In this one, we dive into the city’s food scene, revealing the best restaurants in Melbourne that offer a unique dining experience on top of food that will more than satisfy your taste buds.
One of the advantages of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan nature is the fact that with it comes an incredibly rich food culture. Indeed, almost half of all of Melbourne’s residents were born abroad! Some of the cultures influencing Melbourne’s gastronomic scene most profoundly include Chinese, Italian and Greek.
To many, Melbourne not Sydney is Australia’s culinary capital. And the world took notice of this in 2017 when this amazing Australian city became the first in Australia to hold the World 50 Best Restaurants awards for its restaurants, wine bars, drinks list, and other culinary destinations.
Whether you go through Little Bourke Street, Collins Street, Melbourne’s CBD or even to St Kilda
Fanfare and statistics aside, we know you’re looking for ridiculously delicious food and the best places to eat in downtown Melbourne, the CBD area, and any other place in the city. That’s why we compiled our own list of 14 of the city’s best and most popular restaurants and some of the best new restaurants in town too. Here they are!
1. Cutler & Co.
To understand the essence of Cutler & Co, you first need to understand its owner- Andrew McConnell. Being his flagship restaurant, Cutler & Co really is a perfect manifestation of Andrew’s journey. Before setting his roots back home in Melbourne, Andrew spent his formative years learning from the best in Europe, Hong Kong, and Shanghai- influences of which reflect in this pièce de résitance.
The setting of the Melbourne restaurant (a repurposed metalworks factory) is distinctively Australian (a blend of grit with a touch of class). The food itself, a perfect manifestation of his training is a Euro-Asian fusion with an extremely varied menu.
Saying that Cutler & Co. is well received by the public is an understatement. The restaurant has consistently featured in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, attesting to their unforgettable dining experience. For fine diners, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve also been declared time and again as the best fine dining restaurant in Melbourne by several websites including the Herald Sun and Time Out.
Our Recommendation: Their King George Whiting is a must-try! They also have a great wine list.
Address: 55/57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9419 4888
2. Grossi Florentino
Established in the early twentieth century Grossi Florentino is one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in the Melbourne CBD area. When you go to Grossi, you enjoy more than food- and believe me, the food is good. You enjoy the love and passion of a culture steeped in service and honour along with some great ambient live music on certain days. Grossi is the best of any Italian fine dining experience exemplified.
The restaurant has kept with the changing times, but its foundations of excellence remain the very same. Every ingredient is chosen deliberately, every flavour perfected.
Our recommendation: Their uncomplicated take on gnocchi makes it that more alluring.
Address: 80 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9662 1811
3. Vue de Monde
Few restaurants can beat the view that Vue de Monde has. You get to experience Shannon Beckett’s take on French cuisine overlooking the entire city atop the Rialto! Yes, the food is the star of the show, but the vibe one gets from the location makes it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner.
Vue de Monde is high on our recommendation list for special locations.
Our recommendation: Their buttermilk kingfish with a touch of kale
Address: Rialto Towers, 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9691 3888
4. Tipo 00
Tucked away in Melbourne’s CBD, within its laneway locale, Tipo 00 exemplifies my ideal type of dining- casual dining. The restaurant itself is unassuming and does not impose. What do I mean by this?
Tipo 00 is what would happen if you converted an Italian kitchen into a restaurant. You walk in and the first thing you notice is the open kitchen overlooking a very homey dining room. Not only does that give a very welcoming vibe, but you know a chef is confident in their skill when they let you see how they cook!
Yes, they specialise in one thing- Italian cuisine and specifically pasta. The name itself is derived from the type of flour they use in their pasta making-“Italian 00 flour.” Don’t let the otherwise self-effacing nature of Tipo 00 fool you, they’re good! Over the years they’ve garnered all manner of awards ranging from Best casual dining restaurant from Time Out to Australia’s best new restaurant.
Our recommendation: Their Riso Carnanoli is to die for. Vegans are in luck as they do have vegan options.
Address: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9942 3946
Truly Australian in every way, Attica gives a different meaning to fine dining altogether. To them, fine dining is more about an open, conversational atmosphere than it is about expensive plates and cutlery. To them, fine dining is about the creative use of native ingredients than it is about the most pricey ones. Their commitment to local produce makes them a business with a significant impact on the local economy.
You won’t see gold leaf in your dish, but you will enjoy authentic modern Australian cuisine exemplified by local ingredients such as the lobster looking crayfish called Marron- native to Australia.
Our recommendation: Go for their full set menu. It’s a bit pricey but it’s the only way to get a full understanding of Attica’s unique take on food.
Address: 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea VIC 3185, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9530 0111
6. Cumulus Inc.
Another creation from Andrew McConnell Cumulus Inc. is located in upscale Flinders Lane. Expect the same class and standards in any of Andrew McConnell’s restaurants.
One of the few eateries on this list that is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner!
Our recommendation: The chef’s tasting menu
Address: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9650 1445
7. Flower Drum
Apart from their amazing take on Cantonese cuisine, Flower Drum is known for its impeccable cuisine, making it one of our favourite places for Chinese food. You won’t find moody or arrogant workers here. Believe me, the incredible service itself qualifies the restaurant’s place on this list.
Our recommendation: Their Quail Sang Choi Bao
Address: 17 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9662 3655
One of the most celebrated chefs in Melbourne, Thi Le’s take on Southeast Asian cuisine is amazing.
Our recommendation: Their Vietnamese Pâté Chaud (dumpling with pork filling)
Address: 338 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9428 3526
9. Chin Chin
From the people that brought you Kisumé, Chin Chin is another great Asian fusion restaurant specialising in Malay cuisine. That being said expect food with influences from all over Asia including Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Their food is particularly great for people who like that extra kick in their food and can stand the chilli.
Remember that the place has a general no booking policy, so it’s pretty much first come first serve. Given they’re one of the best fusion restaurants in Melbourne’s dining scene, the long queues are totally worth it though!
Our recommendation: Amazing Pad Thai
Address: 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 8663 2000
The third Andre Mcconnell restaurant featured on this list, Supernormal takes on Japanese fusion with a confidence reserved only to master chefs such as Mcconnell. Don’t confuse is it with its little sister in St.Kilda (Supernormal canteen)- the one featured on this list is the fully-fledged restaurant.
The restaurant opens at 11 am and doesn’t close till late at night.
Our recommendation: Great Prawn and Chicken dumplings
Address: 180 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9650 8688
11. Dinner by Heston Melbourne
You may know Heston Blumenthal from the Australian iteration of Masterchef. Dinner by Heston is his signature restaurant in south Melbourne, although he has another in London where he spends most of his time.
The cuisine is one of Melbourne’s best restaurants for distinctively British cuisines, with dishes invented as early as the 12th century.
Our recommendation: Their spiced duck is a must!
Address: Level 3, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9292 5779
The problem with many Asian restaurants is this- a lack of authenticity. So when you find an authentic Asian restaurant, boasting actual Japanese and Korean chef’s, you know you must try it!
Our recommendation: You want to sample as much from their sushi bar as possible, so go for the chef’s tasting menu
Address: 175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 9671 4888
Smith & Daughters
Address: 175 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Contacts: +61 3 9939 3293
Google Reviews Rating: 4.4/5 (From 906 reviews)
Lupino Bistro & Bar
Address: 41 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Contacts: +61 3 9639 0333
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5 (From 369 reviews)
Google Reviews Rating: 4.4/5 (From 215 reviews)
Keeping things culinary, check out our guide to the best coffee in Melbourne.