Many of the Italian restaurants in Melbourne's Southbank area are based in and around the sparkling Southgate precinct, a short stroll from the central business district and overlooking the stately Yarra River. Waterfront terraces with outdoor seating make the most of the sweeping views, while the décor is big on airy plate glass and clean-lined modern design. Options range from sophisticated contemporary gourmet dining to bustling eateries serving a crowd-pleasing mix of grazing plates, pastas, grills and pizzas. In either case, expect a great choice of craft beers and well-reviewed wines to wash down your meal.
Melbourne's Southbank has plenty of Italian restaurants offering rich Italian fare ideal for a leisurely meal. Pasta lovers might hone in on a filling plate of rigatoni with prosciutto or chicken, creamy spaghetti alla carbonara or conchiglioni with handmade sausages. Meanwhile, dishes such as crab and prawn tortellini and baked barramundi marinated in coriander see seafood fans well catered for. There's also an Aussie generosity to the district's pizza toppings, which run from family-friendly bacon and egg to gorgonzola and walnut.