It's no secret that some of Melbourne's best restaurants can be found in the city centre. But which are the must-visit venues?
Whether you're after hearty Italian and innovative fusion or a locals only gem, explore the culture hub of flavours all located in the Melbourne CBD.
To ignite inspiration for your next breakfast, lunch or dinner spot, here are our top restaurant picks you need to check out this weekend!
Descend the stairs to Caterina's underground dining room and you'll immediately feel a world away from Melbourne's bustling CBD. Caterina's Cucina e Bar is a lunchtime only restaurant which is popular amongst the corporate crowd and keen foodies looking for an authentic Italian feed. How do you know it's the real deal? Caterina's has received the coveted ‘Marchio D’Ospitalità’ from the Italian Chamber of Commerce to commend venues sharing authentic Italian cuisine outside Italy.
One of Chinatown's hidden gems, Seamstress Restaurant lives in a 120-year-old building that was once a textile factory and even an old Buddhist monastery. Now it's a jazzy restaurant that does modern Cantonese food with panache. With a sleek and vibrant interior, it’s an interesting break from some of the more traditional Chinatown venues. Head upstairs after dinner for a buzzing cocktail bar.
Whoever said that to eat plant based and earth friendly food you need to renounce the delicacies of traditional Italian cuisine? At Funghi e Tartufo, they have turned vegan into something so delicious that you won't desire anything else! Located in a converted 19th century warehouse in the heart of Melbourne CBD, Funghi's inspiration is traditional Italian in a modern and earth friendly way to marry deliciousness with plant based food.
Every Melburnian should experience a meal at Di Stasio Citta at least once. The creation of restaurateur Rinaldo Di Stasio, Di Stasio Citta is as much a moving gallery and multisensory experience as it is a restaurant. Citta brings to life a unique sense of hospitality, food and drink, architecture, and artistic movements - go for the delicious modern Italian fare, stay for the atmosphere.
There's plenty of good food to be found on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne, and Tsindos Greek Restaurant is no exception. Tsindos serves traditional Greek food, just like they've been doing for decades. The atmosphere here is laid back, the kind of place to bring a few friends for a catch-up over a bottle of Greek wine. There's often live music, and you just might feel inclined to dance off that dinner.
For a side of history along with your steak, check out Mitre Tavern Steakhouse on Bank Street. The building dates back to Melbourne's earliest days and still holds much of its historical charm with its dark interior and gold-rimmed chandeliers. The menu includes grass-fed and grain-fed beef from around Australia as well as Gippsland Natural Beef and Certified Australian Angus Beef. Not in the mood for steak? Don't worry, they have you covered too.
Izakaya Minami, La Trobe Street
Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on La Trobe Street, Izakaya Minami is a modern Japanese restaurant with serious style. Izakaya Minami is not afraid to diverge from tradition a little, serving up both traditional dishes such as sukiyaki and soulful udon noodle soups as well as those with fun twists – think cheese katsu, miso braised beef short rib, deep fried eggplant chips and more.
Gasthaus on Queen brings a new culinary experience in the form of authentic, fine Austrian-German food to Melbourne's CBD. Serving up a selection of Austrian-German specialties, this hidden gem is sure to charm. Wash down your meal with a variety of hand-selected Austrian and German beers and wines and you're all set for a perfect night out!
Unless you have Nordic blood, you probably haven't been to Melbourne's Danish Club. The Danes are renowned for creating clean and simple dishes, and Dansk (housed on the third level) is the epitome of this style of cooking. The menu features contemporary Danish cuisine created by chef Bente Grysbaek: a herring platter, wiener schnitzel and a dessert cheese platter (featuring only Danish cheeses of course) are some of the shining stars on the menu.
Immerse yourself in a luxury experience at The Royal, a European style tea house in the heart of St. Collins Lane; delighted in serving you beautiful high tea, breakfast, lunch and dessert. With a dedicated luxury high tea and champagne room, you'll be transported back to the 70s. High ceilings and extravagant chandeliers are designed to make you feel like royalty.
Want to explore more of what Melbourne's dining scene has to offer? Check out our Restaurant Guide to Melbourne's Northside for more dining inspo!
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