What are the best fine-dining restaurants in Melbourne?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

James Ridenour
  • James Ridenour

  • Chief Concierge, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

Melbourne is renown around the world for being one of the world’s great foodie cities. What’s special about Melbourne is that not only do we have great restaurants, Melbournians also have a passion for dining out. Restaurants are one of the main social outlets for our city and Melbourne’s culinary arts are showcased in kitchen shops, gourmet food shop, cook book stores, TV shows, food festivals, cooking classes, public markets, farmers markets and of course restaurants. Our love affair with food and dining out sets an extremely high benchmark for quality.

Here are my personal favourites (in alphabetical order). I have tried each of these restaurants and I regularly recommend them to my guests. You can be assured of a great culinary experience at any of these fine establishments.

The list is ever changing as I explore our great city so check back regularly for updates!

The Aylesbury – Spanish/European – City (something unexpected and delightful, a must try) – my review.
Becco – Italian – City (my favourite Italian restaurant)
Bistro Vue – French – City (a French masterpiece) – my review.
Brooks – Contemporary – City (excellence in presentation in a stylish bar/restaurant combination)
Caffe e Cucina – Italian – South Yarra (a romantic classic)
Cumulus Inc. – Contemporary – City (great breakfast, awesome veggies and a communal table to make new friends)
Cutler & Co. – Contemporary – Fitzroy (culinary excellence at the top of my favourites list) – my review.
The Deck – Modern European – Southbank (great food and value with superb hospitality) – my review.
D.O.C. - Italian/Pizzaria – Carlton (great food and family friendly)
Donovans – Contemporary – St Kilda (huge menu with best seafood in town, with amazing sunsets) – my review.
Epocha – Modern European – Carlton (one of my favourite Melbourne experiences) – my review.
Esposito – Italian – Carlton (the seafood pasta dishes are amazing)
Ezard – Contemporary – City (another must try – fine dining at its best, superb options for a vegetarians and excellence for non-vegos too) – my review.
Fenix – Modern European (a great family friendly restaurant)
400 Gradi – Pizzeria – Brunswick (best pizza in Melbourne) – my review.
France-Soir – French – South Yarra (wonderfully done traditional French favourites)
The French Brasserie – French – City (one of my absolute favourites, highly under rated)
Gingerboy – Modern South East Asian – City (modern Asian flavours)
Grossi Florentino – Italian – City (a Melbourne institution)
Hare and Grace – Contemporary – City (a pop-up restaurant in a historic building – great steaks and comfort food)
Il Bacaro – Modern Italian – City (Italian elegance exemplified)
• Italy 1 – Italian – City (a small and charming romantic dining room)
La Luna Bistro – Modern Mediterranean – Carlton North (cozy comfort food)
Ladro – Italian/Pizzeria – Fitzroy (trendy Italian at its best)
Lupino – Italian – City (wonderful food and service and great value) – my review.
Longrain – Modern Thai – City (a modern twist on Thai in a historic warehouse dining room)
Maha – Contemporary – City (a fun twist on fine dining, great if you craving a chance from the usual)
Matteo's – Contemporary – Fitzroy (a classic neighbourhood restaurant) – my review.
Mediterraneo – Charcoal Grill – Albert Park (Croatian grilled steak and seafood)
Merchant – Italian – City (the perfect celebration of Italian hospitality, great for a family/friends night out)
Number 8 – Contemporary – Southbank (the seafood platter is wonderful)
Pei Modern – Contemporary – City (sophisticated menu for foodies in a more casual atmosphere, another must try) – my review.
PM 24 – French – City (modern French and great hospitality)
The Point Albert Park – Contemporary/Steakhouse – Albert Park (one of the best steaks in town with a great view)
Portello Rosso – Spanish – City (great tapas in a historic coffee warehouse, a hidden gem)
The Press Club – Modern Greek – City (fine dining with a Greek twist, about to undergo some big changes, stay tuned)
Pure South – Contemporary/Steak House – Southbank (steaks and seafood with a city view, great value)
Red Spice Road – Modern Asian – City (fun, modern and a great variety of Asian favourites)
Rockpool Bar & Grill – Contemporary Grill – City (a steak and red wine lovers paradise plus one of the largest menus in Melbourne)
Rosetta Ristorante – Italian – Southbank (best al fresco dining in Melbourne)
Sarti – Modern Italian – City (Italian with an inventive menu)
• Senoritas – Modern Mexican – City (best Mexican in Melbourne)
Shoya – Japanese – City (hands down the best Japanese in Melbourne, a favourite of an Iron Chef)
Spice Temple – Modern Chinese – Southbank (best modern Yum Cha in Melbourne) – my review.
Stokehouse – Modern Mediterranean – St Kilda (contemporary excellence on the beach)
Syracuse – Modern Mediterranean – City (charming old school European dining room)
Taxi Dining Room – Contemporary/Japanese – City (fantastic food, iconic Melbourne views and oh the sunset, very romantic)
Virginia Plain – Contemporary – City (creating something new and exciting, very inventive, get in before the line ups start) – my review.
Vue de Monde – Contemporary – City (a gastronomic experience like no other, book well in advance)

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