Rotisserie chickens are the stars at Chinatown eatery Belleville. The free-range chooks are saltwater brined overnight and miso butter-glazed and roasted to order in the Brazilian rotisserie. Pass the hot sauce please!
The generous Italian fare at this Brunswick pizzeria is classic to its bones, save for a few modern touches, like the option of vegan cheese and gluten-free bases. Even most of the prices are from a few decades back.
See how Delhi does street food with Delhi Streets' spiced chickpea burgers, pani puri and kulfi icypoles. Try the pistachio version, made with condensed milk, pistachios, cardamon, saffron and cinnamon.
Raph Rashid's All Day Donuts becomes a fried chicken shop come dinnertime. Juanita Peaches' bare-bones menu focuses on the important stuff: fried chicken, burros, Melbourne Bitter and doughnuts for dessert.
This Preston spot is a carnivore's dream. Think tin trays with ribs and sauce, marrow trenchers (translation: chargrilled sourdough with bone marrow butter), pickles and 'slaw. Oh, and they have meat doughnuts.
Dine like a Parisian in this CBD replica of South Yarra's chicest bistro. Expect the famous Entrecôte steak frites and daily happy hour deals that’ll buy you oysters and champagne on a poor man's budget.
Smith Street’s loss is the city’s gain, as Lee Ho Fook brings cutting-edge Chinese to Duckboard Place. It’s a slicker, more sophisticated package, with a rock’n’roll edge that suits Liong’s punchy regional cuisine.
It’s not exactly a Thai restaurant. It’s not exactly a bar. Oh and it's next door to a club. Magic Mountain Saloon’s unwillingness to be pigeonholed matters not one jot because it’s an absolute winner.
Preston's Stray Neighbour is much more than a cracking local. There's a finely judged balance between drinks and food, plus great entertainment (pool table!) and al fresco areas for basking in the sun.
Trattoria Emilia focuses on the fundamentals. From Gill’s Diner's looser European menu they’ve drilled down into the particular delights of regional Italy. Here, pasta is as it should be – simple, unfussy, utterly satisfying.
Just like its namesake, Anchovy is small but piquant and delicious. Young chef Thi Le's Vietnamese take on steak tartare is the ultimate example of her modern Asian reimaginings of classic flavour combos.
Kappo is an omakase restaurant. That either translates here as “no menu – but you get to flag likes and dislikes” or “slow”. Choose from five, seven or nine courses, but commit yourself to the cause for at least two hours.
A bodega? Not exactly, but South Melbourne's Lamaro’s is thoroughly Iberian with a menu that's crowded with pork products in many forms. Don't miss the suckling pig for an unadulterated plate of porcine loveliness.
Epic. That’s what you can call a 15-course degustation featuring things like cow’s udde, calamari entrail and cured emu and finishes with a painted chocolate cacao pod smashed with a delicate silver hammer.
Run by three young brothers (Blayne, Tyson and Chayse Bertoncello) all under 30, you won't be blamed for underestimating the fine dining capacity of this degustation-only restaurant in the outer suburbs.
What was once a sports bar frequented by Carlton's older gents now houses the Roving Marrow. Here, you'll find a contemporary Australasian and European menu, plus a yum cha service – but not as you know it.