This article explores Melbourne's dining scene in depth, naming the top eateries in the city.
Melbourne's diverse population has brought with it a culinary tradition that is second to none. It's true that nearly half of Melbourne's population has foreign origins. The Chinese, Italians, and Greeks are just a few of the cultures that have had a significant impact on Melbourne's food scene.
Many Australians believe that Melbourne, not Sydney, is the country's most prominent food city. In 2017, this incredible Australian city became the first in Australia to host the World Best Restaurants awards, and the rest of the world took notice.
Without further ado, let's get down to the serious business of finding you a good restaurant in Melbourne. For this reason, we have compiled a list of our favourite restaurants in the city. Presented for your perusal are
FAQs About Melbourne
The Iconic Dishes of Melbourne
- Lamb Roast. There's nothing more Aussie than a Sunday roast.
- Banh mi. Thousands of refugees settled in Melbourne after the Vietnam War, and with them came a wave of incredible Vietnamese bakeries.
- Meat pie.
- Hot jam doughnut.
- Pippies in XO.
- The magic.
- Capricciosa pizza.
The Most Popular Restaurants In Melbourne, Australia
- Red Spice Road, Melbourne CBD. Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian, $$$
- Lake House, Daylesford.
- David's, Prahran.
- Chin Chin, Melbourne CBD.
- The Grand Hotel, Richmond.
- Vivace, Brighton.
- Rice Paper Scissors, Melbourne CBD.
- Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne CBD.
Locals' Favourite Restaurants in Melbourne
- Fat Jak's. A St Kilda HotSpot With Amazing Food.
- Moroccan Soup Bar. Dinner in the Park.
- Melbourne's laneways. Get lost in Melbourne's laneways.
- Mamasita. Visit Mexico in Melbourne's CBD.
- Abbotsford Convent. by Leah.
- Federation Square.
- Chadstone Shopping Centre.
It's Smith Street, Collingwood. This may be news to some but, with its vast range of food and dining options, funky bars, artisan outlets and vintage shops, it's easy to see why this once 'working class' area has become the number one must-see street on Time Out magazine's world hotlist.
Restaurants and cafés (including bars and pubs) are open for dine-in outdoors and for seated service only indoors if everyone present (including staff) is fully vaccinated, is under 16 or has a valid medical exemption.
The Restaurants In Melbourne You Have To Try
Cutler & Co.
To understand the essence of Cutler & Co, you first need to understand its owner- Andrew McConnell. Being his flagship restaurant, Cutler & Co is a perfect manifestation of Andrew’s journey. Before setting his roots back home in Melbourne, Andrew spent his formative years learning from the best in Europe, Hong Kong, and Shanghai- influences of which reflect in this pièce de résistance.
The restaurant's setting (a repurposed metal works factory) is distinctively Australian (a blend of grit with a touch of class). The food itself, a perfect manifestation of his training, is a Euro-Asian fusion.
- Our Recommendation: Their King George Whiting is a must-try! They also have a great wine list.
- Address: 55/57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Grossi Florentino is one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in the Melbourne Central Business District, having opened in the early twentieth century. Although the food is delicious, there is more to enjoy at Grossi. As a result, you get to bask in the adoration and enthusiasm of a society that places a premium on duty and respect. If you want to experience authentic Italian cuisine, look no further than Grossi.
The restaurant has evolved along with the times, but its commitment to quality has not wavered. We take great care in selecting our ingredients and honing the flavours.
- Our recommendation: Their uncomplicated take on gnocchi makes it that more alluring.
- Address: 80 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Vue de Monde
Few restaurants can beat the view that Vue de Monde has. You get to experience Shannon Beckett’s take on French cuisine overlooking the entire city atop the Rialto! Yes, the food is the show's star, but the vibe one gets from the location is to die for.
Remember that 55th floor I mentioned? This is dinner and a view like no other. Potentially our most iconic fine-dining spot, no ‘best restaurants Melbourne’ list would be complete without Vue de Monde.
Created by Shannon Bennet, you'll never leave this restaurant disappointed. It’s not cheap, but it will be memorable. Prep your wallet and your stomach, and sign up for the tasting menu ranging from $230 to $275 per person.
Vue de Monde is high on our recommendation list for special locations.
- Our recommendation: Their buttermilk kingfish with a touch of kale
- Address: Rialto Towers, 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tucked away in Melbourne’s CBD, within its laneway locale, Tipo 00 exemplifies my ideal type of dining- casual dining. The restaurant itself is unassuming and does not impose. What do I mean by this?
Tipo 00 is what would happen if you converted an Italian kitchen into a restaurant. You walk in, and the first thing you notice is the open kitchen overlooking a very home dining room. Not only does that give a very welcoming vibe, but you know a chef is confident in their skill when they let you see how they cook!
Yes, they specialise in one thing- Italian cuisine and specifically pasta. The name itself is derived from the type of flour they use in their pasta making-“Italian 00 flour.” Don’t let the otherwise self-effacing nature of Tipo 00 fool you. They’re good! Over the years, they’ve garnered all manner of awards ranging from Best casual dining restaurant from Time Out to Australia’s best new restaurant.
It’s no lie that Melburnians love pasta, and Tipo 00 pasta bar knows their audience. Tucked away in Little Bourke Street, they’ve turned homemade pasta into an art form. Each item on the menu is lovingly created and garnished to perfection, from the gnocchi to the rabbit tagliatelle. Make sure you leave room for their classic Italian desserts, though, because you’ll want one of each.
- Our recommendation: Their Riso Carnanoli is to die for. Vegans are in luck as they do have vegan options.
- Address: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Truly Australian in every way, Attica gives a different meaning to fine dining altogether. To them, fine dining is more about an open, conversational atmosphere than expensive plates and cutlery. To them, fine dining is about the creative use of local ingredients rather than the most pricey ones.
You won’t see gold leaf in your dish. Still, you will enjoy authentic modern Australian cuisine exemplified by local ingredients such as the lobster looking crayfish called Marron- native to Australia.
- Address: 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea VIC 3185, Australia
Another creation from Andrew McConnell Cumulus Inc. is located in upscale Flinders Lane. Expect the same class and standards in any of Andrew McConnell’s restaurants.
One of the few eateries on this list is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner!
- Our recommendation: The chef’s tasting menu
- Address: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Apart from its unique take on Cantonese cuisine, flower drum is known for its impeccable cuisine. You won’t find moody or arrogant workers here. The incredible service itself qualifies the restaurant’s place on this list.
- Our recommendation: Their Quail Sang Choi Bao
- Address: 17 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
- Our recommendation: Their Vietnamese Pâté Chaud (dumpling with pork filling)
- Address: 338 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
Chin Chin, located in the Melbourne CBD on Flinders Lane, is a Thai-inspired restaurant bringing together flavours from South East Asian cuisine. It takes on a shared-eating concept, with dining tables assembled to resemble the hawker dining halls of Asia.
All of Chin Chin’s sauces, pastes and relishes are made in-house, using the freshest ingredients. Its signature caramelised sticky pork dish was awarded the Tastiest Pork Dish in Asia at the Chowzter Asia Awards 2015.
Other signature dishes include Thai-style crunchy prawns and Chinook salmon wrapped in banana leaf with coconut, red curry, lime and Thai basil. Customers can select a ‘feed me’ option as well, in which you are given a selection of Chin Chin’s favourite dishes.
Chin Chin restaurant doubles as an Asian pop-up gallery with a wide display of quirky cartoons and large art pieces.
From the people that brought you Kisumé, Chin Chin is another great Asian fusion restaurant specialising in Malay cuisine. That being said, expect food with influences from all over Asia, including Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Their food is particularly great for people who like that extra kick in their food and can stand the chilli.
Remember that the place has a general no booking policy, so it’s pretty much first come, first serve. The long queues are worth it, though!
- Our recommendation: Amazing Pad Thai
- Address: 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
The third Andre Mcconnell restaurant featured on this list. Supernormal takes on Japanese fusion with a confidence reserved only to master chefs such as Mcconnell. Don’t confuse it with its little sister in St.Kilda (Supernormal canteen)- the one featured on this list is the fully-fledged restaurant.
Just down the road from Chin Chin is the bustling Asian hot spot Supernormal—the brainchild of culinary extraordinaire Andrew McConnell. The menu is constantly changing, but it’s always designed for sharing. You can go a la carte or order the banquet if you’re feeling fancy.
Supernormal is perfect for a family feast or dinner with foodie friends. They’re also on Providore for the ultimate lazy Friday night takeaway.
- Our recommendation: Great Prawn and Chicken dumplings
- Address: 180 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Dinner by Heston Melbourne
The cuisine is distinctively British, with dishes invented as early as the 12th century.
- Our recommendation: Their spiced duck is a must!
- Address: Level 3, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
The problem with many Asian restaurants is this- a lack of authenticity. So when you find an authentic Asian restaurant boasting actual Japanese and Korean chef’s, you know you must try it!
- Our recommendation: You want to sample as much sushi as possible, so go for the chef’s tasting menu
- Address: 175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
The Most Popular Restaurants In Melbourne, Australia
The top Victorian restaurants, cafes and bars have been voted by diners and named The Age Good Food Guide 2016. Each with its unique flavour, style and theme, the People’s Choice Poll revealed the diversity of Victoria’s dining scene.
Five Asian-inspired restaurants, a vegan bar, two Italian-themed restaurants, a steakhouse inspired by North and a fine diner have been awarded the most favourable places to eat out by Victorians. Here’s the low-down on all.
Red Spice Road, Melbourne CBD
Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian
Known for its Asian-inspired menu, Red Spice Road, located in the heart of Melbourne, incorporates flavours from Thailand, Malaysia, China and Vietnam. As part of the inaugural The Age Good Food Guide People’s Choice award, Red Spice Road was labelled Victoria’s favourite and most preferred restaurant.
Lake House, Daylesford
Daylesford’s Lake House produces seasonal food with a modernistic and revolutionary take on its presentation. The menu is tailored to each season, and the produce is often fresh and handpicked every morning before service. Whether grass-fed beef or freshwater fish, Lake House takes a rather countryside approach to its menu.
Its signature dish of smoked Skipton eel in pancetta, shallot confit, beetroot remoulade, and mustard crème fraîche is delicately beautiful and refined in flavor and presentation.
David’s, an award-winning restaurant located in Prahran, delivers a modernist take on traditional family recipes. Its menu, largely inspired by cuisine from Zhouzhuang, a rural town located on the rivers of Shanghai, aims to deliver simple, honest and flavoursome food using local fresh produce.
Its dishes are well known for being seasoned with soy, sugar, ginger and sometimes whole chillies and cloves of garlic. David’s restaurant takes on a relaxing and homey feel, styled to resemble a Shanghai river house.
The Grand Hotel, Richmond
Hotel Restaurant, Australian
The Grand Hotel in Richmond provides an elegant and sophisticated feel too authentic Italian-style cuisine. It delivers quality ingredients and great value. The Grand Dining Room has been awarded the ‘Age Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat’ on nine consecutive occasions. Whether a business lunch or an intimate date, its lively yet sophisticated atmosphere tailors to all occasions.
Its stand-up events are unique to the Grand Hotel. From cocktail parties to corporate functions to Italian feasts, The Grand Hotel has something to suit everybody.
Restaurant, Diner, Italian
Vivace in Brighton offers a modern take on Italian cuisine, incorporating fresh Australian seafood, Black Angus beef, house-made pasta and delectable desserts for the most fastidious diner.
Vivace offers an elegant dining experience with its warm atmosphere and soft lighting. Its dishes are beautifully presented to suit an intimate meal or private function. The kitchen is fresh and seasonal, currently offering guests an enticing, delicious winter breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, with an accompanying wine list.
Rice Paper Scissors, Melbourne CBD
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Cocktails, Australian, Thai, Vietnamese
Rice Paper Scissors gathers the freshest ingredients to deliver a South-East Asian-inspired menu with sauces, patés and relishes made in-house. Dining tables are assembled to resemble the hawker dining halls of Asia, and they are committed to supporting local food and hospitality suppliers.
Its menu is centred on a shared-eating concept, and the rustic feel only adds to the sense of community and togetherness that this restaurant provides.
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne CBD
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Australian
Motivated to create a lively environment that somewhat resembles the well-known steakhouses of North America, Melbourne’s Rockpool Bar and Grill focus on delivering the best Australian-sourced produce. It promises a relaxed and luxurious dining experience, accompanied by a simple and refined menu.
It delivers the best quality of meat as all beef is aged locally on the premises of Rockpool Bar and Grill, enhancing the overall flavour and quality of the beef. There are no added supplements or growth hormones, which can be quite a rarity in Australia today.
Offering three of what are believed to be the best types of Australian beef — Blackmore’s Wagyu, Cape Grim and Minderoo — Rockpool treats their ingredients respectfully and delivers on taste, quality and excellence.
Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy
It commonly uses ‘seafood,’ ‘chorizo’, and the root of a konjac plant to deliver Spanish and Mexican-inspired dishes. Its food and drinks are fresh, vibrant and packed with delicious flavour.
Longrain, Melbourne CBD
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian, Cocktails, Dessert
Longrain provides a collaboration of Southeast Asian flavours with the finest Victorian produce. They deliver large servings of food, generally made to be shared by diners, as Longrain is well known for its sense of communal eating.
From its crispy whole fillets to its spicy peanut papaya salads, the delicately refined yet rare combinations provide a modern twist to traditional Thai food. However, you cannot go to Longrain and not try the signature cocktail, Ping Pong, bursting with the goodness of lychees, passionfruit and vodka.
Those of us who live in Melbourne are spoiled for choice when it comes to gourmet restaurants. The city is a gumbo of cultures and cuisines, and it also has some seriously stylish interiors. The best restaurants in Melbourne are those that make you want to return for more.
Everything from the menu to the bar selection to the atmosphere to the service is top-notch.
Some of Melbourne's finest eateries are located not in the central business district but in less expected suburban streets, underground, or even on the 55th floor of the Rialto building.
We've done the legwork for you and compiled the definitive guide to the city. A book is all that's required at this point.