25 Best Places to Eat in Melbourne 2021
It’s no secret that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia. From its melting pot of cultures to its countless up and coming chefs, there’s something for every taste. Looking for seasonal Aussie fare in a sophisticated setting? Check. Wanting to indulge in the fiery flavours of Thailand? Double-check. In Melbourne, you certainly aren’t lacking on options for a tasty meal. So, here are our picks of the best places to eat in Melbourne that are sure to give you a meal to remember.
25 Best Places to Eat in Melbourne
Few places manage to combine the warmth of Australian hospitality and the depth of Italian food quite like Di Stasio Citta. Take in the cosy atmosphere that says “sit and stay awhile.” Be sure to indulge in their brasato di manzo, a slow-cooked beef with polenta that is simply lifechanging. Of course, there’s always the classic pasta, too. And for that we recommend the linguine Capri loaded up with prawns, parsley and lemon.
Anchovy is an Asian-Australian-American Gulf fusion masterpiece. At Anchovy they expertly combine South East Asian and modern Australian flavours to create meals that are simply unforgettable. Additionally, they specialise in what they call “Viet-Cajun” food which combines the rich flavours of cajun food from Louisiana with the robust tastes of Vietnamese food. Don’t miss a chance to try their famous Viet-Cajun shellfish woks.
What Greasy Zoe’s lacks in space, they make up for in sustainability and stellar food. This ultra-hip and rustic eatery boast a bustling open kitchen and just 6 seats. You’ll also find there’s no open menu here but instead a multi-course meal that is updated daily based on the locally grown produce available to them. The best part about Zoe’s isn’t just the charm and good food, but their determination to support local farmers as best as they can.
Intimate, sophisticated and intrinsically Japanese are a few traits you’ll find at Minamishima. This understated and modern sushi house is home to the best sushi in Melbourne made by the expert Kenzana sushi master Koichi Minamishima himself. Even better? There’s a veteran sommelier, Randolph Cheung, on deck to make the meal truly complete. If you’re going to dine here, you’ve got to go all out. Splurge on the 15-course omakase selection and have at it.
Named after the traditional Chinese folk dance about beauty and elegance, the food at Flower Drum is just that. From the marinated jellyfish with a stout sesame dressing to the classic Cantonese style roast duck, you’ll be licking your fingers in no time. Be sure to try the famous ‘char siu’ made up of sweet marinated barbecued pork tenderloins alongside plum sauce.
From the same folks who brought you Bar Liberty, there’s Capitano. Feast on Melbourne’s best pizza, pasta and small bites at this cosy Italian fave. From the classic mortadella pizza to the lemon mascarpone ravioli Capitano brings a whole new meaning to “buon appetito.” Be sure to start off with the Cantabrian anchovies complete with garlic bread, cream cheese and pickled chilli. Then move on to a pizza of your choice – we recommend the ‘grandma square.’
In Japanese, there’s a saying, ‘ichi-go ichi-e,’ which means every moment is one of a kind and should be cherished as such. At Kazuki’s they are all about ‘ichi-go ichi-e’ and strive to make sure your meal speaks for it. Here you’ll find the very best of Australian produce met with classic Japanese hospitality and slow, delicious food. Be sure to opt for their carefully crafted tasting menu for the ultimate Kazuki’s dining experience.
Run by the Grossi family, this Melbourne gem is known for its genuine hospitality and authentic flavours that have stood the test of time. Here you can expect to find lavish European style, moody lighting and a celebration of all things Tuscan. Each one of their menu items is extraordinary; however, the fettucini carbonara is simply a must-try following the octopus and arancini.
Ask anyone where to find the best pasta in Melbourne, and they’ll direct you to Tipo 00. This classic pasta bar has all of your faves and more from the classic tagliatelle tossed with Gippsland rabbit to the tagliolini al nero made with squid ink tagliolini mixed with squid and bottarga. In short, come ready to eat. Oh, and don’t forget a sweet to seal the deal. We recommend the bomboloni, these ricotta doughnuts made with strawberry and lemon are simply lifechanging.
If modern Australian-pan Asian fare is your thing, Supernormal is just what you need. They describe their menu as an “inspired interpretation” of their favourite Asian eating experiences from Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and onward. Load up on the duck bao made with twice-cooked duck leg smothered in vinegar and plum sauce or feast on the fiesty flavours of the Szechuan chicken noodle salad; either way, you’ll be back in no time.
San Telmo is a slice of Buenos Aires in Melbourne. At this eclectic gem you’ll find all your Argentinian faves from braised beef empanadas, Argentinian morcilla to classic alfajors. Whether you come for a massive feast or a few drinks and bites, San Telmo is simply the place to be. Be sure to come for their bottomless lunch and wear your stretchy pants.
Need a tapas fix? Bar Lourinhã is for you. When it comes to classic tapas and Mediterranean fare, warm atmosphere and killer drinks – Bar Lourinhã is one of the best in the biz. Treat your tastebuds to a few of the broad bean and buffalo curd tostadas and an order of the chicken heart and pork cheek pintxos. Afterwards, you can chow down on some corn and smoked chilli croquetas.
Authentic, quirky and unbelievably Spanish are a few character traits of tapas joint extraordinaire, MoVida. For nearly 20 years, MoVida has been working hard to provide Melbourne with tapas that transport patrons right to the heart of Spain. Frank Camorra, Barcelona native, is the real magician who brings the best of Spanish fares centre stage here. Load up on their iconic anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet and take your pick from the ever-changing daily specials.
Described as Melbourne’s best restaurant of ‘Middle Eastern Appearance’ by Joseph Abboud, Bar Saracen is as atmospherically pleasing as it is delicious. At this Melbourne gem you’ll find all of your Middle Eastern faves from cold mezzes such as kibbeh nayeh, gildas and hummus; to delicious barbecues such as kingfish and shish tawook. Be sure to snag a table on Sunday’s when the place really comes alive with Arab funk DJs.
Butchers Diner leads the way in Melbourne’s late-night food scene. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, this eatery is serving Melbourne the very best in the way of diner style American European, Japanese and Chinese eats. We’re talkin’ classic cheeseburgers, scotch filet steak sandwiches, octopus and Chinese sausage straight off the grill and so much more. Be sure to grab a bite of their classic greek pork skewers, too.
Tucked away in an indiscreet basement on Bond Street, Maha is as exclusive and atmospheric as it is delicious. At Maha they pride themselves on providing Melbourne with the very best of Middle Eastern fare in a warm and welcoming environment. From the slow-roasted lamb shoulder to the salmon kibbeh neya to the halva parfait, dining at Maha is an experience in and of itself.
Smith & Daughters is the leader in drool-worthy vegan fare in Melbourne, and that’s saying something. Housed in Fitzroy’s oldest pub that was once even visited by Bob Marley, the experience at Smith & Daughters is sure to be memorable. Don’t for a second think that Smith & Daughters is only for plant-based diners, either. Their menu is sure to sway even the biggest carnivores out there.
If it’s no-nonsense authentic Thai food that you’re after, look no further, Dodee Paidang is here to save the day. Here you’ll find all your Thai faves from tom yum chicken to super savoury kuay teow lord. Be sure to load up on some ultra-crispy fish cakes before slurping up some of their famous poh-tok that packs a fiery punch.
Take a gastronomic journey through the Mediterranean from Beirut to Spain and delight your senses in one of the most ancient and delicious cuisines worldwide with a visit to New Jaffa. This Middle Eastern/Mediterranean eatery is one of the best places to eat in Melbourne, not just for its delicious food, but its warm hospitality. Start with the spiced Moroccan curry before moving on to the classic lamb and beef kebab.
Whether you’re looking for a place to clink a few glasses after the workday or a swanky corner for date night, Embla is the place to be. This wine bar slash eatery is one of the best in Melbourne for its killer wine selections that can be paired with your plate to make for a meal of a lifetime. We suggest the yellowfin tuna alongside capers and fermented buttermilk ricotta with the waiters choice of wine.
Scandinavian style and Viking fare are perfectly married at this Melbourne gem aka Mjølner Melbourne. Dining at Mjølner Melbourne feels like stepping back in time to the days of Leif Erikkson and Erik the Red. Start off with the roast bone marrow or venison loin. Then, move on to a big plate of whole snapper. Don’t forget a few Valhalla golden ales on the side for a feast worthy of Thor himself.
If you’re looking for Italian food that is contemporary and made with global techniques, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place than The Hardware Club. Chow down on their roast beef sirloin ‘carpaccio’ before moving on to a hearty helping of potato gnocchi smothered in roasted duck ragu. Extra hungry? Go big on their Italian sausage wheel with crispy shallots ad silverbeet in bianco.
Pastuso is the absolute best in the Peruvian food scene of Melbourne. They pride themselves on representing the best in terms of diversity of Peruvian food. From the world-class ceviche paying homage to the shores of Peru; to the charcoal, dishes ringing true to The Andes; on to the pisco bar in tribute to the rich jungle, Pastuso delivers on all fronts. Be sure to try their Peruano, a ruby red snapper cured in lemon juice with caramelised sweet potato.
Speaking of drool-worthy South American joints, B Churrasco Brazillian BBQ is the place to be for the rich and colourful flavours of Brazil. Here they bring the very best of Brazil’s BBQ style cooking to Melbourne with meat carved tableside. While the BBQ is the star of the show, the sides put up a strong fight. You’ll find your table dotted with seasonal sides galore.
Caterina’s Cucina E Bar is the place to be for classic Northern Italian food with a twist. Famous for its variety of traditional Italian dishes like pansoti and strozzapreti along with more creative plates that push the limits of vitello tonnato; it’s perfect whether you’re looking for old school or modern Italian food. We’ll let you in on a secret, they are both delicious. Be sure to ask for a selection from their more than 400 Italian, French and Australian wines.