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Sosta Ristorante

  • Restaurants
  • North Melbourne
  1. Seafood pasta dish from Sosta Ristorante.
    Photograph: Manual Fornaroli
  2. Plate of roast porchetta accompanied by side dishes.
    Photograph: Manuel Fornaroli
  3. Assorted pasta dishes at Sosta Ristorante.
    Photograph: Manuel Fornaroli

Time Out says

A beloved neighbourhood restaurant is reborn through one chef's decision to marry local Aussie flavours with robust Italian techniques

For more than 16 years, this North Melbourne jewel (formerly known as Sosta Cucina) has been loyally serving locals authentic Italian fare made with love. In late 2023, elegant renovations and a switch-up in management ushered in a brand new era for the restaurant, and the glow-up is real.

While holding steadfast onto a few fail-safe formulas – winning service, exceptional produce quality and authentic Italian cooking methods – Sosta Ristorante has looked beyond the horizon for new ways to reimagine and redefine Melbourne's long-standing love affair with the cuisine. 

Upgrades include a clean, bright interior refresh, luxury wine cellar and sharp menu edit under the helm of co-owner and head chef Alex Tintori. The Tuscan-born chef has drawn inspiration from how regions throughout Italy locally source wild ingredients, and in turn, he's incorporated Australia's own native ingredients into his dishes to create bold new flavour profiles. The result? A characterful fusion of traditional Italian cooking techniques with Australia's diverse bounty of plants, herbs and flowers. 

Chef Tintori first fell in love with food in the heart of his family's kitchen, where he developed a passion for foraging and its unique connection with his family's rich culinary heritage. This is something he brings to the fold at Sosta, frequently sourcing ingredients out in nature, with a focus on free-range, organic and sustainable. There's the occasional foray into the realm of fermentation, making the menu here far more intriguing than your regular Italian restaurant.

Take the king prawn risotto, for example, which comes with a yellow tomato puree lifted by the zing of peppermint gum oil. Or a Western Plains pork rack, which reaches stratospheric new dimensions with the aid of fermented cantaloupe melon and pickled green tomatoes. A plate of kangaroo carpaccio is dressed with saltbush, desert lime and dijon dressing, while a creamy slice of cheesecake for dessert is infused with the floral sweetness of raw honey. You get the picture. 

Every Wednesday to Friday from noon, there's a seasonal express lunch special showcasing the restaurant's fresh housemade pasta and entrées, and on Thursdays from 6pm there's a porchetta and wine pairing night. Chef Tintori welcomes all, near and far.

Walk-ins are welcome, or you can make a booking at the website.

Can't get enough of good Italian food? Check out Melbourne's greatest Italian restaurants. For dessert, grab a scoop at one of the top gelato and ice cream shops in town.

Lauren Dinse
Written by
Lauren Dinse


12 Errol St
North Melbourne
Nearby stations: North Melbourne
Opening hours:
Tue 5:30pm-10:30pm; Wed-Thu noon-3pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri noon-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm
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