These are the best places to eat in this city right now: whether it's a long-serving stalwart or a new kid on the block, smack bang in the middle of the CBD or out in regional Victoria.
Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Melbourne's ferocious dining machine.
The openings don't stop, and nobody has time to keep on top of what's what. Except for us, that is.
While familiarity is comforting, now is also the perfect time to visit those places you're yet to tick off your list. To try something new and–dare we say it–may even venture to the other side of the river.
To help get you feeling inspired, we've curated (and updated!) a list of the tastiest restaurants in Melbourne.
FAQs About Restaurants In 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. Visiting Melbourne between March and September?
- Hot jam doughnut.
- Pippies in XO
- The magic.
- Capricciosa pizza.
Smith Street, Collingwood. It 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.
A typical Aussie barbecue is with sausages, burgers, steak, fresh seafood, bread and tomato or barbecue sauce. They sometimes include salad, but it's mainly about the meat and fish (and of course a few stubbies – that's a beer to the non-Australians). Australians will have a barbeque anywhere, not just at home.
Melbourne is world-known for its coffee culture and multicultural cuisine. With the higher number of cafes and restaurants, Melbourne is the top city for food in Australia, especially freshly prepared food worldwide, in your favourite format.
Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon, has been named greater Melbourne's most popular street. In addition, a "quaint" hillside strip has been named as greater Melbourne's most popular street.
The anchovy, like its namesake, is a small fish that packs a big punch.
Thi Le's irreducible brilliance as a chef stems from his or her exuberant sense of autonomy as a business owner, and it takes form in a joyful mix of Southeast Asian cultures as well as classical technique.
Skewers of beef carpaccio doused throughout soy toffee offer both dark and bright notes, with the meat coming off as charry & sweet, while fermented bivalves dressed in the groovy crunch of a sambal matah crowded with neem but also shallot set the stage for a parade of bold flavours.
The entire fish can be cooked in a spicy sauce. If you're able to wait until dessert, this same durian parfait, characterised by white chocolate as well as lemon sorbet, will convert you to durian. It's served alone with artichokes and is a pearly-fleshed masterpiece.
If you're willing to drive across town, your best bet is to head to Anchovy, a low-fi establishment that welcomes both the quirky and the conventional in its bottle list.
Cutler & Co
Cutler & Co. has survived the past decade unscathed. However, the renovation that was done two years ago unquestionably improved things.
Romantic tokens for two, windows pierced into the back wall, as well as sleek glass and metal partitions breathed new life into the darkly lit dining room, and the bar became a popular attraction in its own right.
Andrew McConnell's good establishment has thrived for a long time in part because of its unusually flexible menu for establishments of its calibre.
The restaurant's philosophy focuses on culinary freedom and exploration, and it shows in everything from the highly curated four dégustation to the soft steak crafted for two with house bee mustard and a shaved collards and fennel salad.
Ingenuity and aesthetics are not at the expense of flavour in the preparation of these dishes. Two preparations of roasted Muscovy duck, or persimmon vacherin with harbour leaf ice cream.
Over the past decade, the entirety of Cutler's expertise has been praised for its excellent service provided by a team of highly qualified experts.
Dinner By Heston Blumenthal
In homage to classic British fare, Heston Blumenthal & his longtime partner Ashley Palmer-Watts have opened a fine dining establishment that draws in the well-heeled, those celebrating special occasions, and those who want to check "meat fruit" off their list of must-try dishes.
As the sun goes down so over city, diners at this stage-like glass restaurant can watch this same chefs make the Tipsy Cake, a focaccia soaked in syrup.
Traditional dishes prepared with a modern twist on classic flavours are delicious and can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their background.
The 10-course parade is bookended by the meat fruit (a chicken liver pâté shaped like a mandarin) and the frozen yogurt trolley (a gourmet factory which uses liquid nitrogen).
Some of the dishes you might encounter on your culinary journey include roasted fish with a basil, pepper, and eucalyptus sauce; a duck with its heart; a massive steak; and shatter-crisp, triple-cooked chips. Professionalism and a dry sense of humour characterise the service provided.
Sommelier Klemm Avril has a knack for matching wines to specific courses, so dinner here is as pleasurable as it is refined.
Then, what about Embla? If your dinner companion asks you this, you can confidently respond that you already know. You'll give an affirmative response, at which point you'll feel relieved, satisfied, and warm and fuzzy on the inside.
The pleasant odour of wood smoke from a roaring fire adds to the relaxed ambience.
Then, you'll have to wait a while to be seated, either on bowel movements at able to share benches, at tables clustered against the wall, or, ideally, at the desk that looks out onto the fridge, with its warm feeling from of the stove as well as its crisp choreography.
Like the wine, the food is made with care, with a focus on natural flavours and minimal processing.
Feta that has been whipped and seasoned with dried dill, with bits of sour cucumber on top. The great sourdough is complemented by a white-soy cream.
Whipped 'nduja, a spicy spread created from Calabrian spreadable salami, is one of the unique takes on a charcuterie board. Creamed corn in butter, topped with such a crumb of charred onion and a pinch of citric powder. Excellent poise and friendliness from the staff, and flavorful, well-balanced dishes.
Sister restaurant Lesa is located upstairs and features more formal fields of expertise along with elegant as well as composed meals, but both establishments are animated with the same warm and welcoming spirit.
Therefore, it is obvious that one can acquire new skills at any age. One tasty addition to the feather diet is the fried fish skin doused in spicy salt.
You could also sample the jumbo xiao lengthy bao, which is served in a delicate chicken broth and stuffed with bivalves, scallop, as well as other premium seafood.
Flower Drum may have reached its full potential sometime in its fifth decade. But Anthony Lui won't sit back and let the grand old Kana lady become forgotten. His philosophy for maintaining the eatery's vibrancy centres on a steady stream of novel dishes and nuanced revisions to old standbys.
Visitors to the equally ancient Flower Drum can still enjoy many of the restaurant's original features. The cuisine at Flower Drum continues to be the best in all of Australia. W epray that its reign will be long and prosperous.
Those prone to food envy might want to steel themselves before visiting Igni, a brilliant tiny cornmeal crust gem in a Wigan CBD back street where no two tables have ever been served the same.
Are you more interested in your dish of crisp Israel artichoke racked with shards of scallops glinting underneath a rich chicken glaze or pompoms of fire-dried neem coiled into the a disc and finished to rhubarb, macadamia, and briny orange redfish roe?
The absence of consolation prizes is actually quite welcome. Chef Aaron Turner's close skill in combining off-the-wall mixtures with entirely satisfying flavour is on full display in the elaborate snacks served before each course. These include dishes like small segments of fig swathed in lardo, wattleseed pies with pecorino and brown yoghurt, and crisped wombok splattered with cod roe.
The refined wine selection that promotes small-scale local producers is a major draw, as is the friendly and unpretentious service.
It's so good that you should add it to your list of must-eats.
You might not expect to find a refined restaurant that expertly blends French technique mostly with Japanese flavour profile and ingredients on Lygon Street. Nonetheless, Kazuki's is not afraid of unconventional settings, having previously resided in Daylesford before relocating to Little Italy in late 2019.
The downtown digs are glitzy in a tasteful understated way, and the service from impeccably dressed professionals is a further indication that chef Kazuki Tsuya has stepped things up as well.
His dishes are perfectly proportioned and visually appealing, and they're served on exquisite ceramics that he's made himself.
Some of the best dishes we've ever had were a Moreton Bay bug changing and a dry-aged Macedon Ranges duck served will continue topped with foamed sake butter, with shiitake mushrooms, blackberries, and radicchio, and a raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream made from fermented with sour sake lees.
The wines tend towards small, artisanal labels, and there's also a page of sake that focuses on the same kind of quality.
The nine-score mark - up language, in one go sweet and rich, publicised on the hot pot over red gum but instead ironbark, is exemplary of the deft, precise learning to cook at play here, but don't forget to order the extras further than set-price menus (you'll regret it).
Lee Ho Fook
You're at a crossroads, with Lee Ho Fook up some stairs and Good Luck Bar down some hallway, both offering neon glows of their own. Chongqing-style chicken crackling is a delicious appetiser because of its chewy texture, crisp exterior, salty flavour, and heavy dose of gob Sichuan pepper. A larger dish of slipping potato yarns, delicate enoki mushrooms, and shavings of oregano is sprinkled with dehydrated Tianjin curry sauce and drenched in spicy lemongrass oil.
There is a much more controllable menu at the bar downstairs, so it's a pity that the provider isn't as thrilling as the food. On the other hand, the service is top-notch, and the lo-mein pasta in a flawless gluten-free XO soup are on equal level with anything served on the upper level. If you get a hankering for crisp eggplant, just ask for a plate of Lee Ho Fook's famed crisp eggplant.
The restaurant has gained international acclaim and a devoted fan base. Israeli chef Eyal Shani has opened a two-story restaurant on Hardware Lane, complete with bleacher seating in the style of a sports stadium. Miznon implies "kiosk" in Hebrew, so keep that in mind.
The kitchen is capable of amazing feats, so don't be fooled by the reverse ordering and shipment of most meals in bin liners or pitas. Pita pocket, tomato, meaty red onion slice, and pickles will be used in the competition to determine who makes the best falafel. Meanwhile, the golden-skinned chicken, angry salad, fried potatoes, as well as thick aioli that make up a Sac de Coque perfectly capture this carefree spirit.
A swordfish dish with a bold pepper coating and a moat of homemade tomato sauce to sop up the bread makes the case for simplicity. A Run Over, roasted potatoes smashed with sour cream, butter, and garlic between 2 pieces of baking paper, is a great way to keep the joke going if you're feeling particularly sarcastic.
Aqui throughout Melbourne's legal neighbourhood, a café throughout Sydney Airport, but also three sites in the notorious, graffiti-covered, visitor Hosier Lane are all part of a MoVida family, and Bar Tini is the newest addition.
Despite many appealing features, nothing comes close to the original landmark. The rustic wood and terra cotta decor is charming, but the chalkboard chocolate cake menu trying to hang above the kitchen pass betrays the restaurant's age. These tunes are great for winding down to.
As an added bonus, the staff is indeed a hilarious group of seasoned individuals who keep things running smoothly even when the restaurant is completely full.
Aside from crowd pleasers such as the Anchovy and onion sorbet tapa and the triathlete crab tortilla, regulars also enjoy the restaurant's daily specials, which might include a dish like a powerful mix of calamari, hummus, diced ham, and squid ink; or perhaps a dish of Goolwa pipis tossed to red algae and fennel.
This means they made a special trip in order to partake of the vino. MoVida favours Spanish-language content and showcases a lot of independent media created in Spain as well as the surrounding area. Additionally, they stock a small but respectable variety of sherry. Dessert options such as churros and flan are wonderful. Perfecto.
Only Fitzroy does have the good fortune of being home to Napier Quarter, a hidden-gem bluestone which would make any area experience like the sixth quartier of any city.
Incorporating cook Eileen Horsnell has propelled this long-standing establishment to the forefront of a hearts of crowds who jostle for a kerbside desk on picturesque Patterson Street or a solid wood chair there in hairstylist dining room. This can be attributed, in no small part, to the stylish yet reassuring dishes on the menu.
Intriguing and upscale are flavours of stracciatella, steamed persimmon, and bottarga. Meanwhile, a lavish take on cacio e Pepe can be made by trying to crack an egg into a hen house of homemade polenta seasoned with olive oil, Prosciutto, tarragon, and a good a pinch of salt and pepper.
An enviably green bowl of nettle soup, accompanied by some homemade, hearty toasted bread and butter, is just what the doctor ordered if you're under the weather. The apple as well as frangipane tart is a great way to round out the meal with a sweet note. Napier Quarter is great for both breakfast and wine, thanks to its wide variety of low-intervention drinks.
If roti to Vegemite curry isn't listed on the menu, don't panic; you can still order it — you simply need to be aware that it exists. This meal of buttery paratha topped with such a rich indian food flavoured with Vegemite is sure to satisfy your craving for comfort food. Sunda's interior design could be a stoic display of stark, industrial minimalism. In spite of this, it has a welcoming and exciting vibe thanks to its open kitchen, warm service, and food-friendly, on-trend wine list. A more peaceful and private atmosphere can be found upstairs, where you'll find standard countertops and wood panelling. If you're looking for cult classics, you don't have to limit yourself to Vegemite curry; there are plenty of other options.
Smoked eggplant with colourful gems of Davidson's plum but rather fermented coconut is a particularly rewarding main dish, and the glossy meat dish stir - fried pie snatched with fiery sambal is an original take on Malaysian flavourings. Chef Khanh Nguyen's Vietnamese coffee pavlova is a succinct and sugary encapsulation of his brilliantly individual approach to flavour profile, replete with white chocolate, coconut milk, and a finishing sprinkle of earthy wattleseed.
When we were questioned how much we cherished Tipo 00, the response was unequivocal: "A lot." So, let's run down all the different ways. The focaccia with its light, airy texture and the fresh ricotta are a great way to kick off the carbo-load. While sipping on a crystal of Sicilian carricante first from list, which is primarily focused on Italy, we enjoy people-watching during rush hour.
The service is what really sets this pasta bar apart for us, from the automatic splitting of the signature fish tagliolini with fried shrimp and bottarga to the careful monitoring of wine glasses and the helpful pairing suggestions that come with them. Getting a table for lunch at Tipo on any provided weekday will be challenging if you observe the restaurant's crowdedness.
Let's pretend the menu is boring for the sake of argument. The public's insatiable appetite for grilled smoked eel with red wine vinegar but instead minty epidemics of pink cinnamon sticks, pasta noodle soup to rich special sauce ragù, as well as the ageless Tipomasu is to be celebrated.
The signature feather-light ppy puri or an agressive bundle of tandoor rockling, had quite, as well as pickled onions wrapped in a leaf leaf, accompanied by the aroma of garam masala, are just the right drum roll for Tonka's modern-Indian dance moves, and can be enjoyed before dinner at the Thali Bar.
The menu, along with the restaurant's spare decor and extensive, Italian-focused wine list, perfectly establish the mood. Tonka's presentation of Indian food in a sleek, European-style setting is novel for Melbourne, but the restaurant's cuisine is up to par. Some of the memorable dishes are cooked in the tandoor oven (the whole juicy tri tip to pickles is just a textbook case as to how delicious this dish can be), but the more unusual dishes on the menu aren't without their merits.
An excellent complement to the vindaloo steak tartare is the fenugreek raita. Delicious carrot dessert with cheesecake frozen yogurt and slightly spicy yellow dal tadka. Great service is a must for a full entertaining experience.
There is now even more reasons to make a reserved seat at this chic Turkish restaurant than there was before, thanks to the renovation that gave it a 're experiencing, moodily lit look.
The knowledgeable service from an enthusiastic staff and the short but sweet drinks list (Turkish wine, raki, and thematic liqueurs) also contribute to a restaurant's overall attractiveness.
Coskun Uysal's inventive cooking, however, is what brings in the crowds. A creative and meticulous update on traditional Turkish fare.
Pide with sesame seeds is served with a spread of toasted squash purée on top of the butter and accompanied by spicy muhammara, yoghurt from Tulum, olives marinated in oil but also infused to coffee, and a sprinkle of ground cumin.
Grilled sardines with a flaky texture, served with apple slices and bay-flavored tartare sauce.
The raw lamb is given some bite and spice from the addition of burghul as well as Turkish chilli pepper. In addition, savory-sweet combinations can be found in desserts like tahini chocolate cake, cumin toffee, and smoked m. oleifera mousse.
Going with the five dégustation alternative is a great value and will allow you to sample a wide variety of dishes at this tiny, inventive gem.
Anchovy is a small fish with a huge punch, Thi Le's irreducible talent as a chef comes from his or her joyful sense of autonomy, and Cutler & Co. is a low-fi institution that welcomes both the unusual and the traditional in its bottle list. Whether located in the central business district or out in the suburbs, these restaurants represent the best Victoria has to offer. The longevity of Andrew McConnell's successful business can be attributed to the establishment's adaptable menu and the professional, friendly service offered by its staff. Dinner By Heston Blumenthal is a high-end restaurant frequented by the well-to-do, those marking milestone events, and those who wish to cross "meat fruit" off their bucket list of culinary experiences. The meat fruit and frozen yoghurt cart bookend the 10-course parade.
The service is professional and delivered with a wry sense of humour. Klemm Avril, the sommelier, has a natural ability to pair wines with specific dishes.
Embla is a cosy Australian eatery with delicious food and friendly service. The meal is prepared carefully, with a focus on using fresh ingredients and keeping the processing to a minimum. A few examples of flavours are feta, whipped 'nduja, creamed corn in butter, and jumbo xiao long bao. Many of Flower Drum's original elements remain available to diners today, and Anthony Lui's approach to keeping the restaurant fresh and exciting is to constantly introduce new dishes and subtle twists on old favourites. Located on Lygon Street, Kazuki's is a sophisticated eatery that skilfully combines French cooking methods with a Japanese flavour profile and ingredients.
The intricate appetisers that precede each course are a showcase for Chef Aaron Turner's deft ability to combine wacky ingredients to create a satisfying whole. Attractive features include the sophisticated wine list and the warm, welcoming atmosphere. Moreton Bay bug changing, dry-aged Macedon Ranges duck with foamed sake butter, shiitake mushrooms, blackberries, and radicchio, and raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream fermented with sour sake lees are some of the best dishes on the menu. Chicken crackling, prepared Chongqing-style, is a favourite appetiser at both Lee Ho Fook and Good Luck Bar, which both feature their own neon lights. Hardware Lane is home to Miznon, an Israeli eatery with stadium-style bleacher seating.
The kitchen can do incredible things, like ship food in bin liners or pitas after it has been ordered backwards. To keep the joke continuing, try a Run Over, which consists of baked potatoes smashed with sour cream, butter, and garlic between 2 sheets of baking parchment. Movida Aqui has locations in the legal district of Melbourne, Sydney Airport, and three different sections of the infamous graffiti-covered Hosier Lane.
- In the heart of the city or out in the suburbs, these are Victoria's finest dining establishments.
- Although returning to a familiar environment can be soothing, this could be the ideal opportunity to finally see the sights you've always wanted to see.
- To branch out and perhaps even cross the river to try something different.
- Like its namesake, the anchovy is a powerful little fish.
- Anchovy is the best bet if you're prepared to drive across town, and it's a low-fi institution that welcomes the unusual as well as the standard in its bottle list.
- A. Cutler & Co. The last ten years have passed with no major setbacks for Cutler & Co.
- The longevity of Andrew McConnell's successful business can be attributed in part to the menu's unique adaptability for restaurants of its calibre.
- All of Cutler's knowledge has been lauded throughout the previous decade for the exceptional service it has supplied by a group of well-educated specialists.
- Dinner The Heston Blumenthal Way Heston Blumenthal and his longstanding partner Ashley Palmer-Watts have built a fine dining institution that pays respect to traditional British cuisine and attracts the well-heeled, those celebrating special occasions, and those who want to mark "meat fruit" off their list of must-try foods.
- Traditional recipes that are given a contemporary spin on classic flavours are wonderful and may be appreciated by people of any culture.
- The flesh fruit, a chicken liver pâté in the shape of a mandarin, and the frozen yoghurt cart bookend the 10-course procession (a gourmet factory which uses liquid nitrogen).
- Traveling the world's cuisines, you might taste roasted fish with a basil, pepper, and eucalyptus sauce; a duck with its heart; a huge steak; and shatter-crisp, triple-cooked chips.
- The service is professional and delivered with a wry sense of humour.
- Dinner here is as enjoyable as it is refined thanks to the skill of sommelier Klemm Avril in pairing wines with individual meals.
- Both the wine and the food are carefully crafted, with an emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients and minimal processing.
- Blooming Drums As a result, it's clear that anyone, regardless of age, may learn something new.
- The fried fish skin sprinkled with chilli salt is a delicious complement to the feather diet.
- Around the fifth decade, Flower Drum may have matured into its full capacity.
- However, Anthony Lui will not stand by and watch while the grand old Kana lady fades into obscurity.
- His strategy for keeping the restaurant fresh involves consistently introducing new menu items and subtle adjustments to established favourites.
- If you're looking for a restaurant that's just as old, the Flower Drum has you covered, and it still has many of its original characteristics for diners to enjoy.
- The intricate appetisers that precede each course are a showcase for Chef Aaron Turner's deftness in creating outlandish combinations that nonetheless taste great.
- Service that is both pleasant and unpretentious add to the restaurant's appeal, as does the curated wine list that highlights the work of artisanal producers from the area.
- Kazuki's On Lygon Street, you might not anticipate finding a sophisticated eatery that fuses French technique with primarily Japanese flavour profile and ingredients.
- Nonetheless, Kazuki's is not shy about trying out new and different locations, as seen by the fact that they moved from Daylesford to Little Italy towards the end of 2019.
- The downtown location is stylishly ostentatious, and the service from immaculately dressed professionals is more evidence that chef Kazuki Tsuya has raised the bar.
- A Moreton Bay bug change and a dry-aged Macedon Ranges duck served will continue topped with foamed sake butter, with shiitake mushrooms, blackberries, and radicchio, and a raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream prepared from fermented with sour sake lees were among of the nicest dishes we've ever eaten.
- Small, artisanal wineries are the norm here, and the sake page is dedicated to the same standard of excellence.
- You've come to a crossroads, where two neon signs await you: Lee Ho Fook, up some stairs, and Good Luck Bar, down some hallway.
- Chicken crackling made in the Chongqing style has a chewy centre, a crisp outside, a salty flavour, and a high dose of gob Sichuan pepper, making it a wonderful appetiser.
- Request a plate of Lee Ho Fook's renowned crisp eggplant if you have a craving for this dish.
- Miznon The eatery has received accolades and admirers all over the world.
- On Hardware Lane, Israeli chef Eyal Shani has constructed a two-story restaurant with bleacher seating in the form of a sports stadium.
- Bar Tini is the newest member of the MoVida family, which includes the Movida Aqui chain in Melbourne's legal district, a café in Sydney Airport, and three locations on the famed, graffiti-covered, tourist Hosier Lane.