The tastiest dishes and drinks to try at Melbourne’s most unique bars and restaurants.
Melbourne has no shortage of restaurants and bars that are worth checking out. It is a foodie city after all, and the diversity of Melbourne is reflected in its food.
You’ll find Italian food in Carlton, modern cuisine down Chapel Street in Prahran and trendy restaurants and bars in St Kilda and Fitzroy. That’s not to mention the CBD, which is filled with every type of cuisine you can imagine as well as rooftop bars and new food combinations.
If you get the timing right, you should not pass up the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival that is held every year in March. It celebrates food and wine in Melbourne and throughout Victoria at local bars and restaurants.
Melbourne’s best restaurants and bars
Three One 2 One
There’s one great reason to head out to Three One 2 One and that’s to try their version of the “freakshake”. These jumbo shakes come in a variety of flavours with toppings that can include doughnuts, waffles, a full piece of cake, chocolate, bananas and more!
242 Bridge Road, Richmond
Tucked down a laneway, you’ll find this rooftop bar with an exotic feel. Here, live DJs, Middle Eastern decorations, mezze plates and tasty cocktails take centre stage.
Beaney Lane off Russell Street, CBD
In Melbourne, it isn’t just about the good food and drinks, it’s also about the experience. This hidden bar is only accessible from the stairs above. It’s located under the Pedestrian Bridge in the city and is surrounded by water on all sides. The owners describe the venue as “a tribute to explorers and discoverers of all kinds”.
Kiosk Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, CBD
Voted as the number one restaurant on TripAdvisor, Scopri is an Italian restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients, with a menu that varies throughout the seasons.
191 Nicholson Street, Carlton
A wine bar that TimeOut Melbourne has declared to be the best restaurant in Melbourne, Embla serves up an interesting variety of wines. The dimly lit and relaxed atmosphere pairs well with the food, which is cooked in a wood-fired oven.
122 Russell Street, CBD
A trip to the city isn’t complete without a scrumptious brunch – and Melbourne does brunch well. Matcha Mylkbar offers a completely vegan menu packed with a wide variety of dishes that will surprise even the most sceptical of customers. Sweet or savory, this bright and modern restaurant does not disappoint.
72A Acland Street, St Kilda
Rice Paper Scissors
Based on the concept of the “hawker bars” in South-East Asia, Rice Paper Scissors focuses on food being a shared experience. With fresh ingredients that are sourced locally and ethically when possible, this is where you’ll find a little touch of Asia in Australia.
307 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy or 19 Liverpool Street, CBD
The early bird traveller definitely catches the worm at this CBD cafe. This tiny, Spanish and French-inspired joint serves up breakfast and lunch noms like croque madame and baked eggs with chorizo. It tends to be a popular spot, so arrive early to avoid a queue.
120 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Serving up some of the city's best burgers, Huxtaburger's got a bit of a cult following among locals for a good reason. It keeps its burgers simple rather than gourmet and names each one after a character from The Cosby Show.
106 Smith Street, Collingwood, Rear 357 Collins Street, Melbourne, 203 High Street, Prahran, and 681 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
The best of the rest
- Movida bar de Tapas: Tucked into a corner storefront at Flinders Street and the street art gallery of Hosier Lane, Movida serves up fresh tapas favourites like jamon, patatas bravas and churros. 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
- Dinner by Heston Blumenthal: Serving up a modern twist on traditional British cuisine, Dinner is the brainchild of renowned chef Heston Blumenthal. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by cuisine from Medieval 1300 to Victorian 1800. Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, VIC 3006
- The Hardware Societe: The ultimate brunch spot right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, this cafe dishes up European breakfasts, tapas and sweets in Hardware Lane. 120 Hardware Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
- The Press Club: This two-hat Greek restaurant in Melbourne is owned by celebrity chef and MasterChef co-host George Calombaris. Diners can choose from a five- or eight-course degustation. 72 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Naked for Satan: With roots as a vodka distiller during the Great Depression, this Fitzroy spot is split into two venues, one serving pintxos and the other a rooftop dining venue. 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Food tours and cooking classes
With Melbourne being such a foodie city it’s the optimal place to take a food tour. Here are some of the best: