By now it’s likely that you’re well aware of Melbourne holding the food capital of Australia crown – much to the dismay of Sydneysiders. As with many big cities, it can be quite difficult to start your culinary journey in the city centre. The tall buildings, busy traffic and confusing streets can leave many visitors looking like they’re a fish out of water, so to speak. And with Melbourne this can be even worse, with so many hidden laneways, secret restaurants and bars and an overwhelming number of eateries sprawled throughout the CBD and the wider city. So we thought we’d give you a few tips to help you navigate the best restaurants that the Melbourne CBD is home to...
So we’re all familiar with the trendy spots – from St Kilda to Fitzroy, with Northcote, Brunswick, Carlton and Prahran attracting the hipster foodie crowds. But what about the heart of it all? Essentially, the home of the best restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD are found within the two oldest areas of the city: the Hoddle Grid and the Queen Victoria Market, as well as the redeveloped areas of Docklands and Southbank. For those who don’t know, the Hoddle Grid is home to Melbourne’s famous laneways and arcades, and is renowned for its blend of contemporary and Victorian architecture, as well as the expansive gardens and parks surrounding it, and the eclectic street art adorning the buildings. It’s also home to the best restaurants in the Melbourne CBD, with some ranked among the best in the world. From Spencer Street, along La Trobe, William and Peel Streets, running through the Yarra and down to Flinders Street and St Kilda Road, you’ll find incredible restaurants within Melbourne’s CBD. It’s truly an exciting world of dining!
So what about those famous laneways then? Take a mere turn off the main streets and you’ll discover the location where some of the coolest restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD are. Behind unmarked doors, some with hidden passwords, some upstairs, and some downstairs, many of the best eateries have found their homes here and garnered a reputation among the cool crowds as being the go-to restaurants for Melbourne CBD dining. Start at Flinders Lane, and explore the hole-in-the-wall spots, cosy bars and high-end dining. Or stop in at Ants Bistro in Corrs Lane, before a trip to Red Hummingbird for a night sipping on cocktails on their rooftop. If tacos are on your mind, a visit to Amigos on Hardware Lane off Lonsdale Street is a must, as is a meal at Highlander in Highlander Lane, off Flinders Street for the best British fare you’ll find.
One of the best things about the restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD is that they’re multifunctional establishments. You’ll find Mexican street food joints doubling as late night clubs, Thai restaurants specialising in the Melbourne CBD’s best cocktails like Magic Mountain Saloon, or The Toff in Town, alongside rooftop bars with food that’s not just your average bar snacks, as well as hidden gems that are ideal for casual drinks or fully fledged dining. Essentially, whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find it without a worry at the restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD. We think this passion for being unique and different comes from the innate sense of innovation Melburnians feel, and this has led to Melbourne CBD restaurants pushing the boundaries and exploring anything new to wow the crowd. And boy, is it working!
There are many, many ways eat in the world, and not one style is better than the other. This concept has been wholeheartedly embraced by Melburnians, with food-loving folk opting for a secret dumpling restaurant hidden in Melbourne’s CBD one night, and then treating themselves to an evening of fine wine and degustations at the most exclusive restaurants in the Melbourne CBD. One of the best things about the Melbourne gastronomy scene is that there is simply no pretentiousness when it comes to where you’ll go for dinner. And whether you’re in for a night at Cecconi’s on Flinders Lane for the best Italian cuisine in the city, or after casual dumplings and beers at I Love Dumplings on A’Beckett Road, both are going to be exceptional experiences.
So now we’ve gone through all the details when it comes to the Melbourne CBD restaurant scene, it’s time to narrow things down. The best way to make your choice, because let’s face it, there’s a lot to choose from, is with Quandoo. All you’ve got to do is select the area you want to dine, so in this case Melbourne CBD, and restaurants in your area will pop up. You can also select which cuisine you’re craving, your price point and check what other foodies have to say. So whether it’s a night at Cookie, Taco Bills, or Mao Please, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect Melbourne CBD restaurant each and everytime. Enjoy!