Italian is more woven into Melbourne’s food fabric than any other cuisine. For most of us, it’s our first choice in terms of familiarity and everyday eating. Many of the restaurants in this guide have been feeding us for decades. They haven’t changed a bit, and we hope they never do. Even places that have opened more recently tend to lean classic.

So this guide was difficult to narrow down. Chances are you’ll see a lot of your favourites in here; but it’s just as likely some will be missing. That speaks to the breadth of choice at Melbourne’s disposal nowadays.

If you’re looking for something more specific, try one of these:

Related Pages:
Best Pasta in Melbourne
Best Pizza in Melbourne

Di Stasio Citta


Restaurateur Rinaldo Di Stasio is back in the city with an extraordinary restaurant that blends high art, high drama and high cuisine.

45 Spring Street, Melbourne
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There aren’t so many restaurants left in Melbourne where they’ll open the door for you, hang your jacket, pull out your chair and fold your napkin across your lap. Impeccable service reigns supreme at this institution, alongside your three-course journey through traditional Italian decadence.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Osteria Ilaria


A largely pasta-free zone next door to wildly popular older sibling, Tipo 00.

367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Tipo 00


Tipo 00 has an offering too good to refuse: carb-loaded, butter-drenched pasta.

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne



Traditional Italian dishes and beers from across the globe make for an all-round tasty experience.

191 Nicholson Street, Carlton



Approachable, unfussy American-Italian food with fine-dining pedigree.

421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
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Al Dente Enoteca


What began as a lockdown pasta-delivery service by a stood-down chef is now a swish restaurant and wine bar. Come for spanner crab ravioli, cacio e pepe-filled tortellini; Wagyu bistecca and standout desserts.

Restaurant 161-163 Nicholson Street, Carlton
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Park Street Pasta & Wine


Fresh, handmade pasta rolled from the best possible ingredients is the draw at this intimate osteria.

268 Park Street, South Melbourne



Northern Italian fare in a dimly lit osteria.

76-78 Bridge Road, Richmond



A modern take on the classic Italian enoteca, a 50-seat wine bar with house-made pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad in head-to-toe white Japanese denim in an iconic heritage-listed building.

297 Lygon Street, Carlton
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At this CBD pasta bar, you'll find an extensive menu of hand-rolled pastas, bolstered by a fun line-up of wines and cocktails. It's all set within a sleek, modern space.

2/377 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Il Solito Posto


This cosy, cellar-like restaurant is an old favourite with a sophisticated wine list and classic Italian cuisine.

Basement 113 Collins Street (enter George Pde), Melbourne

Trattoria Emilia


A North Italian-style trattoria that’s all about making you comfortable.

360 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



Modern-Italian served right beside the road, just like they do in Rome.

74 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Il Bacaro


At this CBD stalwart, you'll find old-school service, a lengthy wine list and plenty of classic Italia charm. Dishes here have a Venetian focus, and include a zucchini risotto plus a signature Moreton Bay bug spaghettini. For drinks, opt for a classic Bellini or a parmesan-infused Martini.

168-170 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



What Marios lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in comfort. The food here is simple, delicious and accessible. Does it really matter that the carbonara on the menu uses cream? It's delicious. And people certainly haven't been complaining. Marios has been open since 1984.

303 Brunswick Street,, Fitzroy



A polished Italian diner that’s ditched the traditional red-and-white tablecloths for contemporary art and modern plating techniques.

242 High Street, Windsor
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Lupino Bistro


An Italian bistro on Little Collins Street with a retro vibe.

41 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Rosetta Ristorante


Sophisticated Italian from star chef Neil Perry.

8 Whiteman Street, Southbank



The perfect place to bask in luxury and tradition.

61 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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+39 Pizzeria and Antipasteria


The prefix for international calls to Italy is a fitting title for this pizzeria and degustation bar.

362 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Zia Rina’s Cucina


Settle into this tiny trattoria for Japanese-influenced pasta and aperitivos.

857 High Street, Armadale

48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar Elsternwick


This sister venue to the South Yarra original brings the same pizza and gnocchi – but there's an added delicatessen, here too.

15 Gordon Street, Elsternwick

Bar Carolina


From the restaurateur behind Sarti and Il Bacaro.

44 Toorak Road, South Yarra



A laid-back Italian eatery in the space which once housed Sarti. The voguish menu taps into pasta obsessions such as cacio e pepe and cavatelli with prawns, tomato and garlic; bolstered by larger, protein-heavy mains.

6 Russell Place, Melbourne
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A long-running restaurant dedicated to classic Italian dining.

11-25 Crossley Street, Melbourne



The sister restaurant to Chin Chin and Kong is all about pizza.

631-633 Church Street, Richmond



This swish, well-polished Italian diner reps lesser-known pastas such as paccheri and tortelli, and obscure wine varieties to drink with them. Plus there’s house-made limoncello, Aperol Margaritas and an unmissable tiramisu.

501 Highett Road, Highett

The Hardware Club


Two childhood friends are behind this upstairs Italian spot that pays homage to the neighbourhood eateries of their hometown. On the menu? Osso bucco ravioli, cacio e pepe toasties, and a daily dessert that’s best paired with some house-made amaro.

Level 1 43 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
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Umberto Espresso Bar


A recently expanded espresso bar serving hearty Italian fare with a warm, local feel.

917 High Street, Thornbury

Rosa’s Canteen


At Rosa Mitchell’s latest venue the self-taught chef embraces broader Italian influences.

Rear 500 Bourke Street (enter via Thomson Street), Melbourne

Italian Artisans


Pizza is king here, but the former DOC owner behind this Italian joint is also making “antipasto sexy again”. Enjoy it all with minimal-intervention wines from Italy.

135 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

The Waiters Restaurant


Once the place waiters dined after they'd finished their shift, now a legendary institution.

20 Meyers Place, Melbourne

Tiamo 2


A true feel of Italy at this bustling Italian bistro with a pizza focus.

305 Lygon Street, Carlton

Tiamo Coffee


An ever popular, family run Italian bistro that dates back to the 70s.

303 Lygon Street, Carlton

1800 Lasagne


After years running lasagnes around town in a ’91 Holden Barina, Joey Kellock has moved into a former pizza shop. On the menu: lasagne, maybe a dirty Martini and little else.

653 High Street, Thornbury



A busy pizzeria in Carlton, like something straight out of the boot-shaped country.

295 Drummond Street, Carlton
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Caffe e Cucina


An authentic Italian stalwart on Chapel Street.

581 Chapel Street, South Yarra



A Melbourne institution with a diverse crowd of regulars.

66 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Thirty Eight Chairs South Yarra


A traditional pasta bar with proper elbow-to-elbow ambience.

4a Bond Street, South Yarra



Authentic, no-fuss Italian since 1993.

130 Acland Street, St Kilda

Bar Idda


A cosy room serving home-style Sicilian food with generosity and heart.

132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Va Penne


This Italian diner is easily found via the flashing red neon hand in the window. Inside, you’ll find old-school breadbaskets (loaded with carbs to salsa-verde-doused burrata); garlicky spaghetti vongole swimming in oil; a cocktail list centred around vermouth; and more.

493 High Street, Northcote



Traditional dining alive and well in the heart of Carlton.

50 Grattan Street, Carlton



This casual, Tuscan-inspired steakhouse – Florentino’s downstairs counterpart – dials back the formality and grandeur but retains the mothership’s passion for outstanding produce and Italian values.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Di Stasio Pizzeria


For the first time, the prolific restaurateur behind Di Stasio Citta is serving pizza – from the classic margherita to a luxurious lobster option – as well as an exceptional fior di latte soft serve. The green-toned interior is studded with Reko Rennie and Shaun Gladwell works, but meander down a gravel path outside to find a 17th-century Italian stone fountain.

224 Faraday Street, Carlton

Cappo Sociale


This Italian restaurant – in the former Village People Hawker Food Hall space – is the flagship of the Hotel Fitzroy. Come for classic pizzas, salumi, pastas, and a punchy cocktail list. Plus, there's private dining and a terrace balcony.

1/127 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy



Left-of-centre pizzas are the drawcard at this big, industrial-chic room from the owners of Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria. Post up at the big central bar for snacks and natural wines by the glass, or share bistecca and nebbiolo at a bistro-style table.

331 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Osteria Renata


Look for the lush olive-green facade on Prahan’s High Street to find this handsome restaurant and bar. Inside, a dedicated “pasta lab” produces all shapes and sizes, with a big emphasis on egg-based pastas specific to northern Italy. The wine list includes a handful of Italian varietals produced here in Victoria.

436-438 High Street, Prahran