle is spread over two levels inside a pair of side-by-side Victorian buildings on Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street.
Before opening Poodle, head chef Josh Fry spent seven years cooking at Melbourne’s best restaurants, including Andrew McConnell’s neighbouring wine bar Marion and Cumulus Inc in Flinders Lane.
The menu is full of zhooshed-up, old-world hotel classics. Snack-wise, there are Sydney Rock oysters, served natural or with acqua pizza (a tomato, chilli and smoked fish dressing), and prawn cocktails in dainty Martini glasses served with prawns delicately hanging over the edge.
Plus, tins of smoked sardines, anchovies and baby octopi; house-made charcuterie; vol-au-vents (French-style pastry cases) topped with salmon roe; celeriac potato pave (thinly sliced and pressed into a buttery brick).
The cocktail list is short and includes a Wet Poodle (a wet Martini) and a Poodle Spritz (an aperitivo of your choice topped with prosecco and soda). Light-rye sourdough is made in-house with excess coffee grinds and served with kefir butter and pickled baby vegetables.
The cream base is also the bed for the sliced trout, which is cured for 12 hours with beetroot and dill and is served with horseradish and bottarga. More substantial is the club sandwich, made with chicken-fat-brushed bread that’s toasted and layered with crispy chicken skin, ham-hock terrine, iceberg, tomato, and tarragon mayo.
Or there’s the honeycomb tripe à la Poodle with parmesan rind, pancetta and butter beans. And the pan-roasted roast chicken comes on braised black cabbage, topped with a heap of sliced truffle. For dessert, a chocolate bombe Alaska is set alight at the table. It’s part chocolate, part olive-oil parfait on an olive-oil sponge, all cased in meringue.
The fit-out is by design studio Bergman & Co and blends European elements with kitsch Aussie-Italian suburban. (An elaborate Franco Cozzo sideboard would not feel too out of place). Brick walls were knocked out between the two buildings, creating two distinct spaces.
Downstairs, one side is dominated by a marble-topped bar, and grand wooden archways lead into a dining room with glass dividers creating privacy between tables. Out the back are a terracotta-tiled courtyard and a walk-in cellar.
The dark-green, teal and pink palette continues into a second bar upstairs, and there are chequered floors, hanging wooden fans, and slatted wooden ceilings throughout. Leather banquettes and gold velvet couches encourage settling in for the long haul.
Address:81-83 Gertrude Street Fitzroy 3065
Nomada Food & Wine
Nómada is a collaboration between front-of-house veteran Michael Burr (ex-Bomba) and chef James McLennan (ex-Bomba, The Point, Taxi Dining Room). The 50-seat space has a hand-pressed tile bar, Scando furniture, hand-stitched leather upholstery and the occasional bit of (fake) fur. It feels warm and lived in.
There are sherries on the drinks list, and wines are from both old-world and new, such as the Henty Farm Riesling and the Azul y Garanza Garnacha.
Address:412 Brunswick Street Fitzroy 3065
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack
Things will probably get messy here. Miss Katie’s Crab Shack started as a Southern-style seafood truck run by culinary genius. But in 2017, she dropped anchor at a lovely little venue on Smith Street, specializing in sticky-finger, claw-cracking crab.
All the food is a hit, but the star is the southern crab boil—of course; It’s juicy, it’s sticky, and it’s jam-packed with flavour. Keep an eye out for their weekly Happy Hour drink and oyster specials too. You won’t leave here looking pretty, but you will feel good.
Address:325 Smith Street Fitzroy
Pho La Que Basil Leaf
If you’re looking for a big feed at a low price, you’ve found the right place at this Vietnamese noodle bar. Donned with chic contemporary decor and refreshing art, Pho La Que Basil Leaf is a charming little restaurant in the heart of Fitzroy. You can find generous servings of authentic Vietnamese pho with quick and friendly service.
Address:369 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065, Australia
Afghan Gallery Restaurant
Step through the unassuming entrance of Afghan Gallery Restaurant on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy to find a hidden world of a traditional tent room, hanging lanterns and tapestries adorning the walls. Inside is rustic with exposed brick, dark wood, an eclectic mix of artwork and floor rugs, while upstairs is moody with tapestries, richly hued fabric billowing from the ceiling and cushions scattered on the floor.
For more than 40 years, Australia’s first Afghani restaurant has been delighting diners with starters such as Mantoo – pastry stuffed with minced meat, topped with yoghurt sauce – before pan-fried chicken kebabs, egg and spices. Perhaps spiced beef stew and cumin rice tempt, while vegetarians are more than catered for with choices like slow-cooked eggplant and herbs in a thick sauce.
Address:327 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
Gertrude Street’s Añada is all about its regulars. The Fitzroy eatery turned 10 in 2018 and remained a local staple, while others have come and gone from the busy inner-north strip.
Part of Añada’s staying power is that its simple, southern Spanish-style menu has evolved at the hands of multiple head chefs since the owner (Bomba, Park Street) was running the kitchen.
These days sous chef turned head chef Maria Kabal is putting her stamp on the menu, leading a small team of three women.
Kabal, who grew up in Estonia, has been with Añada for half its life and has stayed true to the restaurant’s roots, as well as drawing on her own. She balances the “peasant” influence of Europe with more modern techniques.
The tasting menu lets you sample a bit of everything – from tapas, raciones and squid-ink paella to desserts and cheeses. There’s a mushroom and manchego croqueta; rabbit and tarragon canelón (cannelloni) with mustard greens and amontillado (a type of sherry) jus; smoked duck-heart torrija (a Spanish version of French toast) with guanciale (cured pork) and fig glaze; and Arroz con Leche de cocoa coconut rice pudding served with bitter chocolate and coconut sorbet.
Address:197 Gertrude Street Fitzroy 3065
The Rochester Hotel
You might think you're familiar with The Rochey, but not when Mischa Tropp is in charge of the pass. He has introduced an authentic southern Indian menu to The Rochey, which has really livened up the restaurant's dining options. We're talking about a mouthwatering beef curry served with Thoran, curd, long pickled melon, rose mata rice, and papadums.
Ghee-roasted chicken with tamarind and Kashmiri chilli is just one example of the incredibly flavorful dishes available. When it comes to reimagining the possibilities for pub food, the former sticky floor pub is now doing a good job and has become one of the best restaurants in Fitzroy.
Address:202 Johnston Street Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Vamos, located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, is a popular restaurant known for its Latin American-inspired dishes and inventive cocktails with a Melbourne twist. Modern tapas bar with neon signs, reclaimed wood, trailing plants, and colourful artwork where you can enjoy a glass of wine and some good company while sampling some tasty tapas.
Tapas plates like octopus and chorizo tostadas with pico de gallo and aioli, as well as twice-cooked pork belly tacos with salsa ancho, will ensure that your taste buds have just as much fun at the party as you do. Barramundi, quinoa, cranberry, and goats' cheese salad with a Espresso Martinez made with spiced rum, dark agave, and Pisco is a hearty option for those with a larger appetite.
Address:366 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065 VIC
FAQs About Food Places In Fitzroy Melbourne
Wander along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy’s main drag, for tonnes of vintage clothing stores and second-hand bookshops. Take your pick from an array of cafés and restaurants, or stop into The Everleigh for some of Melbourne's finest cocktails.
This Brunswick Street institution is one of Australia’s oldest Afghan restaurants. Adored by homesick Afghanis and BYO-loving uni students alike, the veggie- and the vegan-friendly spot is one of Fitzroy’s most unique dining experiences. This all-day diner and wine bar is from an ex-Vue De Monde chef known for his sell-out vegetarian pop-up dinners.
In the former Village People Hawker Food Hall space, this Italian restaurant is the flagship of the Hotel Fitzroy. Come for classic pizzas, salumi, portions of pasta, and a punchy cocktail list. Plus, there's a private dining room and a terrace balcony.