What makes a great restaurant? At Broadsheet we’re interested in how well a place lives up to its own ambitions, regardless of its age, price point or cuisine.

Maybe it’s good value for money and a reliable source of fun. Maybe it pioneered a trend, and remains the most vital example of it. Or maybe, after several decades in operation, it still feels as fresh and relevant as ever.

All are equally valid answers when it comes to determining the best restaurants in Melbourne. That’s why our list includes lively wine bars and other dressed-down eateries alongside the usual fine diners. The remit may be wide, but if you’re looking for restaurants that both define and capture our city’s culinary spirit, stop right here. These are Melbourne's absolute best.

Related pages:
Best New Restaurants in Melbourne
Best Regional Restaurants in Victoria
Quiet Restaurants in Melbourne
Best Special Occasion Restaurants in Melbourne



Ben Shewry, who grew up in New Zealand, wasn’t the first non-Aboriginal chef to grasp the potential of native ingredients. What’s set him apart is his sensitivity in sourcing and using this produce, which he employs to both to connect guests with this country and share moments from his own life. Attica's degustations are unusual, world-recognised and utterly captivating. We’re blessed to have a restaurant of this calibre in Melbourne.

74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea



Running a multi-course degustation menu requires a lot of long-term planning and refinement – unless you're Ides' chef-owner Pete Gunn. While certain dishes, such as his famous Black Box dessert, do recur, he likes to be spontaneous. You never know what you’re going to get, which is part of what makes this intimate room such a thrilling place to eat.

92 Smith Street, Collingwood



There are a lot of noisy dining rooms on this list. Minamishima's hushed, reverent atmosphere is better suited to the awe-inspiring knife skills of owner-chef Koichi Minamishima and a few trusted offsiders. They work with both local seafood and fish flown direct from Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo to produce peerless sushi, sashimi and more. Every meal here follows the omakase format, a “chef’s choice” degustation that changes daily based on what’s fresh and best.

4 Lord Street, Richmond

Cutler & Co.


Chef and restaurateur Andrew McConnell is behind several of Melbourne’s leading restaurants. Gimlet notwithstanding, this is the group’s flagship. Visit the dimly-lit, luxurious dining room for a three- or four-course set menu that showcases some of Victoria’s very best produce treated more simply than you might expect for a restaurant of this bearing. If you can't afford the full experience, get a satisfying taste in the front bar, which is open to walk-ins.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
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Gimlet at Cavendish House


Located in a grand, 1920s Chicago-style building, this is one of the most splendid dining rooms in the city – one you could swear has married grandeur and comfort effortlessly for decades, not since 2020. And this being a McConnell venture, the food, cocktails and service are more than a match. Order the namesake Gimlet (made with three different types of citrus, a little Moscato and native Geraldton wax), then go large on the European-influenced á la carte menu, another study in restrained complexity.

33 Russell Street, Melbourne
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At this laneway diner young gun chef Khanh Nguyen takes the flavours and spices of Asia’s Sunda region – a catch-all that includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other nations attached to the tectonic plate of the same name – and remixes them as thoughtful, nuanced, high-definition dishes on an á la carte menu. Creations like the Vegemite roti add an unmistakeable local accent.

18 Punch Lane, Melbourne



Khanh Nguyen’s second restaurant takes everything that made Sunda great, and dials up the theatre. It’s bigger, moodier and more suited to big occasions. Again, though, a visit here is about Asian flavours remixed in creative, surprising ways, like this Bunnings-inspired duck sausage in bread or a pate en croute filled with banh mi flavours.

268 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



Is it a wine bar or a restaurant? No one has ever been able to answer this satisfactorily. What we can say is that this industry favourite is equally good for pre-dinner drinks, big special occasion dinners and spontaneous nightcaps. Chef and co-owner Dave Verheul does extraordinary things with his ferocious redgum-fired oven. And the wine-loving floor staff, including business partner Christian McCabe, will guide you through the list with wit and sensitivity.

122 Russell Street, Melbourne



Restaurants don't get any more personal than this 25-seater from chef Julian Hills, who created all the plates himself. On top of them, he combines rigorous European technique with native ingredients and Eastern philosophy for dishes such as smoked blue mackerel marinated in honey and white soy, then aged for a week in beeswax. Experience it all over four, five or eight courses, with optional pre-drinks at the drop-in Navi Lounge.

83B Gamon Street, Yarraville

Grill Americano


New York’s steakhouses have a look and taste, yes, but they’re also a feeling – a certain swagger, and celebration of culinary excess. Grill Americano has it nailed like nowhere in else in town. Grab a seat at the colossal 14-metre marble bar, let the white-jacketed staff bring you a signature highball Americano (with a segment of chocolate-coated mandarin), then tear into a Josper-grilled T-bone the size of a Frisbee. The handmade pastas and sides are equally superb.

112 Flinders Lane, Melbourne



This seaside institution, founded in 1989, has never lost its shine. Current executive chef Jason Staudt continues to do magical things with blindingly fresh seafood; sommelier Wil Martin has the crisp whites and perfumed light reds to match; the tablecloths are resolutely starchy; and that sparkling view is as magnificent as ever. We can think of no better spot for a long lunch.

Upstairs 30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

Tipo 00


Italian is Melbourne's most widespread and essential cuisine. It's not at all fancy, but Tipo nonetheless manages to stand out from the enormous pack. Years down the track, it's still beset by queues of people keen to get a taste of its simple yet meticulously assembled pastas. Arrive early – very early – if you don't have a booking.

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Osteria Ilaria


The follow-up to Tipo 00 stretches beyond the pasta-bar concept to deliver meat and seafood dishes that are merely Italian-ish, in a slightly more buttoned-up environment. But like Tipo, its subtle culinary innovations and familiar yet attentive service push the experience beyond expectations.

367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne



Look up at the wall and pick a bunch of shared dishes from the day's changeable menu. Order some wine with help from the switched-on, career-hospo-type staff. The format's simple, but as we've come to expect from Andrew McConnell's restaurants, everything is just right. And like Embla, it blurs the line between restaurant and wine bar in a highly useful way.

53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
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Bar Liberty


Drinks nerds from all over the city gravitate towards compact Bar Liberty and its list of unusual wines, beers and spirits. It's the kind of place where you might discover a mind-blowing French whisky, Croatian natural wine or wild-fermented local cider. The smart menu, nominally a long list of bar snacks, is enough for many dinners over.

234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Cumulus Inc.


Remember when we didn't share every dish on the table? This versatile all-day spot, another from Andrew McConnell, was one of the first to show us how good communal meals can be. It's still one of the best at it, whether you visit for a boozy brunch or a late-night snack. Start at level one neighbour Cumulus Up if you're in the mood for pre-drinks.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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Bar Lourinhã


Matt McConnell, brother of Andrew, is behind this top-of-the-city bolthole. Calling it a tapas bar wouldn't do justice to the delicacy and thoughtfulness of what appears on either the short regular menu, the expansive list of specials, or what's poured by the bar's excellent staff. It's been around for well over a decade and remains a CBD institution, for good reason.

37 Little Collins 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. Florentino's commitment to old-world hospitality and classic Italian dishes is timeless. And the room is one-of-a-kind, filled with beautiful Tuscan murals originally painted in the 1930s.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Drawing on their Indian heritage, executive chef Adam D’Sylva and head chef Hendri Budiman give Tonka a flavour that's far too uncommon at this level of dining. The wine list is a cracker, but we're more partial to the smart cocktail menu and its wealth of refreshing, South Asian-inspired mixes.

20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne
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Di Stasio Citta


When Rinaldo di Stasio’s first restaurant Rosati opened in 1985, it took eating standards in the CBD to a new level. Arriving 34 years later, Di Stasio Citta marked a fittingly blockbuster return to the city centre. Beyond the colourful mural and sleek grey brutalist facade is a restaurant that bears all of the Di Stasio hallmarks. There’s contemporary art, cotoletta sandwiches, big plates of pasta and impeccable service throughout.

45 Spring Street, Melbourne
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