The Italian culinary tradition is deeper-rooted in Melbourne than any other. In terms of comfort and regular consumption, it is the go-to option for the vast majority of us. We've been eating at several of the places recommended here for years. We're glad to see they haven't altered at all and hope that they stay that way. Even very new establishments have a timeless aesthetic.
It's no surprise that Melbourne has some of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Restaurants serving international fare, especially Italian, have flocked to Victoria, Australia's capital. There seems to be an Italian restaurant on every block in Melbourne, but how do you know which one is the best? We can help with that. Try some of the finest pizza and pasta outside of Italy at one of the establishments on our list of top Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
As a result, compiling this tutorial was a challenge. It's possible that many of your favourites are represented here, but it's also possible that some are absent. Which just goes to show how many options people in modern-day Melbourne have at their disposal. Choose one of these if you need to narrow your search:
Di Stasio Citta
Di Stasio Citta is first on our list of top Italian eateries in Melbourne. Café Di Stasio's twin restaurant, Di Stasio Citta, is the perfect place to unwind with friends and family over authentic Italian fare and drinks. You can't go wrong with any item on the menu when it's cooked fresh right before your eyes.
Cicciolina, a favourite of locals in Melbourne since it opened in 1993, has received rave reviews. This makes it a hotspot, so you'll need to reserve a place early. While waiting, though, you can visit Cicciolina's fantastic bar and sample some excellent Italian wines.
When you enter Bar Carolina and set foot on the terrazzo flooring, you could as well be on the coast of Italy. Il Bacaro's proprietors (there will be more of them) are responsible for some of Melbourne's finest Italian steak and fish. Like its name implies, wine and cocktails can be enjoyed at Bar Carolina.
Emilia is ideal for those lunchtime escapes from the office (assuming you're not too stuffed to work afterwards). Our homemade bolognese and ricotta and spinach ravioli are among the finest Italian cuisine in all of Melbourne. Just be careful to watch out for sauce stains on your clothes.
It's hard to find better exquisite dining than at Grossi Florentino. They are quite proud of the quality of their service, which is why you can expect nothing less than perfect treatment from the moment you walk in the door until you pay the bill. We recommend coming to Grossi Florentino with an empty stomach, as the menu is set out as three courses. In a hurry? Try something from the Veloce fast menu.
Pasta is synonymous with Italy and Italian cuisine. Not here at Osteria Ilaria, at least. Italian classics like lamb cutlets, duck, and fermented sourdough bread made over the course of 48 hours can be found on the menu at Osteria Ilaria, which also contains dishes from other European cuisines. We believe that with such a wide selection of dishes, you can afford to forgo pasta one night.
Tipo 00, located next door to the aforementioned Osteria Ilaria, more than makes up for the latter's pasta-free menu. Tipo 00 not only serves pasta, but they serve it exceptionally well. Well. Try the squid-ink tagliolini or the al dente asparagus and sage tortellini with the melted Parmesan on the side for the taste test. If you're a pasta aficionado in Melbourne, this is the place to go.
Tipo 00, one of Melbourne's best pasta restaurants, is known for its sophisticated menu. Tucked away on Little Bourke Street, this cosy little nook is furnished with dark wood and a cosy communal bench. They provide a wide variety of handmade pasta, from their distinctive squid-ink Taglioni with squid and bottarga to spaghetti with mussels, rainbow fish, tomato butter, and more. Their "Tipomisu" dessert also never fails to satisfy.
Rosa's Canteen serves authentic renditions of classic Sicilian dishes. By favouring local, in-season produce over pricey imports, Rosa's Canteen is able to create dishes with tantalising flavours. The recipes are also available on their website, where you may learn useful techniques straight from the experts.
Baby centres around the deliciousness and merriment of Italian cuisine. There are two reasons why Baby stands out among the other great Italian restaurants in Melbourne that we've included on our recommended list. First, they create the store's mozzarella by hand, resulting in the richest, stringiest cheese possible. Second, they are one of the earliest establishments we've seen that offers breakfast all day. In other words, you can get your day off to a great start with some spicy scrambled eggs topped with shaved pancetta and rocket.
"discover" translates to "scopri" in Italian. And at Scopri, you may taste for yourself the delicious new foods the chef has discovered on his travels throughout Italy. We use only the finest and freshest ingredients in our dishes, and our menu reflects this by changing with the seasons. Because the staff also grows their own ingredients, you can rest assured that your meal has been carefully tended to at every stage of the culinary process.
From the exquisite food to the exquisite Italian wine selection, there is literally nothing to hate about Scopri. The intimate setting is great for a third date or a long-overdue catch-up, with its low lighting and tasteful decor. Try the Galletto-Alla-Griglia, a chargrilled spatchcock with baby leeks and local mushrooms, or the Tagliolini with local rock lobster, cherry tomato, and saffron. Scopri's 'Feed The Table' menu, where the staff will choose their best dishes for you to share, is heaven sent if you're starving.
Massi simplifies recipes by just utilising eight or fewer of them per dish. The careful attention paid to each component ensures that no flavour is lost or ignored; in fact, it is often the simplest ingredients that have the most profound effect on the final product's flavour. There is a constantly rotating wine list that features the finest Italian vintages.
It's not surprising to see Il Bacaro on any list of the greatest Italian restaurants in Melbourne. It's not surprising, since they offer more than 400 varieties of wine. Don't be shy about requesting the waiter's advice, as there are literally hundreds of different wines to choose from. The food at Il Bacaro is excellent, and not just because of the wine.
To put it simply, Capitano serves Americanized versions of traditional Italian dishes that are easy to prepare and enjoy. It's not surprising, then, that pizza plays such a major role. The menu even has sections labelled "Pizza" and "Not Pizza" to reflect this craze. You should visit Capitano if you want a quick and simple Italian meal.
Park Street Pasta & Wine
The pasta at Park Street Pasta & Wine is created in a special method that sets it apart from the competition. Macaroni and penne can be made with an extruder machine (a process not dissimilar to Play-Doh being squeezed through different shapes). Don't take your food for granted because extruding spaghetti is so uncommon in Australian Italian restaurants.
Lupo claims that its dishes are authentic Italian fare, however they omit authentic Italian components. The wagyu lasagne is a must-try, but there are plenty of other options, such as the lasagne with crab, scallops, basil, and dawn lime. You get what we’re saying, right? On special request, Lupo may prepare vegan and gluten-free meals.
FAQs About Italian Food
If you are located close to the Melbourne CBD, you have many options for Italian food in your general vicinity. Emilia, Tipo 00, and Sosta Cucina are just some of the great Italian restaurants in this area.
Il Barraco, Massi, and Cecconi's are great Italian restaurants near Melbourne's CBD.
The most common title that we see in North America is the Ristorante. As suspected, a ristorante is a restaurant where meals and drinks are sold and served to customers.
Toto's, opened by Salvatore Della Bruna from Naples in the early 1960s in Lygon Street, was the first in Australia.
While there's no one Mediterranean diet, the typical dietary pattern in Southern Italy has long been celebrated as one of the healthiest in the world, with high consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein (particularly fish), olive oil, and low consumption of red meat and sugar.
The cuisine at Oster is always evolving to reflect the freshest seasonal produce. However, the dessert buffet was the highlight for us (sweet-tooth through and through). Order the lemon meringue tart, deconstructed and flamed when served.
Agostino is mostly a wine bar, but it also happens to have a fantastic Italian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Downstairs in the wine cellar, they have a fantastic selection of wines and antipasti, while above they have a more extensive menu. Agostino is a seafood restaurant where tiger prawns, anchovies, and flounder float all over the menu.
Chef Neil Perry has thrown his hat into the ring of Melbourne's Italian restaurants with Rosella Ristorante, and we're happy to report that the food isn't like what you'd find on an aeroplane. Instead, the cuisine focuses on lamb dishes cooked in wood ovens and features over 16 different types of handmade pasta. The combination of the delicious food and the stunning view over the Yarra River is a recipe for a memorable meal. Supermaxi
In a return to classic Italian fare, Supermaxi serves you the pizza and spaghetti that everyone loves. There is a wide selection of pizzas and the homemade pasta that diners have come to expect from the greatest Italian restaurants in Melbourne. Gluten-free pizzas are available at Supermaxi, so no one should feel left out.
Cafe Di Stasio
For those who are passionate about Italian cuisine, Café Di Stasio is a must-visit holy site. Just like we said about Di Stasio Citta, its brother restaurant, Café Di Stasio, serves some of the best genuine Italian cuisine in all of Melbourne. We would be quite concerned if you weren't drooling at the thought of suckling pig, roast duck, or veal saltimbocca right now.
Il Solito Posto
You'll be blown away by the aromas wafting up from the kitchen at Il Solito Posto, a cosy restaurant located in the basement. The Italian eatery in Melbourne is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; they even have Bloody Marys on the breakfast menu. If you or your great-great-grandmother are among the few people in the world who still use fax machines, Il Solito Posto welcomes your reservation requests.
At Bottega, patrons can dine al fresco in the streets of Melbourne, much as they would in the Italian capital of Rome. Be prepared to have passers-by gawk at your food as they pass. The chef at Bottega Loving makes delicious Italian food using produce from his farm. You can enjoy Bottega's fantastic ambience and delicious food whether you sit inside or out.
Water and durum-wheat semolina flour are all that go into Polina's pasta, which is the mainstay of the restaurant's menu. This vegetarian-friendly spaghetti dish is a medley of sauces and toppings, all cooked from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The appetisers and main dishes make excellent wine pairings.
Smith & Daughters
The vegan fare at Smith & Daughters is served in a rock 'n' roll atmosphere that defies common expectations. Vegan or not, the Italian dishes at Smith & Daughters can hold their own against even the meatiest lasagne, earning them a spot in the list of Melbourne's 12 Best Vegan Restaurants. Particularly noteworthy is the gnocchi broccoli pesto.
The carbonara at Mario's utilises cream, which is a sin in the eyes of any Italian purist or Nonna, but the dish is still wonderful. The building may be ancient, but its age just adds to its charm. You can always count on Mario's to provide delicious food that won't break the bank because to its lack of exotic spices and other expensive additions.
In order to cater to a wider range of customers, Cecconi's has separated its formal dining area from its more relaxed bar cellar. Everything on the menu, from the antipasti in the cellar to the main courses in the upper dining room, is made using ingredients farmed right there. Of course, it will be difficult to locate food of this quality and freshness.
Lupino Bistro isn't specifically marketed for groups, but the portions are large enough that it could easily accommodate a split meal. Gather your nearest and dearest for a wonderful Italian meal. Or, if you're really hungry, help yourself (and don't feel bad about taking the rest of the food home).
Florentino, on Bourke Street, is helmed by renowned Melbourne chef Guy Grossi and consistently receives praise as one of the city's finest Italian dining establishments. The building has been operating as a restaurant since 1928 and has undergone some minor renovations since then. You can't go wrong with the 'Gran Tour,' a five-course set menu that pairs perfectly with a variety of wines from around the world and the world's finest regions.
Umberto Espresso Bar
Umberto's is a favourite among Thornbury natives because of its casual environment, robust menu, and convenient location. Umberto's, named for the owner Marco Finanzio's father who was born in Calabria, is a popular spot on the High Street with a warm, familial atmosphere. From perfectly cooked penne All'Amatriciana to substantial Osso Buco with fried polenta, this restaurant has a menu full of tried-and-true classics. Blackboards that wrap around the room advertise both the regular menu and daily specials.
48h Pizza E Gnocchi Bar Elsternwick
You're familiar with pizzeria, but have you ever heard of a gnoccheria? Our final pick for the top Italian restaurants in Melbourne is Pizza e Gnocchi Bar Elsternwick, where you can get the tastiest gnocchi in the city. Guests can take in a demonstration of the gnocchi-making process before digging into a bowl. Gnocchi produced without gluten is also available, which is a rarity elsewhere.
D.O.C. offers the whole Italian dining experience, with a staff composed entirely of Italians who work together like clockwork to serve the restaurant's seemingly continuous stream of customers. D.O.C alludes to the Italian-food grading system and uses only the highest quality ingredients to produce some of the best pizza in Melbourne. Pizza lovers can choose from several options, including the pasta shop on Lygon Street and the vegan option at Bio-By DOC.
BABY Pizza, with its red neon-lit eatery, has become a staple of the LUCAS Groups' restaurant empire and is widely regarded as one of the finest Italian eateries in Melbourne. Event after event, from Apperitivos to Degustations, takes place in the stylish and up-to-date restaurant. The menu boasts a wide variety of authentic Italian dishes, including the restaurant's signature pizza, the "Polpette," which features meatballs, Fior di latte, chilli, pecorino, and basil. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a night out, Baby should always be on your list. It's a celebration of Italian cuisine and the happiness it evokes.
You may feel at home at Capitano whether you're there for supper on a Friday or a leisurely Sunday brunch. Everything from double pepperoni pizzas to their famous Vodka-pasta to hearty bowls of Cacio e Pepe will satisfy your carb-based Italian culinary needs. Finish it off with a blood orange negroni; it's gorgeous.
Unsurprisingly, Melbourne is home to some of Australia's finest Italian eateries. Every Melbourne neighbourhood appears to have at least one Italian restaurant, but how do you pick the best one? If you need assistance with that, we're here to help. If you need to restrict your results down, pick one of these. Traditional Sicilian fare is faithfully re-created at Rosa's Canteen.
We have found that Baby serves breakfast all day earlier than most other places. The mozzarella is made by hand, so it's the richest and stringiest it can be. Scopri is the perfect place for a third date or a long overdue catch-up because of its cosy atmosphere. If you're starving, Scopri's 'Feed The Table' menu will be manna from heaven. Massi uses eight ingredients or fewer per dish, thus reducing the complexity of cooking.
More than 400 different wines are available at Il Bacaro. The food at Capitano is an Americanized take on classic Italian fare. Park Street Pasta & Wine uses an extrusion machine to create its pasta. The food at Rosetta Ristorante is not comparable to that served on an aeroplane. At Agostino, you may dine on delicacies such tiger prawns and flounder.
Fans of Italian food should make a pilgrimage to the Café Di Stasio. Bottega offers Roman-style street dining to Melbourne locals and visitors. Smith & Daughters is a vegan restaurant with a rock and roll vibe. The bar cellar of Cecconi's is now distinct from the restaurant proper. The proprietor's Calabrian grandfather, Umberto, inspired the restaurant's name.
D.O.C. employs only the finest ingredients to make some of the best pizza in Melbourne. Capitano's menu features several traditional Italian selections, such as their famous "Polpette" pizza. The neon-lit restaurant has become a mainstay in the LUCAS Groups' restaurant portfolio.
- Australia's second-largest city has a culture that celebrates Italian food more than any other.
- Unsurprisingly, Melbourne is home to some of Australia's finest Italian eateries.
- In recent years, Victoria, the capital of Australia, has seen an influx of restaurants providing international cuisine, particularly Italian.
- One of the best places to sample pizza and pasta outside of Italy is at one of the places on our recommended list of Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
- If you need to narrow down your options, try one of these great Italian restaurants in Melbourne: Di Stasio Citta.
- Di Stasio Citta, the sister restaurant of Café Di Stasio, is the ideal spot to unwind with loved ones over traditional Italian fare and beverages.
- Grossi Florentino is one of the best restaurants in the world for fine dining.
- The meal at Grossi Florentino is designed to be enjoyed over the course of three courses, so come hungry.
- The Veloce quick menu is worth a shot.
- The name "Osteria Ilaria Pasta" has become virtually synonymous with Italy and Italian cuisine.
- Not while you're dining at Osteria Ilaria.
- Next door at Tipo 00Tipo 00 makes up for the lack of pasta at the aforementioned Osteria Ilaria.
- This is the place to go in Melbourne if you consider yourself a pasta connoisseur.
- Tipo 00 is widely regarded as having one of the most refined pasta menus in all of Melbourne.
- True to its name, Rosa's Canteen specialises in traditional Sicilian fare.
- In Baby, Italian food is the focus of both the tasty and humorous elements.
- There are a number of excellent Italian restaurants in Melbourne that we've put on our recommended list, but Baby stands out for two main reasons.
- As a second point, they are one of the first businesses we've come across that serves breakfast all day long.
- In Italian, "discover" is scopri.
- And if you stop by Scopri, you can sample some of the fresh and exciting dishes the chef has discovered on his travels throughout Italy.
- There is virtually nothing to dislike about Scopri, from the great meal to the exquisite Italian wine choices.
- This place is perfect for a third date or a long overdue catch-up because of its dim lighting and elegant decor.
- If you're really hungry, you should definitely order from Scopri's 'Feed The Table' menu, which allows the waiters to select some of their greatest dishes for you to enjoy with your party.
- Using only eight ingredients or less every dish, Massi Massi greatly reduces the complexity of cooking.
- The wine list contains a selection of the best Italian wines and changes frequently.
- There is no doubt that Il Bacaro is one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
- This is to be expected, considering the store's extensive wine selection (almost 400 labels).
- You shouldn't go to Il Bacaro just for the wine; the food is also fantastic.
- Simply told, the food at Capitano is simplified, Americanized, and delicious takes on classic Italian fare.
- If you're in the mood for a quick, straightforward Italian lunch, Capitano is the place to go.
- Park Street Pasta & Wine's pasta is made in a distinctive way that sets it apart from the rest of the market.
- Using an extruder machine, you may create pastas like macaroni and penne (a process not dissimilar to Play-Doh being squeezed through different shapes).
- Spaghetti made by extrusion is a rarity in Australian Italian restaurants, so enjoy it while you can.
- While LupoLupo's menu boasts Italian meals, none of the ingredients are truly Italian.
- Chefs at Oster are constantly experimenting with new dishes to showcase the best seasonal ingredients.
- There is a great Italian restaurant hidden away at the wine bar AgostinoAgostino.
- At Agostino, seafaring specialities such as tiger prawns, anchovies, and flounder are just some of the many options.
- Chef Neil Perry has entered Melbourne's competitive Italian restaurant scene with Rosetta Ristorante, and we're relieved to hear that the food isn't like that served on aeroplanes.
- Instead, over 16 varieties of handmade pasta and lamb dishes cooked in wood ovens are hallmarks of the local cuisine.
- Classic Italian dishes like pizza and spaghetti are served at Supermaxi, a restaurant that harkens back to simpler times.
- Pizza and homemade pasta dishes are abundant, as is the case at the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
- Café Di Stasio is a pilgrimage spot for Italian foodies.
- Café Di Stasio, like its sibling restaurant Di Stasio Citta, is home to some of Melbourne's finest authentic Italian fare.
- In the cosy basement restaurant Il Solito Posto, the smells from the kitchen will take your breath away.
- Bottega At Bottega, diners may enjoy Melbourne's sidewalks as if they were in Rome, Italy.
- Bottega Loving's chef uses farm-fresh ingredients to create mouthwatering Italian dishes.
- Smith & Daughters is a vegan restaurant with a rock 'n' roll vibe, contrary to popular belief.
- Smith & Daughters has earned a spot on the list of Melbourne's 12 Best Vegan Restaurants because its Italian meals are just as satisfying to carnivores as they are to vegans.
- Cecconi's has split off its more formal dining area into a separate building from its more casual bar cellar in order to attract a larger variety of clientele.
- Get all your loved ones together for a delicious Italian feast.
- Italian food at Florentino Florentino on Bourke Street, run by celebrity chef Guy Grossi, is widely considered to be among the best in Melbourne.
- Locals in Thornbury love Umberto Espresso Bar because of its relaxed vibe, extensive menu, and handy location.
- With an all-Italian crew that runs like clockwork, D.O.C. provides diners with the full Italian experience.
- D.O.C, alluding to the Italian food classification system, employs only the finest ingredients to make some of the finest pizza in Melbourne.
- The Lygon Street pasta shop and the Bio-By DOC pizza are just two of the many alternatives available to pizza fans.
- Baby Pizza BABY Pizza, a red-lit neon cafe that has become a mainstay of the LUCAS Groups' restaurant empire, is widely considered to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
- The restaurant's "Polpette" pizza is its namesake and comprises meatballs, Fior di latte, chilli, pecorino, and basil.
- Baby is a must-visit for any occasion, be it a quick snack or a night on the town.
- It's an ode to the joy that Italian food brings.