Best restaurants in Melbourne
Finally sharing the best restaurants in Melbourne guide! Melbourne has such a great foodie scene and it felt a lot like San Francisco in that it’s impossible to make it to all the best restaurants in one trip. I’ve narrowed down a few top picks for different restaurant categories, based on all of the places we went to while we were there as well as tons of recs from locals. Enjoy, and let me know if I’m missing any of your favs! And if you’re planning a trip to Melbourne, be sure to check out my complete Melbourne travel guide here.
Best restaurants in Melbourne: For Asian Fare
Rice Paper Scissors: Let’s start with one of our favorites from our trip! While we were in Cairns, we met a couple who was from Melbourne and Rice Paper Scissors was their number one restaurant recommendation. Their Thai/Asian fusion cuisine highlights a lot of well-loved Asian street-style food, and it was absolutely delicious. The wait can sometimes be long so if it’s too busy here you can also try to get reservations at their sister restaurant, Rice Paper Sister. Cute, right?
Lucy Liu: Lucy Liu describes itself as Pan-Asian, which I’m liking simply for the fact that I feel like I’m over-using “Asian fusion” so it’s nice to have a different name for it. With a Southeast Asian leaning, their dishes are sizzling and meant to be shared.
Bang Bang at the Rifle Club: Bang Bang is a little off the beaten path, but such a great spot that we loved! Their French Indochine dishes were fabulous, and they have great cocktails. We loved the ambiance and all the palm leaf vibes too.
Chin Chin: If it feels like there are a lot of Asian fusion places on this list, it’s because Melbourne does Asian fusion really well. Chin Chin offers up an Australian take on Asian food, and it’s one of the most successful/popular Asian restaurants in Melbourne.
Best restaurants in Melbourne: For a Cozy Italian Meal
Pasta Adagio: We absolutely loved the delicious Italian meal we had here. Chef Carmine Costantini was born and raised in Italy, and later brought his Italian cooking chops to Melbourne. The atmosphere at Pasta Adagio is warm and inviting, and the pasta was of course fantastic. Not to be missed: La carbonara reinvented.
Tipo 00: This pasta bar in the heart of the city has everything you love about Italian dining, set in a chic, gram-worthy space.
Best restaurants in Melbourne: For Brunch
Proud Mary Cafe: This cute cafe has great coffee (as most Melbourne cafes do) and delicious food. It’s located in the super hipster Collingwood area, and we both loved what we ordered—the asparagus + black rice and avocado + kim chee toast. So bomb.
Top Paddock: A Melbournian (is that a thing?) staple for a hearty brunch, where the food changes with the seasons.
Alimentari: The Smith Street, Collingwood location has THE prettiest light-filled patio for dining, covered in hanging greenery. We had the avocado toast and the sweet corn fritters and loved them both. They also have take-away meals and sandwiches in their connected store.
South of Johnston: Another Collingwood spot (they’ve just got all the hipster cafes!), with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. La-la-loved their corn and zucchini fritters with smoked salmon!
Best restaurants in Melbourne: For a Fancy Night out
Ides: We had such a fun dining experience at Ides. Everything was designed to surprise and delight, from the presentation of the food to the unusual flavor combinations. I’m still dreaming about their peanut butter butter! Ides does either a four course or a full (I seriously think it was nine or ten courses) tasting menu, and they also have a wine pairing option. I loved that while it was a fine-dining experience, it was very welcoming and unpretentious.
Cumulus Inc: Cumulus is known for being a social hub for foodies, situated in a light and classic space with high ceilings. Come for wine and charcuterie at their wine bar, or have a full meal that kicks off with dainty and delicious starters like their salt cod panisse, and continues through to a heartier entree like their famous slow roast lamb shoulder.
Attica: Attica prides itself on serving often-overlooked Australian ingredients in their inventive tasting menu. Their tasting menu price is definitely a bit steep ($295 starting in October 2018), so it’s definitely a special occasion place.
Best restaurants in Melbourne: For a Quick, Delicious Bite
Babajan: Come here for delicious Turkish eats with lots of soul. They only serve dinner Fri/Sat, but are open for breakfast and lunch most days. Don’t forget to save room for their baked goods.
Gazi: Our first night in Melbourne, our Lyft driver recommended Gazi as her favorite restaurant in the city. We enjoyed their Greek street food and it’s a great spot for a casual lunch.