Flinders Lane: arguably Melbourne's tastiest street. Here are 15 favourites, whether you want ceviche and sours, Andrew McConnell's culinary wizardry, Pan-Asian fusion with a side of hip hop, understated Japanese, tacos and tequila, or modern Mediterranean. We hope you're hungry. If you're further north, you might like to try our guides to Lygon Street or Smith Street instead. Happy eating!
Where to eat on Flinders Lane
Kappo is all restraint and ritual, precision and humility – with no varnished pine in sight. It’s 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 set aside at least two hours.
A pair of glowing neon cherries marks the entrance to Andrew McConnell’s Japanese-y diner: a concrete bunker focused on a kitchen bar, behind which staff shuck oysters and stuff steamed buns at warp speed. You’ll find a few Golden Fields refugees here, including those lobster rolls.
The beauty of Andrew McConnell’s Cumulus Inc is in its restraint - the décor is minimal, letting the natural light and the food on the plate do the work. Oysters are served with a cheek of lemon; a bites menu lists bowls of olives and a straight-up tin of Ortez anchovies. Simple. Perfect.
Evolution (rather than revolution) is the guiding principle at Coda and Tonka's sister restaurant, Ôter. The food is predictably excellent, with head chef Florent Gerardin eschewing clichés of French cuisine for something more modern and sophisticated; while Tom Hunter's wine list has its heart in France and its head in Australia.
Bright lights, hologram menus, house beats and dishes that deliver jarring jolts from sugar, salt and chilli like a series of special effects explosions – Lucy Liu is no shrinking violet. Don’t miss the whole pork hock – braised in master stock, and deep-fried into a crisp-shelled hunk.
Has there ever not been a queue for Chin Chin? Don’t be put off though: it’s worth standing in line for these Pan-Asian snacks – kingfish sashimi, pork roll ups and so on. From the bigger dishes, play the field with at least one salad, a curry, and something from the barbecue section.
Expect modish Peruvian food from San Telmo’s sister restaurant, which has a ceviche bar, a soft spot for Pisco Sours and zesty lime-bright styling. Try snapper ceviche served in ‘tiger’s milk’ (lime juice, coriander and chilli), pork belly cubes with daikon, roasted alpaca, and a Sour or three.
Calling all pork-lovers: Yak’s pork belly, walnut and honey (yes, really) pizza ranks among Melbourne’s finest bready treats. Yak also has a respectable range of pastas, plus a decent wine list. On Friday nights, expect to share the space with the suited and booted afterwork-drinks crew.