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The best restaurants in Docklands

Uncovering the culinary secrets of Melbourne's underappreciated suburb

Photograph: The Tofu Studio

Mention Docklands and you wouldn't be blamed for thinking of suits, towering apartments and corporate blocks. But look a little closer and you'll find Docklands restaurants putting out amazing food, from Spanish tapas to great Indian fare.

Find more hidden gems within the free tram zone, check out Melbourne's best cheap eats and cocktail bars.

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The best places to eat in Docklands


Bar Nacional

The Docklands may still be the dead lands after dark, but Bar Nacional is pushing some tapas worth braving the concrete jungle for. If you work nearby, go for the business lunch menu for a killer combo ($29) of tapas, a main and dessert. In the evenings, the Feed Me menu will be a great way to graze your way through the menu's best.

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90 Secondi

This is a pizzeria from the pizza expert behind 400 Gradi, Johnny di Francesco. Cooked in the central wood-fired oven, 90 Secondi’s pizze are the kind of puffy and crunchy disks that you have to fold and eat within five minutes lest they droop and drop their cheesy burden in your lap. You can get fancy with pork sausage and porcini, but we like to keep it simple. They use the good, air freighted mozzarella and San Danielle prosciutto, which is all you really need with a slap of acidic tomato sugo. 

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The Woolshed

The Woolshed has, for lack of a better word, shed its previous role as a family-friendly Docklands pub and has reemerged as a multi-purpose venue featuring a restaurant, bar and event space. The historic building, which was built in 1916 and used as a wool storage facility, now serves a contemporary Australian dining menu highlighting dry aged steaks, fresh seafood, and classic desserts with a modern twist. For most casual occasions, the bar offers bar snacks and a formidable wine and cocktail lists. 

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Mill and Bakery

This waterfront bakery and café on Central Pier makes freshly baked bread and patisseries daily. Look for the housemade sandwiches and savoury tarts at lunchtime, and stick around for a slice of cake with your afternoon coffee. Mill and Bakery also offers high tea every day – book in and they'll plate up dainty little sandwiches, petit fours and unlimited tea and coffee. 

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Gold Leaf Yum Cha

It's a quick, cheap, high-variety option where everyone can drink tea and get back to work (if the dumpling coma doesn't hit you). Pick an order-boss and go hard on a mix of dumplings, steamed broccoli and pork buns. Got more time for a long lunch? Opt for the banquet option for some Peking duck and all the fixings.

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Pok Pok

Thai street food comes to Docklands by way of Pok Pok. Try Thai classics like fresh papaya salad, roast pork belly with rice, and pad thai. Need something to warm the cockles? Opt for a steaming bowl of tom yum or a massaman lamb curry.   

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Kobe Jones

Kobe Jones right by the Yarra River combines Japanese flavours and Californian flair. Its philosophy is 'food and family', so the menu is designed for grazing, will all plates made to be shared. 

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Dinner on a budget

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By: Sarah Jappy