Did you know there are more than 1,600 cafes and restaurants to choose from in the CBD of Melbourne?! (It’s true – check out the City of Melbourne data here).
When I found out about this staggering number, I’ve been trying to conquer a large sample of Melbourne’s culinary offerings. Okay, I may have only gotten through about 30 of them in the city, but that’s still a fair chunk for a hungry blogger!
Here’s a list of ten that I’d recommend checking out (I’ll share more as I eat my way around the city!):
Find it here: 23 Oliver Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Don’t let the red lights down the alley way fool you… this is a stylish Asian Fusion Kitchen/Bar and a bloody good one! Lucy Lui is one of my all time favourite places in Melbourne to go for dinner and a cocktail.
The food is really good. Standouts for me include the kingfish sashimi, peking duck pancakes, soft shelled crab, baos and plate of greens for starters. It’s worth sharing the dishes with your party so you can try a bit of everything.
I love that you can also sit at the pass and be mesmerized by the workings of the chefs in the kitchen. It’s usually very busy but I’ve never had to wait too long for a table (and if I have had to wait it was worth it!).
Find it here: 1/162 Commercial Rd, Prahran VIC 3181
DUMPLINGS! Need I say more? I really love dumplings, they may even be as high up on my list as my favourite food. Hu Tong Dumpling Bar made this list because I think they make some of the best dumplings in Melbourne (big call I know!).
Hu Tong have a few locations around Melbourne, the Prahran restaurant would have to be my favourite. The service is always fantastic and you can watch the chefs behind the pass creating the delicious food.
Stand out dishes include the pork and prawn dumplings, BBQ pork puffs, noodles and peking duck dumplings. A great place to go for yummy food and of course, delicious dumplings.
Find it here: 213 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
SaintUrban in Richmond is a place that really makes you feel special – perfect for a special night out like a birthday or anniversary (or just an excuse for a really great wine!). There is a really great selection of wines by the glass or bottle.
Located on bustling Swan Street in Richmond, SaintUrban is on the quieter end. It’s a smaller, cosy venue with a chilled out atmosphere. It’s not super cheap however, you’re sure to have a great meal and a great dinner experience.
Find it here: 45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cumulus Inc is an exceptional example for Modern Australian cuisine. They have a a lovely wine list and yummy food! The portions are the perfect size for sharing and the tables are layed out well for groups.
It can be extremely popular on weekend so it’s better to arrive earlier in you don’t have a booking.
Dining out at Cumulus Inc in Melbourne is always a wonderful night out. Each dish is wonderfully prepared and the meat selection is really something else. I highly recommend the lamb shoulder dish – it’s delicious!
Find it here: 37 Artemis Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Red Spice QV is super close to theaters, shops and everything you need in the CBD. Because of the location it’s a great spot for a lunch catch up or team lunch!
The food is always delicious, the staff are very friendly and the vibe is chilled out and cosy. Honestly the pork belly here is AMAZING, up there with the best I’ve eaten!
Find it here: 1 Hosier Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Movida sits at the corner of one of the many iconic Melbourne laneways, Hosier Lane. It is a tapas bar with graffiti art exterior and a laid-back, high-ceilinged dining area with hip music. It is the kind of place you can go to for beer and a croqueta at the bar and then move to a table and share a plate with friends over glass of wine.
The portions can be on the smaller side, I recommend getting a few dishes to share with your table. My favourites on the menu are the croquetas, tosdadas and churros for dessert!
Find it here: 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
You must have heard of Chin Chin.. it’s one of Melbourne’s most loved foodie destinations and had to make this list. There’s usually always a line to get inside but it’s worth the wait!
Chin Chin has some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, the staff are all very friendly and happy to recommend drinks and dishes that suit your pallet. Most of their Thai dishes are priced as you would expect in central Melbourne however the quality of food is worth every dollar.
Recommendations include the chicken and shitake spring rolls, butter chicken and pad thai.
Find it here: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tipo 00 is a very cosy, warm and welcoming Italian restaurant on Little Bourke Street in Melbourne.
The menu depends on season, so it rotates regularly. Check out the amazing squid ink tagliolini (pictured).
I go back for the great wine, great food and great service! It can get very popular for the dinner service so I wouldn’t expect to get in without a reservation – book a few weeks in advance.
Find it here: 285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Naked for Satan is one of my most favourite bars in Melbourne. It has tapas-style plates and infused vodka served in swanky digs with an impressive rooftop bar.
It’ a great place to hang around and chill-out with friends. The restaurant and bar has several levels to choose where you want to be comfy.
You can share a variety of $2 pintxos, then keep your toothpicks and give them to the barman at the end of the night to work out your bill. Interesting concept! I mainly come here for the cocktails, vibes and views not so much the food (although it is pretty good).
Find it here: Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Rockpool to me is the place I would go to after winning some money in the Crown Casino and want to experience the finer things in life! The price of dishes can be high but the service and food are exceptional. The food is always beautifully presented and you can tell he chefs here take a lot of pride in the dishes they serve.
On weekends, it tends to be very busy so I would recommend booking in advance for this one.
Have you tried any of these restaurants? What are your favourite places for wining and dining in Melbourne?