No offense to the rest of the world, but Melbourne has THE best food scene. In Melbourne, the influence of Australia’s multicultural history is clearly illustrated in the diverse dining options available. You truly can eat your way around the world in this city, with everything from Afghani to Italian to Yiddish food on offer, and everything else in between.
While that means a world of choice, it can also mean overwhelming decisions about where to eat in Melbourne. If you’re only visiting Melbourne for a few days, how do you decide which restaurants deserve your stomach space? There’s so much good food in Melbourne, you’ll have some tough choices to make!
Never fear, I have you (and your tastebuds) covered with my Melbourne food guide. Melbourne’s my home city, and after returning here after spending 8 years away as an expat, I’ve been combing the city going back to my old faves and trying new restaurants.
Here are my recommendations for where to eat in Melbourne. This guide will keep growing as my eating adventures continue (and my to-eat-at list is really, really long).
Due to the current situation, many restaurants in Melbourne are closed temporarily or only offering takeaway. Please check local government restrictions and contact the restaurant first to confirm if they are open.
If you want to save this guide to where to eat in Melbourne so you can plan your own eating adventures later, simply click the “Save” button on one of the images below!
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About this guide to the best restaurants in Melbourne
There are thousands of restaurants in Melbourne and unfortunately I haven’t tried them all – but I’m working on it! This guide lists restaurants that I’ve actually eaten at and recommend. I’ve of course eaten at waaayyy more restaurants than are listed here, but if I didn’t rate it, I haven’t included it here.
I’ve organised this guide by suburb, but I have also listed the type of cuisine for easy reference. I think by location is best, as it means you can figure out which restaurants fit into your Melbourne itinerary, or even plan your day around a specific establishment.
You’ll see that I favour some suburbs over others, and that’s only because they’re the ones I spend most of my time in. I’m working to update some regions.
Each listing has a rough price guide (from $-$$$$) so you can see straight away which Melbourne restaurants fit into your budget.
This pricing guide is based on the price of a main meal, no drinks included (or dessert or an entrée). It’s based on enough food to fill your stomach for a dinner out (so, for example, if a tapas bar is listed here, it’s not the price of one tapas dish, rather the number of tapas dishes required to fill your tummy). So, take that guide and then add some extra for beverages and extra dishes.
There’s no doubt that eating out in Melbourne ain’t cheap, but there are still some bargains to be devoured.
Melbourne restaurants pricing guide
$ – Under $15 per person
$$ – $16-$25 per person
$$$ – $26-$50 per person
$$$$ – $50+ per person
Prices (all in Aussie dollars) may have changed since I updated this guide, so use it as just that – a guide.
And I’d love to hear from you! If you’re a Melburnian with a fave that you think I should check out, or a visitor who tried somewhere that’s not on this list, please let me know.
Map of best Melbourne restaurants
So you can plan your Melbourne itinerary, here’s a map that shows all my recommended Melbourne restaurants.
Most visitors, especially first-time visitors to Melbourne, will spend a lot of time in the central business district, aka the CBD. There are plenty of restaurants here to satisfy all tastebuds. This list covers restaurants in the Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Southbank.
Maha (21 Bond St, Melbourne) – Middle Eastern – Prepare for a flavour bomb from chef Shane Delia. Diners are treated to a set menu, and the lamb shoulder is to die for $$$$
HuTong (14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne) – Asian – As the owners say on the website, you don’t need to go overseas to try authentic dumplings, just head to HuTong. This is dumpling heaven. They also have another restaurant in Prahran $
Shujinko (225 Russell St, Melbourne) – Japanese – This 24-hour ramen shop is small so it’s usually packed. Choose from half a dozen types of delicious ramen, or the rice bowls or other dishes like karaage. There are a handful of locations around Melbourne $
Cookie (252 Swanston St, Melbourne) – Asian – Grab a group of friends so that you can share several of the dishes on the menu at Cookie. This place is always buzzing, and is great for a night out because you can eat dinner here, and then head upstairs to the Toff in Town to see a gig, or to Rooftop Bar for more cocktails $$
Izakaya Den (118 Russell St, Melbourne) – Japanese – Head into the bunker-like basement for sophisticated Japanese. Choose from the a la carte menu or, if that’s too difficult, there are set menus offered at both lunch and dinner $$$
Supernormal (180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Asian – One of celeb chef Andrew McConnell’s many Melbourne restaurants, this is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Famous for the New England lobster roll, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. One of the best eats in Melbourne, in my humble opinion $$$
Miznon (59 Hardware Lane, Melbourne) – Israeli – Melbourne’s laneways are where you’ll find some of the best food in Melbourne, and Miznon is no different. Grab a table inside or sit outside on a nice sunny day and soak up the atmosphere. The roasted whole head of cauliflower is a particular favourite here $$
Journal Canteen (253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Café – A firm favourite of mine from my days working in the city, this relaxed café is the perfect spot for a light lunch. The menu changes regularly and you can’t leave without one of their brownies or muffins $$
Pinchy’s (Level 1, 200 Bourke St, Melbourne) – Seafood – Champagne and lobster? Yes please! Despite the very Instagrammable, very pink surroundings, this place is really relaxed and fun, with friendly staff. The menu has more than champers and lobster $$
MoVida (1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne) – Spanish – This iconic Melbourne restaurant is where I first started my love affair with Spanish food. Dine to your heart’s content on tapas or larger raciones. If you can’t snag a table here, there are several outposts nearby that have similar menus $$$
Pellegrini’s (66 Bourke St, Melbourne) – Italian – This Melbourne staple has been here since the 1950s and serves up Italian comfort food in a diner-style environment $$
Lucy Liu (23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne) – Asian – This sexy Asian restaurant can be found down a dodgy laneway and through a pipe-lined tunnel. Everything on the menu is top notch, but if you can’t decide, there’s an express lunch menu or larger set menus $$$
Mamasita (Level 1, 11 Collins St, Melbourne) – Mexican – Melbourne never really had many good Mexican restaurants until Mamasita came along. This hip spot serves up Mexican with a modern, fresh twist. It also has a pretty decent tequila and mezcal selection $$$
Chin Chin (125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Asian – Years after this funky Asian restaurant opened, people still clamour to line up for a table. Chin Chin ushered in a new wave of no-reservation restaurants in Melbourne, which can be very frustrating when you’re planning a night out. But if you get there early, you might be able to get your name on the waiting list for a decent sitting time $$$
Bomba Tapas Bar (103 Lonsdale St, Melbourne) – Spanish – This lovely tapas restaurant also has a rooftop bar. Stop here for their well-priced set lunch menu (weekdays only) and then finish off with a sangria on the rooftop $$
Gingerboy (27-29 Crossley St, Melbourne) – Asian – Here, you’ll find Southeast Asian street food in a contemporary setting. You’ll want to try everything, so bring a group of friends so you can share $$$
Koko Black (Royal Arcade 4, 335 Bourke St, Melbourne) – Chocolate – For those afternoons when you need a sugar fix after wandering the city all day, stop by one of Koko Black’s lounges for a pick me up. While technically not a restaurant, it’s the place to go for deliciously rich chocolate desserts – and my favourite, the hot chocolate affogato $
Carlton / Fitzroy / Collingwood / Abbotsford
I love this part of Melbourne because there are so many places to eat and so much variety in the cuisines available.
Alimentari (304 Smith St, Collingwood and 251 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) – Café – Be awed at the piles of delicious pastries, cakes, paninis, salads, wraps and sandwiches in the glass cabinet. Take a seat for lunch or grab something to takeaway $$
Bodriggy Brewing Co (245 Johnston St, Abbotsford) – Brewery – This fantastic brewpub has a small but rather decent menu of Mexican food to pair with your beer $$
Easey’s (3/48 Easey St, Collingwood) – Burgers – Burgers served in old train carriages on top of a building overlooking the city. Is there anything more Melbourne than that? $$
Pidapipó (299 Lygon St, Carlton) – Gelato – Get your gelato fix at this hip gelato spot. There are also shops in Windsor and the CBD. I highly recommend the bacio flavour drizzled with Nutella (i.e. chocolate and hazelnut on more chocolate and hazelnut) $
Charcoal Lane (136 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – Australian – This social enterprise restaurant celebrates native Australian ingredients. It also holds a soft spot in my heart because it’s where my husband and I got married. Oh, and Harry and Meghan dropped in here last time they were in Australia. Here, you can try foods like kangaroo or emu or finger lime or lemon myrtle. And you’ll be supporting a fantastic business that provides employment opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders $$$
Milk the Cow (323 Lygon St, Carlton) – Fromagerie – Take a seat at this lovely little spot and order a cheesy lunch or a cheese and wine flight. There’s another location in St Kilda $$
Lune Croissanterie (119 Rose St, Fitzroy) – Bakery – The lines of people outside this cult bakery are here before this store opens, waiting for the buttery, flaky goodness that comes out of this beautiful glass-enclosed kitchen. The croissants here have been described as the best in the world by the New York Times $
Builders Arms Hotel (211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – Gastropub – Another of Andrew McConnell’s creations, this pub has friendly staff, an extensive wine list and a menu full of comforting food that’s a little fancier than the usual pub fare $$$
Frankie’s Tortas and Tacos (384 Smith St, Collingwood) – Mexican – This super casual street food joint serves tacos (including al pastor) and tortas from a caged-in, former kebab stand. It reminds me of the Mexican places we used to eat at when we lived in Dallas, Texas. Check the chalkboard menu for what’s they’re dishing up that day $
Hotel Jesus (174 Smith St, Collingwood) – Mexican – Stepping into the cavernous space of Hotel Jesus is exactly like stepping into a cantina or taqueria in Mexico City. The owners have done a great job with the fit-out, and the food is also worth your time. The fish tacos are crispy perfection and the tostadas just the right texture so they don’t break apart messily when you bite into them $$
Gelato Messina (237 Smith St, Fitzroy) – Gelato – All your sugary dreams come true at the self-proclaimed best gelato in Australia. Flavours range from apple pie to milk choc with choc peanut fudge, and everything is delicious and creamy $
Belle’s Hot Chicken (150 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – American – Fun spot in an American-style diner. You can expect perfectly fried chicken and mac and cheese $
Archie’s All Day (189 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – Café – This place serves up what could be the best avo on toast, but that’s not all they have on their amazing brunch menu $$
Epocha (49 Rathdowne St, Carlton) – European – Fine dining but in a homely (literally – the restaurant is in an old terrace house from the late 1800s that’s been renovated), unpretentious environment $$$$
Panama Dining Room & Bar (Level 3, 231 Smith St, Fitzroy) – Modern Australian – The first thing you’ll notice when you step out of the lift are the huge arched windows. This warehouse restaurant is super stylish, and the food is also classy $$$
Transformer (99 Rose St, Fitzroy) – Vegetarian – Even carnivores will love this restaurant. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous inside with its greenery-covered walls, but the food is beyond delicious. You won’t even notice that nothing has meat! $$$
Stomping Ground (100 Gipps St, Collingwood) – Brewpub – Huge brewery, so it’s a great spot for groups of friends and families (there’s even a play area for the little’uns). Shareable food $$
Rice Paper Scissors (307 Brunswick St, Fitzroy and 15 Hardware Lane, Melbourne) – Asian – The perfect place to head with a group. Grab a bunch of dishes like steamed pork buns, wagyu beef with a spicy dipping sauce or Malaysian BBQ chicken with peanut sauce to share $$$
Bimbo (376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) – Pub – Students and backpackers descend on this pub that’s been here for what feels like forever. The drawcard is the $5 pizzas served all day, every day. One of the best cheap eats around the city $
Terror Twilight (11-13 Johnston St, Collingwood) – Café – All-day, delicious breakfasts. Come here to experience one of the creative brunch dishes that regularly change $$
Breakfast Thieves (Shop 1, 420 Gore St, Fitzroy) – Café – Good luck trying to decide what to eat for brunch in this lovely little spot in a residential area $$
The Standard Hotel (293 Fitzroy St, Fitzroy) – Pub – Grab a seat in the front bar or the huge beer garden and then order yourself a classic chicken parma $$
Vegie Bar (380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) – Vegetarian – Get your vegie fix at this Melbourne staple. Everything’s stuffed with freshness – it was the first place I discovered tempeh! $$
The Marquis of Lorne (411 George St, Fitzroy) – Pub – This great pub steps up the game with classic pub meals with a slightly gourmet twist. I highly recommend the potato cakes here $$
Afghan Gallery (327 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) – Afghani – Family-owned restaurant that’s so friendly and homely. The food is traditional and deliciously comforting $$
Richmond is home to some of the best Vietnamese food in Melbourne, but there’s much more on offer here. Things have really changed since I moved away, so I’m excited to discover more of the new Melbourne restaurants that have opened along Swan St in particular.
Hanoi Hannah (79 Swan St, Richmond) – Vietnamese – Stylish restaurant that serves up flavour-packed Vietnamese dishes $$
The Corner Hotel (57 Swan St, Richmond) – Pub – The Corner Hotel is one of Melbourne’s premier live music venues, but you should start off the night with a classic pub meal $$
South Yarra / Windsor / Prahran
This is another area I need to spend more time exploring – let me know if you have recommendations I should check out.
Borsch, Vodka & Tears (173 Chapel St, Windsor) – Polish – This long, thin bar restaurant is dominated by the bar and the wall of liquors (lots of vodka as you can imagine). Try the blintzes and pierogi, or go for the “zakusi”, a spread of the Polish version of tapas $$
A popular area with backpackers and families, you can find plenty to eat here to suit all budgets. Another area I need to spending some time eating in so that I can expand this list.
Attica (74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea) – Modern Australian – One of the world’s 50 best restaurants. The multi-course meal (17 courses when I ate there) from Kiwi chef Ben Shewry will have you nibbling on dishes like the most expensive avocado on toast you’re likely to eat, kangaroo tartare, wattleseed “tacos” and damper. You’ll walk away a few hundred dollars lighter but so, so happy. Despite the price tag and the fine dining tag, the experience is really relaxed and fun $$$$
The Esplanade Hotel (11 The Esplanade, St Kilda) – Pub – The Espy has recently had a massive reno and it’s gorgeous. There are two restaurants on site here – the front bar and Mya Tiger, so take your pick of pub classics or Asian dishes $$
Head further north than Fitzroy and Collingwood and you’ll stumble upon some equally cool Melbourne neighbourhoods to enjoy.
Poke the Bear (2A Mitchell St, Northcote) – Café – Cute little café with yummy smoothies and juices and all-day breakfast $$
Moon Dog World (32 Chifley Dr, Preston) – Brewery – Ignore the industrial area that this brewery is in, because once you’re inside it’s a whole different world. The expansive place resembles a tiki bar with its separate bar areas and pool (not for swimming) $$
A1 Bakery (643-645 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) – Lebanese bakery – Come here for delicious breads, pizzas and baklava $
Northcote Social Club (301 High St, Northcote) – Pub – Another of Melbourne’s must-visit live music venues, the kitchen also whips up decent pub meals $$
Estelle (243-245 High St, Northcote) – European – The classiness of the décor extends to the dishes. Lovely spot for a low-key date night or special occasion $$$$
Wesley Anne (250 High St, Northcote) – Pub – A pub in a former church, it’s fun to sit inside in one on of the intimate areas made up of old pews. This is a great spot, especially during winter when it’s so cosy and the meals are comforting $$
Pizza Meine Liebe (231 High St, Northcote) – Pizza – Our local pizza joint when we used to live in Northcote, the crust here is light and charred and de-lic-ious $$
This is my current ‘hood. It doesn’t have the must-visit restaurants that the CBD and the north have, but it is the place to be if you’re after Asian food.
The Hills Wine Bar (141 Union Rd, Surrey Hills) – Wine Bar – Our lovely, cosy little local, this small bar is a wine connoisseur’s wet dream. To go with the wine, there are several pizzas and appetisers $$
Piccino (359 Canterbury Rd, Surrey Hills) – Café – Cute café that takes avocado on toast and fried eggs to a different level. There’s a lovely outdoor area that’s dog-friendly $$
BurgerBurger (135 Union Rd, Surrey Hills) – Burgers – Huge range of burgers from fried chicken to lamb to satay chicken to Wagyu to chickpea. The names of the burgers are fun takes on local suburbs $$
Zimt Patisserie (171 Union Rd, Surrey Hills) – Café/bakery – The cakes and goodies here are almost too beautiful to eat. They offer a high tea menu $
Miss Frank Café (200 Through Rd, Camberwell) – Café – Miss Frank is yet another example of why Melbourne does breakfast so, so well. They take the standard breakfast dish and turn it into something unique and fresh $$
Indochine (51 Carrington Rd, Box Hill) – Vietnamese – Fast, fresh Vietnamese, even if the service can be a bit lax. The Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepes) is a standout, and the bún bowls are more-ish (make sure to add spring rolls) $$
Tien Dat (3 Carrington Rd, Box Hill) – Vietnamese – My go-to Vietnamese spot, I usually order takeaway from here a couple of times a month, but the restaurant itself is very stylish. The lemongrass chicken bún bowl is always my pick $$
Dunyazad (329 Doncaster Rd, Balwyn North) – Lebanese – Prepare to roll yourself out the door at this friendly Lebanese restaurant. My recommendation is to not even bother looking at the menu, do yourself a favour and choose one of the banquets and you’ll have dish after dish arrive at your table. BYO with corkage $$$
Old Kingdom (683 Canterbury Rd, Surrey Hills) – Chinese – There’s one thing that keeps people coming back to this place time after time: the Peking duck. Call in advance to make a reservation and book the number of ducks you need for your group $$
Stay tuned for some recommendations out this way!
I have to admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time eating out in the western suburbs. But there are so many great spots to eat – and it’s a multicultural area where you can get Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and everything in between. Plenty of places over this side that are on my list!
Romans Original (50 Leeds St, Footscray) – Café-Bar – Hipster spot in what used to be a super dodgy suburb of Melbourne. This retro café serves up great small bites – check what’s on the menu for that day. Start the day here with a coffee, end it here with a glass of wine $$