Are you coming to Melbourne and would like to dine at some classy establishments? Are you sick of the run-of-the-mill burger/fast-food joints when travelling? I totally understand, so let me help you. There are many, many fabulous places in which to dine. So I have put together a short list of some of the best restaurants in Melbourne. I have personally dined at each of them and have painstakingly researched them for you. It’s a tough job, but one I’m willing to endure for my readers. You’re welcome.
Melbourne is spoilt for choice when it comes to great food. Being a multicultural city, there is every type of food you could desire. So it’s no surprise Melbourne has become a mecca for top international cuisine. Melbourne is fortunate to be close to the sea, have many orchards, farms and wineries. What happens when you combine fresh, locally harvested produce with some of the best chefs from around the world? You get incredible food, making it a ‘foodies’ heaven.
I would describe Melbourne food as ‘unique gourmet fusion with no rules’.
I hope you enjoy this selection of restaurants and various dishes I have collated especially for your enjoyment whilst in Melbourne.
Location: Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Located near Luna Park and the Palais Theatre. This restaurant has recently been rebuilt after a devastating fire a few years ago. Located right on St Kilda beach, the sea view from all angles is fabulous. It has 2 levels, 2 bars and a terrace. Here it’s relaxed fine-dining at its best and the food is sublime with attention to detail. You won’t be disappointed.
Seafood is a specialty, as is steak. Also on offer are pizzas, nibble plates and a late night menu. A great range of cocktails and wines are available.
I enjoyed watching the sunset from the open terrace bar with my glass of Bollinger Champagne prior to dinner. Stunning setting. Can’t fault it.
Cost: Above average
2. No. 35
Location: Sofitel Hotel, Collins Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Modern Gourmet
Located high up on the hotel’s 35th floor (hence the name) you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Melbourne skyline while dining. A classy modern restaurant with excellent meals and attentive service, as you would expect from a fine dining venue at a five star hotel such as this. One of the best in my opinion. If you want to impress a special someone, this will do the trick. The friendly staff will ask you if you’re celebrating a special occasion and will surprise you with a little treat. I was here celebrating my anniversary, by myself. Only kidding, I invited my husband along, since he’s put up with me for so many years. I won’t tell you how many. I’ve stopped counting, so I can’t (won’t) remember.
Anyway, I digress. We were delighted with a special complimentary dessert plate that they surprised us with, to top off a lovely meal. A ‘top’ experience, in every sense of the word!
Cost: Above average
Cuisine: International Buffet
Located at the Crown Casino Complex, this super-popular restaurant is one of the best buffet experiences I have ever had. The freshest seafood, entrees, salads, pastas, roasts, Indian and Asian dishes, cheeses, a dessert selection to rival any cake shop and a chocolate fountain. A highlight is the super fresh oysters, prawns and mussels, which seem to be in endless supply here.
A stylish white decor, high ceilings, very comfortable chairs and a view of the city and Yarra River. It’s a spectacular venue with delicious food. Great for large or small groups, there is something for everyone. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this restaurant.
Normally I don’t associate buffet with fine-dining, but this is an exception. The staff are very attentive, constantly clearing the numerous plates, as you continually use clean ones, folding napkins and bringing you drinks. Absolutely a must, when visiting Melbourne.
Cost: Starts from $65 per adult for a weekday lunch.
Location: Hawthorn East
Cuisine: Northern Italian Cuisine
Fiorelli is a longstanding presence on the Melbourne Restaurant scene. I first dined here about 20 years ago and have loved it ever since. It always delivers delicious food, with exemplary service, in a stylish modern ambience. A lovely huge, well-stocked bar is a feature.
Everything on the menu that I have tried is delicious.
Special mention: the hot chocolate soufflé is to die for. I have it almost every time I dine here and I thoroughly recommend it.
An impressive sandstone and glass facade welcome you to this classy yet casual establishment.
Cost: reasonably priced at approximately $30 for a main plate.
Location: Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Cuisine: Modern Turkish
The restaurant is small and intimate and recently renovated. The food is not your typical Turkish food; it’s totally different. Don’t expect kebabs, dips and turkish bread, as you won’t see any of that here. With each beautifully presented dish that is brought to the table, comes a spiel from the waiter about the ingredients and history of the dish.
My companions and I had a 6 course degustation, which was amazing and so unique. The combinations of exotic flavours was divine.
A very popular place to dine, from an acclaimed international chef, it’s an experience you won’t forget, particularly if you love something out of the ordinary.
Cost: Approximately $32 for a main plate
Location: Spring Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Traditional English Afternoon Tea
An iconic heritage hotel dating from 1883, is located in the central business district. The Windsor is famous for Afternoon Tea in the elegant English tradition. Held in the Tea Lounge daily, you will be served dainty cakes and pastries, scones and ribbon sandwiches, and other petite delicacies on 3-tier stands with beautiful chinaware and free flowing champagne. Pretend you’re having tea with the Queen as it’s silver service at its best. So don’t forget your table manners. This is a very popular Melbourne institution and a much loved extravagant way to spend an afternoon in the city. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended).
Cuisine: Basque (Spanish)
I went to this restaurant located in a heritage listed beach pavilion, with friends on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for lunch. The food is based on the Basque region of Northern Spain. Seafood was a main feature, particularly since it is located on the beach, as is grilled meat. Also pintxos (tapas) are very popular here. The deck over the beach provides a gorgeous view and is a little cheaper than dining inside.
Melbourne Food tours
Whilst in Melbourne, you may like to take a food tour. Here are some I recommend.