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The 50 best restaurants in Melbourne

Too many restaurants, not enough time. Cut the fat with our guide to the best places to eat in Melbourne right now

Photograph: Graham Denholm

Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old, and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Melbourne's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, that is. So behold, our eat-and-destroy list – a guide to Melbourne's best restaurants.

When you're done eating, start working your way through our guides to Melbourne's 50 best bars and 50 best pubs. Bon appétit!

50

Dexter

This Preston eatery is buzzing with far North diners looking for a good time. The menu has an American barbecue focus – go for smoky, slow-cooked meat fresh off the grill on trays or in soft brioche buns. 

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Preston
49

HuTong

The xiao long bao and wontons with chilli sauce at HuTong are legendary. The service at this dumpling house may be hit-and-miss but we're willing to overlook that for the silky pockets if deliciousness.

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Melbourne
48

400 Gradi

Their Margherita was awarded 'best pizza in the world at the World Pizza Championships in Parma in 2014. Judge the winning slice for yourself and test other highlights like the gloriously puffy Napoletana pizza.  

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Southbank
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47

Rockwell and Sons

If you like a simple, greasy cheeseburger, you'll love Rockwell and Son's 'double patty smash burger', two juicy patties of prime beef layered with Kraft cheese singles little gherkins and tomato-mayo sauce in a butter brushed brioche bun.

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Collingwood
46

Hawker Hall

Part beef hall, part street food market, Hawker Hall is inspired by the cheap-as-chips restaurants of Kuala Lumpur, with a definite Melbourne touch. Executive chef Benjamin Cooper's menu flits from beer food and dumplings and buns, through to roti and satay, noodles and salads, and curries and stir fries. Two people can barely scratch the surface, which is why this rowdy joint is best tackled with a crew.

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Windsor
45

Belle's Hot Chicken

Southern-style fried chicken has nailed the eating zeitgeist, but the crew at Belle’s Hot Chicken have turned it into an extreme sport. If you want to simulate the experience of having your head blown off, head straight for their "really fuckin’ hot" chicken. It has a body count. Thankfully, you can cool off with the wine list, that cracks out unexpected moves in the orange/low intervention arena. 

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Fitzroy
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44

Up In Smoke

Go west and make a stop at American barbecue joint Up in Smoke. It’s all about the barbecue here – burgers, tacos salads, sandwiches and tasty snackettes animate the menu, and when the clock hits 6pm, the smoked meats come out to play. Thirsty? there's craft beer on tap.

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Footscray
43

Grub Food Van

Grub Food Van is going on five years old and it’s only getting better with age. The low price point dinner sets are generous and offer a great way to graze away your evening in the greenhouse-like casual restaurant space.

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Fitzroy
42

Neighbourhood Wine

This friendly neighbourhood wine bar was a notorious gentlemen’s club in its former life, but there’s nothing insalubrious about its current incarnation. Take your time perusing the 20-page wine list, and settle into a long lunch or weeknight dinner with the bistro-style menu.

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Fitzroy North
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41

Arbory Bar and Eatery

We're not going to lie, the murky Yarra River isn't a pretty picture most days, but there's something about looking at the inner-city skyline by the railway line at Arbory that makes you proud of this city. Pull up a seat, order a rosé to go with your cheeseburger and soak in the view.

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Melbourne
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Looking for something more specific?

The best burgers in Melbourne

Although food trends will come and go, there will always be a place in our arteries for the humble hamburger. Here are Melbourne’s ultimate burgers.

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The best fried chicken in Melbourne

Not everyone can meet the fierce standards of our American and Korean expats, but these Melbourne restaurants are pretty damn brilliant at battering and deep frying chicken.

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The best patisseries in Melbourne

Melbourne's best bakeries and patisseries who are making the best croissants in the world, to traditional cakes you want to take home to your grandmother. 

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The best vegan restaurants in Melbourne

If you don’t like food with faces, it’s becoming easier and easier to eat out, and eat well. These are the best (but no means all) vegan-friendly restaurants in Melbourne.

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The best dumplings in Melbourne

Whoever coined the phrase "the best things come in small packages" had definitely just eaten a bowl of dumplings. Here are the best dumpling houses in Melbourne. 

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The best pizza in Melbourne

We've eaten our way around Melbourne to find the best slices and here are 10 restaurants worth crossing town for.

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The best ramen in Melbourne

We tested Melbourne’s ramen shops to find the best of the bunch. Here are best bowls of ramen in Melbourne.

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The best roast chicken in Melbourne

Rotisserie chicken has been getting a makeover. Here are some of the best roast chicken dishes around Melbourne. Sorry not sorry, mum.

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The best doughnuts in Melbourne

From the classic hot jam doughnuts to the loaded numbers with rainbow toppings, we've got it all. Peruse our drool-worthy list of doughnuts and try not to crave one.

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By: Sarah Gamboni
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Dine by cuisine

The best Italian restaurants in Melbourne

If there's a cuisine that is made for long leisurely meals shared with a group, it has to be Italian. Have a molto bene feast at these Italian restaurants. Buon appetito! 

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By: Time Out editors

The best French restaurants in Melbourne

From soufflés to steak frites, there's plenty of top-notch Gallic cuisine to be found in our fair city. Here, we've compiled the best of the old and the boundary-pushing new.

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By: Larissa Dubecki
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The best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne

Melbourne has become one of Australia's best spots to try top-notch Mexican: we've put together some of the best eateries from the traditional to the unabashedly inauthentic. 

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By: Sarah Gamboni

The best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne

We’ve come a long way since the bad old days when Chinese food meant lemon chicken doused in an iridescent yellow sauce. Here are the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne if you don’t fancy wokking something up at home. 

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By: Time Out editors
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Comments

2 comments
T R
T R

So 11 of the best 50 restaurants in Melbourne are in Fitzroy? C'mon. Obviously trips south of the yarra are very few and far between. This could be straight out of The Age.