Restaurants in Melbourne
One of Australia's more cosmopolitan cities, Melbourne has a diverse and exciting dining scene and eating out in this vibrant city can be anything you want it to be! With just about all types of cuisine on offer, the variety of cuisine in this city is astonishing and will see visitors coming back for more.
Although based on traditional British food, Australian cuisine has been strongly influenced by its Southeast Asian neighbours and elements of this can be seen in many Australian dishes. Travellers can enjoy sampling some of the most innovative and exciting fusion food in the world as Melbourne offers many of Australia's top-class restaurants. Korean, Japanese and Thai eateries abound here, while in the city centre, William Street is the place to go for authentic Indian fare.
Head to Chinatown in Little Bourke Street for some authentic Chinese food, while Brunswick Street in Fitzroy boasts an eclectic mix of eateries where visitors will have a hard time choosing where to start. Downtown Melbourne is where the more low-key restaurants can be found, and the chic St Kilda and Chapel Streets is where the city's trendoids can be found dining on the latest nouveau cuisine.
A long standing favourite in the Melbourne dining scene, Punch Lane has a warm brasserie atmosphere, with red leather seats, dark wooden tables and black boards scribbled with lists of wine available by the glass and daily specials. Loved for it's hefty selection of wines and charcuterie bar where a variety of different cured meats and cheeses can be chosen, Punch Lane is a great after work wind-down or pre-theatre rendezvous. With unpretentious food and an intimate atmosphere, this wine bar combines all the necessary elements to ensure a relaxing evening with quality food and wine in Melbourne's bustling theatre district. Open daily for lunch and dinner, except lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Address: 43 Little Bourke Street
Telephone: 9639 4944
A friendly restaurant/bar with attractive modern furnishings, large windows and a sweeping veranda area, Pelicans is ideal for an after work drink or snack, slow paced luncheon, night out with the mates or even a romantic date. Oozing a café, health bar and wine bar atmosphere all at once, Pelican is unpretentious but cool in its stride, serving fresh, greasy breakfasts, attractive lunches and a mouth watering selection of Mediterranean tapas that will keep even the most serious snacker occupied. Reasonably priced, considering the location and quality of food, Pelican's has been respected since its inception in 2001 and continues to prove to both locals and foreigners that Melbourne's eateries are of an international standard. Open daily.
Address: 16 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Telephone: 9525 5847
Something of a Melbourne institution, Syracuse is a restaurant not to be missed on a trip to Melbourne. With a distinctive look, the simple décor, unadorned white walls, classy dark antique tables and chairs and lofty ceilings and arches, all combine to give this establishment a sophisticated look that is both colonial and Mediterranean. Start with fresh oysters or a crisp salad that is carefully put together, try out the thinly sliced tuna steak accompanied with a salad of lentils, tomato, carrot, shallot, herbs and olive oil or sample the renowned myriad of tapas, all accompanied with a glass of unforgettable glass of wine from Syracruse's impressive selection. Open Monday to Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner and dinner only on Saturday.
Address: 23 Bank Place
Telephone: 9670 1777
Literally a hidden gem, Pushka is a funky Melbourne espresso bar
that makes superb coffee, offers a good range of bagels and a
selection of tasty patisseries. Operating as part café, part
bar and part art space, you don't get more cool and quirky than
Pushka. Look out for Melbourne's smallest gallery, a 20cm by 30cm
hole in the wall that features monthly installations by local
artists. Start your day with 'The King' breakfast bagel, layered
with fried egg, cheese, prosciutto and avo, go for the crazy toast
or just munch on some reassuring coco pops. Spilling out onto the
pavement in a quiet alleyway, the rickety mismatched chairs and
kitsch cutlery give Pushka its alternative edge. An ideal coffee
venue for espresso junkies or lunch stop for hungry travellers.
Address: 20 Pesgrave Place
Telephone: 0817 3892
With ten years experience under its belt, the highly respected and loved Il Baraco restaurant enjoys a continuous influx of loyal customers who appreciate the carefully prepared traditional Italian food, the palatable selection of wines and sincere service. A quality Italian restaurant, situated in the heart of the business district, Il Baraco attracts both executives and lovers with an intimate ambiance, achieved with a classic combination of crisp white linen tablecloths, dark wooden chairs and soft lighting. Some highlights on the menu include the Yarra Valley quail roasted and served with pecorino ice cream and pomegranate salad starter and the Western Plains suckling pork marinated in grappa, served with black cabbage and vin cotto. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Address: 168-170 Little Collins Street
Telephone: 9654 6778
For sushi lovers looking for a fix, Kenzan is a great place to take a group of friends or go on a romantic date. With unmistakable retro charm, patrons can dine at the sushi bar and watch their dinner being prepared or resign themselves to a traditional tatami room, where all the customs of an authentic Japanese evening can be enjoyed. Conducting business for over 25 years, Kenzan is recognised for its attention to detail and quality food. Choose from a wide selection of sushi or opt for a meal off the a la carte menu. For lunch a Bento Box is the best bet, comprising of sashimi, prawn dumplings, small appetizers and rice, all presented in a traditional Japanese box and served with miso soup. A good starter is the refreshing sugaki (fresh oysters with citrus flavoured ponzu vinegar) and a sake teriyaki (grilled salmon) as a main. Open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday.
Address: Collins Place, 45 Collins Street (56 Flinders Lane)
Telephone: 9654 8933
Sails On The Bay
With a perfect location on the sandy shore of Elwood Beach, Sails On The Bay is a sophisticated Melbourne restaurant that has fused its breathtaking beach location with light elegant furnishings and a seafood menu to boot. Sails On The Bay is ideal for long luncheons or classy evenings out. With floor to ceiling windows, patrons can watch the sunset over the deep blue ocean and hear the waves crashing onto the shore. Starters such as the soft shell crab tempura, accompanied with a mango and asparagus salad, sour cream, chilli and coriander dressing keeps guests coming, as does the seared tuna main with potato and onion salad, zesty lime mayonnaise and salsa verde. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 15 Elwood Foreshore, Elwood
Telephone: 9525 6933
Circa, the Prince
Circa is a sophisticated restaurant with a fashionable pink and white interior, lit by woven basket lights, and a lovely courtyard shaded by olive trees. The varied menu offers an array of dishes accompanied by fresh, home-grown vegetables; the tuna with red mullet and eggplant caviare, on toasted sourdough, followed by pheasant with rhubarb and ginger, is delicious! Open for breakfast daily, dinner Monday to Saturday and lunch on Sunday. Reservations essential.
Address: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Telephone: 9536 1122
Wheat Restaurant and Bar
A modern restaurant with a dapper edge, Wheat has an extensive menu with affordable meals and dishes to suit all palettes. A good breakfast and lunch venue, patrons can have a sample Wheat's perfect Eggs Benedict or indulge in the homemade buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup. Lunch is accompanied with an impressive wine list, boasting mainly local estates and international beers. Sample the leek, potato and tellagio pie, topped with an onion relish and served with a balsamic pear salad, the homemade potato gnocchi in a rich braised beef ragu garnished with fresh herbs or the veal medallions served on a asparagus risotto with goats cheese stuffed zucchini flowers. Ideal for an afternoon snack or work drinks, Wheat also has a tapas menu where patrons can choose from a selection of finger foods such as california rolls, cajun chicken strips with orange mayo or char grilled marinated prawn skewers to accompany a beverage of their choice. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Friday. A courtyard seating area is also available.
Address: 534 Lonsdale St
Telephone: 9642 0288
The Press Club
Evoking images of a smoky bistro, where journalists and the like would discuss the days events, literature and politics, the dark walls, industrial windows and black leather of the renowned Press Club create a chic atmosphere with starched white tablecloths where patrons await the inventive products of master chef George Calombaris' design. Situated in the centre of Melbourne's metropolis, the Greek dishes served at The Press Club are by no way traditional. Expect to savour meals that are as of yet unheard of, a fusion of the old with the very new. With fresh ingredients that are creatively put together and beautifully presented, a visit to The Press Club is a gastronomic experience. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday and dinner Saturday and Sunday. Bookings recommended.
Address: 72 Flinders Street
Telephone: 9677 9677
One of Australia's best Chinese restaurants, Flower Drum is an institution in the constantly fluctuating Melbourne restaurant scene. It's known for serving incredible Cantonese cuisine that's both traditional and innovative, making this restaurant a favourite for over 35 years. The baked crab shells and Peking duck are prennial favourites.
Telephone: (03) 9662 3655
Behind the graffiti-lined walls of a Melbourne laneway lies MoVida, a vibrant tapas bar packed each night with locals. MoVida serves simple, amazing Spanish food, including cuttlefish on broad beans and churros with hot chocolate, with a carefully crafted wine and sherry list.
Address: 1 Hosier Lane
Telephone: (03) 9663 3038
Become our Melbourne Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Melbourne travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Melbourne or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.