The 50 best restaurants in Melbourne
January 2023: Happy New Year Melburnians! Why not change things up this year and visit new restaurants outside your usually-visited postcodes? From fine dining to some of the best cheap eats in town, work your way through our list of the 50 best restaurants to get a taste of the best food Melbourne has to offer. The continually evolving and expanding dining scene in Melbourne is both a blessing and a curse: how do you choose between so many incredible restaurants? Well, that's where we come in. Stop endlessly scrolling, and commit to making your way through Time Out’s list of the best restaurants in the state right now. Our always-hungry local experts and editors have curated 2022's most delicious and divine, innovative and imaginative, comforting and familiar, memorable and magical dining experiences right here at your fingertips. From old favourites and culinary institutions such as Attica and Flower Drum, to emerging standouts and instant icons such as Serai, Grill Americano, Nomad and Hope St Radio, we've got it all covered here. Get out, and get eating! You have a lot to get through! Need something to wash all that food down? These are the best bars in Melbourne. Already thinking about breakfast? These are the best cafes in the city that does breaky best.
The best bottomless brunches in Melbourne
Brunch is a beloved institution across Melbourne. It doesn't require an early wake-up call and is simultaneously on the right side of the day, so you can still have your avo on toast if you need it. But how do you improve on perfection? By adding bottomless drinks, of course. Bottomless brunches have taken our city by storm, and if you've done one, you have no doubt discussed tactics with friends: what to drink, how to pace yourself, the best way to grab the waiter's attention and if it's possible to surreptitiously double park. After all, bottomless brunches are all about getting the best value and a healthy buzz. And not dissimilar to the chicken and egg debate, are drinks or food more crucial when selecting your venue? We believe you can have the best of both. We've compiled a list of Melbourne's best bottomless brunches so that you can enjoy your chicken or eggs with a great selection of limitless bevs. Keen to carry on the party? Check out the best rooftop bars or best beer gardens in Melbourne. Planning a big day and night? Kick on at the best late-night bars in Melbourne.
The best fish and chips in Melbourne
Some things just go together: Batman and Robin, death and taxes, and our personal favourite, fish and chips. It doesn't matter how you take them; we can all agree that fish and chips are the ultimate dynamic duo. With Melbourne's prime location as a coastal city, it's no wonder we're serving up some of the best. From old-school chippies to the more bougie, we've rounded up our top ten, so you can spend your time doing more important things – like working your way through all of them. Need somewhere to eat your fish and chips? These are the best beaches in Melbourne. Want to take things up a notch? These are the best beachside restaurants in Melbourne. Time Out's 100 Days of Summer calendar is here to help you plan your entire summer in Melbourne.
Melbourne's best beachside restaurants
Everyone knows that scent works in tandem with taste. However, sight and environment play equally significant roles. So what better way to improve your dining experience than grazing with a view, accompanied by the smell of fresh, salty sea air in the background? The days are getting warmer and longer, making it the perfect time to consider the scenery when picking your next restaurant. And nothing screams vista like Melbourne's lovely coastline, so whether you're into takeaway fish and chips on the sand, or fine dining with a panorama, we've got you covered with the city's best beachside restaurants. Searching for more finger-licking goodness? Check out Melbourne's best fish and chips here.
The best teppanyaki in Melbourne
Dinner and a show is a popular way to spend an evening, and Japan has refined the concept into a one-stop shop with teppanyaki. Skilled chefs manoeuvre blades across an iron plate (teppan), artfully cooking your meal so close you can touch it (don’t). If expertly prepared food tossed into your open gob sounds like a dream come true, look at our list of Melbourne’s best teppanyaki places, from the refined to the raucous. Looking for other entertaining ways to enjoy your dinner? Check out Melbourne's best sushi trains here.
The best coffee in the Melbourne CBD
Nicknamed the "coffee capital of the world", Melbourne has no shortage of excellent coffee shops. Thanks to an influx of Greek and Italian immigrants who introduced espresso to our city after WWII, we now have more coffee shops per person than any other city in the world. This makes writing a list of the best coffee shops in the CBD almost redundant as you'll be hard "pressed" to find an energising bean juice that doesn't put a pep in your step. However, as with everything we do, we aim to make your life easier, so we have compiled a list of our personal favourite CBD coffee joints to ensure your morning (or arvo) caffeine hit is the best it can be. When you're done with your caffeine hit, check out these top spots for food in Melbourne's CBD
The best noodle soups in Melbourne
It’s common knowledge that carbs make everything better – and this science applies to soups, too. Steaming broths enhanced with thick, chewy noodles are the most practical (and delicious) way to ensure you stay warm this winter. If you like them spicy, meaty, or somewhere in between, we’ve done the research and rounded up Melbourne's best for your slurping pleasure. Looking for cheap eats? Check out our favourite lunches in the CBD. Still need a winter warmer? Why don't you head to one of these wine bars?
The best dumplings in Melbourne
Whoever coined the phrase "the best things come in small packages" had definitely just eaten a plate of dumplings. No other food compares when it comes to versatility – fried, steamed or boiled, they're all delicious. And with a myriad of variations and ingredients, they can happily feed vegetarians and carnivores alike. Now, a favourite dumplings joint can be a contentious topic. So to help you decide – or make a list to try them all – we have composed a list of Melbourne's most popular Chinese offerings so you can get your fix of these parcels of joy. While we're on the topic... Check out our top picks for Melbourne's best Chinese restaurants.
The best BYO restaurants in Melbourne
There's a thrilling nature to BYO. Perhaps it stirs adolescent memories of trying to sneak drinks into venues? Or the indisputable value it adds? Regardless, It’s gratifying to waltz into a venue, your favourite drop in hand, and be greeted not with frowns and finger-wagging but with open arms. To save you the time of google searching BYO positive locations, we’ve created a list of various cuisines and price points. Looking for a scenic nightcap after dinner? check out some of Melbourne's best rooftop bars.
CBD lunch guide: Healthy lunches
Can't tear yourself away from your desk for more than a moment? That's no excuse to skip lunch. Check out our guide to Melbourne's best cheap eats, or if you've got more time, lush it out in these venues.
Listings and reviews (12)
Bombay Yacht Club
It’s a bit like a fever dream. Walking into Bombay Yacht Club, you’re greeted by a riot of colour – Yves Klein blue curtains, turquoise dining chairs, bright yellow bar, a floor of swirling cloud formations. We’re told there’s also a bubble machine that lazily emits bubbles onto dining patrons. Cute! Eighties classics blast from the speaker and reverberate through the small venue. What is undoubtedly a fun, opulent space on a busy night is slightly disconcerting on a quiet Tuesday evening when we are the only customers dining. However, the chairs are comfortable, and the service is attentive and welcoming. BYC (I'm saving my word count) was opened by restaurateur and chef Jessi Singh (Horn Please, Daughter In Law) in the space previously occupied by his wine bar, Mrs Singh. Singh started sailing during lockdown and, through this hobby, discovered an abundance of exclusive yacht clubs and restaurants. This inspired BYC, which gives a nod to the private yacht clubs that operated under colonial rule in Singh's birth country of India. BYC acknowledges this history with the tongue-in-cheek style that is the signature of Sigh and his venues. This irreverence and fun flow into the menu, which primarily draws from Indian flavours with some input from other southern Asian countries. For instance, the half lobster arrives covered in a bitey Sri Lankan chilli sambal on a heaping pile of pilaf-style rice. It's an extremely generous serve that's a bargain at $44. The lobster meat is swe
In Australia, barbecuing is a way of life. Whether it's a weekend at a mate's place, or lining up for a cherished Bunnings sausage sizzle – we proudly claim the barbecuing as our national dish. However, people have been cooking over flames since the beginning of time. Although the thongs, “kiss the chef” apron and one hand on a tinnie and the other on the tongs are uniquely ours, we’re lucky to have other cultures importing their barbecue best. Enter Kömür in Ascot Vale. Housed in a space previously occupied by a fish and chip shop, Kömür specialises in Turkish barbecue. Owner Emir Uker (previously of his father's owned Katik Turkish) opened the venue in August 2019 and is following in his father's footsteps by bringing simple, honest food to the masses. You might have had a kebab before, but not like this. Kömür specialises in the Adana kebab – which is named after the Turkish city it originated in. Spiced minced lamb is moulded onto a shish and then given a 15-minute turn over the open coals. Uker chooses to use a 70-30 per cent meat-to-fat ratio for his Adana Kebabs to impart flavour, texture and hold. Other options include chicken shish, skewered lamb fillets and chicken wings. Prices start at $14 for wraps or jump higher if you get it on a plate. Single meat selections come with a salad and two dips of your choosing. Dips include global favourite hummus, along with an eggplant or chilli option. They also have cacik which is the Turkish answer to Greek Tzatziki. Salads ar
Flinders Lane houses a veritable who’s who of popular dining locations. Because of this, it could be considered inevitable that when Sydney’s Nomad – a high-flying, one-hatted restaurant – moved South it was destined to end up here. But as natural as this might seem, Nomad’s journey to Melbourne has been anything but easy. Importing a restaurant to a new city is already a mammoth task, chuck in a global pandemic with state border closures and your task is looking next to impossible. Thankfully, owners Al and Rebecca Yazbeck, along with executive Nomad chef Jacqui Challinor, aren't ones to shy away from a challenge. On the ground floor of the Adelphi Hotel, in the space formerly occupied by the iconic Ezard, the doors of Nomad Melbourne are finally open. Adapting favourites from the Sydney menu with twists to highlight Victorian producers the menu draws inspirations from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. A dark staircase entranceway leads down to a warm, energetic space with a slightly subterranean vibe, that buffers from the hubbub outside, while at the same time suggesting you are in one of the most happening pockets of the city. Soft lighting, combined with the polished wooden floors, cool blue tones and generously spaced tables creates a cosy, cave-like dining area which builds a sense of anticipation for what is to come and the knowledge that you are in for an inspired dining experience. The smell of toasty spices emanates from the metaphorical and physical heart of
In a suburb inundated with excellent food options, Austro Bakery in South Melbourne still makes its mark with its offerings of Euro-centric baked goods. The brick shop front leads into an open space made up of polished concrete and cadet blue details. It's sleek but inviting, and at the centre is a large glass cabinet overflowing with the days' baked sweet and savoury items. Pretzels, sandwiches, tarts and doughnuts will be vying for your attention singing their carb-y siren call. From the street, you can view a patissier working hard in the open kitchen, rolling and kneading dough. Behind her are trays of yet-to-be-baked croissants, intricately folded and awaiting the ultimate metamorphosis. Sally Roxon, head pastry chef and owner, isn't Austrian; but her business partner and husband Christian Gattermy is. They’re no strangers to the Melbourne hospitality scene, and are the brains behind Albert Park coffee shop Hapsburg Empire. Austro Bakery initially offered a full dine-in menu on top of their counter goodies – but during Covid-19 they decided to keep things simple, and focus on the pastries. With produce almost entirely sourced from neighbouring South Melbourne Markets, you’ll have your work cut out for you when trying to decide what to pick. Savouries come in the shape of ciabatta bread rolls stuffed with sopressa, ricotta and chilli mayo. Palm-sized brioche rolls filled with fluffy scrambled eggs jostle shoulders with twisty rye bread pretzels. Kimchi, cheese and chill
Melbourne's beating heart must surely be a wine bar. The city's finest purveyors of this integral aspect of our city have kept up standards with their only northside venture, the Moon in Collingwood. Owner Lyndon Kubis stands by the adage 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it with his foolproof business model of "part wine bar, part bottle shop". The proof is in the pinot, and the Moon follows its older siblings, the Alps, Toorak Wine Cellars and Milton Wine Shop, to deliver a curated selection of wine that you can have takeaway or drink in. Upon opening in 2017, The Moon's only food offerings were simple cheese and charcuterie boards. That's certainly not bad; however, in 2020, Kubis partnered with dynamic chef Charley Snadden-Wilson to create thoughtful and intentional food to complement your favourite drop. Former head chef of Brunswick's Etta, Snadden-Wilson is undoubtedly adept at this. The menu is unshouty and agreeable – designed to cater to the snacky inclined or those after a complete feed. The bones of the menu stay the same, but aspects change weekly depending on the produce available. Light, fresh share plates of cured meat, fish or veggies are usually available. Contender for the best bite of the year comes in the form of fried bread with anchovy cream and tomato. The uncredited pickled fennel with the savoury anchovy cream has the tried and tested salt & vinegar-esque flavour punch of your favourite chippies proven to work well with booze. A handmade pasta dish is
Jim's Greek Tavern
Jim’s Greek Tavern first opened in 1980, and its charm has endured. In a city with countless dainty wine bars and finicky degustation menus (we love them), Jim’s has persisted due to its distinctive style and ambience. Simple, generous, flavourful Greek food is on the bill here - and the no corkage beer, wine and anything-in-between BYO policy don't hurt either. Two large rooms in white brick with soft blue details encapsulate the Greek patriotism that this restaurant is all about. Service is a medley of brusque, smiley or cordial – but it's always professional. Their ability to service over 200 guests on a busy night is just one of the things they’ve perfected in 40-something years. The Panagopoulos family have been at the helm of Jim’s since its establishment and the impudent and jocular way in which the staff converse with each other personifies the family feel. Although there is a menu, you won't be offered one when you arrive. Instead, the waiter will reel off dishes by their principal ingredient, “fish, lamb, salad” – it's best if you just sit back and nod. Although this does mean you play a version of roulette with the bill, the gargantuan portions and aforementioned free corkage mean you usually break even. Food comes out at a frenetic pace, and the waiters will usually be ferrying several plates of a singular dish to surrounding tables. Saganaki arrives in a heavy-bottomed fry pan with a thick slice of lemon. It's nutty and salty, but its appeal is temperature relia
Melbourne's sandwich resurgence has been gaining momentum for years. Without signs of slowing down, the widespread trend has reached Torquay, in the form of a Mediterranean-inspired deli. Mortadeli started as former travel agent Jake Cassar's lockdown hobby and as a way of staying connected with his globetrotting foodie passion – think Mediterranean flavours mixed with a bodega influence. Initially starting as a 40-square-metre café, the venue has since expanded across the piazza it's located in to provide Torqueyans with a full alimentari-style grocer experience. The deli offers a comprehensive selection of frozen, fresh and tinned delights. There's nostalgic energy to both spaces. Compulsory deli-style orange and white checkerboard floors along with sherbet yellow shelves create a retro ambience that somehow perfectly complements the packaging of many of the smallgoods on offer. This is a pre-picnic or charcuterie board must- visit, with staples like Tom Sarafian's hummus, Chappys Chips, imported cheeses and pâtés. The menu is written on a chalkboard propped out the front. Two breakfast sandwiches are available until 11 am, and the real magic starts with the lunch menu. Six sandwiches of varying bread, ingredients and flavour profiles – there are all the classics like pastrami on rye, meatball sub and smoked hot dog. One of its mainstays, the Continental Deli Sub, is a who's-who of deli meats. Mortadella, ham, sopressa and 'nduja are generously layered with buttery provol
France-Soir is truly a Melbourne institution. Established in 1986 by owner Jean-Paul Prunetti, the bistro was an instant success, and in the fickle world of hospitality, that success has endured. On a cool winter day, the restaurant is swarming – even at 4pm. This is not a venue for the claustrophobic. Tables are packed tightly, and seats are in high demand. Waiters expertly ferry plates from the kitchen behind the swinging doors at the back, manoeuvring among the lively tables. If you arrive early for your reservation, you may be seated at one of the three stools along the bar. You can order a drink while you wait, which is recommended as a way to ease the knowledge that you are definitely in the way. If you’ve been to Paris before, this ambience will not feel unfamiliar: high energy, a little bit brusque, but simultaneously fun and hedonistic. Unusually, there are no specials today – for which you might be grateful. The menu is composed of France's finest fare, so keeping it edited is welcome. Oysters are shucked fresh to order with a selection from NSW, SA and Tassie. Served on ice, with puckery mignonette dressing, the oysters vary in sweetness, brininess and size, but are parallelled in freshness. Thick slices of French bread automatically appear with the compulsory pat of butter. Unsurprisingly, the bread is excellent. The crumb is almost sticky, with a chewy crust that delivers a harmonious texture. Entrées are rustic and unfussy. Steak tartare is ubiquitous in the Mel
After the gruelling impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns, the success of a lockdown pop-up is something to be celebrated – even more so when it graduates into a bricks-and-mortar store. ‘Parco Project’, a collaborative pop-up that ran out of Elizabeth Street's Shujinko was the brainchild of chefs Frederico Congiu (Stasio Di Citta) and Manato Deleon (Shujinko). Now, permanent Parco in Moonee Ponds is the culmination of passion and perseverance, with a dash of ingenuity. Ramen is a beloved dish in Melbourne, but the Japanese noodle-based soup dish is often the cause of contention – every Melbournite worth their North Face thinks they know the best joint in town. Menus are interchangeable, usually revolving around a tonkotsu (pork) or chicken base. Traditionalists prefer it this way, and scoff at radical changes to the main four flavour profiles (salt, soy, pork and miso). However, like New York chef Ivan Orkin's revolutionary addition of tomato, a lot of ramen chefs actually consider ramen to be a 'tradition-free zone'. Sitting only 19 at a time, Parco's warm and densely packed atmosphere often attracts queues of hungry patrons. The seats are highly coveted for one reason in particular – the lobster ramen. Cooked for over eight hours, servings of this soup are limited. The broth is recognisably tonkotsu-thick, but unconventionally built from crustacean bisque. It's delicately sweet, with a concentrated seafood flavour that's enhanced by the undertone of smokey char. The noodles are
Food waste in the hospitality industry is a recognised problem, and it's estimated that up to 250,000 tonnes of food are thrown away by Melbourne restaurants each year. Chef Dennis Yong (Sunda, Amaru, Tulum) is using new wine bar Parcs to address this issue – without sacrificing either quality or flavour. Parcs sits an intimate 25 people and is owned by Adi Halim (Hotel Windsor, Aru, Sunda). The snacky small-dish menu consists of dishes composed of 70 per cent food excess from Halim's other venues, along with Melbourne institution Lune and wholesalers Market Boys, Hunted & Gathered and Citrus Prime. This dynamic enterprise addresses the food waste problem with skill and passion, creating one of Melbourne’s most innovative and exciting menus in the process. Yong says that his primary interest has always been in fermentation, and he recalls memories of creating ferments in his bedroom. Koji, which is a grain or legume that has been inoculated with a fermentation culture, is his preferred method. Parcs even has a fish tank in the restaurant kitchen with a large SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) that is used for the in-house kombucha and fresh oyster topping. This passion for preserves doesn't come as a surprise when looking at the Parcs menu, as you can see the technique peppered throughout. Its opening plate of ferments and preserves encapsulates the venue's vision in a few delicious mouthfuls. Daikon radish pickled with leftover red wine, pickled pumpkin with all
Göz City has grown into a mini empire dedicated to the Turkish flatbread gözleme (pronounced gehrz-leh-meh), and it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings. What began as a hole-in-the-wall shop on Little Collins Street nearly ten years ago, followed by a larger store in Madame Brussels Lane, has now blossomed into a fully-fledged gözleme factory. Typically eaten as village or street food in Turkey, gözleme is typically the most popular food stand at any given weekend market or festival. So why not cut out the market middleman? Göz City is making that possible. This is a family-run joint, with mother-son duo Nez and Taylan Gonullu at the forefront. The man behind the South Melbourne Market’s beloved gözleme stall, Taylan long had dreams of opening a “gözleme concept store” and their recently opened Port Melbourne location has actualised those dreams. The space is bright, airy and open, with seats available for eat-in diners. Behind the ornately mosaicked counter is a commercial-sized kitchen where you can view the masters at work diligently rolling dough and handmaking the goods. It’s abundantly clear that the rolling process is an artform, with sheets of dough being rolled out with old-school village rolling pins. The gözleme here comes in a variety of vegetarian or meat options along with a selection of pide (akin to a small pizza boat), börek (stuffed filo pastries) and salads on offer. Similarly to judging a pizza place on their margherita, ordering the classic spina
Zia Rina's Cucina
Located on sleepy High Street, just minutes from Armadale station is an endearing Italian joint that hasn’t sacrificed authenticity for South-Side palettes. Since 2017, Rina’s has been co-owned by longtime friends Danny Natoli (formerly Head Chef at Neptune) and Adrian Li (formerly Tokyo Tina and Saigon Sally). The pair have a well-established working history and copacetic dynamic. Having boldly opened the CBD’s La Madonna in 2021, steering the business through “unprecedented times”. The boys have curated a friendly, warm environment. Walls are decorated with postcards and polaroids, with the evening’s drinks dashed casually across Sopranos-style mirrors. The overall atmosphere is one of comforting nostalgia - complete with soft opera and candlelit tables. What runs the risk of contrivance instead feels like a heartfelt love letter to Southern Italy. There is no menu at Rina’s. After seating us, Danny declares we will be having the “Mangiare menu” (dietary requirements permitting), consisting of five courses that rotate regularly. Dishes come out at a leisurely pace, building pleasant anticipation as you relinquish control and sip on a glass of Frappato (or four). We start with the cold antipasti, which with its sticky, rich caponata, Mt Etna olive oil and gloriously melty culatello transports you to Sicily. Hot antipasti follows - with classic crowd-pleaser, mushroom arancini. Natoli and Li have added an East meets West twist with pickled enoki, which speaks to the culi