You can find a wide variety of restaurants in Melbourne, making it a wonderful vacation destination. However, where should you take your guests? If you're looking for a restaurant that has something for everyone, here are some recommendations. These eateries will satisfy your cravings for both casual fare and fine dining. And if you haven't already, give them a shot the next time you have visitors. You won't regret it at all!
They say Melburnians are the world's best humblebraggers. We're proud people, to be sure, but we don't go around yelling it from the rooftops. Downplaying is so commonplace in this metropolis that it's practically an art form. We'll be saying things like: "What is this? This relic from the past?
And, "My local deli is pretty good...all the chefs are ex-Vue de Monde and they only use produce that has brought transformative joy to a child," are both things that people have said to me recently. That's par for the course, though ".
Don't even think about starting a coffee-related bragging session with us; we'll be here all day. However, it is still difficult when visitors demand the best that Melbourne has to offer. The tendency to puff one's own horn is hard to overcome, but there are workarounds.
Just pick a direction and walk until you find a hatted venue; our city has delicious food hidden down every alleyway, in every abandoned warehouse, and on every rooftop.
We are doomed to a life of ramen addiction. We've sampled the best noodle bowls all over Melbourne, but many locals in the Collingwood area swear by Shop Ramen. You can't miss this place, as it has a bright neon sign advertising "ramen, buns, and pie" in the window.
The staff at their Collingwood location serves fresh hand-pulled noodles (more on that later), but they also offer buns (or bao) filled with hearty ingredients like pork belly with garlic chips, brisket and kimchi, or smoked tofu.
Try the broccoli rice with mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), edamame, kale, and a soft egg drizzled with sambal sauce for something a little lighter. You could also eat ramen, which is their namesake. Don't think the list of options will go on forever. In fact, the fact that the menu is limited to just four varieties of broth-based dishes is what sets this establishment apart.
The Tan Tan Men with melt-in-your-mouth roasted beef brisket, grilled bean shoots, peanuts, and spicy oil is a must-try, as is the pork belly ramen with shoyu, nori, a marinated egg, mushrooms, and Chinese broccoli.
Vegans and vegetarians have historically been discouraged from slurping stock, but now there is tofu ramen available, which is made with organic white miso, fresh tofu, sesame, and kale.
Traditional Japanese plum wine, beer, or sake are great accompaniments (which are also on display on the walls). Try one of their yuzu sippers or lychee spritzers if you're in the mood for something a little more upscale. How much sooner can Friday be?
Melbourne's Sister Bella is a genuine laneway bar. There is no sign, just a few steps up to a tiny open door hidden behind a pile of stinky trash cans. Don't be fooled by the tiny front bar; there's a much larger one up the stairs in the back, and it has a few more seats.
If you're here in a group of more than one, you'll have a better chance of finding a place to sit, but the place still retains some of the intimate feel of a hidey hole thanks to the wooden crates tucked into the corners.
It's easy to imagine many a "next big thing" or conspiracy theory being shared and enjoyed over a cheap beer or jug of sangria, as the laid-back atmosphere and solid but affordable drinks list provide an ideal backdrop for creative collaboration. The cocktails, however, are quite tasty if that's not your thing.
Sister Bella offers student deals, and the food menu consists of a variety of toasties that are as simple and satisfying as the cheap drinks list, so the laneway bar is always packed.
Arbory Bar & Eatery
Arbory is the best place to show off Melbourne's famous Yarra River to visitors. The venue stretches for a total of 150 metres alongside the river and provides a mystical haven free of stuffiness. It's a great vantage point for watching the river traffic below or, alternatively, for people-watching.
The breakfast and coffee service at Arbory begins at 7:30 in the morning and continues until late at night. With a short but carefully curated menu that includes all the essentials, it's an excellent option for drinks and snacks.
Although there are many nutritious menu options, we recommend the fried chicken burger ($17) with iceberg lettuce, pickles, chipotle, and crinkle-cut chips. For a light bite that won't break the bank, try the truffled cauliflower croquette with aioli.
The length of Arbory Bar and Eatery is 150 metres. Promenade like in the good old days along the length of what was once Platform 13 at Flinders Street Station. To see and be seen, in other words, by walking.
When you're done, grab a seat at one of the larger tables or at the long counter bench overlooking the Yarra. The ex-Trocadero (now Fatto) chef Nicolas Bennett helms the concise and well-chosen menu at Arbory, which is open from 7.30 a.m. for breakfast all the way through the night.
Arbory is a mystical oasis of greenery in the middle of a bustling city, so called for the leafy canopy, or arbour, that the plane trees create above. As night falls, the container's kitchen, two bars, and bathrooms radiate an alluring golden light, adding to the enchantment.
The steak tartare is presented on a cheese toastie, and the fresh Buffalo mozzarella and green sauce on the fried artichoke are the icing on the cake of this refined but still a little cheeky menu. Those are both dead on, and the larger plates won't be far behind.
The salted caramel sundae with popcorn crumb for dessert is a throwback to the original Trocadero menu. However, the double cheeseburger is clearly the best option. Supposedly, the butcher makes the patties according to Bennett's instructions, resulting in the ideal meat-to-fat ratio and, more importantly, the ideal bread-to-beef ratio.
Similar to how a fine steak would be prepared, the patties at Arbory are served slightly pink and incredibly juicy. The beef patty may be the main attraction, but the addition of bacon, a brioche bun, mild and creamy Monterey cheese, sundried tomato relish, a sliver of lettuce, and a pickle take this burger to the next level. T
The dish—or should we say the wooden board—is finished off with crinkle-cut fries. In addition, I can tell you from personal experience that you will need more than one napkin. This bar is well-planned, with amenities such as a state-of-the-art beer system, a sleek Hoshizaki ice machine, wine on tap (and some lovely local and Spanish wines by the bottle), and an upcoming cocktail menu.
There is a pleasant mix of suits, jeans, and frocks, as the bar is becoming increasingly popular as a place to unwind for workers after hours and as a respite from the 9 to 5 grind during lunch. Even if you don't have to be in the city for work, you should go. And the location, adjacent to the station, leaves no room for excuse.
Jia-Yen Lee and chef Thi Le, who run the restaurant Anchovy, have adapted many Southeast Asian culinary traditions for the tastes of contemporary Melbourne diners. Thi Le, who has worked in restaurants such as Cumulus Inc., Luxembourg, Supernormal Canteen, and Sydney's Universal, has created a thoughtful menu that blends traditional Vietnamese flavours with those she learned while cooking in Australia.
While you peruse the menu, a complimentary cup of mint tea will be brought to you. Steamed clams in a broth flavoured with turmeric and dill are a fan favourite, as the dish combines the fresh herb flavours typical of northern Vietnam with the shellfish elements typical of the country's southern coast.
Le suggests the Vietnamese blood pudding with ginger and cos if you're a fan of black pudding (or if you're feeling adventurous). It is crisp, clear, and full of interesting flavour and textural contrasts.
The all-white decor and bar/communal seating create a simple elegance. The bar's wooden surface and the soft glow of the pendant lights create an inviting and cosy atmosphere.
Osteria Ilaria may be familiar to those who are familiar with Tipo 00, a popular Melbourne pasta restaurant located on Little Bourke Street. An identical business, opened directly next door, and is managed by the same people.
Fresh ingredients are used, but the menu is changed. Visit Ilaria for a more pan-European experience in a setting that's as comforting as a hug from your doting (and very fashionable) grandmother.
For a taste of Osteria with a dash of Tipo's pasta mastery, try the beef carpaccio, red currant, and parmesan appetiser ($19) and the charcoal gnocchi with carrot and taleggio cheese ($21).
It's not easy to follow up a smashingly successful debut restaurant with another winner, but the minds behind cult favourite Tipo 00 have done it with their new wine bar, Osteria Ilaria.
Taking over the space on Little Bourke Street previously occupied by the equally legendary Tipo 00 pasta bar, this stylish newcomer avoids competing with its more traditional Italian neighbour by focusing instead on the rest of Europe.
The whitewashed exposed brick walls, long open kitchen, and stylish private dining room give the restaurant its cosy, modern rustic vibe. Then there's the food selection.
It's sophisticated enough to place this newcomer among Melbourne's modern wine bars, but the tone is relaxed enough for the snack-hungry after-work crowd.
No matter how shallow or deep of a dive you're interested in, you're welcome to join us on this continental adventure. Indulge in some porcini croquettes ($3.50 each) and baby octopus on 'Ajuda ($8 total) for a quick taste, or settle in for a full meal.
Paccheri, one of the few pasta options, is an obvious choice, and it pairs well with the bold combination of Crystal Bay prawns, tomato, and sorrel ($19). In addition to these standout seafood small plates, the lineup also includes.
the Pollock-like plate of baby squid, splashed with a palette of squid ink, saffron, and creamy salted cod ($19), and the sashimi-style kingfish served with smoked eel and a lively watercress sauce ($18).
From the rich roasted duck for two ($46) with a honey-sweet jus balanced by bitter radicchio and the crunch of hazelnuts, to the textured side dish of creamed corn, pepped up with the addition of grilled turnip tops ($15), everything is carefully considered.
Stay for the last course to see what happens when someone puts chocolate mousse on olive oil ($14) and how incredible it can be.
The bar's drinks menu is just as well-rounded and open to discovery as the rest of the establishment. La Soeur Cadette Chardonnay from Burgundy ($17 glass, $46 carafe), single vineyard Xinomavro from Greece ($16 glass), or an elegant drop from Melbourne's own La Sirene Brewing ($16) are all on the menu.
Osteria Ilaria serves up excellent meat and fish dishes; it's not the same as its pasta-serving sister restaurant, but it does what it does very well. It's the best option if you want something that's easier to get to and doesn't require as much effort. If you don't look too closely, you'll see that Osteria Ilaria has everything it takes to become an instant classic.
For the pinnacle of theatre food, nothing beats lûmé. As you sample each dish, you'll be delighted by its unique presentation and unexpected flavours. The wait staff, so the rumour goes, has been taking acting classes. Having Dinner By Heston cater your next dinner party is a surefire way to make a good impression on your guests if you're in the mood to be extremely generous.
Lume, a new fine dining establishment in South Melbourne, is poised to become one of the city's premier destinations for tasting menus. This is what real dining is all about, Listers, with an 18-course (EIGHTEEN-COURSE) menu spread out over the course of a few hours. Expect clean, fresh flavours with a familiar contemporary Melbourne taste on the seasonal dinner menus.
Frequently Asked Questions About Melbourne Foods
Roast lamb has been declared Australia's national dish in a major poll that shows we're still a country of meat-eaters at heart. The poll, held on News Ltd websites across all mainland capitals, attracted more than 24,000 votes.
- Salt and pepper calamari.
- Fairy bread.
- Chicken Parma.
- Anzac biscuits.
- Dim sim.
- Pigs in a blanket.
- Spag bol.
Melbourne's food is a cause for celebration for many of us – we have ready access to a wide variety of high-quality foods all year-round, which we enjoy at home and in a diverse and thriving scene of cafes, restaurants, bars, and other outlets.
- Chicken parmigiana. This classic Aussie chicken dish – with roots in Italian-American cooking – is a staple offering at many pub menus in the country.
- Barbecued snags (aka sausages)
- A burger with 'the lot'
- Meat pies.
- Vegemite on toast.
An Aussie breakfast can take many forms but the most common is the big fry up! Nothing beats a plate of beautifully cooked farm fresh eggs, smokey bacon, grilled tomato and mushrooms. Sausages, hash browns or beans can be optional extras!