You're guaranteed to find something that will satisfy your taste buds in Melbourne. Home to a plethora of restaurants—all ranging in cuisine, atmosphere, price, and creativity—the city will have you dreaming of its culinary scene long after you leave. Whether you’re looking for the best burger bar or a family-friendly setting, here are the top 20 restaurants in Melbourne.
The In-N-Out of Melbourne, YOMG is a casual burger, shakes, and fries restaurant with a creative twist. Indecision kicks in at first glance of the 12 burger options, so if you need help choosing, try The Howler. It’s a juicy beef patty topped with cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, jalapeños, and habanero mayo. If you want to try something truly Australian, opt for the beetroot bun. This burger has a kick to it, but the good kind of kick that leads you to get a well-deserved frozen yogurt afterward.
It’s hard to come by good, cheap eats in Melbourne, but we found a place worth telling you about. This two-story Chinatown staple is the place to go when you’re looking for an affordable and filling meal. The menu is like a novella with sections for pork, chicken, beef, vegetables, and fish—but it’s the 15 dumplings (fried or steamed) for AU$7 that catches people's eye. This no-frills place is BYOB, making it an even cheaper Melbourne restaurant option.
Boozy brunch is just starting to become a thing in Melbourne. Lona in St Kilda quickly hopped on the bandwagon by offering two hours of free-flowing drinks (champagne, mimosas, beer, and cider) for AU$35. Drinks aside, the menu is small but mighty. The Avo-Lanche is Lona’s version of avocado toast with sun-dried tomatoes, crispy capers, lime, and sea salt. Add a poached egg for good luck. Lona is right by Luna Park and the beach, so if you’re feeling a little buzzed after bottomless brunch, walk along the boardwalk to see what else is going on in St Kilda.
A dining experience more than anything, Mjølner is a Norwegian-themed fine dining restaurant decked out in Viking décor and Scandinavian design. Rather than a set menu, there are five options for the main dish: bird, fish, vegetable, or two beasts. Plus, Mjølner offers elegant starter meals such as oysters, roast bone marrow, and venison loin. Don’t leave without a nightcap from the connected speakeasy.
A great Australian pub is going to have daily specials for food, cheap beer on tap, and reliable chicken parmesan. That’s where The Local Taphouse swoops in and claims the title for best pub meal in Melbourne. It’s a cozy restaurant with wood panelings on the inside and a menu full of comfort in the form of burgers, steaks, and beer. Heaps of beer. Check the events page before you visit; there’s usually weekly comedy, trivia, or live music.
You won’t find a shortage of Chinese restaurants in Melbourne, but Juicy Bao is a notable option in Chinatown. It’s the kind of place where the chefs are making dumplings in the restaurant window, and if that doesn’t lure you in, the menu certainly will. Go for the signature steamed juicy pork bao to start, then add the twice-cooked sliced pork belly in Szechuan chili to round it out. FYI, this Chinese restaurant is BYOB.
When it comes to pizza, 400 Gradi in Brunswick East is the place to go. Order a few different pies from the menu and take home what you can’t finish. Ortolana, (a white pizza with zucchini, eggplant, and onion), or the Carnivora (a tomato-based pie topped with salami, ricotta, prosciutto, and basil) are excellent choices from the stacked pizza menu. And do not skimp on the classic Margherita.
Aussies know how to cook a lean, mean steak—especially the chefs at Macelleria in Richmond. This butcher shop doubles as a steakhouse restaurant, and it serves one helluva a dry-aged beef steak. A super cool thing about this place is that you can pick your meat from the butcher shop and the chef will cook it right then and there. These guys are super transparent about where they get their meat from, so you’ll get a little lesson in Australian farming and agriculture during your visit.
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack brings American Southern-style seafood to Melbourne. Order a few oysters to get started: You've got your pick between natural and Southern-fried, which pair perfectly with the Bloody Mary shooters. The crab boil, another crowd-pleaser, comes with spicy pork sausage, potatoes, and corn. If you're up for sharing, you can opt to add clams, mussels, king prawns, oysters, or more crab to this build-your-own boil. Don’t forget the bib! A meal at this casual, nautical-themed restaurant is the best kind of messy.
Hofbräuhaus has been sitting in the same Melbourne Central Business District location since 1968. Stepping into this restaurant is like stepping into an Oktoberfest tent—the decorations, uniforms, and menu are Bavarian to its core, including the seating. Hofbräuhaus has those super long benches that are ideal for socializing with a big group of friends. You’ll have to make a reservation ahead of time.
Coffee culture is huge in Melbourne, and one of the best cafés in the city is The Hardware Société. The food is seasonal, so the menu changes from time to time. If the chorizo-baked eggs are available when you’re there, dig in! The potatoes, peppers, cheese, sausage, and eggs are baked to perfection, giving way to a hearty breakfast meal. It’s not only the food, though; the relaxed, breezy, Parisian atmosphere makes The Hardware Société worth a visit.
The minute you enter this casual Japanese restaurant, you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and an iPad to order your food. If you go during lunch, choose the "special set"—it's ramen, plus fried chicken or gyoza for AU$16.30. When it comes to noodles, order the Torasan Miso Ramen for a salty, spicy, and comforting meal.
Hidden in Chinatown, Red Piggy is an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar that amps up the romance on date night. It’s the kind of place that offers an intimate, yet playful setting. The menu is Pan-Asian, with items like red-Thai lamb curry, pan-seared slow-cooked beef in peanut sauce, and chili garlic prawns. The cocktail list is a fun place to start with drinks named Freakin’ Banana, Fall In Love, or The Party Starter.
A vegan restaurant with a Latin-inspired menu, Smith & Daughters offers up a selection of food both leaf lovers and meat eaters can enjoy. The menu is filled with dishes that will leave you satisfied, including the chargrilled broccolini and heirloom cauliflower, fried baby eggplant with fig caramel glaze, and pan-fried lentil and radicchio Panzanella.
In Little Italy, Scopri stands apart from other Italian restaurants thanks to its vast menu of incredibly delicious eats. For an appetizer, try the scallops mixed in corn purée and porcini butter. If you're looking for a filling meal, the potato gnocchi mixed with spring lamb, fennel, and white pecorino ragù will knock your socks off. It’s BYOB, so pick up a bottle of wine to take your dinner up a notch. Don’t leave without tasting the orange liqueur Panna Cotta—we’ll meet you in heaven.
A family-friendly pizza joint, Mr. Wolf satisfies hungry cubs with a kids' menu that includes pizza, lasagna, and spaghetti with meatballs. Be sure to order before 6:30 p.m. to get the complimentary ice cream sundae! For the adults, there’s a choice of 15 different pizzas, plus appetizers, pasta, and salads. Getting dinner without kids in tow? There’s an intimate cocktail bar called Little Wolf next door for pre-drinks or a nightcap.
Aussies love their sweets, so it’s no surprise that there’s a whole bunch of restaurants dedicated to dessert. If you must choose one spot, check out Stix and order the Golden Gaytime: It's toffee, vanilla, and honeycomb-flavored cheesecake that’s chilled and served popsicle style. A pop-up that opens every night at 5 p.m., Stix is totally worth the drools.
Mexican food isn’t a dominant cuisine in Melbourne, but Radio Mexico has been shining since 2012. Topped with chili-roasted pumpkin, cheese, and salsa ranchera, the nachos de calabaza are an excellent place to start as you mule over the rest of the menu. It’s stacked with a long list of 13 tacos, including grilled fish, BBQ pork belly, barbacoa, and frijoles. There are also six different margaritas to choose from. Hope you’re not indecisive!
Chicken parmesan is a proud Australian meal. It’s an extra-large breaded chicken breast that’s deep-fried and covered in red sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. You'll find a stellar example of this dish at La Roche. The menu is loaded with 18 different chicken parmy options. Go full comfort food mode with the chicken schnitzel topped with gooey mac and cheese. On the other side of the spectrum is the spicy Red Devil, which comes with chili sauce, salami, mozzarella, onion, pepper, and jalapeños. Yeah, it gets intense at La Roche.
Kids can be picky eaters, but in the right setting and with the right menu, they might loosen up enough to finish their meal. Betty’s Burgers is a retro-style burger bar with multiple Melbourne locations. The inside is usually decorated with string lights, hanging plants, cursive writing, and bright colors—but the menu is where it’s at. There are 10 burgers ranging from beef and chicken to mushroom. The kids' burger is a single beef patty topped with cheese, onions, and ketchup. Load up on French fries and save room for a thick concrete—the cookie butter flavor will leave the little ones occupied for about an hour.