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Where

Caterina's Cucina e Bar

9.8/10
140 reviews

Average price $95

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Selected by INSIDER

A popular gem amongst our premium selection of the trendiest restaurants right now

INSIDER by TheFork is a carefully curated selection of top tier venues, the ones with hats, the ones that make the top dining guides, and most importantly the ones we know you love!

Meet the Chef

Marcello Mariani, a northern Italian chef, trained in Treviso & Venice. He worked in London at Harry’s Bar & then at the Harkin Hotel, the first Italian Michelin Star in London. He also did a stint in America. He arrived in Melbourne in 2012 & worked in the CBD, specializing in traditional Italian flavours, but also using unique Australian products. Mariani has been head chef at Caterina’s Cucina e Bar since 2016. He was awarded the first ever chef’s hat for a lunch time only restaurant in 2018.

Restaurant menu

Chef Marcello Mariani
  • Average price $95 Special request
  • American express Welcome
Gnocchi di patate con pomodori dolci e burrata pugliese
$33.5

House made potato, semolina & nutmeg dumplings tossed with a tomato sugo, soft Apulian mozzarella style cheese and basil

Ravioli di carne emiliani, con condimento di carne
$34.9

House made pasta squares filled with seasoned chicken, veal & spinach with a rich meat ragu

Spaghetti con gamberoni e 'la peverada' in bianco
$36.5

Durum wheat spaghetti with prawns, olive oil, garlic and a Veneto Inspired bread, white pepper & bone marrow sauce

See à la carte and set menus

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Ratings & Reviews

Excellent
9.8/10
based on 140 reviews
Only customers who have dined at the restaurant after making a booking on TheFork can leave a review.
Quality of food :9.9/10
Service :9.7/10
Setting :9.6/10
  1. James K.
    James K.
    • 2 reviews
    10/10

    What a gem! Great Italian dining in a wonderfull "basement venue" full of armosphere and energy. It is only open for lunch or private bookings, known to locals, not tourists. We acted like locals, ready to relax and spend 2 hrs or more over luscious food and good wine. The museums can wait, this experience was full of life and memories.

  2. John G.
    John G.
    • 5 reviews
    10/10

    Best restaurant in Melbourne

  3. Lynn L.
    Lynn L.
    • 8 reviews
    9/10

    Great pasta like always!

  4. Anthony W.
    Anthony W.
    • one review
    10/10

    Our experience at Catarina‘s was absolutely perfect the service from staff and attention to detail was second to none. You have to go along way to have such attentive service. The quality of the food was excellent and there are no faults identified throughout her experience thank you to the staff who looked after us so well

  5. Heather  C.
    Heather C.
    • 7 reviews
    10/10

    Simply sensational - a MUST visit & dine when in Melbourne. Service & Caterina's warm welcome & personal hospitality is a rarity these days - what a team & what an experience

  6. Chris T.
    Chris T.
    • 7 reviews
    10/10

    Always brilliant!

  7. A A.
    A A.
    • 249 reviews
    10/10

    Atmosphere fantastic, a very authentic Italian feel. The general restaurant is suitable for a variety of occasions, and most importantly the food is fantastic!

  8. Christian L.
    Christian L.
    • one review
    9.5/10

    Fantastic food and service

  9. A A.
    A A.
    • 278 reviews
    9.5/10

    Caterinas is a landmark restaurant where staff led by Caterina herself provide exceptional service and food of the highest quality. A true Melbourne Gem hidden behind a non descript entry in Queen St. A must for an unparalleled wine and dine experience where your made to feel very welcome.

  10. Peter j.
    Peter j.
    • 2 reviews
    10/10

    Welcome, wine, service,food,ambience; all impeccable.

  11. Ian G.
    Ian G.
    • 48 reviews
    8.75/10

    The longest list of specials of any restaurant and authentically Italian; hard to beat! This place is a Melbourne institution and rightly so. Great food; extensive wine list to compliment, discrete setting and personalised, friendly service make it a great venue. Keep it up!

  12. Robert T.
    Robert T.
    • one review
    10/10

    Caterina is the heart and soul of this place. Know to many of her patrons and admired by all. She’s an expert if food and a lovely hostess.

  13. PETER B.
    PETER B.
    • one review
    10/10

    This is an outstanding restaurant for discerning food connoisseurs. The food, wine, service and especially the host, Caterina are fantastic. We have visited numerous times and it is by far our favourite restaurant. Not to be missed under any circumstance.

  14. A A.
    A A.
    • 242 reviews
    7.75/10

    the food is good but I wouldn't consider it as spectacular, the service meets the expectation but the special menu is way too long to be verbally informing the diners, also the price is definitely over in considering the quality of the foods. Overall, worthwhile to try but probably not a restaurant that I would return to.

  15. James G.
    James G.
    • one review
    9.75/10

    Great food and exceptional service. Our waitress had exceptional wine knowledge and her recital of the specials was the most impressive we have seen in a long time!

  16. Karl L.
    Karl L.
    • 2 reviews
    10/10

    Just Beautiful!

  17. Mark C.
    Mark C.
    • one review
    10/10

    Absolutely the best lunch restaurant in Melbourne.

  18. Daniel P.
    Daniel P.
    • one review
    10/10

    We really enjoyed our lunch. We were unsure what to get for an entre and the kind staff made a very tasty selection for us. We will definitely go again :)

  19. Antonio N.
    Antonio N.
    • 9 reviews
    10/10

    Wonderful experience

  20. Fiona C.
    Fiona C.
    • 16 reviews
    10/10

    Caterina's is so well worth experiencing... A hidden treasure in the heart of the City ! My family were hosted by not only beautiful well mannered staff, but Caterina herself. The atmosphere and dining experience was very special. EXCELLENT Northern italian Cuisine ... and the Lemon infused grappa... omg!! So smooth ... I was pleased to celebrate my 50th Birthday at Caterinas Cucina e Bar .. Grazie Mille Caterina XX

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More information

How to get to the restaurant

Basement, 221 Queen Street, 3000, Melbourne (VIC), Australia

Directions to get there

Melbourne CBD, Melbourne City

About the restaurant

Classy Lunchtime Revelry Descend the stairs to Caterina’s Cucina e Bar on Queen Street in Melbourne’s bustling CBD and you’ll feel like you’re a world away. This little enclave is popular with the business crowd, but it’s hardly limited to those in suits: it’s also frequented by Italian food devotees looking for a little lunchtime revelry. Open for lunch only, Caterina’s Cucina e Bar will make you feel like you’re in an Italian opera with its marble, vintage mirrors, Venetian masks and formally clothed tables. There’s an international wine list with 400 wines plus a dozen or so available by the glass. You’ll have no trouble tippling away the afternoon here over a top-notch vino. As for the food, chef Marcello Mariani serves regional Italian dishes that showcase fresh, seasonal produce from local producers. If you’re looking to host an event, Caterina’s Cucina e Bar caters for corporate functions, private dinners and weddings. It’s definitely a class act at Caterina’s. Best dish: Porcini mushroom risotto

Features

Italian, European, Welcome, ,

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